Blame the Industrial Revolution

Narayan Murthy recently made waves when he claimed that the quality of students at the IITs is dropping  because of the impact of coaching centers.

As a not-so-proud IITian with a falling CPI (Cumulative Performance Index to the unacquainted), it’s my duty to rebut such silly claims and I will do so through the medium of my visitor-less blog. No one’s going to read it, of course, but at least I’d have done my duty.

Let’s start with some observations.

Typical scene at the lecture hall:

Professor X drones on and on. Student A wakes up long enough to jot down a few words of what seems like gibberish to her. Student B emerges from his stupor long enough to stare appreciatively at Student A’s behind. Student C dots all the T’s and crosses all the I’s, while dreaming languidly of vodka and all night sessions of Counter Strike on the college LAN.

Student D observes all this and makes a mental note to put it on his blog.

If you’re not as dense as me, you might’ve guessed that I’m student D. And now, I’ll proceed to lay out the REAL reasons why IITians today all seem to have crappy CPIs.  To do this, I will be using sophisticated analytical techniques perfected over four years of government-subsidized time here.

Okay, before you jump on me, let me admit it. Not everyone’s sold on Counter Strike. Not everyone likes staring at women. Some don’t even particularly like women, sexually or otherwise. There are some guys like student E too:

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF STUDENT E

Student E is breathing quickly, almost hyperventilating. As he sits in the lecture hall, he feverishly copies the professor’s words into a notebook, absorbs every word the professor speaks, fits it all into his memory and runs it all through his Pentium Chip brain on the fly. A worry process runs continuously in the back of his mind. He is worried about his perfect CPI. He is worried about his job prospects. He is worried about not being able to find a wife if his CPI falls by two more decimal points. He is worried about the firing he’s going to get from his dad and two sisters if he lets the family down. He is worried that he might not clear the Management Entrance Exams. He is worried that he’s forgotten something he should be worrying about.

Yes, there are students like that. But they’re rarer than Carbon atoms in a Nitrogen sample, so we may safely neglect their effect on the general mood.

With that out of the way, we may proceed to apply the aforementioned sophisticated methods of analysis.

Immediately, we come to the conclusion that the reason for the widespread disinterest in lectures is — *drumrolls* — Industrialization. Indeed, the Industrial Revolution is responsible for putting tech students off their studies.

You may not readily see how this result was arrived at, but that’s only to be expected, because you don’t have access to my techniques. To understand how this conclusion was arrived at, consider this list of Top Ten Distractions at IIT (extendable to most Tech Schools):

TOP TEN DISTRACTIONS AT IIT

 

  1.  Members of the opposite sex who you can now actually date (as opposed to just fantasize about)
  2. Multiplayer Gaming
  3. Free time
  4. Money
  5. Free 24×7 high-speed Internet connection at your beck and call
  6. Alcohol
  7. A huge bunch of erstwhile overachiever friends gone rogue, who are totally tired of studying and are now ready to have some fun
  8. Cultural fests
  9. Tech fests
  10. Malls

Distractions like these make lectures seem incredibly boring by comparison, so that many students would rather have a root canal than attend a lecture (the majority of them also consider passing the exams to be easier than having a root canal, so logic forces them to attend the lectures anyway. But that’s besides the point). You may ask : So where does the Industrial Revolution come in?

Easy Peasy. Let’s start from the bottom.

Malls: No Industrial Revolution, no malls. Goodbye, food-court with Wi-Fi.

Tech Fests: I mean, come on. Seventeenth Century technology isn’t exactly fascinating. Nobody wants to hear about your brand new device which helps you scratch your balls while wearing medieval armor.

Cultural Fests: Without electric guitars and rockstars?! Are you kidding me?!!

Overachiever Friends: To have real fun, you need to get out of the campus. And for that you need the internal combustion engine. NO one wants to cycle forty kilometers to watch a movie play.

Alcohol: Procuring alcohol bottles on bicycles turns out to be more nightmarish than one might think.

Internet: Good luck getting 0.05 kbps on your home-made modem connected to your  hand-crafted laptop with twine and tar.

Money: What’s the point? The only thing you might be able to spend it on is prostitutes. Believe me, the novelty wears FAST.

Free Time: What do you do with it? The best you can do is play soccer all day. With a crummy home-made ball and no shoes.

Multiplayer Gaming: Would have to be offline, since your network speed would be around 0.05 kbps. You’d have to be content playing multiplayer soccer with a crummy hand-made ball and no shoes.

The Opposite Sex: Would still exist. But if you can’t text them, what’s the point? And there’d be no such thing as Birth Control…so yeah.

Life’s so good in the twenty-first century. Sorry, Infosys, but you guys are a couple of centuries too late. IITians just wanna have fun.