back to article India continues subsidising elite IT schools

India has decided to continue very generous subsidies of the nation's Institutes of Technology (IITs), elite IT training colleges intended to produce a stream of high-quality graduates who build the nation's information technology industries. IITs are among the hardest tertiary education institutions to enter, anywhere in the …

  1. Ole Juul

    A country's best resource is educated people

    Education is the best investment a country can make.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A country's best resource is educated people

      Module 101 - how to win at the H1B visa lottery

      Everything else is a total waste of time

      Anon just because some of the people that these places turn out are a total waste of time and more importantly yours if you are fool enough to employ them.

      Some are realy good people but IMHO, a very significant proportion are in the wrong career.


      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: A country's best resource is educated people

        India has a thriving native IT industry and a burgeoning middle class. It's also refreshingly full of optimists with a can-do attitude.

        The median India dev salary of $15,000 is, relative to the cost of living, better than $100,000 in the US. The education is certainly worth it regardless of any visa.

      2. The Indomitable Gall


        " Anon just because some of the people that these places turn out are a total waste of time and more importantly yours if you are fool enough to employ them. "

        And this is different from other countries' education systems in what way exactly? I've met some total muppets who graduated from top universities, and government is typically full of them.

        Defining a whole population by the few individual members you've met is what is known in the trade as "being a bigot".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Anon

          Actually, it's probably more aptly called "learning from experience"; you might want to give that a try sometime.

          As to "the few individual members you've met", it's reasonable to assume that the folks he's had any personal, face-to-face contact with were considered the cream of the crop (or close to it), since these are the ones usually put out there for a reason - to try to impress. But apparently he wasn't particularly impressed with them after all (been there, done that myself).

          And I have to ask: If he had instead spoken of "a whole population" in glowing terms, based on these few individual encounters, what would you be saying of him then? Would that not be prejudice, as in "pre-judging"?

      3. GoGlen

        Re: A country's best resource is educated people

        Here in CA, we see poorly written resumes from people who went to "Java College"... scary. Even talented ones who have worked (and are tech leads) in our Pleasanton office for many years... still cannot properly pluralize or articulate English.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A country's best resource is educated people

          A former employer of mine once hired a high-profile (at the time) California-based consulting group, whose employees consisted primarily of Stanford graduates. They came in and did their thing, which was mostly just holding meetings with us, then customizing their existing boilerplate documents to match our industry. They were feeding our own words back to us embedded within their highly polished boilerplate, in other words, without really adding much value to the process.

          Some of the "wordsmithing" meetings grew quite spirited, especially when they insisted that there were certain industry-specific words and phrases that we couldn't use, because "upper management won't understand those". !?!?!? There was actually a lot of truth to this, unfortunately, because "upper management" at the time consisted mostly of folks who were far more at home on Wall Street than [Industry] Street.

          My boss caught on to their game pretty quickly, though, and started asking himself why we were paying so much money for essentially boilerplate results. So he decided to give them a little test, by forcing them to do truly original work without having access to their own boilerplate (because what they were asked to research was too new and too industry-specific for there to be any existing boilerplate), nor having access to us in order to be able to just regurgitate our words. And what we got back from them with this truly original "research" was embarrassing. Not only did they miss the mark on content, but even their spelling and grammar were atrocious - basically a bunch of unreadable mumbo-jumbo on fancy letterhead. Needless to say, he terminated the contract after that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A country's best resource is educated people

      According to our 'elite', offshore is the best investment one can make.

  2. Tromos

    We need to take advantage of this

    Sign up today for my 'Advanced Outsourcing' course.

  3. Why Not?

    Wonder why so few UK IT graduates get decent jobs when Indian graduates are paying huge amounts (half the average wage) to get an IT degree.

    1. Colin McKinnon

      ....when Indian graduates are paying huge amounts (a tenth of the cost of a years tuition at an english university) to get an IT degree

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        but their money is worth 80 times less than yours. So, raising even 10th of what you pay for an IT degree is a lot of money for them.

  4. Erik4872

    It's the public version of the Ivy League ticket

    Here in the US, we have an equivalent setup with the Ivy League universities. Thousands and thousands of students (and their parents) go to extreme lengths to get into these schools for one simple reason -- getting into and graduating from one is almost a guaranteed ticket to success. Either you will make connections with kids of some of the richest people in the country, and/or you will be recruited for incredibly lucrative positions in law, medicine, investment banking or management consulting. In particular, all the banks and white shoe consulting firms recruit exclusively from the Ivy League for the best positions. Wealthier parents will pay private school tuition fees from preschool on with the implicit promise that their kid will be qualified to get into the Ivy League later.

    We also have a public higher education system (which I went through.) If you go to a good state university with good programs, and have a little bit of motivation, you'll do OK. The experience is a little different - I'd liken it to dealing with a state agency in many respects, but that teaches you something too. My private school graduate colleagues have told me that once you're in an elite institution, they basically make it very difficult to fail after that; you get tons of support. At the big state U. I went to, no one really cared if you passed or failed as they were dealing in volume.

    The indian example of the IITs is a preview for what could happen in the near future as good jobs become more scarce. In India's case, the income inequality there means that getting into an IIT is like winning the lottery in terms of success; the alternative is a life of grinding poverty.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's the public version of the Ivy League ticket

      Funny, my experience with Ivy League types is that they tend to turn into spectacular failures rather than successes - maybe not financially (at least not at first), but in real-world terms. It seems that they often come out of school and get slotted into relatively high-level positions for which they are woefully inexperienced and unprepared, then things start going downhill from there. Sure, their network may help them a great deal, in that maybe they can jump ship before the situation gets too bad. Or maybe their Wall Street connections (and they usually have Wall Street connections) may help them play numbers games and so delay the inevitable, but I've seen some really bad things happen here in the past - personal meltdowns, bankruptcies, suicides, etc.

      These situations sometimes take years to play out, too. I believe I've read that, 10 or 15 years or whatever down the road, Ivy League graduates are often doing no better than their other colleagues from "lesser" schools. Perhaps part of the problem is that, once they've made into their "top" school, they think that they have it made anyway and so can just start cruising, while their future colleagues from other schools still have to kept hustling.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward


      "Same goes with literature, physics, or medicine"

      Oh you mean like Bose, the guy who bosons are named after for his contributions to quantum physics? Or like Tagore, who won a Nobel prize for literature?

      Or maybe you really only meant computer science. I must call up that nice Indian chap Lov Grover, inventor of Grover's algorithm in quantum computing, and tell him he must have been mistaken, because according to you, he's not Swedish enough to have invented anything.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What?

          I have no connection to India nor IIT, but this is grating. You seem determined to conclude that all Indians are numbskulls, with the exception of those who received a British education, and that one cause is that all Indian colleges are rubbish. Your disdain for Indians is clouding your logic.


          - "All Indians are numbskulls". I find this highly unlikely. All 1.5Bn of them? No brainiacs at all?

          - "Except those that received a British education". OK so anyone under 68 is a muppet? Just as unlikely.

          - "All Indian colleges are rubbish". No they are not. Any more than all UK or US universities are. Equally, not all colleges are brilliant either.

          Re: the claim that IIT churns out IT idiots, it has a respectable track record. Vinod Khosla (Sun co-founder). Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google). Padmasree Warrior (CTO, Cisco) are just three that popped up from Google. I'm sure there are more. Those three alone would be enough for any US college to be trumpeting how wonderful it is.

          Finally, re: the claim that Indians don't contribute to FOSS projects, what has that got to do with anything? If your basic claim is to be believed, it's because they are weak programmers. If significant volumes of Indian-sourced FOSS code exists, then at least some Indians are not. You can't have it both ways.

          A quick spin through a popular project - OpenStack Mitaka - shows Indian names all over the place. I think your argument is done.

          <drops mike>

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What?

            <Good mikes are expensive. DON'T DROP THEM!>

            All three of the people you mention came to the U.S. in order to finish their educations, no doubt because the schools back home just weren't up to snuff. As individuals they were talented enough to make that leap across the pond and succeed, so they're the exception, not the rule.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Taegukgi

      " loads of "well-educated" Indians rushing into management jobs, but nothing to show for their supposed skills. '

      Maybe that's why companies like Microsoft, Google, Adobe and so on ... are being run by Indian CEOs?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Indian Degrees

    With 1.5Bn people you might think they'd have a single university in the global top 200? They don't. Indian degrees are worthless, and those working offshore for my company seem to be bimodal (a few brilliant minds, and a huge majority of numpties). Onshore workers in my company are more middling, but few of them are as incompetent as the non-brilliant Indians.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds a bit pricey

    Sounds a bit pricey for a scheme that will no doubt be producing the worst kind of "yes" person possible - the adamant and arrogant one.

    Do you understand? Oh yes!

    Will you be able to deliver this? Oh yes!

    Can you deliver next week? Oh yes!

    Is the square root of -1 a real number? Oh yes sir!

    Been burnt by this before.

    1. Taegukgi

      Re: Sounds a bit pricey

      Saying "yes" - or rather more accurately, not being able to a say a "no" is more of a cultural artifact. And this is true for most people from Asian countries, not just India. It is considered rude to say a straight no to a request and people go to great lengths to avoid saying it - of course sometimes failing in the process. Try making a Chinese or Korean person say a no and you would know!

      My suggestion would be to either be a bit more culturally aware of the people you are working with or like you said: "be burnt". For this particular case of "yes" or "no", instead of just going by the spoken word, it always helps to watch the reaction of the other person when you ask something off him/her and you would immediately know if the person means to communicate a "yes, I can do it" or a "yes, if you say so, but I don't think it can be done; but anyway I will try to it"!!

      Try being a little perceptive, and it would work wonders!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sounds a bit pricey

        Or, just quickly learn not to trust anything you're being told, and go from there. :)

        In any case, being constantly lied to gets old pretty quick - been there, done that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds a bit pricey

      My first exposure to this particular "cultural issue" was in ramping up for Y2K work, which was a looming project at the time. I didn't hear them make this statement directly myself, but as the story goes, basically their management's answer to the question "What is 1+1?" was not "2", but rather "What do you want it to be?" They were letting it be known that they were willing to play fast and loose with the truth, in other words. And things quickly started going downhill from there.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Some incredible stupidity being displayed on these comments

    Whatever you think of the Indians in your part of the world, IIT has very little to do with it. That would be like saying that because you have come across a lot of stupid Americans in your life, MIT must be a diploma mill.

    The muffins we've all seen on H-1B gigs are not the same people who go to IIT. IIT is an elite school where the grads go to work for Google and Microsoft. They do not show up on an H-1B armed with a spreadsheet and your pink slip.

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