There was a section of a news article with heading:

Will the focus on multiple disciplines not dilute the character of single-stream institutions, such as IITs?

From the heading I concluded that it is asking whether the transformation of a single-stream institutes into a multi discipline institute, will it not impact(negatively) the discipline for which the institution was build in the first place.

IITs are engineering institutes, so if humanities get included in the IITs then will not this affect the quality of IITs as an engineering institute.

My friend on the other hand do not agree with what I have concluded. He is saying that the heading means the following:

Till now an engineering student only learns about engineering and from now on the students of engineering will also learn about different subjects, so will this dilute the capability of a student as an engineer?

My friend pointed out the article following the heading that see here the director is saying that an engineering student must learn about different fields.

Both of us cannot be correct so please clarify the doubt on whether I or my friend is correct.

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  • @WeatherVane Sir I am just asking the meaning of the heading. Me and my friend were opposing each other and so what I thought the meaning is and what my friend thought, I have included in my question. – Singh Aug 1 at 14:50
  • @WeatherVane Sir it will be really helpful if you post an answer with your explaining. In particular here I am interested in the explicit meaning of the heading. – Singh Aug 1 at 15:01
  • I converted my comments to an answer, but whether it is true that offering other courses will dilute the character of those institutions is off-topic here. You and your friend seem to be having a difference of opinion on that matter. – Weather Vane Aug 1 at 15:15

This question in this heading

Will the focus on multiple disciplines not dilute the character of single-stream institutions, such as IITs?

can be rephrased as

Won't the focus on multiple disciplines dilute the character of single-stream institutions, such as IITs?

which makes it a reasonably clear question. The asker supposes that broadening the courses on offer will result in the dilution of the character of those institutions.

Please note the similar phrasing in The Merchant of Venice

Do we not bleed?"


Don't we bleed [like other people]?

Questions are sometimes phrased that way for emphasis, as though the answer is a foregone conclusion, as in a rhetorical question.

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