Human Resource Development minister Kapil Sibal has said that the sole focus of government on graduation was a key factor for lack of research in leading institutions of the country. The minister said this while defending the faculties of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).
Sibal was responding to the questions regarding the controversy over environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh's criticism of the faculty of IITs and IIMs.
Sibal said that initially most of the courses offered by at the IITs were of graduation level and those who wanted to pursue further studies went abroad. He added that the research studies begin at post-graduation level and India has lagged behind in giving priority to research.
“The country spends only eight billion dollars for research, while United States spends 250 billion dollar and China also spends over 50 billion dollars on research. Research was not the focus areas when it came to IITs and IIMs. Even postgraduate courses were out of focus at these institutions,” he said.
"When there was not enough spending for research, how can the faculty be held responsible," Sibal questioned. He pointed out that post-graduate studies are now being accorded considerable priority in these institutes.
The minister said that despite less spending, the country still tops the world when it comes to the quality of the research done by these IITs and IIMs faculties.
Elaborating on his ministry’s target to improve education standards in the country, Sibal said,"I want five to seven Indian institutes to figure in list of the world-class institutions. We are now going in for education reforms and the focus is now shifted to postgraduate courses in these institutions and simultaneously more focus will be on research." The Union government is bringing out change in the governance structure of IIMs and IITs, he added.
[Source: Times of India]