Saturday, May 27, 2006


A letter to SAC-PM, Knowledge commission and planning commission of India

From: Chitta Baral Mailed-By:
To:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, "K. VijayRaghavan"
Date: May 27, 2006 7:42 AM
Subject: Correcting flaws in the list of proposed Indian Institute of Engineering Sc and Technology -- combining quality with regional balance please

Dear Esteemed Planning commission, Knowledge commission and SAC-PM members:

Recently there has been thoughts about establishing several
IIEST (Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technologies) as IIT couisins.

The article at,0035.htm
mentions that the five institute that were chosen were

1. Bengal Engineering and Science University,
2. Institute of Technology, Beneras Hindu University,
3. Cochin University of Science and Technology,
4. Andhra University, College of Engineering and
5. Osmania University College of Engineering and University College of Technology.

The article says that these institutes were chosen based on recommendations of a
Professor M. Anandakrishnan committee. I applaud that this time there was
a formal evaluation on merit and quality to decide which institutes were
to be upgraded. However there are some big omissions.

(a) The committee did not take NITs into account during their evaluation
process. Thus if the above five institutes are promoted to IIEST and are given
more funding and prestige than the NITs then that would be unfair to the hard
workd done by the NITs.

(b) Worse, if NITs were taken into account then there could have been
more regional balance. For example, NIT Rourkela is ranked
better than 4 of the above five institutes. Please
Thus a proper evaluation taking into account NITs and regional balance could
have provided more opportunity to backward states like Orissa.

Considering that there is gross inequity across states in higher education
spending by the central government (please see for the numbers)
and the central government is aiming for more equality, I sincerely
request that you influence the concerned decision makers to take a quick
and fresh look and add some of the top NITs (especially in states
without IITs) to the list of institutions to be upgraded to an IIEST . (The next best institutions
in those states can then be upgraded to NITs.)


Chitta Baral
Professor, Department of Computer Science & Eng.
Arizona State University


5 IIEST -- none in Orissa (see my comments at the end) » Only in HT » Story
More IIT cousins, more seats

Chetan Chauhan

New Delhi, May 25, 2006

The government is thinking of ways to increase seats to offset the OBC quota and here’s one. The HRD ministry plans to introduce parallel IITs, called the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST).

Ministry sources said the government has identified five institutes for branding them as IIESTs.

They are, the Bengal Engineering and Science University, Institute of Technology, Beneras Hindu University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Andhra University, College of Engineering and Osmania University College of Engineering and University College of Techonology.

These state institutes will be given the grade of ‘institutes of national importance’ and brought under the ambit of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE).

“They will offer a mix of science and technology education with emphasis on research,” an official explained.

To be run on the lines of the IITs, the IIESTs will be constituted as institutes of national importance through an Act of Parliament. Like IITs, the admission to new institutes will be on all an India basis and probably through a joint entrance examination.

These institutes, sources say, are in line with the Centre’s reservation policy. “With these institutes, the total engineering seats for central engineering institutes will go up. It will help off-set the impact of the OBC quota on general students,” a government official said.

The decision to grant these institutes the was based on recommendations of the Professor M. Anandakrishnan committee.


My comments:

NIT Rourkela is better than four of the above colleges and Orissa does not have any IIT. See
Why did not they consider upgrading NIT Rourkela to an IIEST? Orissa should push for upgrading NIT Rourkela to an IIEST and subsequently upgrading UCE Burla (the oldest engineering college in Orissa) to an NIT.


Sunday, May 14, 2006


Centre to create more IIT-like institutes -- Deecan Herald

Centre to create more IIT-like institutes

DH News Service New Delhi:

This was indicated by Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Thursday at a function here to celebrate Technology Day, which commemorates the 1998 Pokhran tests.

To meet the burgeoning demands for human resources in the global market, the Centre plans to create more world-class institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology, in the 11th plan that will begin in 2007.

This was indicated by Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Thursday at a function here to celebrate Technology Day, which commemorates the 1998 Pokhran tests.

“Many more IITs should be created to expand our capacity for creating skilled people. We are paying a lot of attention to have new IITs, in the 11th plan,” Dr Ahluwalia said, adding that the Centre would prefer to create new institutes rather than rename or upgrade the existing institutes.

He said that as many as 98 per cent of the country’s children enroll in primary schools, but typically, half of them drop out before completing the primary school programme. The same cycle of enrollments and dropouts continues in the school and at the higher secondary level.

As a result, only eight per cent out of the original 98 per cent emerges for higher education, Dr Ahluwalia said, adding that the Centre was striving to get at least 20 per cent of the country’s school-going children to pursue higher education.

Chairman of the Prime Minister’s National Knowledge Commission Sam Pitroda said the commission too supports the idea of increasing the numbers of schools and colleges in the country. He added that the involvement of the private sector in education should also be increased, but this should be done without compromising on quality, as in the Chhattisgarh experience, where private educational institutes had mushroomed without caring much for quality.

Mr Pitroda expressed concern over the quality of education in most schools and colleges. Highlighting the knowledge industry’s complaint that a large number of graduates are unemployable, he said that out of 90,000 MBAs who graduate every year, only 5,000 to 10,000 are immediately employable. Investment

“The chairman of Larsen and Toubro has complained that he could not get quality electricians,” Mr Pitroda said, emphasising that more investment was required in the field of education, research and manufacturing, as in the case of China.

The Planning Commission has set up an expert group under commission member Nitin Desai, to find out if venture capital funds could be encouraged for investments in research.

The Technology Development Board, which currently gives loans to technological companies, could also play the role of a venture capitalist to carry out risk financing, Dr Ahluwalia added.

The Technology Day award was given to the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, as well as to Delhi’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) for developing a recombinant human growth factor. Two small-scale units in Hyderabad and Chennai also received awards.

Four new technologies, including a herbal drug on allergic rhinitis, developed by the Bangalore-based Natural Remedies, were released by Union Science Minister Kapil Sibal.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Why cannot we have 70 IITs instead of just seven


The Knowledge Commission on Thursday said it will study the entire issue of reservation in education institutions holistically to decide whether the present system of providing access to education through quotas should continue or there was a need for a better system of affirmative action.

"Knowledge society must be inclusive. In the past we had quotas to implement it but in the 21st century we need to look at different ways to implement it. We will analyse what has been the outcome of reservation in the past and where we are as a result of it," Knowledge Commission Chairman Sam Pitroda said.

The majority of the commission members, at their meeting in Bangalore, had opposed increase in reservation in central education institutions as proposed by Human Resource Ministry.

They had said that it was an historic opportunity to craft more effective policies to make education institutions more inclusive.

On Wednesday, the commission members met Prime Minister and conveyed to him their views on reservation.

Pitroda said key to the issue of providing access to higher education would be expansion of universities and colleges.

"At present, just seven to eight per cent of our population under the age of 25 get to go to college. We need to increase it manifold to make India a knowledge society. Why cannot we have 70 IITs instead of just seven. The alumni of IITs can build 10 IITs. It is possible," he said.

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