Ministry of HRD has shrunk budgets of IITs to re-distribute these to create new IITs: Dr VK Saraswat

KANPUR: Member of Niti Aayog Dr VK Saraswat during his visit to IIT-Kanpur on Monday evening said that the issue of crisis of funds with IIT-Kanpur due to less allocation by Ministry of HRD does not come under the ambit by Niti Aayog. He said that Niti Aayog is different from planning commission which used to allocate funds under different heads. Dr Saraswat had come to take part in the Foundation day celebrations of IIT-Kanpur on Monday.

“The present centre government has not touched the 12th five year plan and therefore, there will be no change in it till 2017. But the Ministry of HRD has re-distributed the funds for establishing new IITs. Three new IITs are to come up soon”, he said.

He said that prime minister has huge expectations from IITs and there is no deduction in the funds rather Ministry of HRD has prioritised how much to be given to the IITs so that more of such institutions can be opened.

Director, IIT-Kanpur, on the other hand admitted that in the past two years MHRD had slashed funds by Rs 100 crores which is coming as a challenge in establishment of new departments and the buildings on the campus. He said that there is a need for sustained policy for fund allocation to IITs otherwise, challenges will come in the way of these higher institutions.

Talking about the functions of Niti Aayog, Dr Saraswat said that it is working on skill development and technology development for Swacch Bharat. “There are 400 million youth in the country below 35 years of age. The need is to hone their skills. This will increase their productivity and they will get employment. A policy on this aspect has been made and government is working on it.

Replying to a question about faculty crisis in IITs in general and IIT-Kanpur in particular, Dr Saraswat said that the inclination of the engineering students is towards the service sector as it pays higher dividens. As a result of which a very few of them join professions such as teaching or research. This has caused a shortage of the faculty members in the IITs, he said.

“Students get a good salary package in the service sectors. Therefore, they do not go elsewhere. The country cannot progress with the service sector alone. The growth in the industry and the agricultural sector is equally important”, he said and added that it is a challenge to look for good students who can be promoted as teachers in the academic institutions such as IITs.

He also mentioned that IITs will motivate the students to join as teachers and researchers after completing their engineering course. Also the pays and the perks in the institutes such as IITs after sixth pay commission have reached a decent level and with the implementation of the seventh pay commission, the pay will be a very decent one. Higher pays will attract the attention of the students towards the teaching profession, he added.

Director, IIT-Kanpur, Prof Indranil Manna said that efforts are being made to bring back those students who have gone out of India to pursue P.Hd course. He said that these students can be made to join as faculty in the institute.