Judge me by my work: Irani on education qualification row

May 29, 2014 11:11 am | Updated November 16, 2021 07:07 pm IST - New Delhi

The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday broke her silence on the controversy over misrepresenting her educational qualification in an affidavit when she urged the media to judge her by her work.

Thereafter, she is said to have ticked off senior officials in the Ministry for setting up committees to take decisions. Among the decisions awaiting the new Minister was the appointment of directors to several Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) including Bhubaneshwar, Patna, Indore and Mandi.

Another issue on which the Minister and officials differ is the setting up of IITs in every State. According to officials, many of the new IITs set up during the previous regime continue to face problems of infrastructure and faculty shortage. Even older IITs, including the one in Delhi, has a faculty crunch and has to rely a lot on visiting faculty.

In fact, former Union Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor had tried hard to get an IIT for his home State Kerala, but could not manage to do so; primarily because the Planning Commission had taken the view in 2012 that no more such institutes should be set up during the 12th Plan Period except under “exceptional circumstances.”

With 16 IITs in the country, the Commission was of the view that the focus should be more on consolidation of what already exists. Flagging the resource crunch, the Commission had told the Ministry that after the kind of expansion which was undertaken in higher education in the 11th Plan Period, the next five years ought to be used to consolidate this growth.

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