IITs and Coaching Mills

In many of my write-ups on IIT, I raised the issue of the damage that the coaching mills sprouted all over the country, are causing. I was happy to know that the director and the dean of IIT- Madras have similar views. As reported in Times of India on July 31, M S Ananth, the director of IIT-Madras said, ”I am looking for students with raw intelligence and not those with a mind prepared by coaching class tutors. The coaching classes only help students in mastering (question paper) pattern-recognizing skills. With this, you cannot get students with raw intelligence.” Mr. Ananth also expressed his opinion against the students missing their Class XII classes to attend coaching.

It was not always like that. I sat for my entrance examination in 1957 and Rakesh, my eldest son did that in 1989. There were no coaching institutes in those days. We appeared in our Intermediate science or higher secondary examination, and there after for IIT entrance examinations. I remember I appeared for ISM, Dhanbad too. While BE College Shibpur near Botanical Garden was the center for IIT, Scottish Church College was for ISM. I don’t remember if I had seen even any question papers of the examinations in previous years. By 1989, Agrawal Classes and Brilliant Tutorial had started providing correspondence courses for preparation. I had subscribed for one of them for Rakesh. None of us could even dream of taking more chances to get into IIT or ISM.

I personally feel that IITs have failed to eliminate the ingress of the coaching industry for the entrance in IITs. In my writings I had mentioned also of the open book examinations practiced at IIT that confirms that the setting of question papers can be done in a manner that can’t be taught by coaching. I firmly believe that the directors and faculty members of IITs must devise innovative means to get the coaching mills shut, and it is very much possible unless they themselves have some vested interest. The curriculum must be one of Class XII standard, may be of CBSE. It also must discourage multiple attempts.

Further, I will disagree with Mr. Ananth about the testing the capability of communication, as it will give advantage to those coming from elite private schools. But I shall certainly like that the prospective engineers must have aptitude for engineering and creativity and the entrance examination must test that, as I hate IITians joining IIM just after graduating. I shall like to see them as brilliant engineers who can compete with the best in the world.

It is great that IIT is lifting the veil from the cut-off controversy. IIT must innovate the examination in such a manner that the candidates can take examinations on line and can know about their scores just after completing the examination.
PS: VIEW: The idea deserves to be considered
COUNTER VIEW: Tweaking JEE won’t help

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