Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Students in coveted IIT-Bombay departments unhappy lot: Study

Happiness does not have anything to do with getting into the most-sought-after courses in IITs. Instead, it may have an inverse relationship. A survey conducted at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) on the happiness quotient of students reveals that the ones in the computer science engineering and electrical engineering departments are not as happy as their counterparts in other departments. Incidentally, these two courses are most preferred by students in the first year at IIT-B, almost every year.

This year too, IIT-B's courses in these two branches were among the highest preferred choices. The survey conducted in the institute also shows that the students on the campus, in general too, are not happy as compared to the average individual's happiness score (4.3). While the average happiness on the campus is found to be 3.43, girls are slightly on the better side, with 3.44, but boys on the campus are lower than average, with a score of 3.34.

The survey was conducted using the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire developed by psychologists Michael Argyle and Peter Hills at Oxford University as it is considered as the accurate technique to measure psychological well-being.

In the department wise survey, aerospace (3.76), civil (3.67), energy (3.64) departments managed to get a better average than the chemistry (3.40), chemical (3.34), electrical (3.29) and computer science (3.27) departments in the happiness survey. Metallurgical (3.49) and mechanical (3.45) departments take the middle positions. Students in the electrical and computer science departments are the least happy on the campus. The survey also shows that 80% students agree to 'there is a gap between what I would like to do and what I have done' question.

Statistics taken of students from each year, revealed that students are happiest in their third year (3.56), though not happier than the average score. The lowest score was achieved by students in the second year (3.21). A student on the campus claimed that 'the pressure factor hits students only after clearing the first year, which could be one reason why they are not happy in their second year'.

The survey which was conducted by Akhil Srivatsan for the institute's in-house students' magazine had more than 200 respondents, with at least 10-15 on an average from each department. "We wanted to conduct this survey at our institute to check the average lifestyle of an individual on the campus. On how the life is going on the campus. The Oxford questionnaire was already available to us, so we picked up specific questions which were also true for students on the campus and conducted the survey," said chief editor of the magazine, Saideep Sudi.

Some of the questions included how optimistic students feel about their future and how happy they are based on the departments they belong to. "Though we don't claim that the figures could be exact depiction of the reality, we tried to have quite a representation from each year and from each department.

Source: The Times of India, June 26, 2012
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