Pankaj Jalote and B N Jain
The government recently said that it would open more Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). While any move in this direction is welcome, the existing model of wholly state-funded IITs is not amenable to increasing the numbers and enhancing quality.
After the first five IITs which came up three to four decades back, the government has set up only one, in Guwahati. But since the 60s, India's population has doubled and numbers of the educated seeking admission have probably gone up tenfold. Unable to cope, the government started renaming existing institutions as IITs. The key difficulty today in starting an IIT is attracting and retaining good faculty.
To attract quality faculty, we need good students, a vibrant research environment and attractive compensation. Good students are available in plenty in India, at least at the undergraduate level. The challenges lie in the other two areas, and they cannot be met by promoting new IITs exclusively in the government sector due to resource and management constraints in the present model.
In an era of public-private partnerships (PPP), it is worth extending the PPP approach to starting new IITs. Private sector dynamism and long-term social commitment of the government can come together to create quality institutes. A modified BOT (build-operate-transfer) model can be applied here.
Monday, April 23, 2007
IIT to be Setup between Bihta and Koilwar
Patna: April 18, 2007
The state government has decided to allot 500 acres of land between Bihta and Koilwar to set up the branch of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur branch, sources in Patna said on Monday.
The area identified for the IIT campus is easily accessible by road and is less than 50 kilometers from Patna airport.
A visit from the Central Human Resources Ministry and IIT Kanpur officials is expected soon and once the area selected is approved by them, the government will initiate steps to acquire the land, sources said.
Officials said that in the beginning, the Bihta campus will be used as a branch of the IIT Kanpur but later will be accorded full autonomy.
Whether this arrangement is sound and in favor of the long term interest of Bihar, only time will tell.