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IITs: A place to dream..A place to grow..

"Legends say Japan was built by a sword. The old gods dipped a coral blade into the ocean and when they pulled it out, four perfect drops fell into the sea and those drops became the islands of Japan"

-The last Samurai [2003]
These four drops since then have set many examples and proved their presence before the world. The reason beings this four together were destined to have such brave people who could surpass all odds and yet outshine.

IITs, I believe have a similar hidden story which somehow got lost in the mythological Indian books. These seven sisters (the seven IITs) were ordained to make a mark in the world. The mark being such strong that nothing strong enough as political turmoil, reservations etc. could deface it.

Guarded by one of the toughest exams, believed to be a nightmare by many, the "Joint Entrance Examination" popularly known as the JEE has always been very selective in giving a green card for entry to these vibrant hamlets. It has till now maintained a clean record of selecting only those creative minds who think different, though it has itself moulded to new patterns some times.

People believe IITs to be a budding place for geeks who were thorough with the concepts of applied sciences and cleared an exam which they term as the admission procedure. But the fact is these few had the courage to think out of the box. The IITs are then blessed to shape this out thinkers to perfection.

Life at IIT is a dream to cherish. A place where each individual is busy in doing something different, something that makes him happy and that gains him satisfaction. Its here we understand what talent really is. Equipped with all state-of-art facilities, IITs provide you with everything you need for your personal development. And then there are these bunch of inquisitive minds who keep boggling their minds together over something. Take a round around the campus , you would find a group busy with honing their music skills whereas other one playing a football match. This is just a small picture of the actual climax. Even in a campus of 2100 acres of IIT Kharagpur you would hardly find a place vacant without any activities. The atmosphere at IITs is so soothing and vibrant that you start feeling it more home-like and gain serene peace.

IITs provide residential facilities to all its students, research scholars and faculty inside the campus. The students live in hostels (referred to as Halls of Residence in IIT Kanpur and IIT Kharagpur). Some of the IITs have specific names for each hostel on campus: IIT Madras has hostels named after Indian rivers, IIT Kharagpur has hostels named after national leaders and hostels in IIT Delhi are named after Hills. Separate hostels are available for men and women. All students, including those in the newer IITs are provided with broadband Internet access in their rooms.

Although known only for academic excellence, IITs also play a major role in developing the personality of the students. They provide students a platform to showcase their talents in extra-curricular activities.

IITs have all the facilities to nurture and develop the talents of students in sports. They also have facilities to improve the fitness of students. These facilities include playgrounds for various sports like Cricket, Football, Hockey, Volleyball, Lawn Tennis, Badminton, Athletics, Basket-ball and Squash courts, swimming pool and gymnasium. Usually the hostels also have their own sports grounds.

IIT's academic curriculum includes Extra Academic Activity as a part of syllabus for first years, to provide them an opportunity to involve in social life. It is made compulsory for all, as many students might hesitate to come up and show their talents. Extra Academic Activity in IITs involves NSO (National Sports Organization), NCC (National Cadet Corps), Yoga and NSS (National Service Scheme). The NSO involves providing coaching facilities to students by well trained coaches.

Session at IITs starts with Fresher's events, which are conducted exclusively for first years. These events are conducted soon after the admissions to IIT. The purpose of such events is to bring hidden talent of first years and build confidence of first years.

Inter-Hostel events in IITs are a very crucial and dynamic part of campus life. Many social-cultural events, technology oriented events and sports events are conducted among hostels and the winning hostel gets 'points'. The General Championship (known as GC) for Technology, Social-Cultural and Sports is awarded to the hostel scoring the highest points in the the particular set of events. Some Inter-Hostel events involve each and every resident. It brings unity among hostel mates, develops social life and instils team spirit in students.

In each of the IITs, many student groups called Societies/Clubs, work for the development of skills in students in specific areas. These small student organizations also provide opportunities to students passionate about a certain field to learn and develop their interest. They recruit students from fresher's and then same fresher's becomes head of the societies, basically societies/clubs are the platform where fresher's learn from their seniors and teach to their juniors. In IITs such clubs are highly active and student's involvement is also quite good. These student's organizations get funding from the Gymkhana.

All the IITs compete in a variety of sports held under the purview of the Annual Inter IIT Sports Meet. The competition is organized every year in the month of December in one of the seven IITs. As swimming and water polo are played in water, which is usually very cold by the month of December, the Inter IIT Sports Meet for them is usually held in the first week of October and is called Inter IIT Aquatics Meet. The Inter-IIT Sports Meet takes the student training and preparation for the events to the next level, and provides a bigger stage for the students to perform.

All IITs organize annual festivals (technical, social cultural and sports) in which students from the IITs and even other colleges participate. Usually these festivals last 3 to 4 days. These annual festivals are completely organized by students, and they get funding through sponsorship from companies. These fests enable students in campus to compete with other college students, giving exposure of IIT life to other engineering college students. These fests also provide exceptional opportunities to develop managerial skills to its organizer students.

It's hard to explain through words and articles what life an IITian gets at IIT. And that's why maybe it's a choice as a country that we make whom we give those elitist tags to.

Note: : The writer is one of the founding members of who recently revived his passion for blogging.
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