3 Idiots and the real IITs

3 Idiots’ portrayal of the IIT education system is both grossly unfair and untrue. Sandipan Deb in Open:

I cannot help but have my views on 3 Idiots coloured by the fact that I am an IITian. Call it Imperial College of Engineering, call it whatever, but what is obvious is that the film is a comment on the IIT system. And it is a grossly unfair comment.

I went to do engineering because at that time, if you were a middle-class boy and you were good in studies, it was either engineering or medicine that was fore-ordained. There was no other option you even entertained. A native dislike for Biology pushed me towards IIT, and there I went, quite happily. Within days, I discovered that engineering did not interest me in the least, and I spent the next years putting in just enough effort to survive. Professors either reviled me or despaired of me. But I have never had so much fun as I had on that campus.

Yes, our boys and girls are still rammed into the IITs by their parents, whether or not they have any interest or innate talent. Coaching classes turn aspirants into rote-monsters, and often, they end up without any life skills. In the IITs, you encounter characters like Chatur Ramalingam, the desperately competitive mugpot in 3 Idiots, but the truth is that such people rarely ever top their classes. More:

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