Price of success

Dear Smriti Irani, stop giving my money to IITians

If IITians are so intelligent and can earn lakhs in their placements, why do they sponge off taxpayers' money?

Dear Smt Smriti Iraniji,

At the drop of a hat, every government, including yours, says that subsidies are bad for the economy and should be done away with.

Many of the subsidies in your ministry are going to those who don't deserve it. IITians are the most guilty of this pilferage. To make things worse, they hardly do anything for the country. Best-selling fiction is not known to help farmers.

1) To begin with, this is what they cost us
While it takes over Rs 3.4 lakh to educate an IITian per year, the student pays only Rs 90,000 per year. The rest is borne by the government. That is close to Rs 2.5 lakh per student per year, which is being paid by the tax payer. If one extrapolates this to all the 39,540 students in the Indian Institute of Technologies, the cost borne by the tax payer on educating IITians extends to 988.5 crore annually.

According to budget estimates, Rs 1703.85 crore is to be allocated to the IITs for 2015-'16.

2) What do we get in return for the Rs 1,700 crore we spend on them?
Inspite of producing 9,885 world-class engineers in computer science, electrical, electronic, chemical, mechanical, production fields every year...

a) The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, though successful with the Russian Cryogenic Engine, has time and again failed with the indigenous cryogenic engine. We have succeeded only once with our indigenous cryogenic rocket.

b) Indigenous submarines are still a distant dream because of the technological complexity in building them. Though many projects are coming up in our own shipyards, they are happening because we are merely manufacturing them in India with foreign technology.

c) The indigenous Indian Small Arms System rifles for our army, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, have always been reported as problematic, and we import assault rifles from Israel.

Why could our world-class engineers, who are educated with tax payers' money, not have built them?

3) This is what our top IITians gave a miss
A Right to Information application that was filed recently has shown that less than 2% of engineers at the Indian Space Research Organisation are from IITs and the National Institutes of Technology. Our best space programme doesn't get our best engineers every year.

The army doesn't get engineers and officers from the IITs. Between 1986 and 2006, not a single IITian has joined the Indian army.

The DRDO has a shortage of more than 2,700 scientists, and it is stretched and overworked, but our world-class engineers don't find it challenging.

4) If an IITian wants to run an online shop, then why do I, a taxpayer, have to pay for his chemical engineering degree?
Going by 2013 figures, Flipkart, the online mega-store, recruited seven students from IIT Madras in 2013.

One can understand the logic behind Flipkart hiring a computer science engineer. But six of the hires had studied aerospace, chemical, metallurgy, bio-technology and engineering physics.  What specialist knowledge will they bring to Flipkart?

These students do not have any interest in what they learnt in their four-year undergraduate programme, and want to erase their history by moving to a different field.

5) Why did I pay for Chetan Bhagat's mechanical engineering degree?
I have nothing against Chetan Bhagat, but I do know that Indian taxpayers paid to make him a mechanical engineer. He has done everything but engineering.

Another RTI filed with IIM Bangalore has revealed that out of the current batch of 406 students, 97 students are from IITs. Fifty-six of these are students with less than two years work experience.

If all these engineers wanted to be was managers, why does the tax payer need to pay for their engineering education at the IITs?

6) Get a loan, why seek a subsidy?
All students from IITs can get collateral-free loans from nationalised banks for upto Rs 20 Lakh.

And IITians are obviously so awesome that companies are eager to pay them crores of rupees.

Then why should a world-class engineer who makes crores of rupees and adds no value to India be given a subsidised education at the IITs? Can't they get educated with a bank loan of their own and repay it after getting their huge salaries?

7) Remittances help forex? Nope, not really.
Whenever there is a debate on brain drain from the IITs, the remittances issue pops up. Many believe that IITians who go abroad send back remittances and contribute to foreign exchange reserves. However, it is a pittance for India.

A report in the Economic Times shows that out of the total remittances of $70 billion to India, the remittances from IITians who go to developed countries is much lower than the remittances from the Middle East to the state of Kerala.

Most of the Malayalis in the Gulf are blue-collar workers, not IIT engineers.

So, why should the common man subsidise an IITian's college fees?



Also see Dear IITians, how successful have you been in making India self-reliant in technology?

And a response to this articleNo, Smriti Irani is not wasting your money on the IITians
This article was originally published on Saddahaq.com.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What’s the difference between ‘a’ washing machine and a ‘great’ washing machine?

The right machine can save water, power consumption, time, energy and your clothes from damage.

In 2010, Han Rosling, a Swedish statistician, convinced a room full of people that the washing machine was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution. In the TED talk delivered by him, he illuminates how the washing machine freed women from doing hours of labour intensive laundry, giving them the time to read books and eventually join the labour force. Rosling’s argument rings true even today as it is difficult to deny the significance of the washing machine in our everyday lives.

For many households, buying a washing machine is a sizable investment. Oddly, buyers underestimate the importance of the decision-making process while buying one and don’t research the purchase as much as they would for a television or refrigerator. Most buyers limit their buying criteria to type, size and price of the washing machine.

Visible technological advancements can be seen all around us, making it fair to expect a lot more from household appliances, especially washing machines. Here are a few features to expect and look out for before investing in a washing machine:

Cover your basics

Do you wash your towels every day? How frequently do you do your laundry? Are you okay with a bit of manual intervention during the wash cycle? These questions will help filter the basic type of washing machine you need. The semi-automatics require manual intervention to move clothes from the washing tub to the drying tub and are priced lower than a fully-automatic. A fully-automatic comes in two types: front load and top load. Front loading machines use less water by rotating the inner drum and using gravity to move the clothes through water.

Size matters

The size or the capacity of the machine is directly proportional to the consumption of electricity. The right machine capacity depends on the daily requirement of the household. For instance, for couples or individuals, a 6kg capacity would be adequate whereas a family of four might need an 8 kg or bigger capacity for their laundry needs. This is an important factor to consider since the wrong decision can consume an unnecessary amount of electricity.

Machine intelligence that helps save time

In situations when time works against you and your laundry, features of a well-designed washing machine can come to rescue. There are programmes for urgent laundry needs that provide clean laundry in a super quick 15 to 30 minutes’ cycle; a time delay feature that can assist you to start the laundry at a desired time etc. Many of these features dispel the notion that longer wash cycles mean cleaner clothes. In fact, some washing machines come with pre-activated wash cycles that offer shortest wash cycles across all programmes without compromising on cleanliness.

The green quotient

Despite the conveniences washing machines offer, many of them also consume a substantial amount of electricity and water. By paying close attention to performance features, it’s possible to find washing machines that use less water and energy. For example, there are machines which can adjust the levels of water used based on the size of the load. The reduced water usage, in turn, helps reduce the usage of electricity. Further, machines that promise a silent, no-vibration wash don’t just reduce noise – they are also more efficient as they are designed to work with less friction, thus reducing the energy consumed.

Customisable washing modes

Crushed dresses, out-of-shape shirts and shrunken sweaters are stuff of laundry nightmares. Most of us would rather take out the time to hand wash our expensive items of clothing rather than trusting the washing machine. To get the dirt out of clothes, washing machines use speed to first agitate the clothes and spin the water out of them, a process that takes a toll on the fabric. Fortunately, advanced machines come equipped with washing modes that control speed and water temperature depending on the fabric. While jeans and towels can endure a high-speed tumble and spin action, delicate fabrics like silk need a gentler wash at low speeds. Some machines also have a monsoon mode. This is an India specific mode that gives clothes a hot rinse and spin to reduce drying time during monsoons. A super clean mode will use hot water to clean the clothes deeply.

Washing machines have come a long way, from a wooden drum powered by motor to high-tech machines that come equipped with automatic washing modes. Bosch washing machines include all the above-mentioned features and provide damage free laundry in an energy efficient way. With 32 different washing modes, Bosch washing machines can create custom wash cycles for different types of laundry, be it lightly soiled linens, or stained woollens. The ActiveWater feature in Bosch washing machines senses the laundry load and optimises the usage of water and electricity. Its EcoSilentDrive motor draws energy from a permanent magnet, thereby saving energy and giving a silent wash. The fear of expensive clothes being wringed to shapelessness in a washing machine is a common one. The video below explains how Bosch’s unique VarioDrumTM technology achieves damage free laundry.

Play

To start your search for the perfect washing machine, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Bosch and not by the Scroll editorial team.