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A few months ago, I interviewed 2 candidates from IIT Madras for my startup.

The institution was so reputed and the round 1 assignment submission was so impeccable that I was considering giving them an offer even before starting their final interviews. 

The moment I started probing the first candidate into his assignment submission, his responses started becoming off the topic. 

I felt he didn't understand my question. 

So, I took another attempt at rephrasing my question. 

He suddenly dropped off in the middle of the interview without any notice (perks of virtual interviews). 

The 2nd interviewee wasn't any different. 

I was frankly amused and appalled at this behavior.

My team later found that our assignment and solutions were available on the internet. Didn't take rocket science for us to find out candidates' solutions were the copied ones on internet. 

While Im not against copy-pasting assignment, but I was astonished at the complete ill-preparedness with such copied assignments.

We later came up with our in-house assignment to save time.

However, I was left wondering- what poor situation is our academic institutions? And this is the state of the top minds of our country. 

Over the months of hiring and taking 100+ interviews for the Global Governance Initiative, I have realized 2 things-

1. One's degree only signals limited things. 

Enrolling and learning in good academic institutions are two very different things. A good pedigree may only communicate so much.

Mind you, I am saying this while being an output of St. Stephen's College, Delhi and Indian School of Business myself. So no biases. 

2. Our generation will continue to deteriorate as long as we will promote grades based and not research-driven learning culture. 

There are multiple factors that define an individual's success. 

The reality is degree is just one of them ✊.

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