On the role of IITians

Yesterday I got into an all-too-familiar argument with one of my roommates.

I just made a comment saying that I don’t approve when people make comments like “oh all the IITians should be made to stay back in India and then we would be doing great”. My roommate disagreed saying that he strongly felt that all IITians **should** stay back in India, and he was fairly convinced that this would have made India a much better place to live in.

I beg to differ.

I have so many points against that viewpoint that its almost difficult to list them all down. But I’ll try nonetheless.

Let me first state the common argument of supporters of this view, which would go something like this: well you know, the government is spending millions of dollars in training all these bright people. But all these IITians run off to foreign lands and “so called” greener pastures right after graduation or soon after. Its as if the whole motivation of getting into the IITs is to leave India. But they have no right to do so! After all the Indian government has invested in them, and it should get back adequate returns. Whats even worse, these smart folk go to the US and do research for them and make industries for them and create value for them. What are they doing for their country? This will be followed by a bunch of arbit figures (such as: the top 40% of NASA’s scientists are Indians, the topmost executives in a large number of US firms are Indians and so on) to demonstrate that indeed, the Indian executive holds water in the US. A lot of water. Thus, they will conclude with a triumphant smile, “there you go, they’ve eaten up India’s money and paying back the US for it!”

I’ve to take a shower now, so I’ll leave this here. But I’ll get back to it soon, to present my side of the case.

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