Bombshell from IIT-K: Faculty Recruitment through JEE
An Interesting Times of India exclusive
In an act of defiance, the IIT-K Senate resolved in an emergency meeting this afternoon to use JEE performance as the sole criterion for recruitment and promotion of its faculty members. Experts have dubbed the latest move a high stakes grenade thrown into the low stakes subculture of Indian academia.
“This decision on faculty recruitment just spotlights what everyone has known all along,” said Prof. Arpan Roy, the Senate’s media advisor. “JEE is the main reason for our reputation worldwide, and we are determined to leverage it to add a shiny new sheen to our faculty ranks.”
“As our alumni, especially the ministerial ones, have said so often, IITs are special because of their undergrad students. Why are they special? JEE, of course!”
There may be more to the IIT-K move, observers have observed. While IIT students tell mild jokes about their teachers, said Prof. Shashibhushan Sahay, an expert on psychology of IITs students at Imsong University, Shillong, they become more outspoken as alumni in expressing their disdain. The Senate resolution, Sahay noted, may well be a cry for respect.
IIT-K media advisor had a more positive spin, though. “The JEE magic will now rub off on our faculty,” said Roy. “When the exam becomes the sole criterion for recruiting IIT faculty, we too will become famous in Silicon Valley."
"When 60 Minutes come calling, we will welcome them at our swanky new office in Washington DC!”, he thundered.
To another question, Roy responded with a candid admission that he is a great fan of not just JEE alumni, but also Kentucky Fried Chicken, George W. Bush, G.I. Joe, and Rocky IV.
The IIT-K Senate may also have had another motivation in making this move, according to Mr. Narasimhachar Thathachar, a senior analyst at the Institute of IIT ‘Tudies, a Hyderabad based think tank. The new resolution, he says, may well be to meant to impress upon the government that IIT faculty deserve a special treatment not only because they organize the JEE, but also because “they, you know, actually cleared the dreaded exam.”
When asked if a faculty applicant’s PhD and post-doc experience will be given any weight, Roy responded with a firm no. “We don’t give a shit to our UG applicants' past performance, and look how great they are! The same principle must apply to faculty applicants as well. What really counts is how a man performs when the stakes are stacked sky-high.”
To a reporter who pointed out that American universities like Harvard and Yale prefer to use multiple metrics (including whether students’ parents are alumni), Roy responded, “It’s sad to see these universities turn their back on monomaniac Americans.” He praised his Senate colleagues for choosing wisely, and echoed POTUS # 43 in sending a stern message to the other IITs. “You are either with us, or ...," he stumbled before recovering, "... you risk becoming an unknown unknown.”
Roy also informed the reporters that the Senate meeting concluded with a special screening of Independence Day.
At IIT-D, meanwhile, an emergency meeting of the Senate has been called at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. The notice for the meeting, a copy of which this reporter has seen, states that as an institution founded on British collaboration, it was IIT-D’s duty to follow IIT-K, even if it means invading HRD Minister’s Faridabad farmhouse and yelling to his face, “You want a common exam? Here it is -- common to both students and faculty!”.
These developments have been welcomed by the cram schools in Kota and Hyderabad. Said Mr. Vinod Sharma, a highly celebrated teacher at SuperStar Academy (SSA) at Kota, “We look forward to welcoming aspiring IIT faculty, as well as helping current IIT faculty earn their promotion. We plan to open a branch in each IIT.”
"We will teach them what to aspire to," said Mr. Sharma, who is rumored to earn upwards of half a million rupees a month. He added, however, that SSA will go strictly by merit and admit only those faculty who get high marks in SSAT -- the SuperStar Admission Test.
Sitting next to Mr. Sharma with a wide grin on his face was Mr. Rohit Singh, the owner of Star Academy, also at Kota.