IITians Go Rural

On occasion of Pan-IIT meet in Chennai, many have talked and written about IITs and IITians that is really informative. IIT-Madras has, for example, recruited over 200 faculty of whom at least a third did their bachelor’s in one of the IITs and had gone abroad to do PhDs. It is estimated that there is a pool of 60,000 PhDs from India in the US.

Surprisingly, IITians are still busy in ‘exploring areas where they can contribute to the larger cause.’ As reported, very soon a new website http://www.alumnet.iitkgpernet.in will electronically link all alumni and provide an effective platform for sharing ideas and contributing together.

Suggestions regarding the expectations from IITians are many. While one calls upon all IIT alumni to work towards evolving a good and low-cost education system, the other pleads to join the village adoption initiative. Nandan Nilekani, as author of his well documented book ‘Imagining India’ wishes IITians help in revamping the education system radically.

An Indian Institute of Technology survey says every IIT-ian has created 100 jobs and that every rupee spent on an IIT-ian has ‘created an economic impact of Rs 50 at the global level, half of which is India’s share’. Many celebrity alumni have given their own opinions on the glorious roles of IITians: ‘IIT-ians have created a global brand‘IIT-ians have brought glory to the country

Interestingly Pan-IIT this time has opted to focus on the India that lives in villages, according to a news report covered in prestigious ‘Business Week‘ too.

The IITs’ old boys will engage in the development of India’s 6 lakh-plus villages where over 70% of the population lives. For all you know, our IIT men may be able to address village-level problems before the truant politician does. And in the bargain, some of them may hopefully take to politics!

I wish both IITs and IITians can look into the ways and means to transform the rural India as priority because of its being away from the media galore. The coverage of rural India in the print and digital is extremely inadequate. While IITs must create technologies such as an extra low cost water filters, room coolers and refrigerators that can help the rural India to improve the quality of life, IITans must help in building and upgrading the existing rural schools with setting up a creativity centre, a library in each school or by getting the school teachers trained in computer and English language. It can start with a simple step of visiting a village school by every IITians and talking with the students there. If IITians focus on the single issue of universalizing the education, a good education, the rest may come automatically. I am sure if each IITian has created 100 jobs, each IITian can also help get a rural school upgraded to the desired standard. I wish the government agrees to name the school after the IITian, if it helps.

While I was going through the Business Week, I found another article in Business World ‘The Real Nation Builders’ that says, ‘As IITians bring global glory, bright engineers from lesser-known institutes build the country.’ The glory is not restricted to IITs and IITians.

Many things are happening in IITs that the IITians of yester years find interesting.

PS: ‘PAN IIT-2008’ – PM’s inaugural address “In the last six decades the IIT system has produced over 170,000 graduates. It is generally estimated that about a third or more of these alumni have found opportunities in other countries where they are universally acknowledged to be leaders in their fields of endeavour.”

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