India plans on topping up its current student numbers from 15million to 40 million. Universities, however, are short oncapacities and teachers. A recently published report by theTask Force on Faculty Shortage and Design of Performance andAppraisal System indicated that India is currently short on300.000 professors and that for the next 10 years, 100.000 extrateachers will be needed annually to counter the faculty crunch atuniversities.
The report further states that “the elite Indian Institutes ofTechnology (IITs) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs)face a faculty shortage of 30-35%. … The 15 IITs need 1693 moreteaching staff immediately and the 20 NITs, 1522 more.”
Being one of the 1,5%
IITs are especially popular among prospective students. Beingaccepted into one is widely seen as a guarantee to success.Application numbers soar accordingly. A striking 450.000applications reach the IITs for the 8.000 study places they offer,equivalent to a ratio of 1,5%.
The application process itself is harsh and thorough. All IITshave elaborate aptitude tests asking for extremely high scores withone of them even requiring students to have 100% of the testcorrect.
Hopeful parents respond to this competition by sending theirchildren to preparatory study boot camps for up to 2 years. Aregular student at one of these so called ´crammers´ spends 6 hoursa day in class and another 8 to 9 hours doing homework.
Not a healthy system
Pramod Maheshwari created one of these schools in 1993. Hiscompany Career Point currently serves 18,000 students who aim atpassing the IIT entrance exams. “This system is not veryhealthy. It is rejecting more talented people than it is accepting,and the students who are not able to qualify start developingcomplexes and lose faith in their own capabilities.”