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Article: ‘IITs bust myth, now host more PG than UG students’

The IITs have graduated. From famously being undergraduate colleges for over half a century, they have now reached the exalted status of being largely graduate academies.

More residents at these institutes today are pursuing their master’s degree; they have trumpedtheir juniors who used to make up the lion’s share on the campus. Academic might multiplied by research power today shatters everything that the IITs were.

The world view of the IITs was captured in a recent IIT review report by Anil Kakodkar. It points out, “The IITs have distinguished themselves for the quality of their BTech degrees. IIT’s brand image is primarily due to the very distinguished performance of its BTech students.” In the same vein, the report expressed concern over the fact that few top-class student were opting for postgraduate studies.

But a clampdown on work visas in Western countries, slowing down of the global economy and a boost given to startups at home have seen the tide turning. In 2015, the seven old IIT campuses graduated a total of 6,002 undergraduate students, 6,168 master’s students and 1,902 PhD candidates.

Student population today is more diverse and hostel cuisine ecumenical. Riding to lectures on horseback, knowing everyone in college, unlimited food in the mess and a room for each are long- forgotten equations. IIT-Guwahati director Gautam Biswas says, “These changes have made the campus very vibrant and an ideal location to pursue a career.”

Derided as undergrad colleges that saw most pass-outs jumping on to a plane to do an MS and follow dollar dreams, most IITians are chalking newer routes. IIT-Delhi registrar Sandeep Chaterjee says, “The trend varies. Now many IIT students prefer to do PG or research from IIT-Delhi. Similarly, students from NIT/IISER and other higher educational/engineering institution prefer to do PG or a research degree programme from IIT-Delhi due to its high-ranking, academic facilities and availability of R&D labs/equipment, projects, etc.”

What this translates into is that hundreds of non-IIT engineers—the ones who did attend these tech Ivys after high school—are walking past the gates at the next, higher level—PG. “The ratio has shifted positively as more students from smaller towns come to IIT to study,” said IIT-Bombay director Devang Khakhar.

Roughly, data shows that about 20% PG students are from IITs, NITs, ISM and IIITs. The trend is likely to get more pronounced as the institutes work to ramp up research scholars on campus. So, the altering of UG-PG student ratio is not a one-year blip.

IIT-Madras director Bhaskar Ramamurthi refers back to the Kakodkar Committeerecommendations that direct the IITs to increase their PhD graduation rate steadily towards 1 per faculty member per year.

“This means that intake must be approximately of this order. We were graduating only 150 or so in 2010-11, but are moving towards 400+ by 2018-19,” he adds.
Assuming that PhD students take 5-plus years to earn their degrees, it means that at least 3,000 PhD students must be on the rolls at any point in time on the Madras campus. “For high-end activities that involve new technology and development, one needs to have high- quality engineers and technologists at the postgraduate and PhD levels in large numbers,” the committee notes.

1. Why do you think that IITs have reached the exalted status of being largely graduate academics?

1. IITs play a major role in transforming lives. 
2. IITians gets job offers in lacs during placement session.
3. IITs are distinguished themselves for the quality of their B.Tech degree. 
4. All of the above.
5. Other than those given in the options.

2. Why, according to the authorof the passage, most pass-out students are going abroad to pursue their MS?

1. They want to pursue their dollar dreams.
2. They are influenced by the better standard of living and quality of life.
3. Better research facilities.
4. Higher cutoff rate in the best Indian universities.
5. Other than those given in the options.

3. How, according to the author, the brain-drain has seen a tide turning?

1. Flexibility in labour laws which has definitely help startups and entrepreneurs.
2. Slowing down of the global economy.
3. Stringent work visa regulations in western countries.
4. All of the above.
5. Other than those given in the options.

 

4. What is the name of leading academic institute for being the first choice for students’preference to do PG or research (from the passage)?

1. IIM Bangalore
2. IIT Mumbai
3. IIT Kharagpur
4. IIT Delhi
5. IIT Madras
6. Other than those given in the options.

 

5. How, according to the passage, most IITians are chalking newer routes?

1. They are opening their own startups in India.
2. They are opting for teaching, instead of working in their traditional jobs.
3. Many IIT students prefer to do PG or research from IIT Delhi due to its high-ranking academic facilities and availability of R&D labs/equipment, projects, etc.
4. They are aspiring to make a mark in India’s bureaucracy.
5. Other than those given in the options.

6. What is one of the key recommendations of the Kakodkar Committee?

1. Introduce more courses to match their global diversity needs.
2. Emphasize on “education-research-technology-innovation-entrepreneurship eco-system” in the country. 
3. Provide better cost and benefits of the program.
4. Intake of more students and faculties in their Ph.D graduation program.
5. Other than those given in the options

7. Which among the following is similar in meaning to the word ‘exalted’ as used in the passage?

1. Criticized
2. Impossible
3. Illustrious
4. Daunting
5. Other than those given in above options

8. Which among the following is similar in meaning to the word ‘trumped’ as used in the passage?

1. Outshine
2. Abashed
3. Irked
4. Embarrassed
5. Other than those given in the options

9. Which among the following is opposite in meaning to the word ‘clampdown’ as used in the passage?

1. Suppression 
2. Repression
3. Freedom
4. Surrender
5. Other than those given in the options

10. Which among the following is opposite in meaning to the word ‘ecumenical’ as used in the passage?

1. Unlimited
2. Rural
3. Hygienic
4. Incomprehensive
5. Other than those given in the options

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