New Delhi, May 26: Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal disagreeing with his ministerial colleague Jairam Ramesh’s remarks on IITs and IIMs, on Thursday said the faculties of these institutions are ‘world class’.
Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh had on Monday said the faculty and research of India’s premier institutes, namely the Indian Institute of Technology and Indian Institute of Management, are not at par with similar facilities and faculties elsewhere around the globe.
Sibal rebutted the statement, and said some of the IIT institutions were at the top of their league, with IIT Mumbai at 21st rank in the global index of engineering colleges.
Sibal continued the list with IIT Delhi at number 24, IIT Kanpur at 37 and IIT Madras at 39.
Defending the faculty, Sibal said the ‘world-class students’ mentioned by Ramesh constituted 25 percent of the faculty.
Ramesh had also said the reputation of the institutions were due to the excellence of their students, and not the faculty.
“24.7 percent, almost 25 percent of the entire IITs faculty are of students of IIT, who have done B. Tech, who are now part of the faculty. Surely, the 25 percent who are world-class students must be world-class faculty,” said Ramesh.
On Ramesh’s remark that IITs did not produce any ‘worthwhile research’, Sibal said IITs were historically undergraduate institutions, creating ‘world class undergraduates’.
“We need to base our discussions on evidence and not on perceptions. Let me go back a little, if you really look at the origin of the IIT system in India, it was meant to produce world-class undergraduates,” Sibal told reporters here.
“The genesis of the IIT was to produce as many B. Techs as possible, not post- docs and research fellows. That’s not the origin; that’s why you have world class IT graduates who have led the world when they go other parts of the world,” he added.
Commenting on the standard of IIMs, Sibal said the IIMs are in a situation similar to that of the IITs, and would soon be in the top league.
“As far as IIM is concerned, what’s the ecosystem in the IIMs? We are producing again graduates who actually serve the global commercial community… management systems abroad. And again huge shift is taking place because India is becoming, or Asia is the centre of economic activity now, and therefore the solutions and most of the solutions in research are going to emerge from India. So India is going to provide the solutions even for management,” he said.
Putting an end to the debate started by Ramesh, Sibal said the minister was entitled to his opinion, while the government was entitled to put its view on table.
“We are in a democracy and distinguished colleagues are entitled – in a given situation. He was making a statement in a function in the IIT system, and he gave an opinion, and I think he’s entitled to do so. And, I think the Government of India is entitled to state its position too,” he said. (ANI)