New IITs at the mercy of their mentors. Will IIT Kharagpur do the right thing for IIT Bhubaneswar?

July 7th, 2008

Following is an excerpt from a report in the Telegraph.

The existing IITs that are handholding the new ones as “mentors” asked the Centre to postpone the launch of these institutes at a meeting yesterday. The government has agreed.

The three new institutes in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat — to be mentored by the IITs in Chennai, Guwahati and Mumbai respectively — will now open in August, or even later, instead of this month. They had earlier been scheduled to start classes at the same time as their mentor institutes in July.

Even when they open, these three will start classes on temporary campuses near their state capitals, using rented infrastructure, the sources said. “It’s impossible to start our own academic session and the classes at the new institutes at the same time,” an IIT director said.

“Since no faculty has been hired for them, our teachers would then have to go and teach at the new venues. The new IITs can only start once we have hired their faculty.”

The decision came at a meeting between the directors of the seven existing IITs and the human resource development (HRD) ministry in Delhi yesterday, the sources said. The directors asked the ministry to speed up the paperwork for the establishment of the new institutes.

“They don’t have even their own insignia or letter pad, and we are expected to start classes! Till they are registered, we can’t even hire teachers or issue call letters to the students,” another director said.

The ministry may approach the registrar of societies next week, sources said.

“We will try and register the institutes as soon as possible,” a senior ministry official said, admitting that bureaucratic lethargy was at fault.

Although registration will allow the new IITs to hold classes, the Centre needs to amend the IIT Act to formally recognise the degrees they would offer. A cabinet note seeking the amendment has been circulated among the ministries.

Classes for the students admitted to the three other new IITs — in Punjab, Orissa and Rajasthan — may also be delayed. Their classes are to be held at their mentor institutes in Delhi, Kharagpur and Kanpur this year.

“Our faculty members’ workload will increase,” a senior IIT Kharagpur official said, adding that no formal decision had yet been taken to delay the classes for the Orissa institute’s students.

Plans to launch an IIT in Himachal Pradesh this year were aborted after IIT Roorkee, its mentor, threw up its hands.

Entry Filed under: Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Puri- Khurda area (1),IIT Bhubaneswar,IIT, oDishA,IITs, IISc, IISERs, NISER, IIMs

1 Writeup

  • 1. R. K. Ghosh  |  July 7th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    The report aptly summarizes the ground zero situation. Also it is not clear how IITKGP and IITK could agree to share their existing infrastructure for new IITs while expressing inabilities to implement OBC reservation beyond 9% every year for the last three years. In other words, if they each do have infrastructure for additional 120 students for other IITs, they as well would have taken same number of students from OBC.


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