Opinion: At IITs, With Online Exams, Teachers Confront High-Tech Cheating

Opinion: At IITs, With Online Exams, Teachers Confront High-Tech Cheating

Anurag Mehra | Wednesday January 13, 2021

To police examinations in the current online scenario, we ask students to write answers on paper sheets while keeping a mobile phone or a laptop camera focused on them so that the proctor can see them working. Sometimes, we ask them to work on one device and use the camera of a second device to display the live video.

Opinion: What We At IITs Are Discovering About Online Classes

Opinion: What We At IITs Are Discovering About Online Classes

Anurag Mehra | Thursday October 08, 2020

There is plenty of hype floating around that "digital" is the future of education. Our experiences related to online teaching during the pandemic show shatter this hype.

Opinion: Can The New NEP Really Reform Education In India?

Opinion: Can The New NEP Really Reform Education In India?

Anurag Mehra | Monday August 03, 2020

Finally, the New Education Policy (NEP-2020) is out, though it is somewhat surprising that it comes bang in the middle of a pandemic, and when parliament is not in session. Even though almost two lakh suggestions were received as feedback on the draft policy (DNEP-2019) not much debate about these has been seen in the public domain.

Opinion: India's "Vaccine Games" On Covid-19 Come At Great Risk

Opinion: India's "Vaccine Games" On Covid-19 Come At Great Risk

Anurag Mehra | Thursday July 16, 2020

Our penchant for somehow "topping the class" is deeply embedded in our cultural psyche. Now, we want to be the first in the world to develop and produce a Covid-19 vaccine, even though many other potential vaccines in the fray are far ahead on the developmental trajectory. One way to win this race is to just declare that we will get there first - and even announce a d...

Opinion: The Far From Magnificent Obsession With Ranks At IITs

Opinion: The Far From Magnificent Obsession With Ranks At IITs

Anurag Mehra | Monday June 29, 2020

The world's best institutions do not worry about rankings but in ensuring that they are respected by their peers for the quality of their graduates and research. They have not reached the top by trying to be "first". We should remember what we tell our students: if we study well , we are likely to get a good grade, but getting a good grade does not necessarily mean we...

Opinion: After Weeks Of Online Classes At IIT, Here's The Truth

Opinion: After Weeks Of Online Classes At IIT, Here's The Truth

Anurag Mehra | Saturday May 30, 2020

It is good that we have online options but let us not kid ourselves into the illusion of normalcy. It is worrisome that despite ground realities of this sort, a sense of digital triumphalism seems to hang in the air.

Opinion: IIT-Bombay's Adaptation To The Lockdown - What Works And Doesn't

Opinion: IIT-Bombay's Adaptation To The Lockdown - What Works And Doesn't

Anurag Mehra | Tuesday April 07, 2020

The two great issues that will surely be impacted by the lockdown are admissions into the IITs and the employment of students from the graduating batch.

Opinion: At IITs, 1-Cr Job Offers Are Hype, Ground Reality is Different

Opinion: At IITs, 1-Cr Job Offers Are Hype, Ground Reality is Different

Anurag Mehra | Monday December 30, 2019

Bits and pieces of such situations are written about in the media but all of this is overshadowed by the "1 Cr +" salary hype.

Opinion: Indian Universities And The Problematic Race For Eminence

Opinion: Indian Universities And The Problematic Race For Eminence

Anurag Mehra | Tuesday August 13, 2019

The penchant for "standing first in class" does not affect only students, it has infected academic institutions as well as they strive to be designated an "institution of eminence" by the government.

Opinion: 4 Things Need To Urgently Fix In India's Education System

Opinion: 4 Things Need To Urgently Fix In India's Education System

Anurag Mehra | Wednesday July 10, 2019

We did not really need a policy document; what we need is an action document on strategy and implementation, one that identifies the few most significant issues and then details how these can be tackled.

Opinion: It’s JEE Season – Why IITs Still Rely On It For Admission

Opinion: It’s JEE Season – Why IITs Still Rely On It For Admission

Anurag Mehra | Tuesday April 30, 2019

A more basic issue is whether board examinations are a good measure of the attributes needed for a specific type of study. When so much of our board examination testing dwells on memorizing, regurgitating specific points mentioned in texts (in that given order!), do they really assess analytical or "deep thinking" abilities?

Opinion: The IIT-JEE: Is It Really The "Toughest Exam In The World"?

Opinion: The IIT-JEE: Is It Really The "Toughest Exam In The World"?

Anurag Mehra | Monday January 14, 2019

As long as inadequate and bad schooling exists and the difference between the number of aspirants and available seats remains huge, coaching of the Kota sort will thrive. Ultimately, it is only good schooling that can make them irrelevant.

Opinion: Clear Kota, Get Into IIT - And Then It Can All Go Terribly Wrong

Opinion: Clear Kota, Get Into IIT - And Then It Can All Go Terribly Wrong

Anurag Mehra | Monday December 31, 2018

The happy picture of smiling toppers entering IITs in different parts of the country is quite deceptive - many of the 16-17-year-olds arrive with the baggage of total exhaustion, a fallout of the damage and trauma caused by the grind and slog of coaching classes.

Opinion: An IIT Teacher's Assessment Of Kota And Other Coaching Classes

Opinion: An IIT Teacher's Assessment Of Kota And Other Coaching Classes

Anurag Mehra | Wednesday December 19, 2018

We now have all varieties of fusion between regular schools and coaching classes, from being identical (pretending to be a school to the boards and faking attendance, while actually doing just coaching for competitive examinations), to sharing infrastructure and teachers, offering expensive "combo" deals (Rs 4 lakhs for Class 11/12 if only school is opted for, and Rs ...