Improve ISM's faculty before IIT upgrade: Expert panel

Improve ISM's faculty before IIT upgrade: Expert panel

Despite Centre’s assurances to upgrade Indian School of Mining (ISM)  Dhanbad into an IIT, an expert committee has said the school’s faculty should first be upgraded to the level of the premier technology institute.

In its report to the HRD Ministry, the committee noted that ISM’s traditional engineering departments and the mining department are below the IIT standards, though mining engineering, petroleum engineering, earth sciences and geophysics are found to be “excellent in several ways” during its on-site assessment.

“It is extremely detrimental for the ISM to be upgraded to an IIT without addressing this issue thoroughly. If faculty members without sufficient capabilities are left in the system as part of legacy, it will create a festering long-term problem for the new IIT,” the panel, headed by former IIT-Bombay director Ashok Mishra, added in the report.

It said each faculty at Ism should be evaluated with the same yardsticks applied at established IITs and those falling short should be trained at IISc Bangalore, while those at advanced age failing selection procedures and performance criteria could be given suitable voluntary retirement or transferred to centrally-funded institutions like National Institute of Technology (NIT).

The report, currently under the ministry’s scrutiny, has dismayed those in ISM who hoped for the upgrade to take place this year following Arun Jaitley’s proposal in his budget speech.

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