Monday, March 12, 2007

Stop surfing, make friends, IIT ians told

Stop surfing, make friends, IITians told

I have seen a few emails supporting this restriction of Internet on IITB Campus and in hostels. I am not sure how effective this will be considering one can buy a Reliance wireless portable phone giving instant internet connection anywhere as long as there was a power point available.

That aside, it saddens me to see that even in year 2007, IIT Faculty and administration lay so much emphasis on performance in exams and also act like parents deciding what is best for the children.

Times have changed surfing gaming and blogging are there to stay and benefits are just as good. No one can honestly tell me that they did not read Play Boy and Pent House Magazines or play Bridge or three cards all night long in the 60s and 70s or even cut classes sit in the common rooms listening to radio or playing carroms and table tennis all day long

I would have thought that internet games would increase interaction with students and increase comraderie. Even at age 23, I have my son at home with his friends when they are not partying or socialising playing Shane Warne cricket or Racing Virtual cars as late as 3.00am At 9.00am he is at work as a lawyer

I for one believe that if young men and women in India are allowed total freedom they learn quick smart to manage their time and have fun while staying focussed on studies careers and future in general. All mugging for grades and no play makes all IIT Jacks dull boys for sure.

It is common knowledge that the more restrictions there are the greater the tendency to break the rules or circumvent them.

Faculty should learn from the west that their role is just to teach and nothing more and have to stop playing Gods or be God Parents. My son and all his friends have all completed ther law and business degrees with flying colours and have enjoyd life too in the process. The ones who missed out are Indian students with very strict parents who placed all sorts of restrictions. The end result was dropping out of University having Girl friends on the sly they never told the parents about and eventually leaving home on bad terms or being disowned on being found out.

I did socialise one ton on IITM campus but then there is nothing you can do about any student who wants to be a recluses and anti social and not want to play sport or participate in social activities.

Imagine the system helping you become more sociable and focus on studies by imposing restrictions. Instead of placing restrictions IITs should pursue and promote activities that attract students like honey and the bees. But that would be too much to ask of IIT faculty.

I am of the personal opinion that Indians in general smother their children too long and prevent them for maturing into adulthood quick smart and make important decision on their own This is a culture where youngsters have to say Yes Dad at home, yes Sir to faculty while studying and Yes Sir to employers

And the we wonder why majority of IITians lack leader ship skills.
The culture and system never allowed them the opportunity to develop as leaders capable of major decision as most decision were made for them .

I paid the price being forced to do Civil Engg that I hated and was lucky to get away and survive and succeed.

This is just my personal opinion If you disagree or agree I am happy to hear your thoughts
Let us debate the Pros and cons


Stop surfing, make friends, IITians told

Posted online: Monday, March 12, 2007 at 1349 hours IST
Updated: Monday, March 12, 2007 at 1528 hours IST

Mumbai, March 12: One of India's top engineering schools has restricted Internet access in hostels, saying addiction to surfing, gaming and blogging was affecting students' performance, making them reclusive and even suicidal.

Authorities at the elite Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai said students had stopped socialising and many were late for morning classes or slept through them.

"Now, a student doesn't even know who lives two doors away from him because he is so busy on the Internet," said Prakash Gopalan, dean of student affairs.

"The old hostel culture of camaraderie and socialising among students is gone. This is not healthy in our opinion."

IIT-Mumbai, with about 5,000 students, is one of seven IITs across India, which are considered to be among the finest engineering schools in the world. They are also a talent pool for global technology giants.

But their exacting curriculum, tough competition and reclusive campus lifestyle have taken a toll on students.

Depression and dysfunctional lifestyles are known to be common among IIT students, and at least nine have committed suicide in the past five years. IIT-Mumbai has seen two suicides in two years and several attempts.

Students have unlimited free Internet access in their hostel rooms to help them in their studies, but many also use it to surf, chat, download movies and music, blog and for gaming.

Starting Monday, Internet access will be barred between 11 pm and 12.30 pm at IIT-Mumbai's 13 hostels to encourage students to sleep early and to try and force them out of their "shells", Gopalan said.

"There has been a decline in academic performance and also participation in sporting, cultural and social activities has gone down," he said.

But the move has not gone down well with students who say they hate their lives being regulated.

"Now they will say we need to listen to a lullaby to go to sleep," said Rajiv, an electronics student who gave only one name.

Student anger has also spilled on to several blogs run by IIT alumni where bloggers say, "the birth of the virtual world had led to the death of the real selves," but add that they resent regulation of students' activities.

Gopalan said authorities at the other IITs were considering a similar curb in their hostels.