Monday, November 22, 2004

Comparing IITs with MIT – mere hype

This show CBS's '60 Minutes' was broadcasted a long time back, but I came to read this comment recently, and I was shocked to see the emotional interpretation media and Indians who believed it to be true.

"Well, my son, he probably wanted to do computer science at IIT. To do that, you have to be in the top 200 and he couldn't do that, so he went to Cornell instead....I do know cases where students who couldn't get into computer science at IIT, they have gotten scholarships at MIT, at Princeton, at Caltech." -N R Narayanamurthy Founder, Infosys in an interview to CBS's '60 Minutes' on India's IIT Jan 17, 2003.

This may be true, that his son and many other Indians could not get in to IITs but got in to American universities and even got scholarships there. Considering the population of India and the intake of IITs, there will always be such a fierce competition. There is a large queue for Maruthi cars in India, but you get a Mercedes Benz almost immediately if you have money. This does not make Maruthi car better than Benz. The context it was told and the media hype created later on intended to say that IITs are much better than MIT and likes, which I believe is totally foolish and emotional.

Consider these parameters and compare IITs with American Universities in general and MIT in particular.

MIT has 59 noble prize winners. How many does IIT(s) have?
Do you think, all these Nobel prizes speak for, stand for and prove some thing about MIT?

The Indian Institute of Technology ranked 41st in the world in the league table of the world's best universities produced by The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES). American institutions occupied seven of the top ten places, with MIT at 3rd place.,,591-1343946,00.html

Kind of research activities going on at MIT, Compare with IITs, both in number of labs and products/concepts came out of their labs.

How many algorithms, concepts, frameworks created by IITs that you have ever heard of, which are in active application at any point of time?

Number of patents filed?

Dissemination of Research and knowledge gained.

Do you have any thing like MIT OCW initiative at IITs at any scale? Visit and see how the whole world is taking advantage of MIT knowledge.

Compare how many papers got published from IITs at major international forums?

How many text books published by the faculty at IITs? It is quite funny that even IIT students study only books/material published by American universities.
How many American universities prescribe books published by IIT?

How many products/concepts do you use which are invented or produced by companies founded by IIT faculty/students?

How many startups you are aware of are from IIT faculty/students/alumni? List it down. I do not accept if they have gone to any American university for their higher education.

Honors, Top positions held at major companies.
This is where I heard lot of hype that American companies can not survive without IIT students and Indians. Quite funny. Americans innovate, create companies, create businesses, but can not survive?

You may come up with a good number of people on your list, but again, count only those who have not gone for higher studies to MIT and likes?

Take the list of top executives and CEOs of major Indian companies, and count how many of them have studied in American Universities?

Visit pages of, an IIT alumni; you will be shocked to see the real picture, in particular at Microsoft.

If IITs are so much better than its overseas counter parts, why every IIT graduate is going for masters in American universities?

IITs MAY be the best in India when compared to the other Indian counter parts, but they are far from MIT likes. You may come up with some star performers who are from IITs, but wait a moment; most of them have done a course in MIT likes before they start shining.

Visit these links, it may make sense to some of you and see the real picture, through your own eyes, not through media or businessmen with vested interests.

My favourite MIT Links:

Arindam Banerji
Can India produce billion-dollar innovations?

How India can produce big-bang innovations

Inovation: Where India succeeded and failed

G V DasarathiAre Indians really dumb?

Bangalore: Silicon Valley or Coolie Valley?

Visit pages of, an IIT alumni; you will be shocked to see the real picture.

The Indian Entrepreneur: Not CEO Material in the Valley!

Innovation Indian ishtyle!
India registered mere 354 patents in 2003 compared with Taiwan’s 5300 and Korea’s 3952.


  1. Indian jokers can only think of Silicon Valley of india, Bollywood,mumbai the new york of India etc. Let us wait when they rename the country as USA 2nd phase, start calling Tirupati as Vatican of India and finally call IITs as MITs of india. My long stay in US made me sick of attitude of indians there. Ignorant, unhygenic, 10 in one apartment, bathrooms stinking, leasing agencies insulting them, stingy behaviour and backbiters. The common thread uniting all is that no one wants to go back to India yet praise " yeverything yabout Yindia"

  2. An analogy to show why MITs cannot be compared with IIT with the example of Maruti and Mercedes Benz seems very apt. I think it drove home the point. I also want to add one more thought here. By what standards are IITs good in India itself?. We need to know that?. In India the education system is not about creativity and real knowledge. It is only about cramming what has been created by the Americans or the Japanese .Think we are good at it. Probably like a memory chip to embed programmed instructions. IITs are not different. The very fact that India is in the bottom pole of scientific knowledge and economy is because of over hype in all fields and pathetically even in education sector. I must say that it takes a lot of cramming power and discipline to get into IIT with the sheer size of population. So ultimately when one lands into the IITs - u might have been a great hard worker but not smart hard worker at all. The American companies know this and they do not ever put an IITian inside a creative department at all. Note one more point - can anyone land inside a premier management institute in the US without proper work experience?. In India - you can. You can join IIMs without any work experience. The grand Indian education system produces coolie - non-creative workers for the world - IITians included. It is a fact.

  3. I can not agree with you more. The reason I mentioned IITs may better than the rest in India is not based on any facts, but my short stay in IISc, Bangalore. I found the academic activities and assignments certainly more stimulating and challenge you to apply rather than just learn. (compared to other colleges, including my own NIT Warangal)

    ReplyDelete : Fact or Allegation ? Just another twisted title for sensationalism

This is yet another example of’s sensationalism twisted titles. The title says, as if this was a fact, woman made to urinate in pub...