IIT, India

IIT myths and realities:

  1. You know the headlines that scream 1.54 crores for an IITian? Well, that is a reality for only a miniscule number of IITians and it is an international offer and definitely not all get it.Β  The average IITians salary range is 11 lakhs per annum which is still 140% higher than other engineering colleges in India…(Source: https://qz.com/india/1329635/grads-of-top-iits-and-iims-earn-over-twice-more-than-their-peers/)
  2. Those IIT kids are brain boxes – that is a reality that can never be a myth! In a school environment there are always kids from different academic calibre – but here there is only one calibre – the best of best! (now, there will be brainy and smart kids elsewhere in other colleges too – but they may not all be together like this)library-438389_1920
  3. Did you know that the IITs offer financial assistance by offering amazing scholarships to the absolutely needy students? This is one way of uplifting India’s needy and enabling them to reach the upper strata of society. If the income of parents is below 1 lakh/year, then the students will be eligible for complete fee waiver!! Yes, you read that right – there is absolutely no fees at all!! πŸ™‚ In addition, if the income of parents is between 1 lakh and 5 lakh/per year, then those students have to pay only 2/3 of the tuition fees. In addition there are many other waivers for SC/ST and PH(physically handicapped) students. Isn’t it amazing to hear about all these fee waivers and the ways to uplift the economically challenged sections of the society? πŸ™‚
  4. Rote learning – India’s hyped system of education in many movies ceases to exist in the IITs(that ceases to exist even after 11th grade) You are constantly bombarded with a lot of assignments and now you have to think, analyze and crack the assignments with a lot of time management!
  5. Competitiveness is extremely high. Nobody is going to be sharing assignments, notes and helping you with all your doubts in all probabilities! πŸ™‚
  6. Many IITs have young faculty who are in their 30s!! (Young India, problem!! :)) For example, in IIT Dharwad, the average faculty age is only 33.9 years!! (Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/younger-teachers-replace-grey-haired-professors-at-iits-iims/articleshow/70986008.cms) What does this mean for the students? Students and Professors are at par and there is always an influx of fresh and brand new ideas!!
  7. Mental health is always on the forefront and counselors regularly conduct sessions in the IITs if any student needs them.

These are some of the myths and realities after my son’s first semester at IIT…I am sure there will be plenty more for me to blog about in the coming months! πŸ™‚

Note: If you would like to read about our IIT journey and other posts, start with this post followed by these:

IIT – A Mother’s perspective!!

IITs and their branches

The most sought after branch in an IIT/engg college…

Hope you learnt something new from all these posts and have a delightful day!! πŸ™‚

 

Family, India

Career or Children?

” Career or Children?” is the eternal question that stumps moms all the world and the answer is never easy…

Most moms as young girls were always motivated to do well academically in school and college and achieve greater corporate goals. Eventually, school life gets over, college life gets over and many ace everything and a dream career begins….All goes well and with good time, matrimony arrives and then motherhood dawns.

Motherhood:

If a marriage doesn’t change a woman’s life drastically, motherhood will. Understanding parenthood for anybody is no easy task. Many children have a personality that is totally the polar opposite of their parents! While moms and dads fret over how to handle the new addition to their lives, mothers feel more responsibility towards the child ( and the society always emphasizes this) and therein starts the trouble.

The dilemma:

Most women opt for a maternity break that might span a few weeks or months post the arrival of the child in their career. While fathers return back promptly, most mothers struggle with the decision to get back to work full time.

Even after the child is 6 months of age, while some mothers do return back to their jobs, there are many mothers who are still on the fence about whether to return back to work or not. Many mothers areΒ  “worry warriors” – who are never sure whether their child will get the same care that they can give.

Weeks turn into months and sometimes even years pass by and some women are faced with the same dilemma – “Should I get back to work and hope everything falls into place or should I wait for more time till the child is older?” And sometimes, the child crosses their teenage and moms are still pondering the same question!! πŸ™‚

By this time many mothers lose the interest and energy to get back to work full time… 😦 Some mothers even return back to work and again quit because of “mom guilt” or any other misadventures.. 😦

And if there is more one child in the picture, the responsibilities quadrupule. While most women multi-task a variety of responsibilities – it is still a big juggling act to manage work, home,children, parents, in-laws and all family! πŸ™‚ (and if you are in a nuclear family living away from everybody, then the difficulty is to manage everything on your own) In addition to normal household functions, there are also sick children, homework, class tests, exams, projects and even more responsibilities that add everyday.

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Many women quit their high flying careers entirely or change course from their field of study. For example, as a young girl she might be a Computer Science graduate or an MBA – but due to motherhood and home responsibilities – she might become a teacher(so that she can step out with the kids and step back in with the kids) or a writer(can write from home!!) πŸ™‚ Many mothers readΒ  job description with keywords such as “work from home” , “flexible work options”,”remote work” and they are absolutely delighted! πŸ™‚

This is not to say all mothers put their careers on hold when motherhood arrives..many juggle home and full time work very well and hats off to all of them! πŸ™‚

My experience:

Overall, I think if you wait too long to get back to full time work, most lose the energy and the motivation for the corporate grind. So, for women who are very passionate about their careers, it is just good to restart full time work after just a year of being off….(more feasible in India) – anything more than that – the industry is also moving ahead and we also cannot keep up!

In the end, it all works out well with a little crease here and there… πŸ™‚

So, if you like to work – just keep doing it! πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day! πŸ™‚

 

college, IIT, India

India and startups!

As we moved back to India 9 years ago after a long US stay – there was another thing that caught my eye in the Indian business scene. It was not prevalent in India when I moved abroad in the 90s. It was also a very silent and slow progression which could easily be missed. But if you stay in India for sometime and observe it – you will definitely see theΒ  revolution! It was an amazing revolution that produced new ideas and great businesses!Β  What was it?

It was the ‘startup’ revolution in India…

Dinosaur era:

As one of my fellow bloggers would say, we are all engineers from the “dinosaur” era of coding!! πŸ™‚ We have worked through all the ancient programming languages that you might have not even heard of…. πŸ™‚ (‘C’, ‘Pascal’, ‘Fortran’, ‘Lotus 1-2-3’ and ending with ‘Java’ for me!) All we wanted to do in those days was to land a plum software job that paid well. I think most of us or all of us achieved that dream at one point or other.

With many of us moving abroad, our career dreams were restricted to our visas. Either we could work only for the companies that sponsored our visas(H1) or we were on dependent visas that didn’t give us the eligibility to work.

The thought that we could ‘start’ our own company might have never, ever crossed our minds in the US(at least it didn’t cross our minds) And if it did, we sure had to wait to get our GCs(green cards) or Citizenships along with good financial backup to start our company. This would have definitely got us into our 40s or so…Amongst, the many of my engineering classmates only a few started a company of their own and none of us Computer Science majors did! (sorry, 89BZs of PSG Tech!!)

The current day in India:

Today’s young India is eager to start a company of their own and fly solo as soon as possible! They are not scared of taking the risks that come with entrepreneurship. As I look at the engineering scene in India(from my son’s college) – most take a dive into entrepreneurship right after a few years of corporate experience. This feels so exhilarating and fascinating! Being your own boss and creating a completely new business model which flourishes must be totally exciting and rewarding!

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Did you know?

  1. The median age of young startup founders in India is 31?
  2. After the Startup initiative was announced in 2016, India has seen 23,705 startups?

Here are a few startups:

Many startups have surely touched my life and made it easier… here are some of them:

  1. Swiggy – Food delivery giant ‘Swiggy’ does not own any restaurants but just felicitates interactions between users and restaurants and is a clear winner. It was started only in late 2014 by BITS alumni and IIT Kharagpur alumni.
  2. Practo – Online health portal which was established in 2008 by then 20 year old engineering graduates allows users to make appointments and make online consultations.
  3. Cure.Fit – Health, Fitness and nutrition are all rolled into Cure.Fit which started its operations in 2016
  4. RazorPay – is a Payment processing firm which was founded by IIT Roorkee alumni
  5. FlipKart – the very popular e-commerce firm founded by IIT Delhi alumni in 2007

There are several other successful startups like Ola, FreshMenu, FreshToHome, Paytm, Zomato,Wow!Momo,BigBasket, Myntra, Housejoy and many, many more…

I am sure young India will churn out many,many new companies in the future…and I admire all their families, friends and co-workers to stand by them as they go about creating history!

Cheers to the brave, young entrepreneurs!

 

 

IIT, India

The most sought after branch in an IIT/engg college…

….is after all these years, “Computer Science”!! πŸ™‚ I can hear many of my friends from college, old colleagues, family, friends and others cringe at this thought – but it is true – “Computer Science” or its variants like “Electrical”, “Electronics” still rule the technical world.

I have heard so many people who are already in the Computer Science field(for about 25 years or so) that they might not prefer their children to be in the same field – for varying reasons like long work hours, instant layoffs, stiff competition, extreme stress, total burnout and more. But truth be told, “Computer Science” has in fact grown tremendously in the last 20-30 years giving rise to amazing job opportunities and salaries for many.

Earlier, there were only programming languages(like ‘C’, ‘Pascal’, ‘Fortran’) to be learnt in Computer Science field but now there are several other branches to it. Cyber security, Android programming, Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning and many other paths have spawned because of the Internet revolution, smartphone revolution, online shopping and many other necessities of life. The Computer Science field is also guaranteed to grow more giving rise to totally new concepts.

In fact, every branch of engineering needs knowledge of Computer Science and some basic hacks and cracks to master it. The current era demands every professional to be technically savvy.

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Other branches:

The core branches like Mechanical, Civil are not going away anywhere – because one cannot work on a computer with no roof built by a Civil engineer over their head and an automobile to make them mobile!

But many students who do the core branches most likely branch out into Computer Science eventually for better job opportunities. Only a few of them remain in the core branches (like my better half :)) (at least from what I have seen) since they are extremely passionate about it.

Do the non-Computer Science branches offer the same number of job opportunities and salaries as the Computer Science branch?Β  My better half would say “yes” πŸ™‚ but I cannot say for sure.

Though, most people from the non-CS branches get placed well initially, the career mobility might be restricted to a few companies down the line. And if you are extremely specialized, your job opportunities will reduce even further! In such cases, when there are few companies to switch – consider the case, when you are dissatisfied with your current organization –Β  What do you do? You search for companies to move to and you only find a handful of them(!) making it even more frustrating!! Now, this is not going to be case for all non-CS people, but it is just a possibility…

What are your thoughts? Is the rush for Computer Science validated? Or not?

And if you have been in the Computer Science field for quite a while – are you happy? Will you encourage your child to go into the same field? Why or Why not?

Have a lovely day! πŸ™‚