What do IITs lack that top US universities have?
While IIT is a great school, here are some of the key points why someone would prefer studying at top US universities over IIT
Teamwork : Since IIT is such a big name in India, there is a lot of competition etched in a student’s mind from the very beginning (entrance JEE exam) and in university itself. Students tend to look out for their own self without realising that nothing can be done with working as a team.
Having a motley of students in their university life : Top US universities like Harvard, CMU, Stanford have programs offered other than engineering (liberal arts college, business). The engineering students in these colleges have interactions with other non engineering students that helps them to broaden their view point and think a little outside the engineering box. It helps them realise that while they have a technical view point - there are other brilliant kids in fields such as management that could help them execute a task with an executive stand.
Relatively high resources per student capita as a result of endowments worth billions of dollars with relatively miniscule corruption which would allow them to have access to -
a) A great faculty
b) A better faculty to student ratio that would allow the students more individual attention
c) Access to cutting edge lab equipments and other such research resources
d) Collaborations with national labs, research institutions and industry R&D sectors for student involvement during term, internships during holidays and possible recruitment after graduation. For example : NASA that hires a lot of students from top universities for their work and study (CO-OP program)
In order to get into IIT you have to do spectacular in Physics, Chem, Math and your IIT entrance exams. Almost zero emphasis is given to someone who has a more practical approach to engineering (example - can build something). This leads to a freshman class who has been bogged down into just clearing exams and minds with not much space for “innovative” thinking.
Some IIT campuses in India have a very low female population - it could be as much as 5-10% females in a class at any given time.
Infrastructure - While some of the IIT campuses have a state of art infrastructure (IIT Bombay, Delhi) the other rural campuses do not have a great infrastructure. The towns that rural campuses are in are still developing and so do not even have basic shopping malls, cinemas etc.
While I have highlighted mostly the disadvantages of studying at IIT - please do note that in India and worldwide it is still an extremely prestigious school producing some of the country’s top talent and extremely brilliant graduates
Completly agree with @s.jham. Additionally the pressure laid onto kids from a young age on the name of becoming an IITian has complectly neglected their innovative and creative approach toward their intrest in engineering. Also the cut throat competion makes IITians extremely good at the theory part.
Funfact : ( annually 1.3 million people take the entrance test to IIT called JEE main, and out of which only 100,000 make it to JEE advanced and finally only around 20,000 make it) .
This heavy emphasis on theory compared to the hands-on and practical approach provided by top US universities places them slightly under the talent ladder.
Hope this helps