EDU: Will the move to create IITs and IIMs in every state dilute the reputation of these institutes?
Babita Tyagi: Reputation of old IITs will remain the same as most students prefer to study in older IITs. In fact if a student is unable to make it to the older IITs he or she prefers to go to established and reputed NITs rather than enrolling in the newer IITs.
EDU: It is being said that the setting up of central institutes in each state will improve the quality, research and innovation in Indian institutes. What is your take on this?
Babita Tyagi: We do not know where this assurance is coming from as we don’t know if all central universities/institutes are doing well. Research is of course a sector that is manipulated or ignored in India and needs greater focus.
EDU: Eight IITs and six IIMs were set up in 2008. Should the MHRD focus on their improvement before setting up new ones?
Babita Tyagi: Building up new IITs without consolidating the existing ones would be a futile exercise. The biggest roadblock would be lack of good teachers.
EDU: Setting up an IIT on an average costs Rs 1,750 crore and an IIM needs Rs 1,000 crore and land from states for free. Would this affect the country's economy and budget?
Babita Tyagi: Yes, definitely. Instead of spending on this project the same budget could be allocated to create facilities for educating students from less privileged rural backgrounds and for economically weaker sections of the society or even totally unrelated projects to education like building roads would make greater sense.