A panel of experts formed by HRD minister Kapil Sibal to draw up a blueprint for improving the quality of teaching and research at the Indian Institutes of Technology will leave for China on Tuesday. The team will take a close look at the success of Chinese institutes in science, engineering and research.
The team, headed by former Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar, will visit Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou — in eastern China. Members will meet academicians, scientists, researchers and administrators, panel sources said. The other members are industrialist Hari Bhartia, IIT Madras professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala and HRD ministry additional secretary Ashok Thakur.
The move to study China to pull up the rankings of the IITs comes after top Chinese institutions have repeatedly outperformed their Indian counterparts in global rankings like the QS annual rankings.
Six Chinese universities figure in the top 200 ranks of the 2010 QS rankings — Peking University (rank 47), Tsingua University (54), Fudan University (105), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (151), University of Science and Technology (154) and Nanjing University (177).
In contrast, among Indian institutions, only IIT Bombay— at rank 187 — figures in the top 200. “There is no shame in accepting that select, top Chinese institutions are perceived as better in many respects than our top institutions like the IITs. Sometimes, you need to learn from those better in order to beat them,” said a panel member.
This represents the first occasion that a government team tasked with proposing education reforms has traveled to China and officially looked for tips there.