Monday, May 30, 2011

Kakodkar Committee Report: Part 4. Catch'em Young

A bold plan for a 10-fold increase in PhD graduates within a decade demands equally bold plans to get PhD students into the IITs in the first place.

One of those plans involves "attracting youngsters working in industry to join part-time PhD programmes" [my emphasis], and the Committee feels that the IITs should be able to admit 2500 of these candidates every year.

Here's another idea from the Committee:

Admitting bright undergraduate (UG) students for PhD at the end of their 3rd year undergraduate engineering programme from any institute in India. The IITs would have to take up a programme to identify such students purely on the basis of their academic performance of the past 3 years, recommendations from their teachers and evaluation of their research potential as identified through an interview (conducted by the IITs). Once identified, these students would be admitted immediately in an IIT and would complete their B.Tech programme as well as their PhD in about 5 years’ time. The UG degree could be awarded by the institute they came from and the PhD in due course by IIT. The IITs should aim to take 2500 such youngsters for PhD programmes from this stream every year. [My emphasis]

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Anyways, this suggestion reminded me of what is said to have happened in another elite research institution a long time ago ...