Chetan Bhagat once remarked that life of a student transforms totally at IITs and leaves permanent changes on it. His “Five Point Someone” describes that experience vividly. IITs are famed for producing wizards. In fact, those who get there are no less than wizards themselves. Most of them for sure! Nothing can be more oft-repeated than the fact that IIT-JEE (entry point to IITs) is the toughest engineering exam. Only those who could not clear it can really understand and appreciate the efforts, hard work and brilliance it requires to get there. Others just see the jaw-dropping packages and impressive placement records.
One prime reason behind holding the IITs in such high esteem is that no one can reach there without merit. This is the sole virtue that counts if you are to acquire a seat there. No donations, no recommendations, nothing else works. And this is precisely the reason why IITians accomplish great feats in their career. If you scratch the background of top corporate honchos, most of them will turn out to be IITians. And why single out the corporate sector, the IITians are in good positions in every field. They are IAS officers, IPS officers, professors, researchers, entrepreneurs, et al.
So, what is that magic wand at the IITs that adds so much of value to its students?
You would say academics. After all, they are selected for being adept in this very field only. Absolutely correct, but academics alone is not the reason behind their smartness and proficiency. IITs, of course, focus on academics but not that much as is thought to be.
There are a host of other activities that students participate in during the academic session and they do the value addition along with the academics. The technical and cultural festivals at IITs are very popular. Students from all IITs participate in them and thus, get to interact with each other. Getting elected to a significant management position in these events is a big deal because it is a tightly-contested post and demands considerable management skills. It provides the students with excellent opportunities to learn the ropes of professional world because the events are entirely managed by students; right from arranging sponsorship to inviting guests.
Besides, these festivals inter-hostel events are held throught the year. They offer good platforms to students for honing their talent and soft skills (the X factor of success now a days).
IITs’ campus nurtures talent in its own special way. They are places where brilliant minds from across the country meet and transact their intellectual capital every day thereby creating a knowledge reservoir that gets replenished every year with the arrival of new entrants.