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Why can’t there be a Harvard in India?

Whenever there is a problem, no matter what the problem – try to find the root cause of it. You cannot build a Harvard in India until we sort out the mess that is our schooling system. Counter-intuitively, any of our IIT’s and NIT’s can become the Harvard of India, given that our school systems are sorted. Sure, you can build a new university and name it Harvard, but what’s in name?

  • Hierarchy

The professors at Harvard have an outstanding camaraderie with the students – this fills the knowledge gaps and any inhibitions disappear.

At any Indian institute, the professors are a figure of authority, and you answer to them.

I personally had a very hard time when I started out my research in undergrad. The ambiance of the environmental lab was so intimidating, that I was reduced to my nerves.

  • Inclination towards research is far from the tipping point.

The Professors at most of the Indian universities are required to put in many teaching hours, while the research lags behind. The exact opposite happens at Harvard.

The Big Difference Between IITs and MIT

Moreover, there is a alumni culture wherein the successful alumni of Harvard, make donations which make significant portion of the funds available for research. Besides, there is funds from the government. Indian Institutes lack on both front.

  • Quality of the student groups-

If we compare the average student group at an IIT to the average student group at Harvard- we will see a vast difference. Thanks to the holistic admissions approach of Harvard, there are far more innovative students.

On the other hand, the students at IIT are most likely have been through a highly mechanized system, which formalizes their life and dulls it, killing all innovation.

Poor quality of students entering IITs: Narayana Murthy – Times of India

To correct this, we need to take a hard look at our schooling system because it is hardly preparing us for life. Instead of taking on challenges head on, it teaches us to avoid failure. We know how to score good on our tests but have no idea of the basic skills needed in life.

  • Reservations

I read a few answers, where they assumed that India would never have a Harvard because of the reservation practices in India. Well, here is me bursting the myth.

While there is reservations in India based on caste, there is reservation at Harvard based on race.

Asians on average must achieve an SAT score 140 points higher than white students, 270 points higher than Hispanic students, and 450 points higher than black applicants to have equal chance of a Harvard acceptance letter. How is this different from having different cut-offs in JEE? But one could still argue that one reservation is not as bad as the other.

Is It Fair or Unfair: The Harvard Admission Process?

“Holistic” is, but the latest legerdemain to achieve their ends. The college meanwhile says, it is to maintain the diversity.

What do you think?

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