Ramesh says faculty at IITs, IIMs not 'world class'

Ramesh says faculty at IITs, IIMs not 'world class'

The minister said that the IITs had not made any worthwhile contribution in research and owed their “excellent” tag to the quality of their students.

Ramesh passed out from IIT Mumbai in 1975 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
“There is hardly any worthwhile research from our IITs. The faculty in the IIT is not world class. It is the students in IITs who are world class. So the IITs and IIMs  are excellent because of the quality of students and not because of quality of research or faculty,” Ramesh said on the sidelines of a function here.

The minister’s criticism comes at a time when the government has set in motion a reform process for 15 IITs, eight of which came into existence within the last three years.
A reality check by an expert panel constituted by the union human resource development ministry made it clear that the premier technology schools have a much smaller part of India’s technical ecosystem as compared to the role they played 25 years ago.

“With only 7,500 undergraduates and less than 1,000 PhD students graduating every year, the output of the IIT is inadequate for the future. Clearly the world has passed us by,” said the panel headed by Anil Kakodkar, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.

If India was to be among the three largest economies of the world, the IIT system will have to grow manifold in terms of research output, number of PhDs and student graduation, the panel said in its report submitted to HRD minister Kapil Sibal earlier this month.

Reacting to the criticism on the declining quality at the IITs, Sibal said none of the institutions were world class but the government's desire was to make them acheive that status. “Jairam is from IIT and he may have some inside information on them,” Sibal quipped.

An Indian Institute of Science analysis of research output shows the contribution of seven older IITs in six top global science journals—Nature, Science, Cell, JBC, PRL and JACS—was abysmally low.

Besides, research carried out by the IITs is hardly used by scientists from across the world for their studies (citation index), which is a mark of scientific excellence. However, IIT Kanpur and IIT Kharagpur were a tad better.

Ramesh said his ministry will enter into a joint venture with Reliance Industries Ltd for setting up of a National Centre for Marine Biodiversity in Jamnagar.

“We cannot build a world class research centre in a government set up that can never attract young talented people,” he said.

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