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,