Karnataka's IIT dream may remain just that

Karnataka's IIT dream may  remain just that

The long-cherished dream of establishing an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Karnataka may not be happening any time soon as Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development, M M Pallam Raju, has categorically stated that his ministry is more concerned with ‘consolidating’ existing plans rather than taking up new ones.

Addressing the media on the sidelines of the inauguration of the regional centre of the National Board for Accreditation (NBA) here on Saturday, Raju highlighted the fact that work on developing a number of central institutes was going on in accordance to the 11 Fifth Year Plan.

“Work on eight new IITs, 20 new NITs, 16 central universities is in various stages of implementation. A lot of capital has been pumped into these efforts and we are still consolidating them,” said Raju.

Since his ministry’s hands were already full, Raju was of the opinion that plans for an IIT for Karnataka will still take some time. “By consolidation, I mean work like finding faculty and other such processes.

Even Kerala has made a similar request and we will consider it in future. As of now, I am not making any promises,” said Raju.  Speaking at the inauguration of the centre, Minister for Higher Education, R V Deshpande, reiterated the request for setting up the premier institute in the State.     

“I submitted a proposal for the IIT to the minister today. We are also ready to support this initiative with infrastructure and money and request the union ministry to also do the same,” said Deshpande.   

The proposal for an IIT in Karnataka has been doing the rounds for many years now with the latest plans to develop the campus either in Raichur or Chikkaballapur being made by Deshpande in recent months. 

RTE Act

On the progress in the implementation of the Right to Education Act, Raju said, “A number of states have measured up to the expectations, while others are still far behind. The condition of schools in Bihar, UP, West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand is still very bad. There is a need for more sincere implementation of RTE,” said Raju. At a function earlier in the day, Raju promised to ‘crack the whip’ on those who did not comply with the Act and to pressure state governments to provide proper infrastructure for the implementation of the Act. Raju also announced plans to hire as many as 7,00,000 teachers before March 31, 2015, under the Act.

Quality in institutes

Expressing concern about the quality of education in the country, Raju, who visited a number of engineering colleges throughout the day, shared his experience on interacting with students.

“I asked these students about learning from outside the book, through use of online content and other innovative methods and there were very less hands going up,” said Raju. He urged colleges to inculcate proper teaching methods that stress on quality and application. Heads of a number of engineering institutes had earlier expressed their concerns on various issues to Raju.

Issues like the prospects of existing institutes once foreign universities were allowed in the country and the drain of faculty from rural engineering institutes towards those in metros were discussed.

Comments (+)