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Kamal Sinha> IIT

Lead us from falsity to truth
From darkness to light
From mortality to immortality
May there be Peace! Peace! Peace!

Brihdaranyaka Upanisada 1:3:27

IMPORTANT: If you have reached this site searching for information on JEE, GRE, GMAT or how to get admission into IITs or go to the USA, this site is NOT for you. There are other sites dealing with such topics.

"This is IIT Bombay. Put Harvard, MIT and Princeton together, and you begin to get an idea of the status of this school in India." (Lesley Stahl, co-anchor on CBS 60 Minutes)

"And it's hard to think of anything like IIT anywhere in the world. It is a very unique institution." (Bill Gates, Microsoft)

"Per capita, IIT has produced more millionaires than any other undergraduate institution." (Salon Magazine)

"The process for selection is absolutely draconian." (McKinsey head Rajat Gupta quoted in Business Week article on IIT titled 'Whiz Kids.')

January 10, 2005

Wrote on December 10th that 'Was thinking of doing a story on Narayan Murthy and Bill Gates connection. Timing is right now. Plan to publish it within a couple of week.' Please give me a couple of weeks more. Thanks. ;)

April 11, 2005

IIT Bombay's computer science professor Soumen Chakrabarti discusses extensive environmental damage being done to the campus
IIT's website notes that, 'The Institute campus at Powai extends over 200 hectares and is situated in picturesque surroundings with Vihar and Powai lakes on either sides and green hills strewn around...Consciously developed, the campus has retained and increased its green cover, rich in natural flora and fauna.' Professor Chakrabarti, however, in his artcle titled 'Destruction is our Second Nature,' through words and photos, paints a dismal picture. A must-read.

April 17, 2005.

Cornell loves Infosys' Narayana Murthy
Cornell gets a large gift from an anonymous donor in India. And much more in this speculative story about the growing relationship between Mr. Narayana Murthy and Cornell University.

Previous Stories

Charity: Narayan Murthy Style
I'm somewhat reticent talking about it. I'd be happier skipping to another topic... Well, more (than hundreds of crores of rupees), but let me not talk about it. These are topics that are best not discussed. They're best done. (My note as zdnet stated: That's Murthy for you. The dreamer and the doer.)
Infosys Foundation: Charity Narayan and Sudha Murthy Style
I take pleasure in giving. I feel that I have a reasonably good amount of money for all of which I don't have much use. So I thought I should share it with my poorer countrymen. - Sudha Murthy
Poor Narayana and Sudha Murthy struggle for Infosys' start seed money
NARAYANA MURTHY: When we started Infosys in 1981, we were seven people, and we put together about USD250 at current exchange rates. We were short of money, but we were very long on hope. We were very united, very enthusiastic. - PBS.
Nandan Nilekani at IIT Bombay
Just a gentle introduction!
Love in Silicon Valley
Are IITians dating too or just writing code?
Microsoft and IIT
'And it's hard to think of anything like IIT anywhere in the world. It is a very unique institution.' - Bill Gates, Microsoft. Microsoft has about 108 senior executives. How many of them are IITians?
Narayana Murthy clears IIT JEE but ...
"A topper all through his academic career, he easily secured a seat at the prestigious IIT. But as fate would have it, lack of financial resources nipped his dream."
"Coming to Infosys City is like coming to a temple but a temple of a different kind. In today's New Age Economy I think that the new temples of modern day India are the information technology parks and campuses of software companies like Infosys." - India's former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on a visit to Infosys campus, Bangalore.
The Rajat Gupta Story
Distinguished IITians think that India will be Developed by 2020 or Much Earlier.
IIT Kanpur 'Mafia' at MIT!
Kenneth Keniston of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently stated that "most of our distinguished faculty is Indian…the joke is that [MIT] is run by an IIT Kanpur mafia."

IIT - An IITian Speaks Out

IIT Bombay's motto is Knowledge is The Supreme Goal. I studied there and in the spirit of its philosophy, am going to present a few essays of mine, to show IIT and IITians from a different perspective than we are used to normally. Hope it will lead to better understanding of IIT and the soci-economic environment it operates in.

Here I have tried to tackle many issues simultaneously. Equal access to education is important to many including women, minorities, and poorer population. How do IITs deal with that? On the other hand, once admitted, do the young minds at IIT learn skills to develop into responsible citizen or are just trained to become (migrant) workers in economically developed societies? I have also tried to reconcile the vision Nehru had when he conceived of IITs and what they have become today. Are IITs truly what the best what India with population of over one billion capable of?

Currently all essays are in working paper status, which means besides correcting the typos and grammatical errors, I will introduce new concepts later either in the current essays or in new ones. Your feedback is very important in that.

Instead of giving this site an academic flavor with quotes from various sources, I have tried to keep the style informal. Most analysis is based on personal observations. At times it will seem like I am writing for my classmates at IIT Bombay, but this site is meant for all - IITians and non-IITians. Please send your feedbacks. Enjoy!


JEE is acronym for Joint Entrance Examination. Most admissions to IITs depend solely on the performance on JEE. Fewer than one percent of the applicants get admission into a decent department. JEE is meant to ensure meritocracy in admissions but its design leaves much to be desired.

JEE fails the test?


"Kamath's grading system was a punch in the nose for students who fancied themselves as the best and brightest in India. Often, only one student per test got an A - the top scorer. The second-best score got a B. Everyone else got Cs, Ds, or Fs." This is how Business Week (December 7, 1998 - page 116) describes IIT Bombay Electrical Engineering Professor M.S. Kamath's grading.

Draconian Grading equals Excellence?

Department Selection

IITians rarely choose their majors by interest. Various departments in IITs have an unwritten hierarchy based largely on job conditions especially in the USA. IITians get into departments what their JEE ranks allow them to. Not that it matters much. Later, most of them have to start all over again to work in the IT industry.

Departments for love or for jobs?


IIT graduates seem to wipe out the competition in any Indian competitive exam they sit for. What about international tests like the GRE and GMAT? I have heard of some of the IIT graduates doing very well on these, but what about the average IITian's performance?

IITs and GRE - Top of the World?

Silicon Valley

Some of the smartest IITians end up working in Silicon Valley. A researcher at UC Berkeley estimated that fully 20 percent of start-ups in Silicon Valley were IITian-owned. Do IITians own Silicon Valley?

IITians - Masters of Silicon Valley?

CBS 60 Minutes

American media has been very kind to IITs and IITians. CBS 60 Minutes had a very flattering portrayal of IITs recently. Businessweek, Wall Street Journal are some of the other media outlets praising IITs. However, it is rare to find praises of schools like Tokyo Institute of Technology, University of Tokyo, which, some would argue are equal, if not bigger, powehouses.

IIT on 60 Minutes: Why the US Media picks up IITs?

SC/ST (Dalit) Students

A few groups conspicuosly missing from the student body was that of Schedule Caste/Tribe category. While I was there, some sort of affirmative action style action was taken to correct that.

SC/ST Admissions - Was it a good idea?

Political Awareness and Activism

IITians, in general, are very aware. Aware of the stock prices and property values that is. Political awareness just takes time away from really important things.

IITians - New Economic Animals?