Admission to India’s most sought-after educational institutions, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM), require rigorous preparation, with students even giving as many as six years of their lives to it. Why then are the number of students dropping out of these colleges increasing over the years?
About 2,000 students dropped out of IITs and IIMs between 2014 and 2016, The Times of India reported. The news is in addition to former Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister, Smriti Irani’s announcement last year that more than 2,000 students had not finished their courses at IITs between 2012 and 2015.
The contributing numbers from IIMs are relatively less, as their admission process is more extensive with group discussions and interviews following the entrance exams. From 37 IIM drop-outs in 2003-2005, the tally has risen to 104 in 2014-2016, according to The Times of India.
Poor academic performance and inability to cope with academic stress have been cited as reasons for these drop-outs by IIT and IIM faculties as well as Smriti Irani. Reserved category students are said to struggle after getting into these colleges with them being unable to meet the high academic demands.
Although, students coming from reserved categories aren’t the only ones who struggle. Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for IITs, and Common Admission Test (CAT) for IIMs, are known to be among the most difficult entrance exams for educational institutions in the country.
Earlier this month, academic experts suggested the government to curb the spread of coaching centres, as reported by PTI. Instead of making the students think analytically and gain in-depth knowledge of topics, these coaching centres are on a mission to mass-produce exam qualifiers.
There is tremendous pressure on students to score high marks rather than learn.N K Goyal, President of CMAI Association of India Communication to PTI
Coaching centres today have become shops, where students continue to suffer due to lack of a focused approach.Nupur Sharma, VC, Delhi Women Technical university to PTI
Consequently, students manage to clear these entrance exams by putting in months and years of practice, but fail to perform once faced with the extensive academic course.
Faculty members from IITs and IIMs mention that there are various orientation, guidance and counselling programmes to help weak students and students facing “emotional difficulties,” when they enter the colleges, as reported by Times of India.
With our country’s obsession with studying at IITs and IIMs, which provide lucrative professional careers afterwards, these drop-outs come as a red signal to stop and reflect on the system that has grown out of this obsession.
(With inputs from The Times of India.)