Electoral politics over higher education expansion of the HRD ministry has become apparent with the ministry not been able to release a penny for six new IITs announced earlier this year because of bureaucratic hurdles.
According to ministry officials, the money can be released for the six new IITs only after getting the Cabinet’s approval. “We are in the process of doing that,” an official said. Before seeking the Cabinet approval, the HRD ministry asked the IIT-JEE board in May-end to admit 120 students in each of the new IITs to come up in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab, Orissa and Gujarat.
With it came an assurance that finances would not be a crunch for accommodating additional students in the existing IITs. Four IITs — Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Mumbai — would be teaching 120 students in four disciplines in their campuses this year. “The arrangement will work till make-shift or new campuses come up in the state where the IITs have to be set up,” an IIT director said on the condition of anonymity.
Another IIT director said the ministry’s assurance has fallen flat, as they have been asked to spend money from their own resources to set up classes for the students of the new IITs. “The government can release money only after the Cabinet gives approval for the six new IITs,” he added.
Its biggest implication would be on the student teacher ratio, which has already going up to 1:15 as against the norm of 1:9 because of OBC quota implementation and vacant posts. The IITs expect the ratio to further rise to 1:18 because they would not be able to recruit additional faculty.
Reason, without the Cabinet approval, the IITs would not be able to open a separate account to spend money on new
The faculty at IIT Delhi is wondering that how additional 120 students would be taught when about 200 posts are lying vacant. “Because of vacant posts we are already under so much pressure. It would lead to additional burden but we would cope with it for a year,” a senior professor at IIT Delhi said.