It is a great sense of satisfaction when I look back into my IIT days at Chennai. Being an IITian, I must admit that IIT education through the environment and education had an everlasting impact in my personal and professional life.
I did my M.Tech in Electrical at IIT – Chennai (IITM) during 1978-80. At that time I saw that as just another two years of education to land at a good job, and more of a visa to better future. But when I look back now, it was the tipping point in my career.
Nowadays we have many autonomous institutes in education, but IITs led the way few decades back. When universities struggled to keep pace with industry in changing the curriculum (more due to the red tape), IITs had the best professors who could decide the need of the hour for the industry and students and keep the syllabus current. I remember learning Integrated Circuits and Microprocessors at IITM while I had just learnt Vacuum Tubes in Undergraduate. It took some effort to learn transistors on my own so that I can keep pace with the then latest technologies that IITM was teaching.
Each of the IITs were/ are supported by one of the friendly developed countries and IITM was funded by Germany. It had one of the best TV labs in those days and it was a fun to learn how the technology works (in addition to having a sneak view of brilliant and colorful movies that were rare to see those days!). We were gifted with learning through great teachers like Prof Raina and Prof Reddy who had the global as well as industry exposure to feed us well with their knowledge and wisdom. The learning at IIT had been practical and hands-on.
But it is not the curriculum or infrastructure or the teachers that alone makes the difference in the IIT education. It is the competitive spirit created by attracting best in class students from all over India, creating a multi cultural environment and cross learning from each other that pulled us up together. IIT Alumni's are strong and in important positions in the industry. That helps later to build easy credibility and connections to be successful in the profession.