The RAT race for CAT

cat.jpgCome November 18, and the CAT will be out of the bag to decide the fate of the lakhs of students appearing for the Common Admission Test for MBA entrances to the mighty IIMs this year.

Out of the lakhs of students applying, a few hundred make it to the “prestigious” institutions of the country. In this cut-throat competition, many lose heart, many others vow to crack the CAT next year and several others settle for lesser known institutions. The run for the run of the mill MBA degree which most aspire to get, is primarily because of the skyrocketing salaries offered to those graduating from these institutions. Every year IIM graduates walk away with pay packets that can only be termed unbelievable, luring millions of students of the country to join this RAT race.

But if we pause for a moment to think, what role do these institutions play in serving the nation? Are they really the temples of learning and engines of economic growth for the country? The fact is it will be difficult to find examples of IIM graduates going out, taking initiatives to do their bit for the economic and social problems of the country. So what are the best managing brains of the country up to? A majority of the graduates become CEO’s and corporate honchos of top multinational companies; most of them migrate abroad to become “successful” NRI’s. They slog 24X7, earn millions of dollars, and buy huge mansions. But is this really the picture of India shining we hope to see. Are the IIMs just stepping-stones to become another high-end millionaire or much envied NRI? Is the craze all about this? If yes, I for one am thoroughly disappointed. Because I know that this is not just the IIM story, the ‘Indian’ Institute of Technology’s story is no different.

If the top institutions of the country just churn out top company executives without contributing to the scientific and economic development of the country, the whole purpose of the establishment of these institutions is defeated. Unlike these Indian Institutions, The Ivy League colleges are pioneers of research in economic and scientific matters and encourage research-based studies.

Studies have shown that these juicy salaries may look good to the eye and sound good to the ear, but most of the times the quantity of workload of these jobs leave people stressed. No wonder the Government jobs are the least stressful with the minimum number of working hours, maximum holidays and perks. However Govt. jobs are often overlooked by youngsters, who would prefer to make it big in life by working their way up in the private sector rather than take the more conventional and orthodox route of government jobs, which are synonymous with corruption, which disagrees with their youthful idealism.

There is no denying the fact that these institutions not only the extract the cream of the country but churn out the best talent in the country, talented enough to contribute to the matters of economic, and social relevance to the country. But in the absence of offers, these people tend to drift away from their roots. And far from being centers of research or economic importance to the country, they have become centers of brain drain.

I do not argue with the fact that the training provided by these institutions is at par, it is comparable to the best MBA institutes of the world providing all facilities to the students, but instead of just mind boggling 10 figure salaries, students should be offered research-oriented jobs concerning the economic and social development of the country (which is currently in the hands of overage, selfish and resigned politicians).

The pride and sense of achievement of working for one’s own country and making a difference therein cannot be matched by any 10 figure income earned in a company whose reigns belong to a foreign hand which wouldn’t be interested in even giving alms to our country let alone aid its development.

And all those people out there, who couldn’t make it to these institutions, don’t lose heart. There are millions of things to do in this world which are meant to be explored and tapped, waiting for us to try our hands at them. Remember that cracking the CAT may give you an easy route to an MBA degree, but it does not necessarily spell Success in life. It’s alright not to start at the top, after all that way there is more space to move upward, and progress as an individual and more importantly as a society.