New Delhi: A year after creating six new Indian
Institutes of Technology, the Centre will embark on its first effort
to inject into them the culture, vision and quality associated with
the original five that built the IIT brand.
The human resource
development ministry will conduct a first-of-its-kind workshop to
train administrators of the new IITs to mould their institutes into
worthy members of the IIT brand.
The ministry plans to
conduct the workshop for directors of all the new IITs at the IIT
Delhi campus on June 26, top officials said. Similar workshops may
be conducted later.
The meet will also be
attended by directors of the existing seven IITs — the original five
in Kharagpur, Mumbai, Chennai, Kanpur and Delhi and those at Roorkee
and Guwahati — as trainers.
The directors of eight
new IITs — six started last year and two this year — will be
students at the workshop, which will also be addressed by HRD
minister Kapil Sibal, sources said.
“The ministry has never
in the past had to confront a situation where the IIT brand was at
stake. Today, we realise that while the new IITs are essential to
meet the demand from students, poor grooming could leave the new
institutes second-class IITs,” a senior ministry official said.
The new IITs are each
being hand-held by an existing IIT, but the newborn institutes have
so far not had any detailed initiation into the “culture and vision
that make IITs world beaters”, the official said.
At the meet, the
directors of the old IITs are likely to share with administrators of
the new institutes the challenges they face in running the country’s
premier engineering colleges, the sources said.
“There are likely to be
presentations made on the concept of the IIT, based on research on
the experience of starting the new IITs,” a source said.
The ministry plans to
ask some of the founding faculty of the original five IITs, such as
professor C.N.R. Rao, to come and speak to the directors on the
challenges he and his colleagues faced.
Rao, who heads the
Prime Minister’s Scientific Advisory Council, taught at IIT Kanpur
during its initial years and is believed by many to have played a
key role in helping it emerge as a premier institution.
But the HRD ministry’s
move has raised eyebrows within the IIT community, especially
because concerns over dilution of the brand because of the rapid
start of eight new institutes are not new.
As head of the IIT
council, the highest decision-making body of the IITs, Rao himself
had raised objections to setting up eight new institutes within a
year. The Telegraph had first reported Rao’s concerns on May 1,
“There was nothing to
prevent the HRD ministry from conducting such a workshop earlier.
This move unfortunately smacks of little more than a PR effort at
assuring the IIT community that the government is keen to maintain
standards,” an IIT director said.