“Don’t dilute IITs”..
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s initiative to establish eight new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) has drawn flak from his own scientific adviser CNR Rao, who said Friday that the opening of so many new IITs is a “disaster”.
“Opening so may IITs in one year is a disaster. I had no idea that so many IITs have already come up in our country,”(link)
The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), are a group of seven autonomous engineering and technology-oriented institutes of higher education established and declared as Institutes of National Importance by the Government of India. In the order of establishment the seven IITs are located at Kharagpur, Mumbai, Chennai, Kanpur, Delhi, Guwahati, and Roorkee. About 15,500 undergraduate and 12,000 graduate students study in the seven IITs, in addition to research scholars.
The IITs receive disproportionately high grants compared to other engineering colleges in India. Corpus funds in the IITs (other than Guwahati and Roorkee) are between Rs 60 and Rs 120 crore (Rs 600 million- Rs 1.2 billion).Other sources of funds include student fees and research funding from industry. This has translated into superior infrastructure and better faculty in the IITs and consequently higher competition among students to gain admissions into the IITs.
While the government has proposed to set up eight new IITs in the 11th Plan, admissions to six new IITs, albeit subject to the approval of the “competent authority of the Government of India”, are likely to take place during the counselling session of JEE 2008. .Of the six, the Punjab, Bhubaneswar and Rajasthan IITs have started classes from campuses of their mentor institutes — in Delhi, Kharagpur and Kanpur, respectively. The IITs in Hyderabad, Gandhinagar and Patna have started classes from temporary campuses — abandoned polytechnics — mentored by the institutes in Chennai, Mumbai and Guwahati, respectively.
Now comes the issue of diluting the brand equity and quality of education.There is no argument over the quality of infrastructure and faculty in IITs. The students enrolled there have to go through a high profile screening ,and those who pass the test,are obviously intelligent or bookish enough to prosper ,no matter where they enroll,may it be IITs or an online university..Of course,being in a studious enviornmnet can make a lot of difference,that too having lot of facilities like library,experienced faculty and like is a great advantage.But times are changing and now there are many many institutes offering the same facilities,of course with a higher price.
Not many cries loud when new ‘hi-fi’ private institutions pops up,that too with very high fees..Then why do they find it absolutely irrational that there are new IITs coming up,offering quality stuff at a cheaper fees?The fully flourished ones today were not ‘born’ as such..Rather,they evolved to a state of having lot of facilities and in due course,corrected and improved themselves,a process which took decades and didn’t happen in one fine morning..Baby IITs cannot be compared to IIT Mardas and Kharagpur..They’ll take time..Rather than trying to pull them down in the accuse of ‘dilution’,established ones/mentors should help them come up..Afterall,its an ample opportunity for the aspiring ones.
The alumni,who sob about ‘dilution’ aren’t worth it,as they study using people’s tax,and later fly abroad to make a good fortune for themselves..Why not create a pool of eligible ones,out of which atleast a few opts to stay back and be loyal?My small brain tells me that baby IITs are required as they will soon flourish,provided government and mentor institutes are supportive.It is true that there aren’t enough faculty.Why not increase the compensation,since there is a huge huge huge difference between pay in industry and in universities,for the same qualified person?
Where there is a will,there is a way..
I recall Saif making a comment in ‘Salam Namaste’,”Yeah bacche aise nasty kyun hai?,Why aren’t they born adults”????