There is this open letter that was shared on India’s premier Online Media site Scroll. I don’t know who this guy is but he makes so much noise that I want to give him a reply to each of his points.
Dear Smt Smriti Iraniji,
At the drop of a hat, every government, including yours, says that subsidies are bad for the economy and should be done away with.
Many of the subsidies in your ministry are going to those who don’t deserve it. IITians are the most guilty of this pilferage. To make things worse, they hardly do anything for the country. Best-selling fiction is not known to help farmers.
1) To begin with, this is what they cost us
While it takes over Rs 3.4 lakh to educate an IITian per year, the student pays only Rs 90,000 per year. The rest is borne by the government. That is close to Rs 2.5 lakh per student per year, which is being paid by the tax payer. If one extrapolates this to all the 39,540 students in the Indian Institute of Technologies, the cost borne by the tax payer on educating IITians extends to 988.5 crore annually.
According to budget estimates, Rs 1703.85 crore is to be allocated to the IITs for 2015-’16.
Okay, good to know the fact that IITs get 1700 Crores an year. Do you know the budget of MIT for a financial year? $2.918 Billion which is 17,508 crores. A single University in USA gets 10 times the funding which all the IITs combined get in India but I never heard people ranting about MIT in USA. (Oh okay may be that’s why they got so many Nobels isn’t it?)
2) What do we get in return for the Rs 1,700 crore we spend on them?
Inspite of producing 9,885 world-class engineers in computer science, electrical, electronic, chemical, mechanical, production fields every year…
a) The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, though successful with the Russian Cryogenic Engine, has time and again failed with the indigenous cryogenic engine. We have succeeded only once with our indigenous cryogenic rocket.
b) Indigenous submarines are still a distant dream because of the technological complexity in building them. Though many projects are coming up in our own shipyards, they are happening because we are merely manufacturing them in India with foreign technology.
c) The indigenous Indian Small Arms System rifles for our army, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, have always been reported as problematic, and we import assault rifles from Israel.
Why could our world-class engineers, who are educated with tax payers’ money, not have built them?
I am sorry I guess there is something fishy in your argument. So if 1000 Crores is spent on Students Education alone so only 700 crores is allotted to the salaries of the professors, working staff, electricity, labs maintenance, god knows what those big machines are inside those big campuses? Please Enlighten.
So you are conveniently talking about the failures happened with GSLV but not the ISRO’s Chandrayaan success isn’t it? But I will tell you both the success and failures are not because of some group of people. It is up on the organization. From your other fact, only 2% of people in ISRO are from IITs/NITs, so IITians just can’t be blamed. So coming to the other point in your argument why have our world class engineers did not built all these things? It’s because our country doesn’t have world class facilities like Israel/USA, our country doesn’t have world class funding like Israel. But you know what our country’s has? Awesome reservations, More awesome bureaucracy.
3) This is what our top IITians gave a miss
A Right to Information application that was filed recently has shown that less than 2% of engineers at the Indian Space Research Organisation are from IITs and the National Institutes of Technology. Our best space programme doesn’t get our best engineers every year.
The army doesn’t get engineers and officers from the IITs. Between 1986 and 2006, not a single IITian has joined the Indian army.
The DRDO has a shortage of more than 2,700 scientists, and it is stretched and overworked, but our world-class engineers don’t find it challenging.
I guess you are not thinking correctly Research is different. Being an engineer is different. If you are talking about research that’s happening in the country talk about the PhDs not the engineers. And why IITians are not joining these organizations but at the same time they are joining government organizations like NTPC, Coal India, HPCL, IOCL etc? Because they are well maintained unlike DRDO.
4) If an IITian wants to run an online shop, then why do I, a taxpayer, have to pay for his chemical engineering degree?
Going by 2013 figures, Flipkart, the online mega-store, recruited seven students from IIT Madras in 2013.
One can understand the logic behind Flipkart hiring a computer science engineer. But six of the hires had studied aerospace, chemical, metallurgy, bio-technology and engineering physics. What specialist knowledge will they bring to Flipkart?
These students do not have any interest in what they learnt in their four-year undergraduate programme, and want to erase their history by moving to a different field.
5) Why did I pay for Chetan Bhagat’s mechanical engineering degree?
I have nothing against Chetan Bhagat, but I do know that Indian taxpayers paid to make him a mechanical engineer. He has done everything but engineering.
Another RTI filed with IIM Bangalore has revealed that out of the current batch of 406 students, 97 students are from IITs. Fifty-six of these are students with less than two years work experience.
If all these engineers wanted to be was managers, why does the tax payer need to pay for their engineering education at the IITs?
Okay, both your points 4 & 5 are stupid. I have studied Biology till my 10th standard on my father’s money. My father didn’t ask me why I have taken Math Physics and Chemistry in my +2? Did your father ask you the same? Did he ask you to study Biology, Social Sciences and every other thing even after your 10th standard? So it’s the same thing, studying Chemical/Civil Engineering for Four years doesn’t mean I am bound to work on a job you want me to. In fact FYI, a typical Bachelors course in IIT in any stream doesn’t have 100% Core courses. That is if I am in Civil Engineering I will not have the Civil Courses for all my 190 Odd credits. A very good number of those credits cover Math, Physics, Humanities and other Electives. It means logically I have studied other things more than Civil Engineering.
Do you really understand how much money does Chetan Bhagat and his books (ofcourse I hate him as a writer) have created so far in India? (Think about all those book stores, book printers, distribution companies). So by your advice Chetan Bhagat should have been a Mechanical Engineer working for a government organization like Coal India or so, live in remote areas and keep cribbing about the kind of work he does?
Do you know how Flipkart has changed the entire Indian Startup market? Though technically speaking Flipkart is not officially an Indian company since it is registered in Singapore the amount of business it has created in India and the way it has changed the online shopping is phenomenal. So by your argument Sachin Bansal should have been a good chemical engineer and join some PSU and again rant. Isn’t it? Do you even know that Chemical Engineering or any Engineering branch involves lot of Analytics and Optimization related stuff which actually is used a lot by Flipkart?
Atleast be consistent with what you say, IITians went on to become Civil Servants, Entrepreneurs, Politicians, CEOs, Analysts, Engineers and so on. They pursued their passion man. You cannot ask a kid to serve in Indian army just because he is born in India, isn’t it?
6) Get a loan, why seek a subsidy?
All students from IITs can get collateral-free loans from nationalised banks for upto Rs 20 Lakh.
And IITians are obviously so awesome that companies are eager to pay them crores of rupees.
Then why should a world-class engineer who makes crores of rupees and adds no value to India be given a subsidised education at the IITs? Can’t they get educated with a bank loan of their own and repay it after getting their huge salaries?
IITians doesn’t make crores to start with. If you see the Brain Drain section in IIT Wikipedia, you will know how much percentage of IITians are going abroad and how many are staying in India. So there you go, yeah IITians add no value to India.
7) Remittances help forex? Nope, not really.
Whenever there is a debate on brain drain from the IITs, the remittances issue pops up. Many believe that IITians who go abroad send back remittances and contribute to foreign exchange reserves. However, it is a pittance for India.
A report in the Economic Times shows that out of the total remittances of $70 billion to India, the remittances from IITians who go to developed countries is much lower than the remittances from the Middle East to the state of Kerala.
Most of the Malayalis in the Gulf are blue-collar workers, not IIT engineers.
Please sir, my mind got screwed after reading this. Do you really know how many IITians are there abroad on whole? Hardly 25-30K and most of them are settled in USA before 1990s (before the liberalization). Do you know how many Keralites are there in Gulf? 2.5 Million. I think you can do the Math.
So, why should the common man subsidise an IITian’s college fees?
Not to offend you but the following are some people who studied in some IIT (which you think did not contribute anything to India)
1. Narayanamurthy – Founder of Infosys (Created n number of jobs in India, yeah no value to the country)
2. Nandan Nilekhani – Co-founder of Infosys
3. Raghuram Rajan – Governor of RBI (What are you doing in RBI, Mr. Rajan? Who cares about Rupee?)
4. Manohar Parrikar – Chief Minister of Goa and now the Defence Minister of India (Oh man, you should have been some Engineer in some company)
5. Duvvuri Subbarao – Ex Governor of RBI
6. Vinod Kholsa – Founder of Sun Microsystems (a company which has created the programming language called JAVA which most of the Indian IT Job holders use, yeah no value to the country)
7. Arvind Kejriwal – Chief Minister of Delhi (Why are you doing all this drama? You are no value to the country)
8. H C Verma – Author of Concepts of Physics and Professor at IIT Kanpur (Sir, these people think you have not contributed anything. I am really not sure whether Physics can be the same without your books)
9. Chetan Bhagat – Author (Of course his books are stupid, yeah he is no value to the country)
10. Sachin and Binny Bansal – Founders of Flipkart (Yeah Amazon is doing all sorts of things to give competition to Flipkart and hey people you are no value to the country)
11. IAS Officers like Ashok Khemka, Raju Narayana swamy
12. Amit Singhal – Senior Vice President at Google (Yeah, Google no way has added value to India)
13. Sundar Pichai – Senior Vice President at Google, leads Android (yeah, Indian companies like Micromax, Karbonn and god knows what are living just because of Android and sorry Mr.Pichai you are no value and Google you too)
These are just the names out of my head.
Do you know Zomato, Quikr, Myntra, Snapdeal, Yatra, Housing.com were founded by IITians?
Do you know that the startup named Farms and Farmers which has been lauded for its initiatives was started by IITians?
Do you know the famous NIIT which has been teaching computer education in India was founded by IITians?
Do you know that 62% of IIT KGP faculty are IIT Alumni?
Do you know that 60% Ph Ds in engineering field in India were awarded by IITs?
Do you know that Over 70% of alumni are working in India (per 2003 report)?
Do you know that 15% of IITians go abroad. Rest prefer India-based industry (per 2011 report)?
Do you know that 54% of the top 500 Indian companies currently have at least one IIT alumnus on their board of directors?
Do you know that through NPTEL, “IITs not only teach Indians, but the whole world.”?
You can read all about them here
And finally for the VALUE PART and YOUR MONEY PART for which the letter has been addressed to Smriti Irani, I would like to cite you this article since you have been citing from so many, do you know that one rupee on an IITian gives an impact of 15 Rs to the country? Don’t believe me? Read this for yourself
Scroll being one of the leading online media websites in India has a global rank of 6000+ which means it should be getting atleast 50,000 users a day. So they have a minimum responsibility in posting content which makes sense or not. I hope Scroll stops posting such shitty open letters which not only wastes people’s time but also carries out a negative message about the pride of our country.
Of course I was being sarcastic in my article.
1. Comparing the funds of MIT with IITs is not fair
Of course, it’s not fair. If you convert the dollar to rupee thing and standard of living the numbers surely are exaggerated. But that’s not the point what I was talking about. Those 1700 crores are not just spent on Students education, they are spent on so many things. The point is IITs doesn’t just have the BTech students, they have a lot of PhDs who are doing a lot of great work. If you really want me to list out every other thing what every body is doing I would really urge you to goto each IIT’s website and go to the department’s webpage and understand the kind of work they are doing.
2. Listing 13 names is not enough
Okay, people I listed 13 because, the general junta knows about them. If you really want me to list each and every IITian I can do that but you will get bored. If you are free enough to browse, you can go to the Quora link given above to see all the people who are in administration or some government thing.
And hey I really have a question for you. What is the obsession of defence/government organizations for you guys? So are you really patriotic or dumb to understand that private organizations are equally good enough to create economy in this country. Last time I know, it’s the liberalization by PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh that worked out well. And I will give you one example which can tell you what I am trying to say. Privatization of telecom companies in 90s created a telecom revolution in India which created n number of job opportunities. The point is whatever job a person does in this country it always get contributed to the country man. As I have already told, you cannot ask a Kid to join the Army just because he got benefited by getting birth in this Country. It’s his choice.
People, I really feel sorry for the people who are thinking that I am asking the kid to hold guns. It’s a metaphor. I’m saying that just because a person is born in a country and got benefited by the resources available in the country, you can force him to serve the government. So, please stop your convenient comments.
And I agree to your point that IITians run after money. Yeah, why not? If Mark Zuckerberg can valuate his invention Facebook for a 100 Billion dollars why can’t the guy who has good knowledge can opt a better paying job? I will give you one more example. You have a government telecom company and a private co. Obviously you can do a lot of things faster, better and with a good pay in this private company and it has similar impact on the society. So what is the logical decision as a person you will take? You will opt for a private company. Simple.
3. Comparing Subsidies to Reservations
Oh yeah. I am not smart enough to bring amazing comparisons brother. That is the highlight of my writing.
So, you don’t want to subsidize the education for the smartest engineers of your country (okay, that is by JEE standards). Fine, you have an opinion there mate. From what I have been seeing from my childhood. Rewards are the only way you can make people work with enthusiasm. If I am not getting recognized in my class for being the topper I will eventually lose interest. The same way the government of India which I guess is smart enough than most of us people rewards the students who topped the exam.
4. Lame Reply
Thank you for reading my article mate.
5. MIT students are bound to a project for US Defence
Enlighten me sir, last time I heard from my friends they were working for companies like Amazon, Google etc.
6. Many People are dictating their terms that IITians has to work for India no matter what.
I will tell you what is wrong with your ideology. To start with India is not a socialist/communist nation. Coming to your getting pissed about your tax money going to IITians. Let me ask you one thing, what is it you want from your tax money? You want returns from your money or creation of jobs and economy or Missiles? If all you want is missiles, I am sorry that’s not what development is mate. Grow up, just because Israel having cutting edge military doesn’t mean we need to be like Israel. Every country is different. And what’s with the dictatorship attitude people? I guess most of you guys who are commenting did not study Computer Science or Computer related course, isn’t it? Do you know even Electronic items like the PC/Mobile you are using in the market are subsidized? What the heck are you doing with my tax money? Buying a mobile phone for your personal purpose and writing shit on Internet. I don’t want you to do that.
Okay, since I was sarcastic for the most part of my article. I will give a one line reply for the Open Letter.
“IITians give back 15 Rupees to India for every 1 Rupee spent on them”.
So, you can keep arguing.
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