How IITs and IITians will change our Country

V Balaraman talks to Parvathi Benu about early brain drain and how the IITs set up their own research centres

Published: 22nd August 2016 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2016 10:45 PM   |  A+A-

IIT-Madras recently launched an Institute Chair in the name of V Balaraman, the Chairman of Computer Age Management Services (CAMS) as a recognition for his contribution as a mentor and teacher. Excerpts:

How IITs and IITians.jpg 

What is the role of IITs in changing the image of India?

Starting IITs was a very unique decision by the Indian government, that no other developing country took at that time. What IITs have done uniquely is to make education in engineering and technology a meritocracy. In a country where things are done for relationships, IITs have straightly followed meritocracy as a culture. This has helped bright students from less affluent families attain a high-quality, world class education.

In the 80s and 90s, people used to complain of IITians not staying in India. But in reality, the early migrants to the US and other countries have established a good image of Indian in those places abroad. IITians are in fact helping India get a lot of business today.


But isn’t that trend benefiting the countries in the West more than it is helping India?

That has happened so far. But the IITs have also started their own research in India. Steps like establishing a chair in IIT-M was to promote Indian research. Our country is creating its own knowledge space.


Are you happy with it?

I’m happy with the start, but not with the speed. Technology requires money and funding.


What do you think of the increasing number of IITs in the country?

With the increasing number of IITs, you should also make sure that there are enough teachers and facilities. That is something one needs to take care of.


What difference can Fortune 100 companies make by setting up their excellence centres?

A lot. Each of these companies concentrate on something different and they train the youngsters in these fields.


Should IITs have short term courses?

Yes. Very often people learn a lot in the practical world. After working for some time, it is always good to get a little formalisation of knowledge that will be beneficial. In such cases, a short term course will help.

Stay up to date on all the latest Edex news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp