May 24, 2011

Jairam Ramesh’s activism touches IITs and IIMs

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has excelled the art of creating controversies. This time, this IIT alumnus has said that IITs and IIMs are excellent because of the quality of students and not because of the quality of research or faculty. He is not wrong in that and many people say that, perception surveys say that, but when it comes from him it leads to raised eyebrows. Then, to say that these institutions need to do better is one thing and to say that their quality is mediocre is another. It is just ‘simplistic’, as one professor of IIM Ahmedabad said, reacting to Jairam’s remarks.

What is interesting is Kapil Sibal’s support to Jairam’s remarks. He adds, “As Education Minister, I am striving towards achieving world-class standards for our institutions. This is a fact that our institutions don't figure in the top 150 list.” It is often said in knowledgeable circles that Sibal is bent upon bringing foreign institutions in India and not supporting IITs and IIMs, the homegrown flag bearers of higher education in technology and management areas. 

Will Jairam limit his comments to 'go-no go areas', mining, mega energy projects etc, where he is making stupid noises and then relenting to pressure from lobbies? 


"There is hardly any worthwhile research from our IITs. The faculty in the IIT is not world class. It is the students in IITs who are world class. So the IITs and IIMs are excellent because of the quality of students not because of quality of research or faculty," Jairam Ramesh to reporters at New Delhi on 24 May, 2011.

It shows that Jairam Ramesh has shown tremendous ignorance about the intellectual capabilities of these institutions. I would not deny the fact that these institutions needs to do much more,” Anil Gupta, Professor, IIM-Ahmedabad

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