IITs are trying to shed their image of best undergraduate institutions in the world, and trying to chart a path of being a top notch research oriented institute. This should have come a long time back, given the facility that is there, the amount of funds the govt and alumni pump in to IITs and the faculty that they have. Well, now they are trying to get their UGs to stay back and complete masters here. In a way, I am really feeling good, that at last IITs are giving their masters students the importance the deserve.
In any good research institute, it is the post grads, doctorate studnet community that conduct most of the research and hence, are at the heart of the reputation of the institute. If you take up any top US institute, getting a PhD from there is the hardest, followed by MS and BS. In IITs, it is just oppositte. B.Tech is harderst, M.TEch is hard ( around 50,000 write GATE) and there are ways to get into PhD without any competition. Personally, I do not see the IITs go very far in their endeavour to make themselves a research driven institute if they do not set this imbalance right.
They have taken the first step. They are trying to encourage their own undergraduate students to take up research.
But this surely is not the key. IITs should try and tap the potential top notch researcher for their PhD program from the whole pool of indians who have missed the bus in the JEE. UGs from IIT will go to the US, because the top US univs just think that ONLY these 3000 studnets are most brilliant in india.
I attended a talk today on research in IIT, and even there I felt this same thing with the powers that think in IIT. The mind set is that the quality of students from JEE is the best. Partly, they are right, because from personal experience, the GATE qualified students are not as smart as the JEE qualified ones.
But again, I feel that the IITs should consider selling themselves, both in the academic world and the corporate world, that their master and PhD degrees are as equally valuable as the IIT B.Tech degree.
It is high time IITs wake up from the fact that the 3000 odd studnets seieved out by the JEE are the best and realize that there are a lot more studnets with far better potentials outside those who are lucky enough to be getting their UG degrees from IIT.