The only IITian who is likely to get a Nobel prize soon is Mani Bhaumik and he is an American. What does this say about Indian IITians?

I don’t know. But, the question says a lot about the question asker. He doesn’t know that IITs are technological institutions. He doesn’t know that pure sciences are not what IITs are known for. He doesn’t know that there are no Nobel prizes awarded for engineering or technology.

Moreover, even accepting the hidden premise of the question that IIT students are not the best scientists or engineers in the world. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Why can’t we be happy with what we have (including intelligence or ability)? What is wrong in being an average engineer? By the laws of mathematics, most (>99%) people will be average or lower in any field. So, what is wrong in accepting that we are not the best in the world. Everyone should try to do the best that they can and be happy with that. What is the point in competing with others?

I really don’t want my students to be the best in the world. I want my students to do the best that they can. I really want my students to be happy. I don’t think a Nobel prize can make anyone happy, so I don’t have that goal for my students.

Moreover, Nobel prize is awarded by the western countries on criteria set by them. Why should we give so much importance to them? We have our own set of problems and we should reward people who solve problems that are important to us not to them.

Here is a heat map of the winners of Nobel prize (source: Wikipedia):

Are you surprised? It is ingrained in our brains that whatever standards the western world has set, we have to achieve that. You know what, “baap baap hi rahega, beta beta hi rahega(father would remain a father , son would always be a son ) If we follow them, we will always be behind them. It is impossible for this map to change. It will never happen.

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I like to blog about various topics ranging from education in IITs to social issues in India and US. All opinions and views presented here are my own and not of my employer.

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