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Fears that haunt IIT Delhi

The technology institute is not all that comfortable with the increase in OBC quota, reports Meenal Dubey.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2006 03:54 IST

IIT Delhi is not all that comfortable with the increase in the OBC quota announced by the Government.

For one, insiders in the premier institution feel the move might actually prove to be counter-productive. Here's why.

Even though the Government has promised an increase in seats for the general category to "offset" any loss of berths due to the raise in OBC quota, IIT Delhi is unclear about how to implement the new plan.

The institute already has 22.5 per cent seats reserved SC/ST students. As a number of such students are not able to meet the mark, the closest applicants are put through a one-year preparatory course. Those who pass this course are allotted seats in the various IITs.

"It is likely that the Government would want us to extend the same facility to OBC students too. But we don't know if additional resources will be provided to us for this," a faculty member said.

There are rumblings that the present shortfall in the number of teachers and also infrastructure would be more acutely felt with the expansion of the quota.

"IIT Delhi is short of teachers. We have advertised for these posts. But the fact remains that we do not have basic infrastructure like classrooms, hostels and other facilities. According to the master plan, the IIT is spread over 325 acres. Even though there is no fund shortage, how will the additional infrastructure be raised?" asked another faculty member.

Meanwhile, students and faculty members alike felt that reservations would affect the quality of education. "Worse, casteism which has been a relatively alien concept at IIT Delhi might make inroads," feared another teacher.

A third-year student from the textile department of IIT Delhi said, "This is ridiculous. Everyone knows that you need a sound base to crack the IIT entrance examination and secure admission. The Government has made things simpler by introducing subjective format in entrance examinations. Now, with the reservation for OBCs, seats for general category will be limited and talented students will lose out."

Another teacher said most reserved category students had "gaps" in their knowledge and would find it difficult to keep pace with the syllabus at IIT and that includes lab experiments, projects and study material.