What is IIT JAM? A brief discussion
The Joint Aptitude for M.Sc., more popular as IIT-JAM, is an annual exam held each year in the month of February, for admission in the elite institutions, chiefly the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. This objective exam is for the four branches of Natural Sciences – Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. The eligibility condition, obviously is a Graduation degree in the respective subject with a minimum 55% aggregate with no age limit.
The exam is, however, more than just an entrance test. To understand the social significance of the exam, and it’s importance, an idea of the education system and scenario in India is required. India is a developing country, and has a very steep slope when it comes to development, chiefly in terms of education and living standards. From CEO’s of Google and Microsoft to having one of the world’s Largest university – IGNOU, our country has it all. Our medical sciences are far praised around the world, as much as our delicacies! But there’s a major inclination to vocational education in our society.
Courses like Engineering, Medicine, Management, Law etc. is what is preferred by students and parents alike – not because of what these careers have to offer, but chiefly because of the monetary promises that these courses provide. In the ’80s and ’90’s, having a mere graduation degree was considered to be top notch. Since the introduction of modern day computing and an industrial and technological revolution in the society, introduced by the then Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the shift to the industrial system of education became noticeable. Today the digitization and freedom our country offers us has enabled us to explore even newer careers, each of them offering promising lives.
The development in our country had been based on the technology and knowledge provided to us by the foreign dominators like Russia and United States. We had always relied on the grace these superpowers and their education industry have bestowed on us. However, this was not ‘entirely’ true. Our country has given birth to a number of scientific minds. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, J.C. Bose, Srinivas Ramanujan, Chandrashekhar, C.V. Raman, Satyanarendra Nath Bose, Tessy Thomas, Asima Chatterjee, Kalpana Chawla, Paramjeet Khurana, S. Dhawan, H. J. Bhabha, and countless other eminent scholars have contributed to our society and have influenced us in every way – small and big. These are the few people who follow the spirit of development of our country in it’s purest form, for something much greater and significant – building the pride and independence of this nation. And this is what inspires us to pursue another aspect of the development field – Research and Development (R&D).
The Indian Institute of Science, popularly known as IISc Bangalore, is ranked 8th in the world for it’s education quality, infrastructure, research work and prospects. Similar are institutes like IIT, IISER, NISER, BARC, TIFR, NIT, IIEST, SLIET etc. Their reputation in the educational industry is unparalleled, not just in India but abroad as well. People from the entire globe aspire to study in these institutes. And the entrance exam in discussion – IIT-JAM is the direct ticket to enter these institutes.
The exam offers admission to do post graduation, research, integrated Ph.D., and get splendid placements as research fellows and Government recognized young scientists of our country. And as the young scientists, we form the very basis of the entire growth and development of our country. And this responsibility is appreciated by the government as well, by the innumerable perks that are provided. It’s a fact that only 0.5% of the world’s population holds a Ph.D. degree. As such, people who pursue this career are much in demand, as visible by salaries multiple times higher than engineering average placements, 50,000 INR stipend per month to junior research fellows to encourage research, never-ending job opportunities in the various colleges and research centres, not to forget the IAS cadre benefits given to professors of top colleges and the enormous amount of respect our society provides. Qualifying the exam, however, requires to remember that JAM is nothing like the engineering entrance exams, where shortcuts and conceptual knowledge helped us achieve our goals. This exam requires you to have a thorough understanding of the degree level of that subject – theoretical, conceptual and practical knowledge, and a scientific and simplistic approach, rather than memorizing the methods and questions!
IIT JAM is not easy, but it’s not difficult either. With a very pure and deep knowledge and regular practices, and proper guidance, the exam becomes very easy to crack. And considering the amazing career that qualifying this exam provides, hard work is definitely worth it!