Herd Mentality


“Do you know that the majority of the people who attended the programme were IITians?” asked one of my friends, a humanities student from the University of Delhi who recently returned from a winter school at a premier business institution of the country. I was left wondering whether the presence of engineers from premier engineering colleges was something from which the programme drew its value or vice versa.

Last year, the Ministry of Human Resource Development approved six new IITs. This was in spite of the fact that the existing IITs face a 40% shortage of faculty members. Earlier in 2014, when the BJP-led NDA government came to power, it declared the formation of new IITs. The same declaration was followed before the elections in Jammu in 2016. The parents, teachers, politicians, and the entire country seem to have fallen in love with IITs. So much so that students start preparing for the entrance from Class 8th and even below. Every year, the placement reports of students bagging packages in crores, national media coverage of toppers, and several other factors play their roles in creating this beautiful picture of IITs as the institutions which would make your life all set once you enter them.

But the inside picture is something no one pays attention to. Recently, another student committed suicide in one of the premier institutions of the country. From the towns that have virtually turned into factories in the name of coaching centres to the placements after entering premier institutions, this entire journey of a student is filled with pressure and stress which becomes too difficult to handle.

Every year India produces engineers who are as many in number as the entire population of Singapore. However, only 7% of them are employable. These engineers often start their journey as science students after Class 10th because they are perceived to be ‘good students’ and then the journey never ends.

This year a total number of 11, 98,989 people applied for the JEE mains exams across the country. The huge number implies that this is no less than a national dream.

But is it?

The number of IITians cracking the UPSC, IIMs, and other jobs has increased in the last five years. This shows that IITians are looking for alternative career options than engineering. A few days back during a casual chat with one of my hostelmates who studies at DSE, he mentioned that the number of engineers getting into economics after engineering has increased over the years. Similar pictures can also be drawn for the Faculty of Law.

Every student dreams to be recognised, get a good job, achieve greatness, contribute back to the country, or simply make his parents happy. Satisfaction in life plays a huge role in determining the quality of life that we live and share with everyone around us.

This is another year when in the coming days 1.5 lakh students from the 12 lakhs who applied for the JEE mains would be sitting for the JEE advanced paper. As students from IITs break into the 100 percentile clubs of CAT, go ahead into environment conservation, crack the UPSC, or explore humanities, all I wonder is that if these jobs were appealing career options in the first place, then why spend four precious years doing engineering.

Herd Mentality at play
Herd mentality at play

Maybe these engineers realised this in the later part of their engineering courses. Or maybe they never thought about it in their earlier years because they didn’t see it as an option. Or maybe the picture above is the answer. I don’t know.


Feature Image Credits: CollegeDekho
Image Credits: Pinterest

Srivedant Kar
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