# What is wrong with the competitives?

I received the following message today on the Lounge:

Hi, I heard that you'd be happy if most of us don't write JEE. May I know why?

To answer his question, I was motivated to write up what follows:

What bothers me is the unhealthy attachment to it. Many people in the +2 levels think that the only way they could prove that they are any good is to crack one of the families of exams.

Here is a bunch of incidents on the top of my head:

• Alice, from our very own moderator's panel, once suggested that I should better be an IIT X aspirant because they provide an Y LPA package.
• People have stopped trying to understand Physics because it is fun. They just care about it because they need to crack XYZ exam. I have seen ninth standard students trying to grasp physics through a series of Multiple Choice Questions. Bob literally asked me what the surface tension of a pendulum is.
• Carol once said that he does not care about the proofs in Physics, because they are never asked in JEE. When I used to talk to him about some random field of physics/mathematics/CS that I found interesting, all he could tell me is that does not come under JEE and hence has no value for me, right now.
• David wanted to study Philosophy. With the little idea of Philosophy that I have, it seemed to me that he'd make a good philosopher. He is now being forced to study Engineering.
• Ashley Shamidha realized that she wanted to do mathematics much later. As is clear from her note, it is all because she was overshadowed with JEE.
• People have asked themselves the question, Is JEE the end of life? Fortunately, Sandeep has been kind enough to address the issue in the comment section.
• Oscar, on Brilliant, had been heavily affiliated with JEE. Going through his problems, I could realize how restricted his mathematical creativity was before he joined Brilliant. I am glad that he did join us and I'd certainly say that his wisdom has been enriched.
• Eve is studying Physics. But as it is, she is not quite happy about it; she wants to study medicine. And no, she is not doing so because she is passionate about it, she has been brain-washed to think that the later is superior.
• Frank, from the former moderator's panel, who was truly interested in Number Theory, a few years ago has devoted his entire time into NEET preparation. He had once been frustrated and asked me, What use is Number Theory to an apprentice doctor?
• Peggy wanted to take Computer Science instead of Biology in her +2's. However, her family compelled him to take Biology, so that she has enough doors open if she does not get into engineering.
• Grace is taking a drop for a year and is currently a NEET aspirant. She now evaluates the worth of her own self as the ability to do well in it. I am gravely concerned about her. My roommate also has a friend, Heidi, who is in a similar situation.

(Names have been replaced to protect privacy. However, these are actual experiences involving my close friends, my significant other and several people I know.)

Of course, this is an endless gold mine for several entrepreneurs who are profiting out of it. I once remember meeting employees from a reputed software company who had been bragging about their preparation app but couldn't open a PDF without my help. And indeed, I do not see the rationale behind their existence: Why not try to teach students science, instead of training them to crack exams?

If the right things did not click for me at the right times, I probably would be doing something equally depressing, right now. And maybe, I even wouldn't be here to post this note. I have been warned that doing mathematics is not a very good idea, I'd grow gray hairs before I get a job. (And no, you do not need to remind me that I'm not smart enough to be doing mathematics, or good enough to survive engineering. Thanks.)

Note by Agnishom Chattopadhyay
4 years, 7 months ago

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## Comments

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Its true... now I realize how foolish I was not even knowing my interests. But whatever happens people never change i am being ridiculed by my relatives even now for choosing maths over engineering.

- 4 years, 7 months ago

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I am glad that you're following your interests :)

- 4 years, 7 months ago

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I believe marks are a poor indicator now. Owing to the number of coaching(poaching) institutes all that you need to know are specific tricks which will help you crack the exam. Same is true for olympiads too.

- 4 years, 2 months ago

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I agree

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Very true!

- 2 years, 10 months ago

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dear abhi kumble , your thought inspire me ,but there are many MAFIA MANS more than the good person like u . this is clearlly a war between good & evil . i think brilliant org is a good weapon of good side ,and good person should be a friend .

- 2 years, 7 months ago

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I do agree with you. Its like we are judged by the marks we get . These days nobody bothers to understand the subject , it's only that they do it because they want to reach a position. I am in class 12 and I do feel the pressure and you know what I am not giving JEE because for me enjoying the subject is more important:)

- 4 years, 5 months ago

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Why do you think marks are poor indicators of understanding of a subject?

- 4 years, 5 months ago

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WTF I had heard this first time that certain people don't want you to give exams, are they stopping you from your way?

- 4 years, 6 months ago

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Sorry, I did not get your point. Could you please elaborate?

- 4 years, 6 months ago

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Hi, I heard that you'd be happy if most of us don't write JEE. May I know why?

- 4 years, 6 months ago

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That is what the rest of the note answers.

- 4 years, 6 months ago

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the debate between Agnishom and Tejas is a milestone as well as this article

- 2 years, 7 months ago

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@Agnishom Chattopadhyay Dear ,First of all no one ever said that being Good or Bad is determined by how you fare in a set of examinations.

Its an assumption that you are making .India is a middle class country largely especially in Urban Areas and this Urban Middle class is an aspirational one in terms of money ,academic excellence .Medicine and Engineering are two disciplines that have tremendously grown leaps and bounds since Liberalisation .For example in Medicine ,there is good funding happening both at Public and private institutions .There is a single layered examination for Medicine called the NEET for most state and private colleges .NIMHANS in Bangalore is Asia 's premier institution though it doesnt offer Undergraduate courses ,JIPMER ,St johns ,CMC .Even on the engineering side we have good colleges and Startups blooming Biotechnology ,CS,Industrial design what not .

Though on the innovation side we havent grown much since independence we have been successful in devising a mechanism where good students study in good colleges and curriculum getting updated .These eventually translated into a concept called campus placements and then some of them started up did an MBA settled well in life .Infact most of them who took this route did well .

To become a Neurooncologist or a Interventional Cardiologist requires specialised training .Its after all a matter of saving one 's life .Since all of us are introduced to PCM till 12th there develops a liking but that doesnt mean that I go on to become a physicist or a chemist or a mathematician. The problem with people like u is the mindset that every guy should stay in Academia and should take a chalk and teach and publish papers .

I like math but doesnt mean I go onto become a professional mathematician .My passion for medicine over shoots and hence I want to be a doctor even though I have no idea of the subjects I will read .The familiarity of having read some amount of P C and M develops an inclination for any human to go and work in that but in most of the cases thats not true .Secondly developing a comprehensive method to test a candidate 's true interest is totally not possible with the money involved .

The guy who wants to study philosophy can study after his engineering degree also .A person can do a MSc in mathematics after Btech also .The basic engineering or medicine degree will just be a cushion in case there is a terrible economic crash and u can always spread out later .no one knows what engineering is about when he first enters the walls of a college .I have seen many guys finding a passion in engineering who were also brilliant in PCM in12th .Also it is our parents who have nurtured not heeding to them and taking a course of action is also not correct right ?I have seen many a times in choosing one 's career that parents have been right .It has dawned retrospectively .

Their intention is to get a basic degree atleast most of them I am sure most of them wont oppose their kid 's interest after they complete their UG Studies The number theorist doctor guy can still study number theory make use of online forums .

Collaborate with people and learn or best thing complete MBBS and get a masters PhD degree in math .TBH in terms of salaries , settled life ,placements ,diversity of career options Medicine is indeed superior in our country than Physics .I dont know whom to blame but its the reality .

Holy shit u think medicine and Engineering are depressing .No they arent .The curriculum is good and also in good engineering colleges u do some cool stuff same with Medicine .Our Medicine system of education is one of the best in the world in clinical fields .It beats even Harvard and ivy leagues .I feel you have an inherent sort of hate for Engineering and Medicine .You should speak to a professional medicine doctor .He would have spent 20 years studying .No body would study for that long if it is depressing :)

- 4 years, 3 months ago

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Okay, I went through this. I am not saying that Engg/Med is depressing or anything, they are noble professions, but it is not okay to impose this on everybody or make them feel bad if they cannot do this.

[I've added some formatting to your comment so that it can be well read, without changing the content]

- 4 years, 3 months ago

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Of course no is forcing on anyone .This is a Free country .One neednt study anything also and still get food ,employment etc .TBH I dont like studies at all but still anyway simple point is the perception that only the research field is the right field for intelligent people should change .Curriculum at 12th is oriented towards making everyone go into Academia .Having a liking and exposure of Good Physics ,Chemistry ,Math and being strong at it doesnt mean I go on to be a physicist or a mathematician . Engineering is a beautiful field .I will confess one thing Had it not been my serious health ailments I would have been studying Engineering .I still love problems integrating medicine and engineering .Ideally a branch called Medical Electronics would hav been suited for me .I had got a good rank to study the course at top colleges in Bangalore also anyway I am not saying this to you but to people from your place in general .Dont hate a profession or label it inferior without having understood what s in store .We have information theory in telecommunication engineering ,we have signal processing in Electronics , etc which make use of mathematics .A good doctor cannot become one without understanding Statistics .The role statistics is playing in medicine is very important .And these are basic sciences.But does a mathematician get a same pay as an engineer ,but does a biostatistician get the same pay as a neurosurgeon think of it ? I always think engineering is being taught like a pure science and thats the reason we dont have innovation on par with other countries .Some of my friends who have done cool stuff and projects in engineering colleges are struggling to pass courses in electronics involving Fourier series ,Laplace transform .On the other hand mathematicians try hard to prove that some how their theory has applications.There is no demand in the job market for scientists except academia is one more problem in India .There are scientists in Industries like Pharmacy ,Biotech,with science background but there is neither jon security and also salaries are low compared with their engineering or doctor counterparts .These days academic enterpreneurship is picking up in India especially in fields like Chemistry and I seriously hope startup revolution in our country helps kindle and improve the pay for science jobs and attracts people interested in it and at the same time engineers and doctors to build this country

- 4 years, 3 months ago

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Sorry, what's your point?

- 4 years, 3 months ago

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Lol

- 4 years, 3 months ago

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@Agnishom Chattopadhyay Medicine and Engineering in India are lucrative for a particular reason and that is demand as we are the fastest growing major economy . I dont see anything wrong in that .Not everyone wants to be with chalk and board everyday .Plus the kind of diversity that an engineering branch offers is amazing !! As I have already said one can do an MSc even after a BTech .Take civil engineering for example ,There is highway engineering ,hydraulics ,pneumonics ,Soil engineering , etc etc .I can go to any industry aerospace ,geology research ,Take up engineering service exams or may be even startup my own (with civil I can do industrial consultancy and teach at the same time ) Vishveshwaraiah was a civil engineer .Or I can even be an engineer in the traditional sense to construct bridges ,roads ,build dams .My name will be permanently in the history books and I will be making a "real impact" contrary to abstract .There is a sort of reverse villainification(bashing) of engineering and medicine professions in this country by so called academicians(many from your institute) these days and your article is exactly doing that without even having taken courses in these 2 professions .

- 4 years, 2 months ago

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Thank you for sharing your opinion, Tejas

- 4 years, 2 months ago

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How did "you" do in the NEET Examination Agnishom (I hope u understood whom I am referring to ?)

- 4 years, 2 months ago

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While I am not sure, but I am hoping she did well. I am also hoping that the person who I mentioned in the note as Frank also did well. I should ask him.

- 4 years, 2 months ago

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Is she and Frank writing entrances for JIPMER and AIIMS as well ? Honestly any good government run college will give very good exposure for whichever field they want to specialise in medicine .Private ones are a huge scam .

- 4 years, 2 months ago

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Maybe they are. They wouldn't want me to write about that on the internet and it is besides the point of this note anyway

- 4 years, 2 months ago

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