Money alloted in budget not sufficient, say IIT Bombay officials
The IITs, including the new IITs and the seven older ones, have collectively been allocated Rs7,856 crore, Rs2,468 crore more than the last year's revised estimates.mumbai Updated: Feb 04, 2017 01:34 IST
The central government's decision to allocate substantially more funds for Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in this year's budget, was welcomed by officials at the fund-starved IIT Bombay (IIT-B), even as they insisted that the amount is not sufficient to build new infrastructure or fund research projects.
The IITs, including the new IITs and the seven older ones, have collectively been allocated Rs7,856 crore, Rs2,468 crore more than the last year's revised estimates. The officials said that the hike is not enough to meet the financial requirements for its project Vishwajeet - the ministry of human resources development's (MHRD) plan to catapult IITs to the top of global academic rankings.
According to a source from IIT-B, the institute had projected an investment of around Rs 2300 crore to spend on infrastructure, research and faculty. "IITs operate on an international level and therefore our need is much higher. While teaching doesn't cost much, research does," he said.
The data provided in the draft document of the IIT-B Strategic Plan - a five-year plan to transform IIT-B into a 'leading global technology university' - reveals that the MHRD funds to the institute have increased only marginally in last five years, even as the institute grew in size over the years. "Both plan and non-plan grants on a per-student basis are decreasing sharply when corrected for inflation," read the document.
Government funding makes up around 55% of the IIT-B budget. As part of the Strategic Plan, the institute is looking to expand its non-MHRD funding.
HT had earlier reported that the research work and the construction activity at the premier institute took a hit, when the government failed to release the funds appropriated for IIT-B. The institute had to dig up in its internal corpus to pay the salaries of its professors.
The sources from the institute said that the additional funding will do little to end IIT-B's financial woes. "The funds we currently get are just enough to pay the salaries and pensions of the professors. While something is better than nothing, the budget hike is not sufficient," said a head of the department at IIT-B.
Another senior professor suggested that the institute is likely to spend the new funds towards building infrastructure. "We don't have enough hostels to accommodate all our students. As a result, many good students don't come here for research. We need more hostels, including those for married students," he said.
Last year, the IIT had asked many research assistants (RAs) to vacate their hostels to make room for additional intake of undergraduate students.