Wednesday, 25 May 2011

An Open Letter to Mr. Jairam Ramesh

Mr. Jairam Ramesh,
I sincerely believe that when you have doubted the ‘class’ of IIT and IIM faculties, you never meant to reflect the same sentiment of your former cabinet colleague Dr. Shashi Tharoor of ‘Cattle Class’ fame. You wanted to say something which can bring back the focus on you, so you chose two best public funded institutes if the state. Naturally, media is again showing you and running after you. You have successfully reached your target. Congrats.
Now let me say something about your 'class' comment.
Being an IIT alumnus you must know that institutes like IITs & IIMs have been established for a definite purpose. Over the years both these centres of excellence have proved its worth and made a mark in world platform & still counting. Their fame is not only for the students, but for the teachers too.
More importantly, if an institute is capable of producing ‘world class students’ I think their faculty members have to have the capability of nurturing the future world figures. If these talents are not shown the perfect way of unfolding their petals, they won’t even earn a name in India, leave aside world! Bright & the brilliants come to the IIMs and the IITs. Through a very tough selection procedure they made it to these august institutions and (surprisingly enough) the faculty of these institutes only select them!! These future world class students actually know the standard of the faculty as well as the institutes, so they choose these places! Do you think Mr. Minister, a student who aspires to be a world leader would chose a ‘below standard’ faculty as his/her mentor? I think, you know that teaching the brightest and the best is one of the most challenging jobs for a faculty. ‘Inept’ teachers cannot produce world class students, isn’t it so? What’s your take Mr. Minister?
I am associated with Indian Institute of Management Calcutta as a Trainee Teaching Associate. For the professional purpose I have the opportunity to work very closely withy many faculty members of this institute, both seniors and juniors. In almost all the cases I found, they are engaged in research works of very innovative kind or developing a new model. I would rather say, it’s really difficult to find them in campus as they always get invitations to attend various programmes worldwide. Actually ’world’ waits for them to get a pie of their knowledge and experience! Do you really call these faculties ‘incompetent’ in the world platform, Mr. Minister? Unlike the ‘world class’ institutes, students of IITs engage in project works which has long term sustainability and effectiveness. If you don’t believe ne, please do a Google search, you will get the list.
As you know Mr. Minister, India is different from world in many aspects. India still carries the tag of having a substantial percentage of people who don’t get a full square meal regularly. Primary education system is limping. Little number of students comes for higher education and a tiny percentage to IIMs and IITs. Still, India is proud of scientific research, management development, grassroots innovation, student entrepreneurship and many more. So why do IIM faculties need to follow the world model for attaining the status of ‘world class’ performer? If they think of India and research takes that specific direction, where’s the problem? Why does India need the approval of the West to prove its Excellence? Would you kindly explain this, Mr. Minister?
At the end, I want to say that there is always scope for improvement. IITs and IIMs are undoubtedly the best of the institutions and they boast of their faculty and students. But at the same time, complacency must not kill the scope for future development and innovations. Everywhere, be it ‘India’ or ‘World’ there are some people who might not be’ that good’, but experience says, peer pressure transforms them for better. Who knows, one day ‘world’ might adjudge its ‘class’ comparing their performance with the IIMs and IITs? What’s your take on this Mr. Minister?
Anwesha Banerjee
TTA, IIM Calcutta
PS: Congress party seems to have a problem in ‘class’ structure. First it was ‘cattle classes, then ‘world class’. I think the party needs a ‘class’ of its own!!

1 comment:

Vinumon S said...

Well written. Completely agree :)