Brighter students completed their courses from these institutes and went abroad to do research
Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday lamented the lack of attention towards research activities by premier institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).
Talking to mediapersons here during his visit to Gujarat, Mr. Sibal avoided a direct answer on the controversial statement by his Cabinet colleague — Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh — on the IITs and IIMs, but said these institutions so far focused only on churning out graduates and paid little attention towards research. “When IITs were set up, majority of courses were of B. Tech.,” Mr. Sibal said, adding that M. Tech. was never a priority in the initial phases.
Only churning graduates
He said most of the courses were targeted to churn out graduates. He further observed that the brighter students who wanted to go for research completed their courses from these institutes and then moved abroad to pursue their interest. He pointed out that as compared to United States and China, which allocated $250 billion and about $60 billion respectively for research, in India the allocation for research was only about $8 million. However, he expressed happiness that the number of students in post-graduate courses in theses institutes had started growing now which further opened the scope for research.
Dig at Modi regime
Mr. Sibal took a dig at the Narendra Modi government for not taking adequate steps to implement the Right to Education Act (RTE). He pointed out that though the RTE was enacted last year, the Gujarat government had not even finalised the norms for the neighbourhood schools.
“Now money is lying with us for setting up schools, employing teachers and providing all the support, but unless norms are framed, we cannot give them the money,” he said, and added that it was unfair for the children of the State who were not getting what they “deserve rightfully.”
Gujarat, he pointed out, also had so far not constituted the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR). He said that in spite of the government's tall claims of success in the “Vibrant Gujarat Industrial” summits, more than 1.62-lakh children, largely from the disadvantaged section of society, were still out of schools. The State was also lagging behind the national rate of enrolment of the girl child in schools. About 50 per cent of the schools for the girls did not have the toilet facilities for the students.