Thursday, May 26, 2005


Sanjay Dani has a guest column at Rediff making a strong case for why IT-BHU (from where I got my Bachelors degree) should become an IIT.

Yesterday, Yogesh Upadhyaya wrote another guest column at Rediff on the new, new set of colleges, some of which could be made IITs.

There is one word that really sticks out in your mind after reading both the columns: politics. But I guess on high profile, high stakes matters like these, it is inevitable.

Having said that, I have got to say that Upadhyaya's column is a veritable goldmine: it gives lots of figures, relative rankings -- along different dimensions, funding, faculty strength, faculty qualification, faculty/student ratio, and so on. Take a look at funding, for example: IITs get about 900 million to 1.3 billion rupees each per year, while lesser engineering colleges get about 100 million to 200 million each; IT-BHU, being a Central University gets about 400 million (Alas, we don't get a picture of how this figure breaks up into routine and capital expenditures).

Having learnt my lesson from an earlier episode (see my comment -- at No. 5 -- in the post on the Deepak Nayyar interview), I will wait for the Oracle of Chennai (a.k.a. Satya whose blog Education in India has pretty much the final word) to present his analysis. Over to you, Satya!


  1. Anonymous said...

    Is there any reason that makes an Institute premier other than the government's kainkaryam? Even assuming one Institute has grown bigger than another does it mean that it has managed to hire better faculty/produce better research/conduct better teaching sessions etc. Even if it has achieved all these things does t mean that it has done anything intrinsically to hire/research/teach or has simply enjoyed these as the result of a governmental decision? Our institutions can be called so only in the slackest sense of the term. There is no attempt to encourage the development of a culture, tradition or leadership. Much that has happened is entirely because of lick. Running extended bureacratic departments and expecting these entities to become research institutions is a fantasy. All decisions regarding our institutions of higher learning are political and depend upon the proximity of the leader to a few big wigs and the first family of India. The older generation of scientists had their way and were more or less equals of the politicians of the day. These days some IAS officer is going to decide the fate of an institution.

  2. Anonymous said...

    I'm quite flattered by your words, thanks Abi. But my current understanding and appreciation of education is still far from good enough for a critical analysis, let alone having the final word :-) There's a long way to go to reach that stage. The tag line on my general blog (at, attributed to Charles the Bold, sums up my feeling - "It is not necessary to hope in order to undertake, nor to succeed in order to persevere."

    About BHU, I was very impressed the first time I heard about BHU. I think it is the the only true blue university in India with wide ranging faculties including arts, commerce, education, law, management, science and engineering, social sciences, agriculture and medicine under one roof, like Harvard, Cornell, Stanford and many other universities in the U.S. If Madan Mohan Malaviya envisioned and set up a self-contained university like this as early as 1919, I wonder why it didn't become a model for others to follow. Why and how did most of our universities come to be affiliating bodies largely, with bulk of the actual teaching being farmed out to the affiliated colleges? Worth finding out.

    Another suprising thing is that most of the times I have heard of BHU, I've heard of it only in the context of IT-BHU. I've not heard much about the other disciplines that are part of BHU. Is it just me who hasn't heard about the other disciplines or is there some other reason for the other departments not being as well known as IT-BHU? Can anyone from BHU throw some light?

  3. Anonymous said...

    In Response to what Satya said :

    I agree that IT-BHU has been more famous in past 25-30 years as compared with other faculty/department of BHU. But there are other departments & faculties in BHU which is as good as (if not better) and as famous as IT-BHU. Institute of Medical Sciences(IMS) is one of the prestigious medical institute in the country. Agriculture institue has tried and succeded in getting patents of bio products (e.g. turmeric). Science faculty is known for its advance research projects (e.g. MoterBike running with H2O2) and Physics & Zoology are two "centre of advance studies" as acreditted by UGC. Eminent scientists like Prof Shanti swaroop Bhatnagar, Prof Jayant Narliker has been associated with BHU as either student or teacher. It also offers courses in Computer science and computer applications and students passed out from these courses are placed at high positions in the industry. Its law school is rated among top 3 law schools in the country and some of the teachers are consulted by government in important constitutional matters.

    Inspite of all these achievements and high tradition of scientific orientation, BHU has not received exposure which it deserves. Probably situation would have been different had BHU been situated in any of the metros or any big city. Having done my Bachelors & masters from BHU, when I compare different universities(I am not including IITs/IISc in university) of the country with respect to their quality of students, entrance criteria, no of research papers, No of research projects under professors, No of classes in a year, No of fellowships granted by UGC/CSIR, I find BHU much above most of them.

  4. Anonymous said...
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  5. Anonymous said...

    If you people have not heard about BHU, then I can't help you out. How many times did you bother ever to know other faculty. Did you know the faculty profile of Science Faculty. Man, come out of the the this IT-BHU much hyped saga. Actually not a single one from IT-BHU has dome anything substantially in scientific domain. And in corporate world too they are just treated as a good tool to use and specially for Infy like mass recruiter and very few persons get quality job. How many of you at undergrad level have any publication in any reputed journal? There is hardly any PostDoc faculty, even PhD's are very few. I found at present some faculty are just BE/BTech that too from Purvanchal University.And you claim blah blah blah.. What is all that? Did you ever tried to know the best school in IT-BHU is SMST and the faculty working for which SMST is well known, are from Physics Department or Chemistry Department. I really don't get why you people are starving for an 'I- an iota'. Satya is right,in the scinetific domain BHU has a prominent role and not IT-BHU. I repeat and can cite several facts what Satya and pratyush has already cited some, this varsity is the best. Don't go for the ranking and all crap. See the selection level of students and the infrastructure you will realise it is best place to be and study there. And great scientist S.S. Bhatnagar once prof in chemistry dept post independence came from Lahore has penned down himself the kulgeet "Madhur Manohar Ativ Sundar , Ye Vishva Vidhya Ki Rajdhani..". Though I have been to IIT (A graduate of IIT-G) but I find BHU unparallel and you can rank it with IITs and IISc and not less than them even. We just need to provide some more facilities like internet access round the clock in depts and even hostel. There is nothing rest at other factor it is less than any of its peers. I don't count and even don't think any Indian University to match it. No way. But for that I again advocate never ask for IT-BHU to be an IIT-V kind of rubbish demand. IT-BHU is not less than any IIT, so far it is in BHU as an integral part. Have a high self esteem. If IIT is a brand like MIT of US then BHU is like Harvard, Princeton, OXFORD and CAMBRIDGE. How better ranking Harvad can have but the glory and charm of OXFORD and CAMBRIDGE can never get diminish before Harvard. So, is BHU=Oxbridge. Let's market this brand rather than running after an IIT. I beleive someday, again BHU will regain it's forefront role and will establish again to be a global selling brand. This time the task rest with the IT-BHU studnets especially as what basic science has to offer they have done and they are doing in research as well producing qualified people theough now a days very few people are opting for higher education as a career so is the number. So, think over it.