Sunday, July 14, 2013

1/3rd IIT aspirants are kids of public sector, government staff

Most aspirants for the premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are either children of government employees or whose parents hold public sector jobs, while children of businessmen and farmers lag behind. But data on IIT aspirants and successful candidates reveals that doctors' children performed better in the IIT entrance tests than those whose parents were engineers or government employees.

Aspirants whose parents were in the public sector or government service formed almost one third of the total candidates, around 506,000, who registered for the joint entrance exam. But their success rate was just 5.8%. On the contrary, out of the 7,067 doctors' children, 9.92% made the grade, the highest among any other professions. Data from the IITs revealed an interesting trend among candidates who registered for the competitive exam last year and qualified to enter the most sought after institutes in the country.

While children of government staffers stand at third position, those whose parents are into teaching/research also did better with a success rate of 5.21%. Among girls too, the highest success rate of 5.74% was seen among doctors' children. But most girls, or 54,576 of the 169,000 registering for the test, were children of government employees.

"People in government jobs seek a secure future for their children and they see IIT education as a means to achieve it," said JEE (Advanced) - 2013, Chairman, H C Gupta. "More doctors send their children into engineering as a qualification in the medical field takes about nine years while one can become an engineer in just four years," added Gupta.

Aakash Chaudhry, director of a coaching institute, said peer pressure among parents in government and public sector units was too high, and therefore they were major contributors to the aspirants' pool. "Getting into an IIT is a matter of reputation for many families. It is more of a competition among parents than the children," said Chaudhry.

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) professor Bino Paul believe that about a couple of decades ago, before globalization, the trend was different. "IITs remained heavily elitist before and during globalization. However, in the globalised world, brand IIT is facing a challenge from institutes in the Ivy League. The highly networked group prefer to send their children abroad even for undergraduate studies. Students who are in international schools, with higher resources, now have global aspirations. IITs miss out on these chunks," he said. Paul said the fact that most candidates were from CBSE schools, which are largely preferred by government servants, could be one of the contributing factors.

Source: The Times of India (Online Edition), July 14, 2013

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