Monday, May 30, 2011

Kakodkar Committee Report: Part 3. The Vision Thing

Even if you don't feel like reading the rest of the report, you really ought to check out Chapter 3. IITs as Research Institutions. Just look at the bold plans proposed by the Kakodkar Committee:

  1. A four-fold increase in faculty strength in the next ten years -- from under 4000 now, to about 16,000.

  2. A whopping 10-fold increase in graduates -- from about 1000 now, to about 10,000 by 2024.

  3. The intake at the BTech and MTech levels will also go up to 20,000 each.

  4. By 2024-25, the total student strength at the IITs will be 160,000 [80,000 BTech, 40,000 MTech and 40,000 PhD students] spread out, possibly, over 20 IITs!

As the Committee says:

We recommend that the IITs should strive to increase the number of PhD graduates from the currently less than 1000 PhD students graduating each year, to 10,000 research scholars graduating every year by 2024–25. As a PhD student would normally take 4 years to complete the programme, 10,000 PhD scholars need to be admitted to the PhD programme at IITs by 2020–21. This is the minimum number that would be required to meet the country’s requirements. For 20 IITs, it would mean an average of 500 PhDs. The stablished IITs have to strive to reach a number of 800 to 900 PhDs graduating each year, so as to provide leeway and time to the newer IITs to gear up.

The first reaction of most would be that such a scale up is not possible. While it would not be an easy task, we would suggest the means to ensure that such numbers are indeed achieved. There is little doubt that such numbers are required by India. [My emphasis]

I love the way the Committee has chosen to back up the bold plans with even bolder assertions. There's little doubt! Minimum for our country! 10,000 PhDs! All from IITs!

As I said, this is the most amazing chapter -- filled with what former US President (1989-92) George HW Bush called "The Vision Thing."


  1. Phani said...

    Most of the Departments in IITs do not fill their sanctioned strength of research scholars. This is in spite of conducting interviews twice a year, and also special interviews to convert M.Techs and MS students to PhD as and when a candidate desires. The selection ratio for new entrants is not so steep either. Yet if the quote is not being filled, it is because there are not enough suitable candidates among the applicants. First we should aim to fill the sanctioned strength and then aim to increase it. PhD scholarship stands at 18K/month for first two years and 20K/month for next two years. But what would the student do after (s)he gets the PhD? If that answer is clear, there could be more willing candidates taking up this programme.

  2. R.Shabadi said...

    I very much agree with Phani. I think, with the IT/BT sector offering so much to the students right from their BE, one would wonder what more doing Ph.D. could bring to them? More over what after? the question is not clear to many. I haven't seen any industry paying more to a phd graduate than a BE with similar age with working experience. Job sector after the Ph.D is not that great in India in my opinion. In today's scenario, 18-20Ks do not really appeal to the students as I understand. That is also a reason for not being able to fill the present quota of seats. By the way, does anyone have a figure for the total allocated Ph.D seats per IIT/year? Is there any number like that? or its all floue?

  3. Ajay B Harish said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  4. WebMiner said...

    "My question is where will you place all these PhDs for jobs?!" --- oh come on, Sibal Chacha will open yet more IITs in every chawl to absorb the graduates! Surely you know how Ponzi schemes work?