The recent discussion that followed the post on IIT encouraged me to put down my thoughts on Indian education system, not just IIT.
Growing up we did not have the luxury of attending schools that were considered prestigious, nor did we have the pressure to perform in entrance exam. My mother one day dressed me up in a shirt reserved only for visits from important relatives, and told me we were going to school. I had no idea what a school was: I was too young and the word school was not part of my vocabulary. But I realized it was something important to my mother, otherwise she would not take out that shirt.