Business Standard

Number is fine, what about quality, ask education institutes

With this year's Budget proposal, the number of IITs would go up to 23 and the total number IIMs to 20

M SaraswathyKalpana Pathak Mumbai
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in the  Budget.

Institutions and their staff say the quality of faculty and research should be priority. The minister has said that two more IIMs will be set up, in Jammu & Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh. This will take the total number to 20. Further, Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad will be converted into an IIT, apart from setting up a new IIT at Karnataka. E Abraham, director, Xavier School of Management, said it is equally important to ensure a long-term pipeline of qualified faculty to teach in all the new central institutes, IIMs and engineering colleges, among others. In its Budget in July 2014, the government had announced setting up six new IIMs, in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra.  Further, in that Budget, the government had announced the setting up of five new IITs, in Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Andhra and Kerala. With this year’s Budget proposal, the number of IITs (including those proposed) would go up to 23.
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“Announcing new educational institutions is good but we need to improve quality, too. None of India’s institutes figure in the top 10 list of universities worldwide. The government should look at allocating funds that can help research grants to institutes and encourage young students to take up research,” said the director at one of the IIMs. Union ministry data shows land has already been allocated for setting up of the six new IIMs proposed last year. Business school academicians feel instead of a new IIM in each state, the existing management schools should be revamped.

“Existing and newer entities should be encouraged to set up IIM-like institutions or have a global curriculum that would not only ensure job-ready candidates but be able to take on the institutes from the West,” said the head of academics at a Mumbai-based management institute. Further, human resource experts feel too many IIMs would dilute the quality of the institution.

“There is a reason why there are no two Harvard Business Schools because there can only be one.  Having too many institutes under the IIM umbrella might not raise the brand value but lead to disparity in placements and pay packages between the old and the newer ones, as companies might not treat all new IIM graduates at par with the A,B,C (Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta),” said the director of a Delhi-based human resources consultant.

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First Published: Mar 02 2015 | 12:45 AM IST

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