Environment minister Jairam Ramesh has received flak from BJP and academicians regarding his comments on IITs and IIMs but has got support of some scientists.
Anil K Rajvanshi, Director of Maharashtra based Nimbkar Agriculture Research Institute questioned the rationale behind just one percent of IIT students, doing Bachelors of Technology, doing for research and development and said it showed that IITs does not have temperament for research.
“The biggest tragedy is that the administrators of IITs and the HRD ministry think that if you keep on increasing the pay then you will get first class researchers and teachers. This is the biggest myth perpetuated by Harvard MBA types,” he said, while pointing out that people opt for research not for money but for passion.
Ramesh on Monday had said that IITs and IIMs were world class institutions not because of their faculty but their students. On Tuesday, BJP and IIT, IIM faculty members lambasted Ramesh for his comments.
Not only Rajvanshi had supported Ramesh. Some experts in country’s top planning body, the planning commission, have backed the environment minister’s view. “Most of the public sector institutes like IITs were not delivering high quality research and is doing most of the consultancy job for the private sector,” a senior advisory at the plan panel, who was not willing to be quoted, said.
His view is backed by the fact that the government spending on scientific research and development had fallen since 1990s. The government spends less than one percent of the GDP on science and technology as compared to about 1.5 % in mid 1970s.
Minister of state for Planning Ashwini Kumar admitted that the spending was going down and said he will try to increase the spending to 1.5-2 % of the Gross Domestic Product in the 12th five year plan start from next financial year.
Kumar, who is also junior science minister, admitted that India has a poor record in registering patents globally and India lowest number of scientists as compared to United States and China.
China had increased its scientific manpower to almost three times in the last decade whereas for India it has remained stagnant at 1.75 lakh scientists.
Rajvanshi told Ramesh, a passout of IIT Bombay, that the students in IITs are smart where the faculty is mediocre and many B grade universities in United States may have better faculty.