‘20% of students have backlog in IITs’

V.Ramagopala Rao,Director,IIT, Delhi, diring an interaction with The Hindu on the side lines of three-day AP Science Congress at Andhra University in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: C.V.Subrahmanyam

Every one out of five students in the IITs across the country have backlogs in one or two subjects at least in the first year. And in the IIT ecosystem, it is difficult to cover up the backlogs, if one does come prepared to face the IIT education system, said Director IIT-Delhi Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao.

He was here to deliver a lecture on Nano Science at the ongoing AP Science Congress in Andhra University and on the sidelights spoke to The Hindu on the backlog and faculty crunch issues in the IITs.

According to him, many of the students who have completed their plus two in corporate college environment lag behind in the first year. And that is because most of such colleges and coaching institutes follow the mugging-up and reproducing system of education rather than focussing on teaching the basics and principles.

“In IITs, the question papers are open-ended and the students are made to think and apply the principles in solving the problems. Because of their education background they fail. This apart, language is another issue that leads to failure. One should hone up their English skills,” he said.

To counter this problem, the IITs have initiated online lecture series under the MHRD programme of Swayam Prabha. “We have recorded about 700 lectures in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology and are telecast them free for four hours a day. The lectures are based on NCERT syllabus and focusses on basics. All students intend to join the IIT can go through this series to better their knowledge. This will help them when they join the IITs,” said Prof. Ramgopal.

Women percentage

The IITs intent to increase the number of girl students studying at the IITs from 10 % to 20 % by 2020. At present the number of girls is around 10 % and we intend to take to 13 % in 2018 and to 20 % by 2020, said Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao.

Faculty crunch

It is not only Andhra University or other State universities that face faculty crunch. There is a shortage of about 30 to 40 % in all IITs, especially in the pure science areas such as mathematics, physics and chemistry, he said.

According to him, earlier about 80% of the IITians would go abroad for higher studies and after completing Ph. D would return to the IITs in India. But now that percentage has dwindled to about 15 % and that is why the faculty pool is dwindling, he observed.

“We need to open up the faculty area to teachers from abroad. The government at present has opened it up, but foreign teachers can come only for a contract period of five years, which can be renewed. But there are two stumbling blocks in this issue: one the DST does not fund research projects for foreigners and the pay is comparatively very less. When Singapore pays about $70,000, why would they come for $25,000 in India? Research is a key area, and we need to revisit the funding rules,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 11:39:31 AM |

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