• IIT Indore draws on a reserve of extraordinary talent as a by-product of its selective, stringent and consequently, amazingly successful Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for admissions to all the UG programmes. Arguably the toughest examination in the world, the JEE is conducted by the various IITs by a policy of rotation and is the sole criteria for admission in 17 institutes including the 16 IITs and ISM Dhanbad. In JEE-2012 more than 4,80,000 students vied for about 9,600 seats- the IITs have an acceptance rate of around 2% as compared to 19% for MIT, 15% for Stanford and 27% for Berkeley. With its challenging problems that test the depth of the aspirant’s knowledge, the surprise element of the continually varying pattern and the immense competition, clearing the IIT-JEE is considered the pinnacle of achievement for a student in India.

I have learned that, although I am a good teacher, I am a much better student, and I was blessed to learn valuable lessons from my students on a daily basis. They taught me the importance of teaching to a student - and not to a test.

• The pool of talent thus uncovered embraces the best and the brightest from across the length and breadth of the nation. People from the most diverse backgrounds come together in their quest to extend the frontiers of scientific and technological knowledge and in the process forge life-long friendships and inculcate the spirit of teamwork and dedication, which gives them a head start in terms of their careers in the distant corners of the globe.

You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.

• The quality of students coming in is, without doubt, the best in the world- drilled in the sciences and problem-solving, the successful candidates are, by default, gifted, dedicated, hard working and blessed with analytical ability. While each one is a ‘topper’, in his/her own right, a leader in more than one sphere of activity, many are consistent toppers at the National Level with various prestigious scholarships and awards and a few even have proved their mettle at the international level, having represented the nation at International Olympiads and other Fairs, Seminars etc.

• As such, the oft-quoted sobriquet becomes more appropriate- it is only “the cream of the nation” that walks into IIT Indore, the intellectual camaraderie and more that then results is what makes this place special for it enhances the students’ potential and imparts the holistic education that allows the prodigal promise to bear fruit as it must.