156 million dollars spent on IIT’s – to make to serve the countries other than India

This year(2011) too our SC/ST students qualifying the JEE exam have surpassed the allotted quota. Additionally, in the SC category, all the students have qualified directly to the main engineering course without the need for any preparatory course”.

The Indian Institutes of Technology, elite institutions, highly specialised apex institutions and centres of excellence, are a group of 15 autonomous engineering and technology-oriented institutes of higher education. These IIT’s were formed to give education of world standards to the poor downtrodden students, who couldn’t afford to study abroad.  Out of these first seven are governed by The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 which has declared them as “institutions of national importance”, and lays down their powers, duties, framework for governance etc. Remaining eight new IITs are registered as society under Society Act. The new Institutes are in various stages of consolidation and development.  The IITs were created to train scientists and engineers, with the aim of developing a skilled workforce to support the economic and social development of India.

In order of establishment, they are located in Kharagpur (1950; as IIT 1951), Mumbai (1958), Chennai (1959), Kanpur (1959), Delhi (1961; as IIT 1963), Guwahati (1994), Roorkee (1847; as IIT 2001), Ropar (2008), Bhubaneswar (2008), Gandhinagar (2008), Hyderabad (2008), Patna (2008), Jodhpur (2008), Mandi (2009) and Indore (2009). Apart from these ITBHU Varanasi is also slated for conversion as IIT Varanasi. Some IITs were established with financial assistance and technical expertise from UNESCO, Germany, the United States, Japan and the Soviet Union. Each IIT is an autonomous university, linked to the others through a common IIT Council, which oversees their administration. They have a common admission process for undergraduate admissions, using the Joint Entrance Examination (popularly known as IIT-JEE) to select around 8,000 undergraduate candidates a year.

The history of the IIT system dates back to 1946 when Sir Jogendra Singh of the Viceroy’s Executive Council set up a committee whose task was to consider the creation of “Higher Technical Institutions” for post-war industrial development in India. The 22-member committee, headed by Nalini Ranjan Sarkar, recommended the establishment of these institutions in various parts of India.

The President of India is the most powerful person in the organisational structure of IITs. Directly under the President is the IIT Council, which comprises the minister-in-charge of technical education in the Union Government, the Chairmen of all IITs, the Directors of all IITs.

Reservation –

IIT has an affirmative action policy on caste-based reserved quotas. As per the provisions in the Indian constitution, the IITs have been reserving seats for Scheduled Castes of society since 1973. As per the rules of admission to IITs, 15% of the admitted students must be of the Scheduled Castes, and 7.5% of seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes.  The Other Backward classes have been provided with 27% reservation in effect from 2008 with the consent of the Supreme Court of India. As per the rules, all the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates must take the IIT-JEE with the rest of the students. Based on the results of IIT-JEE but using relaxed admissions criteria, SC and ST candidates are offered admission. Another group of candidates who do not meet this relaxed admission criteria are offered a “Preparatory Course” consisting of Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics at the IIT concerned. After one year of study, those candidates who are able to secure a grade higher than the prescribed cut-off mark are offered admission to the regular undergraduate degree programs. There is no relaxation on the criteria for passing the exams or graduating a course. The candidates admitted through the reservation policy are also subjected to the same criteria as the general candidates for graduation.

Fund :

The IITs receive disproportionately high grants compared to other engineering colleges in India. While the total government funding to most other engineering colleges is around Rs. 100–200 million (USD 2-4 million) per year, the amount varies between Rs. 900–1,300 million (USD 18-26 million) per year for each IIT. The IITs subsidise undergraduate student fees by approximately 80%.  The government has no direct control over internal policy decisions of IITs (like faculty recruitment and curricula) but has representation on the IIT Council.

The 1999-2000 Union Budget accounts for Rs 4380 crores (revised) on ‘secondary and higher education’ (Government of India 2000). Of this, Rs 499.18 crores went towards the six IITs. This works out to 11.4 % of the total expenditure in this sector. After spending/ subsidising so heavily, ‘India’ seems to gain nothing. ‘The take-home package for campus recruits ranges from Rs 4.5 lakhs to 7.5 lakhs per annum plus other perks’. And whom do they serve? The front paged ToI report gushingly begins: ‘The Americans want them. So do the Koreans, Japanese, Singaporeans, Germans, Canadians and the French.’

Indian Government is spending 18 to 26 million dollars every year on each IIT. If we consider 6 IIT’s then the amount becomes 156 million US dollars. What is the output of 156 million dollars? (cost of Indian taxpayers’ money, ultimately money of Mulnivasi Bahujan society ). Since 1953, nearly twenty-five thousand IITians have settled in the USA.  So where is the basic objective of establishing IIT and making it “Institute of National Importance.”  Was it established to serve India or serve USA and other countries. So Subsidizing education in IITs is useless.  And who all are these twenty five thousand IIT people settled abroad. Are they from Mulnivasi Bahujan Society. Was it the reason reservation was not implemented for years in these institutions. Though reservations in the IITs were made since they were instituted in the 1950s, it was only in 1973 that IIT-Powai admitted the first 15 Mulnivasi students in the B Tech programme. So why was it to start reservation in IIT’s till 1973? Did it mean that there was not a single SC/ST/OBC educated candidate?

Also IIT’s has stringent entrance examinations which encourage coaching colleges and skew the socio-economic profile of the student body. The highly competitive examination in the form of IIT-JEE has led to establishment of a large number of coaching institutes throughout the country that provide intensive, and specific preparation for the IIT-JEE for substantial fees. These institutes favor students from specific regions and richer backgrounds.

On direction from the Union Government, SC and ST students scoring upto two-thirds of the marks obtained by the last GE [general category] student on the merit list [sic] in the JEE are directly taken into the first year of the BTech programme, under the reservations scheme. Students who score below the two-third JEE cut-off point and “x” marks are assigned to the Preparatory Course where they are given one year’s rigorous training. On obtaining a certain percentage of marks in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and English at the end of the year, they are registered for the First year of BTech, failing which they are asked to leave so that they may join some other college.

The SC/ST students may pass the programme with a reduced number of credits, i.e., 22 credits per semester as compared to 28 credits for the GE students. Nonetheless, to earn the BTech degree, they have to complete the total number of credits common for all (categories of students). The unique aspect of reservations in IITs is the total absence of compromised standards (such as grace marks awarded to SC and ST students). The concessions offered end with the reduced cut-off point at entry, the reduced course load during the semester and the six years (against the five for GE students) to complete the four-year BTech programme. The degree awarded is on a par with the GE students (Kirpal and Gupta, 36, emphases added).

Brahmins have monopolized entire educational sector in India. The Brahmin caste forms only 3% of India’s population but it occupies all top scholastic & legislative positions. They deny the Mulnivasis even basic Education.

Even these top institutes have not been spared from the disaster of the caste system. The institute at present does not implement the reservation policy for the marginalised sections of the society. The reason for this vindictive flouting of social justice norms is the Brahmin domination in the administration and teaching at the institute.

In the IIT Madras, out of 427 faculty members (teaching staff) only 2 faculty members belong to the SC community. Both these members only belong to the lower cadre. Also, this means that instead of 22.5% of positions being allotted to marginalised sections only 0.4% reservation is being given. If the proper process of reservation is followed there should be 96 faculty members from Mulnivasi Bahujan Society.

If for 25 years IITs have been implementing reservation for students, why is it that hardly any dalits and adivasis hold faculty positions? However, in lower-end posts, (‘Class IV’ employees), the scenario is predictably the opposite. In 1983, there were in all 800 dalit employees in IIT-M. Of these, 796 were scavengers.

Also, although Muslims form about 15% of the Indian population there is not a single Muslim faculty member in the Institute. This means that the Brahmins occupy 93% of the teaching community in the institute although their percentage in population is only 3%. About 15 faculty members belong to other castes. It means that in Independent India 100% reservation is there in the IIT’s for 3% Brahmins. Casteism in IITs is only a reflection, or an extension, of what is the larger reality in our caste-driven society.

In 2001, 537 students were selected to join B.Tech in IIT Madras. Of these 503 students belong to the general category and only 34 students belong to the SC/ST community. Instead of 22.5% reservation only 6.3% is being filled up. If reservation is properly implemented there should be 121 students from Mulnivasi Bahujan Society.

41-year-old institute of IIT-Madras, has seen only brahmin directors – P V Indiresan, L S Srinath, N V C Swamy, R Natarajan – in the last 20 years. The chairpersons of this institute also tend to be brahmins – U R Rao, M S Swaminathan, Kasturi Rangan.

On the other side, students from Mulnivasi Bahujan Society selected for the B.Tech are continuously harassed, forced to do suicide & they are wantonly failed in courses by Brahmin faculty. This is facilitated because student’s caste is mentioned in the roll call given to Faculty members. Students from Mulnivasi Bahujan samaj are entirely denied admissions to other programs like M.Tech, M.S. & Ph.D.

Over 200 cases are pending in Honorable Courts in Madras against Director, IIT Madras, for the past five years & some of these cases are regarding denial of reservation for SC/ST/OBC’s.

On 9 June 2008, the government ordered 15% quota for SC, 7.5% for ST and 27% quota for OBCs in teaching positions. IITs currently have no almost no reservations in teaching positions.

‘IIT-Powai does not have any SC/ST/OBC teaching staff, even though 22.5 per cent of posts are reserved for them

- Ashish Kumar

One Response to 156 million dollars spent on IIT’s – to make to serve the countries other than India

  1. SHANKER KUMAR on June, 2011 at 11:05 am


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