Thursday, December 29, 2005

IITs to get funds only if 50% spent on research

IITs to get funds only if 50% spent on research

Posted by Kalyanasundaram, IITM 1969
December 9th 2002 9Message 215 )


NEW DELHI: The government has taken the first step towards introducing a golden mean formula in supporting higher education by linking productivity to performance.

Announcing this the minister for human resource development Dr Murli Manohar Joshi said that in future the Indian Institutes of Technology would receive funds from the HRD ministry only if 50% of these are spent on research projects.

"Innovation is only possible if we invented technologies. Improving on something borrowed from abroad will not serve the same purpose,'' Joshi said.

The state of technical education has been a cause of concern for the government and educational institutes for some time now.

pecifically it was the state of research and development that has been the source of worry. It was felt that while the government was spending money in this sector the returns were not commensurate to the investment.

The department of education recognises that while the government can withdraw from the business of running hotels, it cannot withdraw completely from the field of education. World over providing education remains one of the government's primary responsibility.

Now the government move seeks to evolve a rationale for funding education, especially higher technical education. One that balances budget and responsibility.

The proposed funding pattern is the performance formula based funding. For disbursement of non plan funds, it proposed that weightage be given to the number of students.

There is no reason why an IIT that has not tried to improve on student intake should receive the same amount as an IIT where student intake has gone up.

The idea is not to push IITs on a student recruitment drive, but to ensure that per student expenditure does not fall to a level where efficiency and productivity are affected.

Another factor that will determine productivity is the quality and quntum of post-graduate research. While generic research will also be given weightage, it will be far less than that given to cutting edge work. The proposed weightage for generic research is 5%.

As regards plan funds, that will be decided on the basis of future plans. Another criterion for determining the level of funding, would be the ability of the IIT to generate funds on its own through industry involvement. This would also help promote cutting edge research and development.

At present there are 5108 technical institutes that have been approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Each year 7,44,072 students take admission to these institutes.

While the government and AICTE were focusing on improving the quality of education in these institutes, it has urged the AICTE to pay attention to emerging areas such as biotechnology and nanotechnology.