Thursday, March 29, 2007

The most evil, duplicitous statement of all time

We have given to the Iraqi nation more than any other nation could have asked for in the world.
-- Richard Durbin, US Senator

Monday, March 12, 2007

So much BS, so little time

I came across this article about the calibre of students from IIT.

Let me start by taking a deep breath, exhaling slowly, and calling BS.

The real reason companies like Tata Steel don't recruit IITians is that they will not join them if offered employment there, and not because we are not good enough. (Disclaimer: I was not considered good enough for Tata Steel during my campus interviews at IIT Madras; I had already gotten placed at SAIL, and Tata Steel was my -- ahem -- dream company then).

Re the ranks of IITians being filled with crammers from coaching centers: I have said this before and I'll say it again, no amount of coaching in the world can polish a turd into anything else.

While I do concede that getting through four years at IIT is a lot easier than passing the JEE, one cannot get by without knowing the subjects at least a bit intimately; "the students were able to clear the tests without having to read books..." sounds like an extreme generalisation to me. It is possible to get passing grades with minimal study, but to go from there and extrapolate this behaviour of a minority of students to the entire bunch is not correct.

To narrate a personal experience, some students from IIT Madras interned under me recently, and I could find a marked difference in the way they were able to understand and tackle problems when compared to others. I'll take this affirmation of the continuing excellence of the students any day over a brief, non-representative experience mentioned in the article.

And what about this:
Instead of giving ranks purely on the basis of JEE performance, IITs can adapt multiple criteria, giving a weighted score. Some of the criteria are JEE test scores, some marks for showing leadership qualities, marks for demonstrating social concern and talents in sports, music, arts, etc.
Here's a suggestion: why not go one step further, and rename the IITs as "Indian Institute of Performing Arts and Social Sciences"?

Saturday, March 10, 2007


From a Microsoft anti-piracy ad:
Pirated or counterfeit software could have critical bits of code missing, allowing viruses and other malware to enter your IT systems easily, putting your data at risk.
(Falls off chair. Gets up, dusts self, and reads on)
With original Microsoft software you are assured of a highly reliable & secure IT environment.
(Falls off chair again)