Thursday, November 30, 2006

Three more IITs?

Two weeks ago, Urmi Goswami of the Economic Times reported that the government plans to open three new IITs over the next five years. This comes as a surprise, since there was no prior talk (discussion? debate?) about this sort of stuff. It really makes you wonder how the government takes these decisions. As Prof. T. Jayaraman pointed out sometime ago, there's too much of 'ad hoc'-ism in formulating and implementing policy. For example, some of these questions came to my mind immediately: Why three? Why IITs? Why not NITs? Heck, why not some real universities? What is a reasonable cost per faculty (or, per student)?

Which leads me to highlight some pretty unreal estimates for the costs involved. Since we are talking super-elite institutions, these beauties don't come cheap:

Each of the new institutes would require sustained funding of Rs 650 crore annually for the first six years. Recurring costs, which would include salaries, would be at Rs 231 crore per year, while non-recurring expenditure, that is capital investment, would be at Rs 419 crore annually.

It's good to know that we have that kind of spare change to start institutions like these. Yet, I can't help feeling that this is another one of those trial balloons floated by some sarkari babu. For one, I have seen this report only in one newspaper. For another, the report doesn't mention the owner of the idea (or the position paper that's being discussed).

Who knows, the government may actually be serious about this initiative. In any case, do read the full story which, as I said, has some unreal numbers.


  1. Anonymous said...


    Thanks for printing the article. The new IITs are a reality, as mentioned in my Sept. 2006 article in

    It was wased on info received from a senior and influential member of Moily Committee. The 3 new IITs will come up in rural areas of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar at a cost of Rs. 2,500 crores each. The cost may jump to Rs. 3,000 crores or more due to inflation. Similarly 4 new extension centers of IITs will come up at an initial cost of Rs. 700-800 crores each, but will touch Rs. 2,000 crores each when completed and converted into IITs. No cost is high, if it can solve the political problem.

    The central govt. is serious about setting up new colleges. However, the decision is getting delayed, as it has to accommodate the demands from various state govts. This is based on directive from Ms. Sonia Gandhi that (after breakup with Telengana Party) no regional party should be left unsatisfied.

    Sometimes small news in newspaper are the most important in coming months than headline news. Remember a lone news about IIEST in Hindstan Times a few months ago, which no one believed? The new IIT news are published in only 1-2 newspapers so far because it is not a press release form the govt., but a private news leaked out by someone; and that other newspapers have not shown interest in it yet.

    As per published reports, the govt. is planning to set up more institutes at a total cost of Rs. 25,000 crores or more. It will include 3 new IITs, 4 IIT extension centers, 3 new IISERs (total 6), 5 IIESTs, 10 more NITs, 20 new IIITs, etc.


    Yogesh K. Upadhyaya
    New Jersey.

  2. Vivek Kumar said...

    I was about to give you the same rediff link! I had mentioned it long back here.

    As far as I can make out from the article, there indeed was prior talk. Trust me, nothing happens otherwise ;-)

  3. Anonymous said...

    I wish the government would stop spending huge amounts of money on IITs and similar things and start initiatives which benefited more people. India is getting more and more 'schooled'. Sad.

  4. Anonymous said...

    The comment above was mine.

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