Last year, 1.5 million students took the JEE to qualify for 13,000 seats in 23 IITs across the country – in other words, for each seat there were 115 aspirants.
They are the country’s premier engineering institutes and getting into them is internationally considered more difficult than admission into Princeton, America’s Ivy League university.
Last year, 1.5 million students took the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) to qualify for 13,000 seats in 23 IITs across the country — in other words, for each seat there were 115 aspirants.
So intense is the pressure and so gruelling is the preparation required that students as young as 14 start the process, often missing out on the simple joys of adolescence. Most give up extra-curricular activities, relationships with friends and peers, and all forms of entertainment to achieve the goal. By the time they achieve their aim, if they do, many realise they have lost out on social skills, ability to communicate easily with others (an attribute now known as soft skills), and of course, some part of their youth.
An IIT Delhi professor who has been teaching for the last two decades underlines this reality, saying when students come to them after two or three years of prep, they don’t even know how to behave socially.