In order to maintain "brand value", directors of two Indian Institute of Technologies have suggested that the proposed additional IITs by the HRD Ministry should not be given the same name.
"The IIT brand value would be diluted. There is no need at all to name the new institutes as IITs," said Ashok Mishra, Director IIT, and Mumbai at the New Delhi Chapter of the institute's Golden Jubilee outreach programme.
"Why should the new institutes just adopt a name without having worked for it. You don't go about building new Oxfords and Cambridges," he stressed, adding it was his personal belief and he was confident that his colleagues would agree with him.
Echoing Mishra's sentiment, IIT Delhi Director Surendra Prasad said he had serious concerns about the brand value of IIT. "I see no issues in setting up new technical institutes. But there are issues when it comes to calling them IITs," Prasad told PTI.
"There can be as many new institutes and they might also fare better than us. We would like to offer all the support to these upcoming institutes, but they should not meddle with the existing management set-up," Prasad said.
He suggested the new institutes come up and function under a parallel, independent management framework so that managing the IITs does not get complicated.
For instance, if the number of IITs goes up, the selection of students through joint entrance exam would become more complex, Prasad said.
Expressing concern at the rate at which institutes offering technical education were coming up, Mishra said there is need to improve their quality.
"About four to five lakh students come out with a B-tech degree every year. Sadly the analysis says only 15-20 per cent of them are employable," he said. "We feel it is an obligation to help the new institutes. That is why, we have started several support programmes for them," he said.