The Finance Ministry of India has turned down the idea of allocating Rs. 8,700 crore to seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) of the country. The government had initially planned to allocate funds with an objective to help institutes boost up their global rankings. However, the poor performance of IITs in the THE or the Times Higher Education Global Rankings has forced the government to scrap the idea. None of these IITs or institutes of higher learning featured in the list of top 200 institutes at the global level.
Further, it has also rejected project Vishwajeet which was proposed by MHRD that would have enabled IITs to utilize the funds for improving infrastructure, tie up with international institutes, hire international faculty members and other measures for improving QS and Times Higher Education Global Rankings. The clearance for it was given last year.
According to the finance ministry, IITs must primarily address the ‘fundamental issues’ including raising resources from alumni members and corporate houses, autonomy to fix fees and strengthening the existing schemes.
The performance IITs in the 14th Edition of Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings was not as expected. Only Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore featured in the 251-300 band of the rank list. Premier engineering institutes like IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur failed to achieve top spots that has ultimately raised concerns regarding the quality of education offered in these institutes.
The Finance Ministry has also suggested the HRD Ministry to guide IITs towards constructing world-class laboratories through the existing grants. Institute of Eminence scheme, is, however, still valid a total number of ten selected institutes which will get Rs. 1,000 crore funds.