As announced in this year’s budget, the Modi government looks forward to establish five new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), by taking assistance from foreign countries. The Congress did the same thing in 1950 – 60s under then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s enterprise.
An official from the government, acquainted with the matter said, that the IIT planned in Goa will be set up with the collaboration with eminent institutions in the United States. Also, to bring about the process of agreement, Smriti Irani, the Minister of Human Resource Development will join Mr. Modi in the US visit, planned at the end of this month. A joint declaration is expected to be signed there for this purpose.
Did you know? The IITs were established with the help of following foreign nations, on the initiatives of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru:
|IIT in India||Associate foreign Country|
|Chennai||Then West Germany|
The collaborative countries for the rest of the proposed institutions will also be identified soon. The premier engineering colleges are to be established in J&K, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala apart from Goa, the official added on condition of anonymity.
The now well-functioning IITs in Mumbai, Chennai, Kanpur and Delhi were earlier established with the assistance of erstwhile USSR, then West Germany, USA and the UK respectively.
The move is welcomed by many as the models of bilateral collaboration in education have proved efficient in the past. For example, IIT Kanpur got technical help from a consortium of nine leading US institutions. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University and University of California at Berkley, to name a few.
On similar lines, the consortium of US institutions will be stepping forward to assist India in establishing the proposed IIT in Goa and the agreement in this regard will be finalised once the two countries sign a joint declaration of intent.
“The details of how many and which institutions will help IIT Goa and in what capacity will be worked out by the joint work group, which will be set up after India and the US sign the joint declaration,” the official said.
At present, India has 13 IITs, eight of which were set up between 2008 and 2011 under the mentorship of the existing institutes across the country, during the UPA-II regime.
The Ministry of Finance has allotted an initial amount of Rs. 500 crore for these institutes this year.
Problems faced at present:
Lack of proper infrastructure is seen as the major problem with setting up of these institutions as most of the newer IITs function out of makeshift campuses. It is also difficult to find well qualified and capable faculty for these institutes.
The Modi government, soon after taking charge in May, decided to go ahead with the work plan despite these problems still existing in the education sector, that too especially among the IITs.
Responding to the concerns raised by many regarding the proposed IITs against the backdrop of the wonky infrastructure provided for the ones set up over the past few years, Smriti Irani had earlier stated in an interview that she wasn’t there to “fix the blame for the past but chart a course for the future”.
Tushita is a political writer at thenational.net. Her deep rooted interest in politics, passion for writing and craze for travelling define her. Writing since her school days, she aspires to write lifelong and make the world a happier place to live with the power of her pen.