Thursday, November 30, 2006

Pankaj Jalote: IITs are slipping in world rankings

Pankaj Jalote, a professor of computer science at IIT-D (and whose ideas we have covered earlier), has a ToI op-ed today about the continuing slide of IITs in world rankings. After presenting some ideas about the ways in which IITs need to change to stem the slide, he concludes his column on a dim note:

IITs have suitable structures to potentially implement such schemes and lead the way, if they get the right leadership and necessary autonomy.

Unfortunately, the leadership of these institutes, being a beneficiary of political patronage, is unwilling to take any bold moves.

They have tended to play safe and keep the ministry happy, rather than bring about innovation and controversial changes. So, changes are undoubtedly needed, without which Indian institutions will continue to slide.

But it is doubtful whether any movement along this direction will be undertaken. That is why I believe that IITs will continue slipping in global rankings, despite having the potential to improve.


  1. Madhat said...

    Jalote is a prof from Kanpur.. Not D.
    I agree with him when he says that the IITs are going to continue their slide. I do not think there is a healthy environment there.

  2. ak said...

    @Madhat: He has shifted to Delhi now.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Salary is not always the issue. It is the environment around your job and senior people's mindset those are important. IIT directors voices their concerns about faculty shortages. Have they ever tried to take bold decision to make offer that is compatible to incumbent expectation? One such thing is recruiting at all levels. it says in the advertisement in the press. You apply with 5 fold higher than average credential of an IIT Prof. You will not be offered professorship, maximum one has to expect is Associate. One has to prove again in IIT system. They say it is easy to perform in the West and not so in the IITs so let us see you how you do here. Labour laws in India do not allow IIT to terminate a faculty contracts so offering professorship to a guy from outside is risky. What is the guarantee that an AP/ASP will perform in 100 percent case, can they be sacked? At most their promotion be delayed but eventually every one will be made professor irrespective of what they do. What is wrong giving everyone a five year contract and review after that based on performance? Why cann't govt offer such autonomy to IITs. People in fixed term contract initially perform better than people on permanent contract. It is the mindset that needs changing. Senior faculty cherishes to see that junior faculty also slogs and spend certain number of years in IIT before being elevated to top position.

  4. sadku said...

    Well the attitude and mindset of the profs out here and the narrow-mindedness of the administration in our country can turn the world's most reputed institute into ruins! definitely, the ranking is slipping and its an ignominy for us the indians to know that only iit delhi and iit mumbai cud make thru to the top 200 universities in the world, getting 154 and 174 rank respectively. And undoubtedly iitjee is the toughest competition in the world....still other universities, not only in foriegn but in india, where u don't have to put ur sweat to sneak in, are moving up in rankings.... there's and urgent need to introspect and take wise risks to improve the present scenario..