IIT in state still a distant dream
Months after Higher Education Minister R V Deshpande stated that Karnataka will soon get its own Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD), M M Pallam Raju said the ministry will not go ahead with it until the existing IITs are consolidated.
On the sidelines of the launch of the Southern regional centre of the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) on Saturday, Raju said the eight IITs set up as part of the 11th Five Year Plan, are still in various stages of development. All these IITs will first have to be consolidated in terms of infrastructure, facilities and human resource before the government can go ahead and sanction IITs in other states.
“There is no doubt that states like Karnataka and Kerala are worthy of getting their own IITs. But we do not want to give them false hopes. They are certainly under consideration and the ministry will look into it,” he stated.
Karnataka does not feature among states where additional IITs are to be set up under the 12th Plan. However, the ministry sanctioned the setting up of the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Dharwad within the Karnataka University premises.
Raju further said both central and state universities will have to focus on improving the quality of education and comply with the norms specified by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
“People are looking at higher education as a business opportunity rather than a capacity building exercise. We tried to get the legislation pass to make accreditation compulsory but it did not happen as most of the parliamentary time was wasted,” he said.
It was decided at a council meet of the IITs that they would also subject themselves to the accreditation process.
When asked if the HRD ministry will propose a way to do away with the existing controversies in the appointment of vice-chancellors in state universities, the minister said state universities must resolve the issue of appointing VCs as it is a part of the quality improvement process itself.
Deshpande said the regional centre, which is the first of its kind outside the NBA centre in New Delhi, will cater to the requirements of all the south Indian states and Maharashtra.
“Karnataka has an intake of 98,000 engineering seats but of those 20,000 are vacant. It is because many colleges lack infrastructure and good human resource,” he said. The centre was set up within the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) Bangalore premises.