Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Infosys chairman emeritus N R Narayana Murthy, "While only a couple of IITs feature in the top 50, there should be at least five IITs in the top 10 engineering schools in the world in the next 10-20 years"

Ideas without action mean nothing.


Anonymous said...

It is funny how Murthy keeps giving sermons often!!

Anonymous said...

"Ideas without action mean nothing. "

very aptly put prof giri. instead of looking elsewhere and complaining, it would be nice if we question narayana murthy about his own company's contributions.

have they created any world-class product/software?? are they doing/funding any research work in the area of computer science??

it is sad to know that most of the entrepreneurs in india are so misguided

Anonymous said...

@ 2:05 PM

true. the man is going senile i guess :S

Anonymous said...

Because of low package offered by Infosys only not-so-good students go there from whom he seems to have got impression!

Ofcourse there is a merit in his observation but saying such things like a big brother...

Ashwin Rao said...

Well said! I completely agree with you. The sad thing is everyone is not shy to complain that the gutter is chocked and the country is stinking but no one is willing to dive or give a helping hand to the people who have dived to clean the mess! Furthermore, they can only complain that the people cleaning the gutter are not doing their job well while they continue to flood the gutter with their mess!

During my studies at IITD, I came across some PhD students in the CSE dept. funded by Intel and Microsoft. However, I _never_ came across any student (even QIP) being funded by Infosys. Similarly, I never came across any BTech/MTech/PhD student who wanted to join Infosys, or Wipro after his/her studies at IITD. Does any Infosys exec have an answer to this?

Speaking of software I would like to know if any Indian IT giant, such as Infosys, has in anyways contributed to anything that reached out to the masses of India. For example, consider the font family for Hindi, Kannada, or any other regional language. Linux and Gnome desktop have support from Indian languages however has Infosys or any other IT giant actively contributed such Free Software Community programs. I am not talking about money, I am talking about mentoring projects like the Google Summer of Code.

What disappoints me more is the fetish for English by at the IT giants. Yes English is important but not at the expense of destroying other languages. What fraction of the software created by Infosys requires the knowledge of any European language or Chinese or Japanese? Is the same software (say for example banking S/W) available in an Indian language? Can any Infosys employee explain this disparity! Is the Infosys website available in any Indian language including Hindi?

Desi Babu said...

Mr. Narayana Murthy, finds himself in the strange predicament of being an extremely wealthy man, who is now suddenly thrust into the responsibility of being a "spokesman" for the technical community in India. This could be, because many misguided people think of the company he ran, as being a "technology" company.

His company, which has frequently been called a "body shop", has nothing to show for its own technical contributions, or the patronage of associated research. This has been correctly pointed out by other readers of this blog. A friend, who is a professor, once told me jokingly, "If you give me a podium, I will pontificate. I get paid to talk."

Mr. Murthy has one heck of a podium. Now we, have to suffer his pontifications.

It was fun watching Chetan Bhagat on national television, trading barbs with Mr. Murthy's stand-in from Infosys. An IIT engineer, who abandoned engineering to be a banker, and then banking, to be a writer, was defending the "glorious" technical record of the IITs. By calling a body shop a body shop, and then later, making a veiled apology for doing that.

Looks like the only people who call a spade a spade nowadays, without apologizing later, are the grave diggers. After all, they need spades, don't they?


Ankur Kulkarni said...

I think Murthy keeps picking low hanging fruits. His complaints about JEE or students are not incorrect in themselves, but are the results of a casual and superficial analysis. Harder and perhaps more important questions lie elsewhere, not in the JEE. I wish Murthy had applied his mind to those question and than peddle us this semi-boilerplate.

Anonymous said...

"Looks like the only people who call a spade a spade nowadays, without apologizing later, are the grave diggers. After all, they need spades, don't they?"

perfectly put. PEACE:)

Anonymous said...

I do not know the context in which NRN made that remark. But there is some truth in that remark. Perhaps a healthy discussion would pave the way for improving the quality of IITians. If the truth is bitter, one should have grace to accept it or if it is not true one should provide the basis for this counter view. Getting emotional, petulant or upset over a remark will not take away the attention from the fact.

Anonymous said...

@anon 10 39 pm.
well said. if a professor of iit feels that its only they who are trying to clean the mess and that works in infosys is beneath consideration, they should remember that infosys has lacks of employees which means they have lit lamps in many of the poor houses of india.

what great has iits or any of iit professors accomplished which infy hasn't? there hasn't been any path breaking research in iits either. if an unheard prof of an iit can boast about his works, why can't the founder of an IT giant?

-IIT student

L said...

Anon @10.39 is right. Many people in the IIT system have complained about the poor quality of students they get nowadays and blame it on the coaching classes. So why take umbrage when NRN says so? It may be true that Infosys is not a great company, but if even a not-so-great company is finding the IITians below par, then there is all the more reason to worry. As for sermons, anyone above 50 sermonises-and anyone below 30 resents sermons that's human nature.

Pratik Ray said...

For all the truth in his sermons it is to be noted that -
(a) he doesn't provide any solution.
(b) he (and most people) never ever go to the heart of the problem.

IIT trains only a miniscule fraction of undergrads in the country, most of who change track to managerial positions or pursue research based career abroad.

The vast majority of researchers in India come from the so called 2nd rung colleges. NRN (and most people for that matter) never ever talk of teaching and education over there. Unless you focus on the feeder chain for research in India and improve it, there isn't really much hope. But talking of the less glamorous colleges never garner you much limelight, do they?

@ anon at 12:01. If an IT guy who does no research (nor is considered a top rung IT company by most - at best being called a sweatshop) whatsoever can comment on quality research, why can't others ask him to back up his talk with action?

Anonymous said...


hi prateek. very valid points.

i think in a country as large and as diverse as ours, only decentralization of research can maybe improve the research atmosphere in the country. open science/research is the way forward.


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

@October 10, 2011 10:09 AM

there is definitely truth in the statement of Mr.Murthy. We were merely asking as to what exactly his organistion has done to change this slavish research atmosphere in india. they haven't exactly made any innovative products nor have they funded any sort of research.

also, if one looks at the big engineering schools of say the US(like MIT, Stanford, Caltech,etc), they are least bothered about the quality of undergraduates who join the institution, since it is kind of the job of the institution to train undergraduates.

they are more worried about the quality of profs and PhD students.

here in India we are more worried about the quality of BTech students rather than the quality of Profs or PhD students(who actually would determine the quality and research output of the institution much more than BTech students)

vergere6 said...

What exactly is the objective measure of student "quality"? If grades are used, for example, dipping grades could be due to a grade deflation phenomenon at the IITs, or because IIT culturals are getting better, or because Professors are getting more cranky. This kind of talk by Murthy merely demonstrates his fatuousness.

Indreesh said...

Really true. Why can't these billionaires spend some money on improving education in India. Many such people like Mukesh Ambani, Naraynana Moorthy, Big Actors etc are living only to earn more money. Why can't they help the needy. They only speak , but the statement "atleast 5 IIT's In Top Varsity rankings of the world" is really a far cry.

Anonymous said...


true. in fact we can even neglect these so called university rankings, but our main objective should be to produce good quality engineering/scientific output from india as a whole.

karthi said...

The current situation in the educatioin system is created by the people from the generation of NRN. So NRN should have indeed said our generation is responsible for the mediocre state of education in the IIT's and other educational institutes, which is the truth and reality. Blaming the students will not solve the problem. Blame the system which rears them. If IIT's had taken action at the right time the rot could have been stemmed.

Anonymous said...

"Anyway these IIT's are mentors to new IIT's - surely everyone has noticed the result of that ? A huge number of faculties appointed at these new IIT's are anyway Ph.D's from the mentors ?"

Absolutely, IIT Gandhinagar faculty are mostly Ph.D from IIT Bombay.