The pain of being defeated in a battle like IIT-JEE is quite agonising. Every year lakh of students compete for a woefully inadequate number of seats. As a result, the dream of getting into an IIT remains a wish for a majority of engineering aspirants, making it the most competitive entrance exam.

The task of getting through one of such institutes is an uphill one. However, failure in the exam does not make one worthless. One should learn to take rejection as a motivation and regard it as the grist for the mill. Students should not get discouraged and brace themselves up for an alternative college. Instead of being stuck in a limbo, they should change gear and move on to the next level by looking for other possible options.

One can still attain success even without the tag of an IIT. What is of significance is how you follow your dream to pursue an engineering career. There are plenty of examples worth mentioning who are not IITians but still made big in life.

One such example is Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, better known as “the Missile Man of India”, who was not from any IITs but did his engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. Nonetheless, he became one of the finest engineers in the world inspiring many aspiring IITians. Famously known as “the father of the Pentium chip”, the legendary Vinod Dham was also not an IITian. It is, thus, a testament to the fact that even without the tag of an IIT — one can achieve great heights and prosperity with their skills, dedication and consistent hard work.

There are numerous institutes such as the IIITs, NITs and BIT’s Pilani along with a number of private and deemed universities that are renowned for delivering first-class engineering education. There are also a number of private and public sector colleges that have carved a niche for themselves. Hence, one should not lose all hope and see it as a chance to turn the tide. Zeroing in on a college is often a stressful experience.

While finalising a college, one should prefer recommended university over an affiliated college that enjoys autonomy in the curriculum. Besides that, they should map their aptitude for the types of courses available. It is also imperative to keep abreast with internships and placement record of the institute/college.

Students should also do an in depth analysis of the facilities provided, admission criteria, class size and apply wisely to the college that best meet their needs. At the same time, parents should also motivate to look for alternative colleges/institutes and keep a tab on their interest and aptitude for the course. Students should learn to devise an alternate plan so that they don’t have to frantically explore for options after the results are out and compromise on their choice of course.

They should not develop a lax attitude and work on developing an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. In the course of time, it will be your job knowledge and professional skills that would bear fruit for you. In other words, if you aspire to be successful in life, your determination, dedication, and strength to get past your failures and find alternatives, and the will to work hard matters the most.

(The writer is director, Aakash Institute)