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How Good are New IITs?

GoodIn the year 2008, the Government of India launched eight new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) across the length and breadth of the country as promised. The eight new IITs are listed below:

  • IIT Patna (Bihar)

  • IIT Bhubaneshwar (Odisha)

  • IIT Indore (Madhya Pradesh)

  • IIT Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)

  • IIT Ropar (Haryana)

  • IIT Gandhinagar (Gujarat)

  • IIT Jodhpur (Rajasthan)

  • IIT Mandi (Himachal Pradesh)

The expansion plans were executed to offer a high-quality education on par with the existing IITs across several states. Seven years have passed inception of these new IITs, but still one cannot make a comparison between new IITs and the older ones. Some of the features of new IITs are listed below:

Lack of Trained, Qualified, and Experienced Faculty

 QualifiedMany years have passed since founding of these new pillars of education; however, these new IITs are yet to taste sweet success. 7 out of 8 new IITs still have to attract nearly half the number of teachers that the Government had initially planned. For example, IIT-Ropar and IIT-Mandi (the youngest IIT) have yet to fill 49% and 53% of faculty positions, respectively. This factor might not have any effect on the overall teaching of programs significantly because the problem of lack of qualified teachers is being tackled through temporary appointments as well as adjunct and guest faculty. The shortage of teachers has led to stunted growth in the number of programs that are being offered, which, in turn, affects the number of students.

Remote Locations

Remote LocationsOwing to remote locations of many of the new institutes, teachers do not consider it lucrative enough to teach there. The chances of an excellent teacher joining the new IITs are extremely low due to poor connectivity and lack of good jobs offered by the city or town to the teacher’s spouse as well as excellent schooling for his or her children. Even years since their foundation, directors of the new IITs continue to work out of their makeshift campuses. With IIT-Bhubaneshwar and IIT-Mandi being exceptions, the remaining IITs miss their target on a continuous basis with regard to starting timely construction at the chosen, permanent sites.

Poor Infrastructure

Poor InfrastructureSome of the new IITs are carrying out operations through makeshift camps, rented buildings, and even campuses of other engineering colleges or polytechnics. Most new IITs will fail to meet the deadline of moving into fully-operational campus sites. That being said, the first few batches of students that have passed out of the new IITs cannot claim to have a real experience of life in an IIT. Most of these campuses lack sufficient classrooms. What’s worse, different classes need to be accommodated in the same classroom. Under such pathetic infrastructure, students will fail to have an all-round development, a quality often boasted by the older IITs.

Variations in the Average Packages at IITs

VariationsFew students in conjunction with lack of trained faculty bring down the value of studying at an IIT, which will ultimately bring down the packages offered to prestigious IITians, who deserve placements at top overseas organizations. However, employers encounter many hassles when they have to visit these institutes situated in such remote regions of India. Such employers will definitely show a preference of recruiting from second-rate engineering colleges located in the metropolitan cities.

Lack of Industrial Experience and International Exposure

ExposureBecause the new IITs have poor research facilities and infrastructure, industrial and international partnerships continue to remain due. The new IITs can be considered to be in a nurturing phase. They need guidance from older IITs for the correct and most appropriate methodology to attract faculty to teach in these prestigious institutes, which are designed to be a class apart.

To conclude, IITs and IITians are the pride of India. Simply increasing the number of institutes will hamper quality instead of promoting it. A pragmatic and practical approach needs to be followed by the Government of India to ensure that each IIT becomes a shining example of high-quality education, well-trained faculty, and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

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