New Delhi: The seven existing Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) - respected globally as institutions of excellence - had opposed the opening of three more IITs this year but the government went ahead anyway.
“We had told the (Human Resource Development) Ministry about not starting new IITs from this year, but they had a different view,” IIT Delhi Director Surendra Prasad told IANS.
Prasad refused to spell out what they had written to the ministry or what exactly the response of the ministry was. Informed sources, however, said the seven IITs cited lack of infrastructure and quality teachers as a major road block for starting the new institutes.
The three new IITs in Rajasthan, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh will start functioning from the coming academic session. “Since the government has taken a decision, we will help out the new institutes in all possible ways - teaching, faculty etc,” Prasad said.
All the three new IITs will have 120 seats each this year. To start with they will have courses in three streams - computer science, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. “Three leading IITs will patronise the upcoming ones. While IIT Delhi will be the patron for IIT Rajasthan, IIT Kanpur is going to be the patron of IIT Bihar. IIT Madras will help out IIT Andhra Pradesh,” said S C Saxena, Director of IIT Roorkee, who was here for a meeting with the HRD Ministry. Saxena said the students of these new IITs may also come to their patron institutes for classes.
The new institutes will implement the full 27 percent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The seven existing IITs will implement nine percent quota from the coming academic session.
Gautam Barua, Director of IIT Guwahati, however, said there would be no deterioration in the quality of education due to lack of infrastructure or OBC quota in the new IITs. “A beginning has to be made from somewhere. Let's take it as a challenge. IIT Guwahati started with three teachers but currently we have more than 200 faculty members,” Barua added.
Every year, over 4,000 students have been taking admission in various undergraduate courses at the seven IITs in Mumbai, Guwahati, Roorkee, Madras (Chennai), Kanpur, Kharagpur and Delhi.