Times of India is reporting that, while IIT chieftans are encouraging the young students to take up research work rather than going for a lucrative job, Arun Kumar Baranwal, father of IIT-JEE topper Shitikanth, is yet not convinced with the efforts being made by the institutes.
The report also went on to add that talking to TOI over phone from Patna, Baranwal said, “Shitikanth might not continue at Indian Institute at Technology for long because he is determined to go for research in Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology”. He also said he wanted to join MIT for full-fledged research work, the institutes here in India were keener on giving classroom knowledge.
Something doesn’t sound right here. Besides the fact that why his father needs to speak out loud about being convinced, what was the point of taking this exam in the first place if the kid wanted to join MIT to begin with.
I am not doubting that the kid could be a prodigy in the making, but this whole tough knuckles negotiating could actually end up hurting the kid more than nurturing him.
Perhaps the reporters should have asked the IIT topper about what his goals and aspirations are rather than asking the dad on what he thinks of charting the son’s career landscape.
When it comes to individualism, the east still has a long way to go to catch up with the west. It would be totally absurd to imagine a similar scenario in, lets say, America where if the a school student topped the SAT and got an admit to say Stanford for computer sciences.
Reminiscing son’s dialogue, he said Shitikanth, around one year back, shared his dream to go to MIT and do research in Physics. “Though initially we were surprised but we knew he was different to other children and would do things differently,” he added.
He is not at all in administrative services as he says, “No one even recognizes IAS, once he retires from his post.” All set to go to Hanoi in June for Physics International Olympiad, Shitikanth would receive gold medal from Chief Justice of India for being topper in National Science Olympiad on June 1, said proud father
This above statement also gets the goat and raises couple of interesting questions. Granted India, in spite of all the new glitz and sheen is still a developing country without much world class funding that goes into institutes of higher learning but undergraduate study in India (and specifically IITs)
has actually produced quite a few heavy hitters in all sorts of industries. Of course many went on to grab further degrees from advanced nations as well.
Also, where does the IAS part fit in, in all of this. If the kid wants to study physics in MIT, then good for him. If he has the desire to serve the Indian public then a career in IAS is what he should strive for. If he wishes to to get into physics research, then he should be doing it for reasons (at least partly) like fondness for the subject, getting excited about physics etc., rather than worrying about fame and respect after he retires.