Monday, May 15, 2006

New IITs?


Check out this report in the Deccan Herald:

To meet the burgeoning demands for human resources in the global market, the Centre plans to create more world-class institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology, in the 11th plan that will begin in 2007.

This was indicated by Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Thursday at a function here to celebrate Technology Day, which commemorates the 1998 Pokhran tests.

“Many more IITs should be created to expand our capacity for creating skilled people. We are paying a lot of attention to have new IITs, in the 11th plan,” Dr Ahluwalia said, adding that the Centre would prefer to create new institutes rather than rename or upgrade the existing institutes.

If these institutions are going to be created from scratch, whatever happened to the plan to upgrade a bunch of 7 engineering colleges?

* * *

Yogesh Upadhyaya points to this article in the Financial Times with news about the status of the scheme to upgrade the seven engineering colleges. See his comment below.

8 Comments:

  1. Krish said...

    I still feel that more IITs imply dilution of quality. I have been following the faculty appointments in some of the departments in IITB and IITM. I feel that about 30% of them (I am putting it conservatively) are absulutely worthless. I have seen it first hand in some cases. Under such a scenario, what is the guarantee that they are going to maintain the quality in the hiring process if they are going to start more IITs. Also the value will stay at the current level only if supply is below the demand. Once supply meets the demand or becomes surplus, the value is goin' to go down. I may be wrong in my analysis but this is what i felt when I heard about increasing the number.

  2. yogesh upadhyaya said...

    Dear Abi:

    There is another news item today:

    http://www.financialexpress.com/latest_full_story.php?content_id=127171

    This is just a general news item, stating that all seven colleges are to be upgraded.

    It is true that govt. is anxious to declare more IITs due to various reasons. To promise general category students next year the same seats as those in current year (4,600 out of total 6,000 seats), the total IITs seats for next year (when OBC factor will be considered) is 9,200 seats. Assuming IITs increase their seats by 10% in a year (which is average), still our country will need 5 more IITs (with 500 students/yr in each). There is also tremendous pressure from business houses to increase seats at premier colleges to produce quality students. Foreign investors demand it as part of condition for setting up new industries.

    Hpefully, with the change in mind by WB govt., there will be a happy end very quickly. In the news item, it is not clear who asked the question in the parliament and under what context. However, May 10-23 is the window of opportunity for the govt. to announce any decision during this supplementary budget session of the parliament.

    By sending indirect news (about setting up brand new IITs, AMU/BHU being granted IIT status, etc.) govt. wants to increase pressure on West Bengal govt. to make up its mind and give up control over BEC

    Thanks,

    Yogesh K. Upadhyaya
    Chemical 1977, IT-BHU
    New jersey, USA

  3. barbarindian said...

    I still feel that more IITs imply dilution of quality.

    And quotas do not?

  4. pennathur said...

    Just 7 new IITs. We need about 50 if not 75 new ones and about 20 overnight. More seats is the least we need. New faculty - really good ones who do research and publish - radically overhauled curriculum; and students being selected for not simply scoring marks (even if these students would do well any way you tested them) but for aptitude too. And what are the numerous professional societies doing? Why is a ramshackle and decrepit organisation like AICTE calling the shots. Does the Indian Institute of Metals have an opinion on how many meattalurgy graduates we need? Or does the CSI know how many new CS grads we need? There are about 50 upgradable institutes/colleges. how about starting with them. IIT-D used to be simple college of engg. before it was upgraded. and of course good accounted for money should be allowed in without limit. Instead of the AP/TN/Kar/Mah model where black money was used to capitalise the schools how about letting corporate money in?

    The record of enlightened capitalist funding of education in India is quite good. IISc, the Manipal schools and BHU (and the Annamalai University at one time) are notable examples.

  5. Abi said...

    Krish: I don't think we are in any danger of the supply of seats in IIT ever going beyond the demand!

    Yogesh: Thanks for that link! Things are a lot clearer. The question I posed in my post was largely addressed to you, so that we can get some sort of an update! Thanks again. I look forward to the day when the seven institutions become IITs.

    Barbarindian: Chill out, will you? You are so fixated on reservation ...

    Shiva: I too look forward to a time when a large number of private universities (real ones! not one of those engineering colleges!) dotting the Indian landscape. It's only a matter of time before our industry lobby manages to convince our government. In the meantime, however, the record of our 'self-financing' colleges has not been stellar (with a handful of honourable exceptions, of course).

  6. cipher said...

    Why give the brand name IIT to any college at all. IITs are like the old time Ivy League .Let it stay that way. Why should a BHU want to become an IIT. Let it get the same autonomy the same independence, funding and entrance exam if they want but why this obsession of getting an IIT name. Let these colleges build up a name of their own and not try to cash the already thinned cow.
    We have this irritating habit of killing the golden goose. I would say 7 IITs are enough. Let a new era start. Lets build a different brand. Let the IITs thrive in peace.

  7. barbarindian said...

    Increasing the capacity of IITs is a sound idea. We have discussed how it can be done in our blog:

    How to increase seats in IITs

  8. Rahul said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.