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IIT plans go for toss

Sources said IIMs have limited plans to increase intake in order to maintain high standards and the faculty crunch.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2006 04:01 IST

When the IITs had decided to take in more students -- before the HRD reservation proposal -- they did so, among other things, to generate more resources through increased placements and get more grants for research projects. For placements not only earn these institutes royalties, but also a better placement record enhances its reputation in the research field.

HRD minister Arjun Singh’s decision to enforce 27 per cent reservation for the other backward classes has now derailed these plans, fear senior IIT and IIM faculty members. For one, more reserved category students are expected to put off private firms from queuing up for placements. This in turn means lesser royalties and fewer research projects too.

In view of the increasing demand for technical education in the country, the HRD ministry had wanted to fund the IITs’ expansion plans, asking them double intake in the next five years. Accordingly, in the next two academic years, the six IIMs and seven IITs had planned to take 3,000-3,500 more students. But now this increase would be entirely absorbed by the reserved category leaving the general pool either unaffected or actually reduced. To offset the effect of the quota, the IITs will have to admit over 6,000 additional students. “We don’t know where the resources will come for this,” an official said.

IIMs’ problem is different, since they give scholarships to reserved category students for meet education expenses. With Arjun Singh saying similar scholarship will be available for OBC students as well, IIM sources point out they are looking at a huge financial burden unless the Centre agrees to share it. Sources said IIMs have limited plans to increase intake in order to maintain high standards and the faculty crunch.