IIT alumni bash government for student, faculty quotas

November 23rd, 2008 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 23 (IANS) Concerned over a possible erosion in its brand name, scores of alumni of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) criticised the government for bringing in student reservation for other backward classes and forcing a faculty quota. They demanded a greater autonomy for these institutes of excellence.In a special alumni meeting on ‘Sustaining IIT Brand’ late Saturday evening at IIT Delhi, the former students said that minimum government interference in the institute affairs, no quota in faculty selection and a certain “benchmark” in selecting students is a must for IITs.

“There is a loss of freedom in whom we (IITs) will teach and now the fear is a probable loss of freedom in who will teach,” said P.V. Indiresan, a renowned educationist and former director of IIT-Chennai.

“The politicians started taking interest rather interfering when they realised that IITs are not ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes). This is where we need to stand up and speak against government policies.

“We have started six new IITs but don’t bother about the quality. The teacher student ratio has worsened. We have problem here. There are too many students and too little infrastructure,” Indiresan added.

Pradeep Gupta, chairman of Cyber Media group and an IIT Delhi alumni, said he is not against expansion but the increasing the number IITs without a proper planning is not good.

“It’s a fact that IITs have not expanded much in last 50 years but expanding without proper planning is not great. If IIT is a tripod then expansion, inclusion and excellence are its three legs. Can the tripod be stable on two legs without the third leg called excellence,” Gupta queried.

He said when a new college starts, it does not get All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) approval without a proper infrastructure then how come six new IITs have started without even a single campus.

Yatindra Pal Suri, an entrepreneur and alumni of IIT-Kharagpur, said he has no problem in the number of IITs being increased. “It’s absolutely fine. I am not against it. But all must try to promote the IIT brand both in India and abroad,” Suri said.

India has introduced 27.5 percent quota for OBC students in all government aided higher educational institutes and was on the verge of thrusting a new policy of faculty quota in IIT ranks.

Earlier, India had seven IITs and in the beginning of the ongoing academic year, government opened six new IITs under the supervision of old IITs.

S. Mehta, another alumni, said that IITs must improve their industry interface and invest in research work. “We must develop IITs are a global brand and the quality of education must be of global standard in the line of Cambridge university and Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” he added.

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