Campus blues of new IITs put HRD ministry on backfoot

Campus blues of new IITs put HRD ministry on backfoot

If the Modi government were to go on a sanctioning spree after taking over on Monday, here is a word of caution from the officials of the Human Resource Development Ministry—no new educational institute should take off unless all necessary infrastructures are in place.

In a presentation prepared for the new HRD Minister, the officials have cited several instances from the past to drive home the point that allocation of land, construction of campus and other necessary infrastructure should first be ensured before a new institute is operational.

No new institute should be allowed to operate from a temporary campus as the process to shift to a permanent campus takes time due to various reasons, including delay in allocation of land by the state governments. This not only leads to escalation of establishment cost but also takes a toll on its “branding”, sources said.

The higher education department of the HRD Ministry learnt this lesson from its past experience, especially during a decade-long regime of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, which ended this year following a resounding victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections. The UPA government set up eight new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and seven Indian Institutes of Managements (IIMs) during its regime.

Except IIT-Mandi, all the rest are still operating from temporary campuses, though work is in progress to shift them to permanent campuses with adequate infrastructure and facilities for students.

On July 17, 2008, the Union Cabinet approved setting up of new IITs in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Indore in Madhya Pradesh at a total cost of Rs 6,080 crore.

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