India is growing well in technology since last few years. Rather it would be more appropriate to mention, the country is growing with the numbers of IITs, NITs and IIITs; the technical institutes bearing the status of national importance. If we will put a glance into the previous years, then we will find that in the year of 2008 and 2009 the number of new IITs established was 6 and 2 respectively. In the year 2012 BHU got the status of IIT and ISM Dhanbad is in the race to get the IIT status in near future. The Government of India, in its budget of July 2014, announced setting up of further 5 new IITs in Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. So all these accumulates to total 21 IITs in India.
Same story with the increased number of NITs in last 5 years. During 2002 to 2005, India Government has converted 19 RECs (Regional Engineering College) into NITs (National Institute of Technology). In 2006 NIT Agartala came into existence and in 2010 India welcomed 10 new NITs. To improve the Information and Communication Technology in India many IIITs have been established in PPP modes and some are purely Government. Guwahati, Sri City, Vadodara, Kota, Srirangam, Una, Kalyani and Kilohrad are the places where the new IIITs have been established. There are also many other old IIITs which are serving the nation in the field of ICT study. To promote the research and education in engineering science India Government has proposed for another group of academic institution named as Indian Institutes of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) in the year 2007. The idea was to convert some old established state level engineering universities to give national importance status to provide them more funding and facilities for more research in the field of engineering. The first institute to be upgraded to IIEST was Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur in the year 2014, which was a university under the Government of West Bengal prior to the upgrade process. Cochin University of Science and Technology, Andhra University – College of Engineering, Osmania University – College of Engineering are three more universities in the pipeline to be upgraded to IIEST in the coming years.
Well, it is a good sign that the Government is approving a lot of technical institution in India to improve the quality of engineering study in the nation. But the important question is whether the purpose is actually getting achieved or only for namesake the approvals are going on!! The same observation has been posted by Prof. Sanjeev Sanghi from IIT Delhi, some time back at some social media platform.
Now to justify this argument, I have enlighten some of the following facts:
1) New IITs are still operational in temporary campuses and facing shortage of many facilities
The new IITs are still operational in temporary (transit) campuses even after the 6 years of establishment. Let’s have a look on the following transit campus table:
IIT Bhubaneswar : IIT Khargpur is the mentor institute for IIT Bhubaneswar. The construction of the permanent campus for IIT Bhubaneswar began on 14 August 2011. The construction is not yet finished and the institute is still running at its transit campus in IIT Kharagpur Extension Centre at Samantapuri.
IIT Gandhinagar : IIT Bombay is the mentor institute for IIT Gandhinagar. The institute took possession of over 400 acres of land in August 2012. It is still running in Vishwakarma Government Engineering College, Chandkheda.
IIT Hyderabad : IIT Madras is the mentor institute of IIT Hyderabad. Bhoomi Puja for the construction work held on 6 October 2011. Now it is running at Ordinance Factory, Medak.
IIT Jodhpur : IIT Kanpur is the mentor institute of IIT Jodhpur. The construction of the campus of IIT Jodhpur started in late 2010. It is still running in MBM Engineering College, Jodhpur.
IIT Patna : IIT Guwahati is the mentor institute of IIT Patna. The foundation stone of the IIT Patna, was laid in 2011. It is still running in Naveen Government Polytechnic, Patna.
IIT Ropar : IIT Delhi is the mentor institute of IIT Ropar. Foundation stone for the permanent campus was laid down on 24 February 2009. It is still running in former Women’s Polytechnic, Rupnagar.
IIT Indore : IIT Bombay is the mentor institute of IIT Indore. In April 2012 the controversial land for the IIT was transferred, along with funding. The institute is still running in Institute of Engineering and Tehnology, Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya.
IIT Mandi : IIT Roorkee is the mentor institute of IIT Mandi. Though the youngest IIT till now; it is the only IIT among the new ones has shifted to its permanent campus. On September 23, 2012, a batch of 108 B.Tech 2nd year students, along with few research scholars shifted to the main campus.
Note: Most of the information in the table have been collected from Wikipedia and from the following link:
All the new IITs have been started with 3 basic engineering branches aka Computer Science Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering and then gradually they have expanded their research studies in several other domains. As we can observe from the above table that few of the new IITs are even running in Polytechnic institutes. Now we can draw the conclusion that what kind of LAB facility the students are availing at least in Electrical and Mechanical branch. The branches like Electrical and Mechanical need huge labs with well equipped instruments. So, for the last 6 years all these IITs are managing somehow without all these facilities. From the table we can notice that the the construction work of permanent campus of most new IITs has started around 2011 or 2012 around 3 to 4 years of the time, when the IITs started functioning.
Whereas this is the situation of the country’s highest prestigious technical institutes IITs, then better not to discuss about the new NITs and IIITs. Definitely they are worse. Last year in 2013, NIT Puducherry students had to protest by going on a strike over infrastructure woes. The institute was failing to provide infrastructure facilities in every means starting from faculty issue to lab to library issues and many more.
Now coming to IIIT, it’s very shame to mention here that IIIT Kota not only running on its temporary campus at MNIT Jiapur but also it doesn’t have a separate website for itself after 2 years of its establishment, while the IIITs are meant to develop the information and communication technology in the country. The institute which itself doesn’t have the capability to communicate well; how someone can expect to get a good education on ICT from this institute.
2) Shortage in Faculty strength
From surveys it’s very clear that even the old IITs and NITs have been facing around 40% faculty shortage of the total requirement. If the fact is that the country was unable to provide needed faculty members to the existing few old IITs and NITs then how the new IITs and NITs will be able to get the well qualified and capable faculty members. The bare and unpleasant truth is “compromise with quality”. So we can imagine what the level of study in these institutes are going to be.
I could have put another point as “insufficient infrastructure, hostel and LAB facility“. But no point of raising this issue when almost none of the institute has shifted to its permanent campus and its obvious that this issue is there and it will persist for next several years.
Now the ultimate result is that the brand names are getting diluted. Institutes like IITs which are considered to be the best in technology in India are still struggling to find their place within “Top 100 Universities” list around the world. The sad part is that a huge brain drain for higher studies from India to abroad. The faculty position in IITs, NITs and IIITs are demanding a Ph.D degree from any reputed University abroad. This shows that the Indian Technical Universities themselves do not have the confidence on their own education system. Every year the cream of the country is going outside for their further studies and their research contributions have been the properties of those countries where they are pursuing their studies.
Only increased number will never help until and unless the level of education will not be developed in those institutes. And the level can be improved by sufficient numbers of quality faculty members, proper infrastructure with LAB facilities and ample research opportunities, availability of all resource materials and most importantly proper classrooms and hostel facilities. So, Govt. of India and MHRD should focus on the educational development of the existing institutes rather than keep on increasing the number of institutes.
I have tried to raise the most important points related to the issue through the IgEn platform. Please add up your view points in the comment section regarding the concerned matter.