Wednesday, July 26, 2006
AHMEDABAD: After housing prestigious institutes like IIM, NID and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFD), Gujarat is all set to get a satellite campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (Powai) Bombay.
The IIT delegation, headed by its Director Ashok Misra, met state officials last week to finalise the setting up of the campus, state officials said on Wednesday. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was also present at the meeting.
The move would boost research in engineering and industries will get quality manpower for direct recruitment from the campus.
According to state Science and Technology secretary, Raj Kumar, IIT Powai has asked for 300 acres of land to start the satellite campus.
"The state government is in the process of identifying this big piece of land around Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar for setting up of the institute," he went on to say.
The Gujarat government will provide the land and infrastructure, while the union HRD ministry is expected to provide construction funding, the officials revealed.
The expansion plans of IIT Powai are part of the HRD Ministry's directive to set up one such institute in every state, they said.
The campus will start functioning by July next year, housed initially either in the L D Engineering College or R C Technical Institute, till the new campus comes up by 2007.
Monday, July 24, 2006
The Scientific Advisory Council to the PM (SACPM), which has over 30 eminent scientists from all over the country, has recommended setting up of three IITs including one in Karnataka. The state’s pending demand for an IIT is finally being pushed forward by the eminent scientist from Karnataka.
“Though there are a number of engineering and technical institutes, there is just one IIT in South India. We need more premier institutes here,’’ said Rao, who also heads the standing council of IITs.
The SAC-PM’s recommendations come at a time when anti-quota activists were silenced with the Centre promising them more IITs and IIMs.
The Karnataka government has already submitted a proposal to the HRD ministry expressing its interest to house an IIT. If accepted, the existing National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Suratkal would be upgraded to an IIT.
“We’ve been pushing for an IIT for years. Since Bangalore has an Indian Institute of Management, the Centre is hesitant to sanction another institute of national importance,’’ said D H Shankaramurthy, higher education minister.
With the scientific adviser himself recommending it, the minister hoped the Centre would respond positively. Shankaramurthy will meet Rao to extend all possible support from the state for establishing an IIT.
Two high-powered committees under M Anandakrishnan and S K Joshi have recommended granting IIT status to seven institutes in the country, including two in the South. The institutes are AMU’s Engineering College and Jadavpur Engineering College, Cochin Engineering College, Bengal Engineering College in Shivpur, Osmania Engineering College, University College of Engineering , Hyderabad, and Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University.
To promote science education, two more Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) would be set up, apart from the ones at Kolkata, Pune and Mohali.
“The fourth institute will be set up in Kerala as the state doesn’t have a central university. Another would be in central India,’’ said Rao.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Various news items on IIT Kharagpur, Bhubaneswar Campus
- Sambada (in Oriya)
- Dharitri (in Oriya)
- Pragativadi (in Oriya)
- Samaja , (in Oriya)
- Sun Times
IIT Kharagpur will open a campus in Bhubaneswar. Like Kharagpur 5000 students will study there. Life Science, Mining and other new disciplines will be taught in this campus. Today IIT KGP director Prof. S. K. Dube met chief minister Naveen Patnaik and discussed on this topic. During the meeting it was decided that the state government will give necessary land and other facilities. In this regard IIT Kharagpur will create a project report within one month. This report will describe the detailed plan and explain the necessity. Orissa government will identify the land after getting this report. To improve the educational programs at various Engineering colleges in Orissa, an R & D center will also be established in Orissa. This campus of IIT Kharagpur will be on 250 acres of land and 800 crores will be spent on this. For this the government will provide all help to IIT Kharagpur. In the meeting the chief minister described the rapid industrialization of the state and opined that IIT Kharagpur will help in the human resource developement of the state.
The Sun Times article is as follows:
IIT-Kharagpur- to open campus in Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar: IIT, Kharagpur, will open its campus here to provide quality education to nearly 5,000 students in bio-science, metallurgy, mining and other subjects.
IIT-Kharagpur, director S K Dube on Saturday met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and apprised him about the proposal to set up the campus. The project report of the campus, he said, would be ready within a month.
Dube said the campus here will have the same strength as that of in West Bengal and would have Research Development Centre which would help in faculty upgradation to enhance the standard of engineering colleges in Odisha.
Official sources said IIT-Kharagpur had approached the Union Human Resource Development Ministry to have its two campuses in the country, one each at Kolkata and Bhubaneswar. The proposal also received the nod of the HRD Ministry.
Patnaik while welcoming the IIT campus in Bhubaneswar, said such a project would help in human resource development activities keeping in tandem with the industrial growth here.
He has directed the authority concerned to identify 300 acres of land required for the campus on the outskirt of the capital city within a 30 km radius.
IIT Kharagpur, Bhubaneswar Campus
We, Santosh K. Tripathy & myself, are just coming from a meeting at the IIT KGP - Bhubaneswar campus, the new name for the IIT extension centre at Bhubaneswar as announced by the IIT Kharagpur Director Prof. S.K.Dubey in the meeting. The Director had a meeting with the Chief Minister Mr. Navin Pattnaik just prior to the meeting at the campus today evening. He has discussed in detail about the extension plans for Bhubaneswar. Though he was tight lipped about the detailed discussion, but gave hints about introduction of new courses like the courses on 'Intellectual Property Rights', 'Interpersonal Communication', etc. in the BBSR campus. He said that the Chief Minister would very soon come out with the announcements for further extension plans on infrastructure development etc. of the BBSR campus. This is certainly a piece of good news though Agamee Odisha should continue to press the issue further till the Government comes out with a concrete plan.
Friday, July 21, 2006
IIT’s happening at last: satellite campus in offing
Express News Service
Gandhinagar, July 21: GUESS what’s coming to town next July? Ahmedabad’s very own Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). With this, the city, which already houses premier educational institutes IIM and NID, also gets a renowned engineering institute.
The land for the proposed institute will be allocated by September, and construction completed in two years. Till the time a new building complex is constructed, the IIT would function either from LD Engineering College or RC Polytechnic in Ahmedabad.
The initiative for this was taken by Chief Minister Narendra Modi himself last year, as part of his project to develop a knowledge corridor in Gujarat. Talks were held between an IIT delegation led by IIT-Powai Director Ashok Misra and Modi here at Gandhinagar in connection with the project that envisages a satellite campus of the prestigious technology institution, at the Secretariat on Friday.
The three-member team also interacted with Chief Secretary Sudhir Mankad and senior education, science and technology department officials.
Coming out of the meeting, an elated Misra and his deputy, Professor Dipan K Ghosh, said they were hopeful of starting a ‘‘satellite campus’’ of IIT-Powai in Gujarat by next July. “We are excited by the interest shown. The Chief Minister is as keen as us on the project,” the duo said.
Though a satellite campus, IIT-Powai’s Gujarat extension would be a full-fledged institute with an emphasis on courses specific to the development of the State.
“Today marks a turning point for IITs as the Gujarat campus would be much larger to be called an extension. It’s going to be another IIT in size,” informed a team member. The team has already zeroed in on a couple of spots in Ahmedabad, and has sought 300 acres for the project.
“We are looking at courses like textile engineering, marine and ship building, aeronautical engineering among others that can complement Gujarat’s strengths, and at the same time add to IIT’s profile. At some stage in the future — may be five to seven years — I see the Gujarat campus having 4,000-4,500 students, the same that we have at Powai,” said Misra.
Principal Secretary (Education) P Paneervel, who was present during the interaction along with Commissioner (Higher Education) Rajiv Gupta, and Secretary (science and technology) Raj Kumar, informed Indian Express that the Government had put the project on fast track and a decision on land was to be taken by September.
“Things are moving fast and we are hopeful of making a provision for the demanded land in Ahmedabad. As construction would take about two years from September, a temporary campus would start functioning from either LD Engineering campus or RC Polytechnic. We are working on this,” Paneervel said.
As land availability has saturated on the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar corridor, the likely spot for the Gujarat-IIT is to be around Bavla, Sanand, or towards Nadiad. The Government is looking for land situated not more than ‘‘30 minutes’’ from Ahmedabad airport. The Gujarat Government would incur the costs of land and other infrastructure, while the Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development would chip in with building funds. Possibility of corporate funding for specific building blocks is also being explored.
* Focus on Gujarat with courses like textile, aeronautical engg, marine, ship building
* 300 acres needed, ‘30 minutes’ from airport
* To function temporarily from LD Engg College or RC Polytechnic
* Aims to house over 4,000 students
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
An Open letter to the planning commission
|From: Chitta Baral ||Mailed-By: gmail.com|
To: The Planning Commission
Dear Planning commission:
I read in http://www.hindustantimes.com
that your approach paper for the 11th plan will stress on bridging regional
imbalances among other things.
We in Orissa really appreciate that.
However, based on the government's actions regarding the locations
of the National Institute of Sciences/Indian Inst of Science Education and Research,
and your approval of it (http://iiser.blogspot.com), and all the special HRD allocations
in the 2006-07 budget to UPA ruled and allied states we are not sure if
your thoughts regarding bridging regional imbalances
(as reflected in the approach paper) and you actions will indeed
match, or even correlate, in the future, starting now.
It is rumored that in a few weeks formal announcements regarding institutes that
will be upgraded to IIT-cousins will be made. That announcement will be
a test of your and the government's sincerity in actually
"bridging regional imbalance" or just saying it and doing exactly the
opposite. You may recall that your 2006-07 HRD higher education
budget exactly did the opposite. Please see http://www.equitableindia.org
on the data.
Just to remind you, the five institutions that have been often mentioned for upgradation
to IIT cousin status are:
Bengal Engg College, WestBengal (ruled by an UPA ally)
Andhra Univ College of Engg, AP (ruled by Congress, the UPA lead)
Osmania University College of Engg, AP (ruled by Congress, the UPA lead)
CUAST, Kerala (ruled by an UPA ally)
Inst of Tech, BHU (ruled by an UPA ally)
These are fine institutions, except that there are other institutions (many NITs)
that are better than four of these institutions and many are in states without IITs and many
of these states and their representatives have begged you for such upgradation.
So if *only* the above institutions are upgraded and are given
budgets higher than NITs that are better than them and that are in states
(such as Bihar, Orissa and Rajasthan) that are at the receiving
end of the regional imbalance, then we and all of India
will know the bridge between your approach papers and the government's decisions,
and whether that needs to be bridged first, before you write all those
approach papers. (I am sorry to be sarcastic, but the esteemed planning
commission has lost all its credibility with me and many people of Orissa because
your recent actions that I mentioned above. You know, India is just not
UPA ruled or allied states and Punjab. There is a rest of India.) We look forward to this test
and sincerely hope the redemption of the planning comission in the eyes
of people of Orissa.
In particular, we sincerely hope that the government will actually do the bridging of regional
imbalance starting right now (and the planning commission will insist on it) and include in your list of institutes to be upgraded to IIT-cousins, some of the better NITs and/or other
fine institutions that are in states without IITs.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
This article does not mention where the third campus will be.
IIT Kharagpur plans third campus
|Arnab Mallick / Kolkata July 14, 2006|
|Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) is in an expansion mode.|
|The oldest among all the IITs is firming up plans for setting up its third campus while the foundation stone laying for the second was being planned.|
|The third campus would be the second outside Kharagpur, the first being Rajarhat.|
|The expansion plans will mitigate the negative impact of the proposed quota on general candidates for other backward classes (OBC) in 20 central universities, the IITs and IIMs.|
|As of now, apart from the existing quota of 22.5 per cent for schedule caste and schedule tribe, this additional 27 per cent OBC quota will leave only 50.5 per cent for general candidates, if other quota are neglected.|
|Sanjiv Goenka, chairman of the board of governors, IIT-KGP hinted that the third campus could be as big as the one coming up in Rajarhat.|
|"We will be setting up another campus after Rajarhat. The details of the campus will be finalised shortly," he added.|
|Goenka noted that IIT-KGP would be focusing on few major strategies namely, infrastructure building, research and development (R&D), expansion of IIT-KGP campus outside Kharagpur and capacity expansion. In line with the focus plan, IIT-KGP's first campus outside Kharagpur would be set up in Rajarhat. "The total cost of setting up the campus will be Rs 250 crore. Foundation stone of the new campus, spread over 10 acres, would be laid before September 2006. Classes in the new campus were likely to commence from 2008-09," said Goenka. IIT-KGP had already received the first tranche of fund of Rs 25 crore from the ministry of human resources and development.Sisir K Dube, director, IIT-KGP said, "To begin with, the student intake would be 600 but would be later scaled to 2,500 students.|
|Meanwhile, the IIT-KGP student strength was likely to double over the next four years.|
|"IIT-KGP has already increased students intake by 34 per cent which implied 625 extra students this year. The current student strength is 7,000 as compared to last year's figure of 5,600. We will be doubling the student strength within the next four years," Goenka said.|
|This decision was though taken before the recent announcement related to introduction 27 per cent reservation for OBC, confirmed sources in IIT-KGP.|
|Referring to R&D projects at IIT-KGP, Goenka informed that the institute had received 171 research projects and 152 consultancy project worth Rs 52 crore last year.|
|Dube said, "IIT-KGP was currently undertaking research and consultancy projects around Rs 300 crore. In the last three years, IIT-KGP had bagged projects worth more than Rs 200 crore."|
|The target for the current year was significantly higher that last year's performance of Rs 52 crore, Goenka added.|
Electronic material research lab to be set up there soon
# Student intake to be doubled by 2010
# Institute has obtained 25 patents and copyrights, including two U.S. patents
KHARAGPUR: A new research facility, to be called Arun Sarin Electronic Material Research Laboratory, is to be set up at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, for facilitating teaching and research in the Department of Metallurgical and Material Engineering.
This was announced by Arun Sarin, Chief Executive Officer, Vodafone Group Plc, U.K., who promised to contribute $5,00,000 for the purpose. A sum of $2,50,000 had been already donated, while the remaining amount would be given in phases.
Mr. Sarin was speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of the 52nd Annual Convocation at the Indian Institute of Technology where he was the Chief Guest.
Prof. Shishir Kumar Dube, Director, IIT Kharagpur, said that the intake of students would be doubled by 2010. The academic year 2006-07 would see the institute increasing its intake by 34 per cent to meet this target.
Currently, the institute has about 5,600 students on its roll.
Two new campuses
Mr. Dube said that two new campuses of IIT Kharagpur would be set up in Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar. Recently, a 10-acre land had been acquired at Rajarhat, Kolkata, for the purpose.
The Director said that the institute had received sponsored and consultancy projects worth Rs. 52 crore from Government and private institutions. The institute also obtained 25 patents and copyrights, including two U.S. patents.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
May 16: The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay is planning to set
up its first satellite campus in India at Goa Engineering College
(GEC), Farmagudi, about 30 km from here, said State Director of
Technical Education, J Chandrasekhar.
"The Goa government will review its Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) with IIT-Bombay to set up the IIT's satellite campus in Goa,"
Chandrasekhar told PTI.
"The MoU between Goa government and IIT-Bombay was signed five years
back which spoke of satellite campus which, however, did not
materialise," he said.
The State Technical Education chief said the IIT can also think
about adopting GEC.
"IIT-B can even think of adopting the GEC and if decision is taken
adoption will happen within a year," he said.
Both institutions will exchange its faculties which will enhance
GEC's standard of education, Chandrasekhar said adding, "during last
five years of association with IIT, there is large scale upgradation
of GEC campus."
To offer humanities courses
# The Institute is facing space constraint, says Director # Offer
for land from BHEL Tiruchi # IIT-M talking to HRD Ministry on the
proposal to set up satellite campuses
CHENNAI: The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) may soon
have a satellite campus at Tiruchirapalli. The world-renowned
technology education provider also proposes to offer five-year
integrated courses in humanities from 2006.
M.S. Ananth, Director, IIT-M, told newspersons here on Wednesday
that despite the growing demand for expanding the IIT model of
high-class technical education, the Institute was constrained by
space. Since 1994, IIT-M had doubled its intake from about 275 to
"The reality is we are situated in the middle of forestland and we
have to maintain our numbers. The constraint we have is that the
number of people here cannot cross 5,200, because we are a
residential campus. Any addition of students or teachers will
threaten the deer population here. At present, even when new courses
are introduced, the total intake remains the same," he said.
That is the reason why the IIT is talking to the Union Ministry of
Human Resources Development on the proposal to set up satellite
campuses. "We already have an offer for land from BHEL Tiruchi," he
said, indicating that the negotiations with the Ministry would
include this proposal.
In this regard, the S.K. Joshi committee had spoken about the need
for IITs to create more capacity or intake to meet the demand for
high quality technical education.
M.A. in humanities
Prof. Ananth said the Institute (which till now has been offering
only engineering, technology, pure sciences and management
programmes) was also looking to move into the area of humanities.
Recently, the HRD Ministry had called for a meeting to discuss ways
of strengthening humanities subjects, following which the IIT was
taking steps towards starting five-year integrated M.A courses.
"We are preparing the content, and the courses would start in 2006."
In effect, students with an interest in humanities would also be
able to enter the IITs. Initially, three programmes would be offered
in English, Economics and Development Studies. Students would get a
B.A and an M.A in the integrated programme. Admission would be
through a separate entrance test.
As part of its continuing innovation, the IIT-M was offering an M.
Tech programme in engineering design, with specialisation in
automotive design. Usha Titus, Registrar, said it was an
industry-driven programme. One semester was dedicated to industry
The participating industries would soon submit a report the IIT-M's
Senate on how they proposed to go forward with the programme and use
the students' expertise.
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, JULY 01, 2006 12:00:12 AM] AHMEDABAD:
You read it right. The home to India’s best-known management school
(IIM-Ahmedabad) is warming up to house an Indian Institute of
The Gujarat government has already written to IIT-Bombay to consider
setting up a ‘satellite’ centre in either Ahmedabad or in the
Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar knowledge corridor.
If the Gujarat government manages to clinch the deal, Ahmedabad will
be the first city in the country to have both an IIM and an IIT.
IIT-Bombay’s director, Ashok Misra confirmed having received a
request from the Gujarat government.
“We are considering the proposal. We need to see what benefits the
state has to offer,” he told ET. The institute has already firmed up
plans for a satellite centre in Goa. There is a plan to set up a new
campus in Mumbai and another satellite centre in Pune, he added.
If the Gujarat government manages to clinch the deal, Ahmedabad will
be the first city in the country to have both an IIM and an IIT.
At the new campuses, the institute will offer the same courses it
offers at its Powai campus. The student intake will also be on par.
But the total intake by IIT-Bombay will go up. Sources in the state
capital, Gandhinagar, said that the government’s education
department wrote to IIT-B in April this year.
The institute was urged to set up a campus in the state. The
institute showed willingness, but has asked for certain relief in
land costs, among other benefits. Misra will meet state government
officials during his visit to Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar next month. He
will be here to kick-off the Gujarat chapter of PanIIT India, a
global body of IITians.
If the institute agrees, it will come as a shot in the arm for the
Modi government’s plans of building Gujarat into a technology hub.
The current government believes IT will be the next growth driver
for the state which is India’s second most industrialised state.
Thousands of IITians already work in its myriad factories.
The expansion plans of the IITs — seven in all — contrary to the
IIMs, has the backing of the Union HRD ministry. The HRD ministry’s
proposal to implement reservation for other backward classes (OBCs)
in higher education has been used by IIT-Bombay to roll out its
expansion plans quickly.
The institute has around 500 acres of land in the Powai campus, but
there is little room for expansion.
At the same time, land prices in Ahmedabad, already known for
top-class institutes of premier education like IIM, National
Institute of Design (NID), National Institute of Fashion Technology
(NIFT), Mudra Institute of Communications (MICA), Centre for
Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT) and Physical Research Lab
(PRL), is among the lowest among many tier-II cities.
Statesman: IIT Kharagpur unveils perspective plan (two campuses, one in BBSR, will be coming up soon)
We need to keep an eye on how the Bhubaneswar campus progresses. There should be a clear road map of this campus becoming a full-fledged IIT in 10-15 years, after which it should no longer be a branch campus of IIT KGIP, but a stand alone IIT Bhubaneswar.
IIT Kharagpur unveils perspective plan
Statesman News Service
KHARAGPUR, July 15. — The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur released a ‘perspective plan’ today to double the number of students by 2010 through increasing its student intake by 34 per cent. The institute will also introduce new programmes such as 21 dual degree courses, M Tech in Media and Sound Engineering and Bachelor of Law with specialisation in Intellectual Property Rights.
It was announced at the 52nd Convocation of IIT, Kharagpur today that two new campuses of the institute ~ one in Kolkata and the other in Bhubaneswar, will be coming up soon. For the Rajarhat campus, a 10-acre plot of land has been acquired at New Town. This campus will be developed with the objective of promoting advanced research and development activities, post graduate and under graduate programmes, laboratories for training and research and as an industry hub for attracting high technology. The chief guest at the ceremony, Mr Arun Sarin, CEO, Vodafone Group Plc UK donated a sum of $ 2.5 lakhs to the institute.
Mr Shishir Kumar Dube, director of the institute, conferred degrees on 1370 outgoing students. The institute also conferred the Life Fellow of IIT-Kharagpur Award on Prof GS Sanyal, former director of the institute. The Distinguished Alumnus Award was given to Mr Arun Sarin, CEO, Vodafone Group Plc UK along with four others.
The gold medal awardees were Mr Sambaditya Saha from the department of Biotechnology, Mr Seth Siddhartha Sunil Kumar, Mr Paonam Santosh Kumar Singh and Mr S Narayanan from the department of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering, Mr Sayantan Sharma from the department of Physics and Meteorology and Mr Amit Ray from the department of Naval Architecture.
Mr Sarin adding a few words of encouragement to the students, said: “One has to keep marching towards the future with the changing situations and follow certain rules in order to succeed in life.”
Friday, July 14, 2006
IIT Kharagpur to set up new campus at New Town
PTI[ THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2006 09:40:28 PM]
KOLKATA: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, would
develop a new campus at New Town in Rajarhat here at a cost of Rs
250 crore and would have hostel facilities for 2500 regular
Announcing this here on Thursday, IIT Kharagpur's board of Governors
Chairman Sanjiv Goenka said the institute has already received the
first installment of Rs 25 crore from the Union government for
beginning the construction work at the 10 acre plot.
The new campus, which is to have 2000 additional capacity for
accommodating trainees for short term assignments, would promote
incubation programs, advanced R&D activities, post graduate and
undergraduate education in specialised areas, Goenka said.
There would also be an industrial hub at the campus, providing
opportunities for attracting high technology. He said that the
capacity at the Kharagur campus has already been increased by 652
seats this year.
"IIT Kharagpur has prepared perspective plans for an undergraduate
lab complex, a hall for girl students, an auditorium for 800 persons
and a 2000-seating modern convention centre," Goenka said.
At the 52nd convocation of IIT Kharagpur on July 15, which would be
addressed by Union Human Resources Development minister Arjun Singh,
degrees would be conferred on 1370 students, including 84 PhD, 11 MS
and 452 M Tech, he added.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Chitta Baral Posted online: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email
The Prime minister has established a Knowledge Commission and it has a website listing its members and their e-mail addresses. If one looks hard, one can also find who the members of SAC-PM are, and write to them. But does anyone know who is in charge of plans to upgrade some existing institutes to IITs? How does one gets in touch with them and point out the possible mistakes and make suggestions? Why are they doing things like the old days? Why the secrecy? Why the arrogance?
Can they explain why the seven institutes chosen initially to be upgraded to deemed IITs, IIT-likes, IIT-cousins—or whatever they are being called now— significantly add to the already terrible regional imbalance with respect to institutions of higher educations?
The answer is probably that they wanted to reward the best institutions in the country, regardless of where they are from. That is a fair answer. And I would accept it if it were true. Unfortunately, it is not. When the shortlist of seven were made, National Institute of Technologies (NITs)) were not considered.
So, if the idea was to pick the best institutes and upgrade them to deemed IITs, what is the logic of not considering the NITs?
The Dataquest ranking of 2005 shows that six of the handpicked seven are worse than many of the NITs.
I understand the Dataquest ranking is just another ranking, but it is clear that NITs were not considered when deciding on which institutions will be upgraded.
Apparently, the reason cited is that NITs are already Centrally funded.
But then, how fair is it that institutions inferior to NITs will now be given IIT-cousin status and possibly more funding and attention than NITs?
Moreover, there is actually one institution in India that really deserves IIT status—not that of its distant cousin. This is the IT-BHU, which has been taking students from IIT-JEE for over 25 years and ranks above a couple of existing IITs in many areas.
Perhaps someone feels that according IT-BHU a full IIT status will raise eyebrows across the country, as there will be two IITs in Uttar Pradesh. (N.B. This writer is not an IT-BHU alumni and has no connections with IT-BHU).
Since the panel formed by the Human Resources Development Ministry does not appear able to make the right decisions (based on whatever is reported in the media) here are some suggestions for a regionally-balanced way out of this imbroglio.
• Upgrade IT-BHU to an IIT immediately. Alongwith the planned additional 27 per cent OBC quota, this action will provide immediate relief.
• Since it is probably too late to remove some of the institutes for deemed IIT status from the shortlist—and some of those are fine institutions—add 5-7 top NITs to the list. In the states from where these NITs are picked, upgrade another institution to be NIT-level. In the next 10 years, upgrade the rest of the existing NITs to deemed IIT status. Thus in 10 years, every major state will have an NIT and an IIT-cousin.
• The new IITs should be built with care so as not to dilute the IIT brandname. That means they should not be made overnight. In this regard, the HRD panel is mostly right about giving the IIT-cousin status (and not IIT-status) to the institutes that are being upgraded. The government should decide on 5-7 new IITs in states that are at the bottom of the HRD higher education funding computed per capita. As of now, Bihar, Rajasthan and Orissa are at the bottom of that list. A mini-IIT with 1-2 departments and with only MTech programmes should be established in these states in two years’ time. Initially, these mini-IITs could be referred to as branch campus of an existing IIT. There should be a mandate and funding to make these mini-IITs to full-fledged IITs in 10-15 years by adding undergraduate programmes after 4-5 years and new departments every 1-2 years. In this regard a pilot programme can be immediately started at Bhubaneswar—where IIT Kharagpur has an extension center, where it already offers a PG Diploma in Information Technology and a 1.5-year part-time Diploma in intellectual property law.
These steps will not only correct the unfairness of the current proposal, but if taken, will address the regional balance in the distribution of higher education institution in a better way. Also, there will be more IITs without any dilution of the brandname or the associated quality.
The writer is a professor at the Arizona State University and is an alumni of IIT Kharagpur
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