Smriti Irani proposes to create eight new IITs
The new HRD minister and former BJP spokesperson Smriti Irani is planning to open as many as eight new IITs in the country. She is trying to bring together the enormous amount of fund that would be necessary for an undertaking like this.
The challenges that Smirti Irani will face from all sides are, fund crunch, faculty crunch, lack of availability of land and so many others. The previous government when they doubled the number of IITs to 16 in 2009, left a lot of backlog for the new government to follow up on. Irani, who seems to be determined to fullfil all of BJP’s promises related to finance, education and growth will have to tackle with the old problems before she can set out to make new plans.
While 12, 500 crores were allocated for the IITs in the 12th five year plan (2012 – 2017) only a little more than 6,000 crores were set aside for the eight new IITs set up in 2009. However with the growing economy the assumed expenditure for these new IITs, some of whom are still to have their own permanent campus, was calculated to be about 14, 000 crores.
As per Irani’s proposals, the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Goa, Sikkim and Chhattisgarh will be benefited. These are some of the most populated states that do not have an IIT.
Officials in Smriti Irani’s own ministry have argued that her plan to build eight more IITs is neither very pragmatic, nor very financially feasible.
There have been constant plans to face the challenges of fund crunch and faculty crunch. Some of the posed solutions include increasing the retirement age and encouraging retired professors to teach on a contract basis. There have been talks in the past about opening IITs outside India as well as prime engineering schools all over the globe. It is no doubt that eight new IITs will help the students of this country immensely. However it is also true that it is an immense challenge to live up to. How Irani under the new government deals with her proposal remains to be seen.
Source: The Economic Times
2nd M.A. Mass Communication