I have been following with interest discussion related to IIT entrance exams at the blog of Nanopolitan. He makes many valid comments about the extreme pressure created by the exam on students as well as about coaching centers. In the country where job security after traditional education is so scarce, the obsession with IITs is hardly any surprise. Maybe we need statistics of from IITs and also from big companies about percentage of non-IITians people they have in their top work force. I am pretty sure that it is not so small. In my experience of living abroad in 8 years at different institutes/universities, I have seen equal number of IITians (add IISc alumini here as well) as well as non-IITians in foreign universities pursuing masters, Ph. D. and post-docs (though not enough statistics to make any claims). These facts once available can be widely publicized, which might help in easing students and their parents from excess obsession with IITs.
The more series issue related to extreme coaching, other than the financial burden it puts on families, is burn-out of young talented students. Even successful students who managed to clear the JEE exam, will have tough time in focusing again after this level of coaching. And those who failed will have tough time in accepting reality and getting on with their life. It is extremely unwise for the country to use the potential of young talent in this way.
Meanwhile, its almost the end of autumn in the cold country I am living, so here is some pictures which I took over the busy weekend.