This is a letter from an ex student who always wanted to speak on these things, but never got the chance. I never had an insight on your views but the interview gets us to a place where I can think about wondering about the institute policies and the college in general. And. I will try to keep it short.
First and foremost, Sir, DA-IICT will always be DA-IICT and not IIT. As you’ve mentioned countless many times in your interview it is evident that you regret not being a part of that premier elite class anymore. I may of course, be wrong. But the point here is it’s a blessing that our college is NOT an IIT. If you would have asked me when I entered this college if I regretted not clearing the Joint Entrance Examination, the answer would have been affirmative. But now, spending four years in the institute, one is sure is glad that’s not the case. Now, if you ask me how do Ifeel notbeing an IITian- I am sure as glad. True, fifteen to twenty percent of the students of IITs are great, starting from academia to arts to sports. But the remaining eighty percent- an average DAIICTianis better. It might seem as a strange statement, but talk to the alumni, talkto the ones who have seen both sides of the coin, and you won’t refute what I have tried pointing out here. At IIT, you are taught being great- but everyone isn’t, cannot be. So the end product being- the cream which is great at everything it does, and the rest- carrying the ‘tag’ of the institution wherever they go, introducing their college before themselves (“ hi! Main IITian.” As if we care, seriously!)
True, the colleges(IITs)had been set up as a part of India’s Five Year Plans to compete with the technological advancements ofEurope and the Soviet and they have done their part beautifully. The fact that the examination for securing admission in them is being merged with AIEEE’s examination is a testament to the fact that they have ceased being what they were meant to be.
They have a solid alumni base- it’s huge- there’s no denying that. But the alumni base of our college is getting there. We have our ex students at Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Flipkart- you name it.
Our ex students have done well, but here’s another point I am trying to make. These students also won a plethora of competitions- from Imagine Cup to TI. But now, the case is a little different. We haven’t won anything for some years now. When our batch entered the college, it was in the top 20 trying to break in the top 10-15, the graph of the college was on an upward scale. But in the last four-five years, it has been stagnant, maybe even declined. One wonders what is the cause here. And NO, one cannot blame reservation. I’ll go to stating the facts here- most of the students till 2007 batch were dropouts, they came to the college one year after giving their boards. After the reservation, the influx of students from outside the state didn’t change that much, but the majority from Gujarat, whose rank of twenty five thousand made a lot of eyebrows shrink, got it in the first attempt- which is the same as what many of us got in our first attempt. So I don’t think that we have suffered academically because of the reservation, culturally, it has been different, but that’s another point altogether. And when you see the performances, I think it’s the most prejudiced batch- the batch of 2012, which has shown the best result in placements.
It saddens me though, that there isn’t any culture of DA-IICT. As a college, we have certainly failed in that respect. Students and faculties aren’t meant to be the best of friends, by principle, but you see a successful institute, it has a culture associated with it. We had tried introducing the college magazine in a printed form, because it is one of the first steps of an institute creating its own identity. I personally had handed the magazine to you, for a review, which never came. It needs funding, and is important, because it’s something you can take with to your home- in symbolism, romance, and truth.
One of the reasons our college is different from others is the brilliance of the Humanities faculty. Be it Shiv- who teaches a student to look at things from a completely different point of view, fact being many of his students consider themselves blind before they met him. ANS Sir- who has taught us the science of watching a movie, GaneshDevi Sir- with his immense knowledge of the epics, TridipSir- a connoisseur of the discipline called Gandhi. They are fundamental to our institute which offers a single discipline. Now that they are leaving, it sends a very frightening message.
I wouldn’t go into the details of DAC or the student body because people have been trying to voice their opinions on how ineffective these are and what measures can be taken to improve their standing and they have failed. Seems very much like the Indian bureaucracy, doesn’t? And some of the incidents remind a mind like mine of what I read of the Emergency(1975).
I cannot comment on the job you have been doing for so many years now, you must have seen countless like me come and go, you are that experienced. Being a college without a core branch, we have done very well over the years. I thank you for being the premier of the institute which has taught me so much, but ours is a batch of only 230-240 odd, isn’t it an irony that around 220 of them got the chance to talk to you for the first time on their convocation?
Thanks and Regards,
mind blowing vibhor. wat a blow…. sweet n crispy!!!! hail u ” thee author”
Thanks. But why is this a blow? I have tried to refrain from controversies. And this is not a vendetta. 🙂
nice 1 Daaku
awesome bhaiya !! .. faadu !!
Well written! Totally agreed! 🙂
Aditya Bhatt said:
Vibhor! This is wonderful writing. There are a couple of other points that spring to my mind, but you’ve nailed it.
Agree that I may have missed some points. I look at it and realize now and again that I haven‘t written about a thing or another which I could have.
But there were you many things and I had to keep it short.
And thanks. 🙂
Which points did come to you, if one may ponder?
The last line only brings shrills down one’s spine. Perfect end to a perfect letter. 🙂
Mr Director should read this! nicely written 🙂
The points about comparing DA with IITs and give a very nice reply to the Director’s interview. You could have been more clear and direct when you mentioned about the lack of a “Culture” at DA-IICT. Just 1 college magazine example doesn’t give a good indicator. (also I want to ask you: Did you ask the director to reply to your request more than once and followed it up until you got a proper reply? May be that could have helped in at least knowing where the problem lies.)
Last point seems irrelevant. The director in fact seems to welcome discussions with students(the entelechy interview is itself an example). It is that most of ‘us’ who hesitate to meet him.
The bottom line is that one thing is clear: the director is NOT looking a the current situation as a problem nor is he acknowledging it. He is only denying any mention of the possibility of a problem cleverly with a twist of words and diversion from the main topic.
Should we as students send across the message to him that we are not fooled by this and we want a proper reasoning of the happenings at DA? What are the possible means by which this message is clearly sent across? (E-mailing, direct discussion, college-wide struggle??)
What is the solution to this obvious problem situation that the director is cleverly diverting attention from? What are the possible solutions??
The answers to questions are to be sought from the director.
I agree that I have missed out on emphasizing on the culture part but I didn’t mean to drag. The magazine represented effort from our part to add to the culture and I did try to follow up but Sir remained busy. It’s not an excuse and yes, I should have written more in the shortcomings of culture.
I cannot point out what he does or doesn’t do, am not qualified enough for that. But I sure do acknowledge that there is a problem and it is the students who have to think of a solution.
The problem is – the first three years, one keeps learning about everything and there is a lot on the plate. And when the students reach their fourth year, try sit back and relax. A glaring example what the fourth year can do if it has a zeal is evident if you look at the magnitude of cultural activities conducted all year round. It was an honest attempt
And it showed what can be achieved if the students take the matter in their hands.
I wouldn’t go for a college wide struggle because events of the like very swiftly loose their true purpose. Look at J.P‘s movement of 74-75 or the most recent Hazare‘s agitation.
The moment realization sinks in, the graph of the college will again head towards where it has meant to be. maybe. 🙂
Mindblowing…!! superb letter…
Yash Shah said:
Really Truthful… !! superb..
can we have the link to the interview?
Yes. Will post that in sometime. [And will send it to you today. :)]
Mohit Choudhary said:
superb… simply Fab.. !!
A very well written and concise post , however with some major discrepancies .
Firstly the question of whether DAIICT will be an IIT . Before answering this question let us contemplate as to what really makes an IIT stand out among other colleges. Why is it that students spend 3 years,at times more than that, to get there.
The reason for this is obviously the power which the IIT tag carries, the power to give you the best of the world but how did the power come. It was not given as a gift. It was earned by the IITs through tight administration. IIT has been able to establish itself as an institution primarily because of the discipline it enforces. It makes the student realize the power of an institution and the need to adhere to institutional rules and regulations. “Rebels without a cause” are instantly taught that what ever rebellion they plan should be in harmony with the institution. “Nobody is above the law” and “no one person is above the institution”. This discipline enforces people not to toe the line and brings out the best in them.
If there is one thing DAIICT has consistently tired to do , it is to create among its students an idea of an institution. To teach its alumni that institutional laws must be adhered to whether they like it or not. To imbibe in them the concept of an institution.
The strong steps taken by the DAC and other disciplinary bodies in recent times can be questioned but the idea of an institution being embedded into the psyche of the students is of paramount importance for a DAIICT to survive.
The current status of DAIICT in India is because of its ability to maintain its status as an institution both within the campus and outside the campus. So while it is true that laws need to be revised but the spirit in which they are enforced should remain same.
What should be done to improve DAIICT in other areas is bring about the sense of an institution in them. Consider sports, the lack of an organized way of practicing has always resulted in DAIICT not really reaching its potential. If the college gives this importance then very soon DAIICT will start winning there to. Similarly if other activities are institutionalized, in that I mean that a constructive approach is take to would participants to perfection in that area , DAIICTians would definitely make a mark there as in talent we are second to none. However such other activities and specially sports have not been given that much of importance in the past and hence DAIICTians have not really been able to make their mark there.
The point you mentioned about reservation not bringing down the quality of the college is correct but then your belief that the integration of IIT JEE with AIEEE is an indication that they no longer have the same value or is an indication of standards dropping kind of contradicts your first point. Just like the academic institution of DAIICT has ensured that the standards are not compromised with greatly so would the academic institution of the IITs ensure that their standards are not compromised with. It is true like DAIICT to some extend even the IITs standards would reduce a bit but a strong institution would serve to reduce that bit.
In conclusion I believe that if the administrators of DAIICT recognize the importance of institutionalizing other events like culture, sports etc. we would definitely be recognized as a far better college than what we currently are given credit for.
I agree that there is a communication gap between the administrators and the students but again that gap has to be breached by playing by the rules, not by breaking them.
daaku you should’ve joined the sbg man!