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Brand IIT the only way, or Karnataka Inst. of Tech possible?

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This is a reaction to "Demand for IIT rejected again". It seems the main reason KA's request was turned down was because the state already has IISc and IIM here. Is getting a central govt sponsored, IIT branded institute the best way of setting up a premier education institution in the state?

Talking of engineering colleges, state KA has a lot of them. The abundance is often mentioned as one of the reasons for Bangalore developing into a technology industry hub. One could get into debates like  - how many of these colleges carry serious reputations, besides supplying graduates to a growing industry, what other contributions have these colleges made in terms of research and collaboration with local economy and industry. But I want to get into understanding just one thing - why beg center for an IIT? What would be some possible ways of setting up a Karnataka Institute of Technology:

  • A PPP with a big industrial house to start a greenfield university? IISc was kind of setup like that - IISc's about page says J N Tata started it.
    • Can Infosys, Wipro etc be persuaded to do a repeat of IISc now? They did a good job of setting up an in house training institute at Mysore? Would they be game to do the same, may be on even larger scale in some remote corner of our state?
    • BTW, Mayavati government is already out with a PPP proposal to establish premier technical university in UP. [Will post a link here once I locate it]
  • Persuading eminent personalities to help establish one? How exactly was ISB Hyderabad setup - don't know iy that well, but their about page says "eminent business leaders and academicians" started it up. Can Mr NRN Murthy, or Mr Premji be persuaded to help establish a KIT !?
  • A collaboration with a reputed foreign school? Can an MIT or CMU be invited to join hands with GoK to setup an IIT-beater in the state? Any examples of this happening elsewhere in India?
  • GoK upgrading an existing engineering college to create one? NIT-Suratkal, PESIT, Manipal, or another - one of them getting sustained focus and brand building (KIT!) via heavy investments - can that do it?

Nothing better than a far-sighted initiative on above lines to show seriousness towards a good future and take a lead over some states that have stolen the march over Karnataka in recent times, what say you?



s_yajaman's picture

Need more IITs but Brand IIT cannot be the only way forward

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I have not studied at an IIT and so don't know personally how good they are.  But having seen the boys and girls who come out of them, they must be doing a pretty good job. 

I also think that it is not just the professors or the labs that make a difference.  The quality of your peers makes a big difference and the competitiveness forces one to also raise his/her standards.  In Bangalore Univ e.g., it was enough to "study" the syllabus and the last 5 years question papers.  Questions rarely made you think too hard - what was important was to know which formula was to be applied.

 It is also important to remember that the IITs were set up in 1961 (almost 50 years back).  The population of India was closer to 350 million.  The number of IITs has to increase given that increase in population and more importantly the composition of the population.   If IITs are not scaleable (I hate to use that word :), then something is wrong.  A lot of people think that setting up 5 more IITs will "dilute" the standard.  I don't blame them - the committment to excellence in our country is rare and so why spoil a good institution. 

I personally think that the number of bright boys and girls of the 17-19 age group far exceeds 3000 or 4000 and we need more IITs.  But given the resources and time, etc IITs can take say 10000 or even 15000 a year.  (I will not get into the debate of why a student actually goes to an IIT and whether he is really suited to a career in engg).

The other lakhs of students have to enter NITs and other engineering colleges.  We absolutely have to make them 7/10 if not the 9.5/10 that IITs are.  Better faculty *means better pay), better labs, better workshops.  It is in "industry"'s benefit to take some interest as most of them depend on mass employment.  Need to spread them out - at least 1 KIT in every city with more than 200,000 population - Mysore, Mangalore, Shimoga, Hubli, Tumkur.  That will also provide incentive to industry to move there over the next 3-4 years as they know skilled employees will be available there.

Hope for some "vision" here.



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Naveen's picture

Agree With You

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SB, Srivathsa - Could'nt agree with you more.

IITs are not the only way forward. The bigger industrial houses & academic institutions must be given much more favorable conditions by the govt/s concerned to come up with quality educational institutions with good facilities at remote areas. Unfortunately, so far, most of them have viewed education solely as buisness opportunities. Just as for privatization of bus operations, this needs a lot of reform & regulation with mechanisms to ensure that it works as intended. Such monitoring exercises at present have only led to extraction of bribes & misuse by the inspectors. So, we are left with only the IITs, IIMs & a few others that stand out.

All efforts have so far been to put these 'branded' institutions only in the larger cities, with the justification that 60% of our GDP is contributed by the 30% who live in urban areas.

Take North Karnataka - the area has been ignored & neglected for too long. Despite SWR headquartered now at Hubli, it has not much benefited the area & the proposed Mumbai-Bangalore-Chennai super-fast train is being planned without a stop at Hubli, & is stiffly being opposed by SWR & the people of Hubli !

Similarly, if institutions continue to sprout within or just outside the cities, it's of no use & will not help in leveraging the talents that might be available at these remote areas. This is what leads to the severe congestion in all of our cities, too.

I am glad that Infosys located their training center at Mysore, rather than at Bangalore - at least, it's a start.

nijavaada's picture

A good thought indeed

108 users have liked, including you.


I must acknowledge, your thoughts on this are good.

My simple answer to your quesions (in the first part of your blog) is YES and NO.

NO: We need not depend upon any central govt. to build an IIT inside our state. But then, so should be the case for any/every Indian state! But since IITs are being built by the center all this while, it needs to change for good.

YES: Yes, Karnataka can do with an IIT like KIT, and we dont care! But the question is, will the IITs in other states be called similar fashion too? Will there be equity in education in India at all? Will people of all states have equal opportunity to education?

What about medium of education, and thereby the quality of education imparted at various levels? Lets include those as well here. Something that *has* to be there on education roadmap discussions.



Upgrade ITIs

115 users have liked.
Again we misspend on "higher education". People who graduate out of IITs and IIMs can well afford to pay for their education by taking student loans.

There should be no subsidies to higher education. Imagine, it takes Rs. 20 lakhs per candidate for a good medical education. Once these candidates get virtually free government seats, they escape upon graduation.

The Karnataka Government was thinking of reviving the yesteryears's LMP (Licensed Medical Practitioner) program. 

Privatising or Private management of ITIs is a much better option than going in for IITs.

praneshachar's picture


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It is very simple state of karnataka can be taken for granted our politicians have no grit or will to get things done. just because there is an IISC which is strted by the vision of TATA or IIM is there which is given here as the best place for location in south can not be the reason to reject. look at the requirements of the state, the rate of growth in industry and the state govt.s willignes to provide all necessary assistance should go in favour of getting IIT for bengalooru long baci. better late than never please do it. all things for our state are like this be it a steel plant which never came up under central PSU state govt has to rope in jindal to have that come up ( smt indira gandhi laid foundation for this in bellary dist and co., was established land achquired by state govt. but never came central investment whereas the same was not case of our neibhouring states vizag got steel plant by central funds, salem got a small plant comapred to sail plants by central funds and for us kannadigas it is always malatayi dhorame ( ketta malatyi). lot of good step mothers do exist bu we are not fortunate to get good one. it is failure of our politicians to force the issues. I fully support the cause and karnatak must get a IIT better late than never pranesh
murali772's picture

IIT yaake'

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With some genuine liberalisation, our private colleges can become as good. Check:

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
silkboard's picture

IITs - if you can't join them, beat them

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This was in news again last week. See "KA pitches for IIT" from TOI, Dec 30.

I was glad to see that some folks prwith a PPP model, much like how IISc was created.

"In addition, IISc was India's first PPP project, with land being given by the Mysore Maharaja. They could now explore the possibility of having an IIT on a PPP model, Ananth Kumar suggested"

Read more:

"B S Sonde, former vice-chancellor of Goa University and professor at IISc, suggested new approaches to the think-tank: "Let us not be just a 16th IIT. Let us make a bid for the new IIT on a PPP basis, offering multi and inter-disciplinary under-graduate and post-graduate programmes..."

Why even waste time haggling with the center for an IIT. Granted, the three letter acronym is a big brand. Why is our state with several philanthropic minded individuals (who may be willing) not confident of creating a greenfield world class university?

The IITs can be beaten. And probably they need to be, for they need some competition. Its not like they are amongst the top 10 or 20 tech institutes in the world. 70th 80th etc would be good for 50th or 60th largest economy of the world, not any more.

Pass private universities bill

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Karnataka is yet to pass a private universities bill unlike even states like Assam and Chattisgarh!

There are enough philathrophists to fund a KIT (Karnataka Institute of Technology) that can be be far better endowed than any IIT imaginable.

Shri Aravind Limbavali favoured amendment of the existing Karnataka Universities Act of 2000 to favour establishment of private universities. He was refering to this act when a proposal by Shri Azim Premji of Wipro came up to set up a private university. Even the Adichunchanagiri Matha wanted to set up a private university. comment guidelines

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