IITs, IIMs in every state?

EDU leaders across India express their opinions on the new IITs and IIMs that have been proposed for every state

The President, on June 9, 2014 announced that every state will have an Indian Institute of Technology and an Indian Institute of Management. The newly elected government is in an institution building and expansion mode. The aim is make the youth more employable. The commitment to building central educational institutions will not end with just a brick and mortar set up. The next challenge would be to recruit experienced faculty creating a top-notch learning infrastructure and appointing a capable director. With 16 IITs and ISM Dhanbad (9,784 seats) and 13 IIMs (3,334 seats) already in place, is there a need for newer ones?

(Views expressed here are personal and do not reflect those of institutions)

Firdous Wani

Registrar at Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi

New institutes without a proper backbone?-There is hardly any infrastructure in the new Indian Institutes of Technology that were established in 2008 and establishing more and that too in every state without a proper backbone will dilute the reputation of such prestigious institutions. Moreover the shortage of permanent or talented faculty along with absence of direction does not give the MHRD’s prospect good weightage.

But I also think the government needs to increase spending on higher education and replicate the model of financing of the older IITs and IIMs. The only sad part is that a lot of students who graduate out of these prestigious institutions do not contribute to the Indian economy and look to work in MNCs outside the country.

Subrata Chakraborty

Former Dean and Director in Charge

Indian Institute of Management- Lucknow

New colleges will require hand-holding to bring out useful research-The quality of central institutes does not depend on the name given to them; but I believe that new institutes will require some amount of hand holding in terms of intellectual support. They will have to be given some guidance to produce research material that is useful and practical. I also think that there is only so much that the Ministry of Human Resource development can do in terms of financial support, a strong leader in the institute will have to take small steps to stand out and be seen as an institute of repute. Since the MHRD will have to allocate extra funds for this project, a proper financial plan needs to be in place before concrete measures can be taken.

 

Babita Tyagi

Alumnus of IIT Roorkee

 Professor of Mathematics

 Galgotias University

New institutes without good teachers, futile exercise- The government needs to think of consolidating the existing Indian Institutes of Technology before building new ones. I believe that the biggest roadblock is the lack of good teachers, which will be created once so many new institutes are set up. The government believes that the IITs and IIMs in each state will improve the quality of research in institutes. Although it is true that the research sector in India is ignored, a concrete plan has not been furnished to improve this. One also does not know how well the central universities are doing at present in terms of research. So, what is the basis of the assurance that Indian research will improve? The trend that I see during the time of admissions is that students prefer to study in National Institutes of Technology rather than the newer IITs that were set up in 2008. Only the reputations and legacy of older IITs has remained intact. The ministry’s focus should be on making the IITs that are still in their nascent stage, better, before setting up newer ones.

Shamughaperumal Sivasubramanian

Advisor, Noorul Islam University

Former VC of Bharatiar and NI University

Institutes with promise can be upgraded to IITs/ IIMs- The investment required to create these central universities should not be construed as an unwanted expenditure which will affect economy. This is an infrastructural investment that is needed to build quality educational institutions. I think that state universities with good potential can be upgraded to become either IITs or IIMs depending on their expertise. This could in turn solve the problem of the faculty as experienced teachers can be retained. I don’t think that the setting up of newer IITs and IIMs will affect the already established institutions. I believe that the progress of both the older IITs and the new ones that will be set up can go hand in hand. Some tough decisions need to be taken to motivate and pull up existing IITs and IIMs to perform better.

K Sreenadh

Asst. Professor of Mathematics,

 Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi

Nascent institutes can be at par with older ones in due time- The IIT brand was not built overnight and hence the idea of building of new IITs and IIMs in each state should be realised. The only thing is that it may not be a good idea to build such institutes in remote areas or states like Kashmir or Nagaland just for the sake of having central institutions in each state. We should have more of them (IITs) in prominent places like Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Vishakapatnam and Raipur. The infrastructure of the older institutes should be improved simultaneously with the older ones. I believe that there is a lot of black money floating around which will be put to good use in the process of building high-class institutes.

Raja Rao

Advisor and Professor

 R V College of Engineering, Bangalore

Government could work on PPP model- While on the one hand the government wants to encourage private universities, on the other hand it has the vision of creating IITs and IIMs in each state. When one looks at the western universities we see that the innovations in research have come from privately-funded universities. Not to disregard the fact that central institutes have not done their bit, the government should work on a Public-Private Partnership model. Secondly just building infrastructure is not a substitute to faculty.

There is a dearth of quality faculty in many technical universities and colleges. I also see that the students generally prefer to study in the older, reputed IITs, hence it is not a bad idea to focus on improving faculty there. Another alternative to establishing newer institutes is to strengthen the National Institutes of Technology with funding as they already have infrastructure, they can also be upgraded to IIT status.

Manish M Doshi

Senate Member,

Gujarat University

Need to Improve quality in older IITs and IIMs- Although the vision of building IITs and IIMs in each state is an investment for the nation’s future in the education sector, the benchmark in these institutes is their quality. Thus I think it is very important to iron out problems in the existing institutes first. The ministry needs to focus on appointing full-time faculty and maintaining the standard of education, only then should there be talk about newer institutions. I think the promise of the MHRD that the newer institutions will improve research seems promising, but quality of good higher vocational education still remains a challenge in the country.

S Chinnam Reddy

Dean - Faculty of Management,

Marwadi Education Foundation, Rajkot

Quantity of institutions cannot be a substitute for quality- I believe that channelling efforts, funds and giving existing IITs and IIMs good direction will give the institutions the much needed quality. Increasing the number of central institutions can never be substituted to the quality of reputed institutions. It is also important to build good infrastructure. Quite a few of the newly established IITs are running from either local engineering college campuses or inadequate government buildings. Hence strengthening faculty and infrastructure is the need of the hour. If one has to think of how the proposed institutions will create a good research atmosphere; one must first gauge the work that is being done in the central universities and fuel research there as well.


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