Is even one of our institutions world class, asks Sibal

New Delhi: Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh’s statement that the IITs and IIMs did not have world class faculty was backed by his colleague Kapil Sibal, who questioned whether India had world class institutions and by others in the field.

“In the situation today, is even one of our institutions world class? If it is world class, it must be in the top 100, 150 institutions in the world. That is not evident,” Sibal said, a day after Jairam Ramesh declared that the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) had quality students but not faculty.

Sibal also said the environment minister must be talking about his own experience.

“Of course, Jairam is talking about himself because he is a world class student and he is an IITian himself, so he has insider knowledge himself,” Sibal said.

Ramesh had said the IITs and IIMs, the country’s top educational institutions, were surviving only because of their quality students but did not have world-class faculty.

Supporting the environment minister’s view, alumni associations from IIT Delhi and IIT Kharagpur demanded higher salary and perks for IIT teaching faculty to attract new minds in faculty to sustain IIT brand globally.

“Opening of new IITs by government without recruiting new faculty has already burdened the existing faculty in IITs. Almost every citizen in the country is paying education cess to ensure that our gurus (IIT and other teachers) are paid well. Most of the IITs are already facing faculty shortage,” IIT Kharagpur Alumni Association member Y.P.S. Suri said.

“The current pay scales of IIT faculty are so unattractive that a fresh graduate from IIT attracts more salary,” he said.

Programme director of the IIT Delhi Alumni Association V.K. Saluja agreed. “We appeal to the government to make faculty salary levels inspiring enough to attract new minds. Adding new IITs has made this problem more acute and hence the urgency of the matter,” he said. (IANS)