Avoid remote locations to establish institutions

MK Surappa, Director, IIT Ropar shares his views on what Indian institutions can do to strive for excellence

For a world-class campus, we need talented and motivated students and faculty. They should be passionate about research and we must provide them with first rate research infrastructure. We also need to have a lot of interaction with other different institutions from around the world. We should collaborate on student and faculty exchange as also on research projects. Visiting faculty from overseas and other campuses from within the country help in making research and teaching on the campus richer. Most importantly, we must inculcate a passion in students and faculty to work towards creating world-class standards. We have to motivate them to work on objective plans. For this to be possible,

we have to ensure constant interactions between various stakeholders. One of the parameters that go into making an institution world class is the number of publications coming from its stables. Indian institutions have various sets of parameters. However, the need to publish high quality research papers must be clearly articulated among them.

Universities like MIT are clear about the need to publish quality research output and have citations. Other parameters like having Nobel Laureates on your faculty are harder to achieve. However, high quality research output is something that we can strive for.

We must have clear policies regarding increasing the number of PhDs and improving the quality of research involved. In order to implement any policy for increasing research output, we first must create the infrastructure to support it.

Infrastructure is critical to motivate students and faculty.

The government should not build institutions in remote locations which cannot support worldclass infrastructure. Great institutions are built only in places that have good connectivity. If you look at any established institution in India, none of them are in a backward area.

Indian institutions are definitely not at the top of the heap, but this situation can be changed.

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