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IIT-JEE topper prefers MIT to IIT
Shitkanth, the IIT-JEE topper, prefers MIT to IITs. This decision will definitely open eyes of other youngsters; they too can think, judge and change their decision from handsomely paid jobs to sufficiently paid scholarships at world's top institutes.
ARUN KUMAR Baranwal, father of Shitikanth – the topper of world’s toughest exam, Indian Institute of Technology – joint entrance exam (IIT-JEE) 2008, has told over the phone to The Times of India (TOI) that his son might not continue his education for long at IIT, as he envisages for research in Physics. Although directors of IITs have started promoting students for basic research instead of taking lucrative jobs that are being offered by multinational companies (MNC), Shitikanth and his father are not convinced and are looking forward to his admission in the world’s top institute – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), America.

14-year-old Shitikanth has not proved his genius for the first time but had also secured other renounced prizes earlier too. He bagged first position in national science Olympiad. He would be receiving a gold medal from honourable Chief Justice of India on June 1. Moreover, he would also join the physics international Olympiad scheduled to be held in June at Hanoi, America.

His approach differs from most youngsters, he is not that inclined for Indian administrative services (IAS). He claims people do not recognise any officer once he retires from set post. We, too, on many occasions, feel that IAS officers are forced to do red-tapism on the direction of unqualified netas (ministers).

He is not the only one from Bihar to be getting world-acclaim. Besides him, another boy, Tathagat Avtar Tulsi from Bihar, broke many world-records in excellency at a young age. He completed 10th at nine, bachelors in science at 10, masters in science at 12. Many prizes and medals have been registered against his name. Currently, he is working as senior research scientist for his PhD at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

He also got invitation from Bell Lab, America, to work in collaboration with Lov Grover (inventor of Quantum search algorithm) as his topic of research is quantum computing. Tulsi listed in TIME magazines as the most precious gifted Asian boy. His story was showcased by National Geographical Channel in ’My Brilliant Brain’.

Shitikanth’s move to MIT should not be criticised, as our system of education is not research-based even in the IITs. Basically curriculum have been designed looking at industrial need. However, in America, curriculum of education is in such a way where a student will always have a choice taking research work to earn credits for completing the degree.

For better understanding, we always need practical classes where a student gets a chance to have a close look on the working of machines and its outputs. It all needs a well-established infrastructure in the institute. I do not complain of less number of equipments available in the IITs, but of course MIT and other top institutes in the world have better facilities and infrastructure than our institutes. Many a times, for the same reason, our students from IITs move to different labs in other countries in their summer and winter vacations where they get exposure to the lab and its faculties besides well-paid fellowship.

We all know that the growth of a student depends on effort combined by a candidate and his/her mentor allotted. Although on papers, many institutes in India and probably IITs also divide students among available faculties in the department but you can clearly observe that they do not frequently talk and discuss research topics.

The decision of Shitikanth preferring MIT over IITs will definitely open eyes of hundreds of other youngsters studying in the IITs who do not opt for research. Now they also can think, judge, and change their decision from handsomely-paid jobs to sufficiently-paid scholarships at the world’s top institutes. These changes in attitudinal approach among teens would surely take India on the top of the world one day and the dream of former president APJ Abdul Kalam might come true.
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