Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How many IITs are there

Question: How many IITs are there?

Answer: It depends.

If you are talking about the number of degree granting Indian Institutes of Technology, the number is seven. If you include the entities named Indian Institute of Technology without the degree granting authority, the number jumps to 15. And if you look at the bill pending in Rajya Sabha, it mentions 16 IITs.

Here is what has been happening. Government of India decided in 2008 to start 8 new IITs in the country (6 immediately, and 2 more a year later), and also convert Institute of Technology, BHU, Varanasi to an IIT. The only small problem they faced was that IITs have been set up through an act of Parliament, and therefore, to create more IITs, they will have to get the approval of the Parliament. They did not think it was important to seek Parliamentary nod before starting the Institutes (even though their own regulation in case of another set of universities - deemed universities - clearly state that a university cannot give degrees to students admitted by it prior to grant of university status). Last year, the pressure started building up. The first batch of under-graduate students would be completing the requirements of a typical UG engineering program in 2012. So the government got it passed in the Lok Sabha, where they have a majority.

And then it was sent to Rajya Sabha. A news report in ToI yesterday alarmingly declared that politics has taken over the process of creating new IITs, and the bill has not been allowed to pass, even though it has been a year since Lok Sabha gave its nod. Apparently some political groups are opposing the "bifurcation" of Banares Hindu University. The same act proposes to set up new IITs as well as convert IT-BHU to an IIT. So, if the Act cannot be passed, IT-BHU remains part of BHU, and the new IITs remain without the degree granting status. The government cannot take IT-BHU out of the Act, because they have promised this conversion to so many people at so many occasions. So, it is either nine or none.

It is sad that very small and emotional issues are being raised now. IT BHU has almost been part of IIT family for a very long time, having participated in joint counseling of all IITs. And they deserve to be full and equal member in the family.

But, one thing in the news report caught my attention. Students have voluntarily not taken degrees in the last three convocations of BHU. Why not? Apparently, they are expecting that their degree certificates will mention the name of their university as IIT, if they wait long enough. Somehow it makes no sense to me. If you joined IT BHU in 2006, and completed all requirements of BTech degree in 2010, and the name of the institute changed to IIT in 2012, does it make sense for this person to get a degree from IIT.

We have an example of another university which was renamed as IIT. The students and graduates there showed so much better sense. Only the students who graduated after the conversion got the name IIT written on the degree certificate. If you look at the CV of the older alumni, it will typically mention the name of the institute as, "IIT Roorkee (earlier know as University of Roorkee)" or "University of Roorkee (later renamed as IIT Roorkee)". That showed maturity and pride in their alma mater. It showed their confidence that a name change can only change things slowly. Skills, Knowledge, Personality traits of an individual matter much more in a career than the name change of the alma mater (though over a long period, it will start making some difference).

The bill not getting passed in Rajya Sabha also has serious implications for new IITs. The first batch of under-graduates in six IITs are looking forward to a convocation ceremony to take that degree in front of their family and friends. However, convocation cannot be held unless they get the right to award degrees. Now, most new IITs would have liked to invite the President (their Visitor) or Prime Minister to grace the occasion. But now, what is going to happen is that as soon as the bill is eventually passed, they would prefer to organize a quick convocation function to award those degrees, and not wait for a VVIP to find time.

I hope the political deadlock is resolved quickly for both IT BHU as well as new IITs.


Prateek said...

Very true Sir. Reading through felt - that my emotions had been penned down by a fellow college student.

Prateek Sharma
Ece 08.

Prateek said...

Very true Sir.


nitin agrawal said...

disagree. they did not take degree to pressurise govt. and IIT tag always help as much qualified you are

SP said...

3 years back when my son got admission to ITBHU, all the top officials including JEE chairman announced the institute will be converted into IIT in a year. Now I understand this has been going on for several years now. Political or otherwise, there is no point in admitting students through JEE criteria if you can not award an IIT degree. Admit through AIEEE and ITBHU will get the place it deservs.

Giri@iisc said...

"there is no point in admitting students through JEE criteria if you can not award an IIT degree."

I have never understood this argument. IISc, ISM Dhanbad also admit students through JEE. Should they also be converted to IIT?

There are many institutes that use the CAT scores (including IISc, FMS, NITs, IITs) for admission to their MBA program. Should they be converted to IIM because they are using CAT scores?

Usage of JEE, CAT or GATE scores for admission is just admission procedure.

Because IT-BHU has excellent infrastructure and better than new IITs, they can be converted to an IIT. That should be the argument put forward, not JUST because they use JEE for admission.



Anunaya said...

Sir, very informative article. I didn't know that the new IIT might not be able to grant degrees to the students.
Secondly, what you said about IIT Roorkee alumini is absolutely true. The alumini who were a part of UoR still take pride in the culture of UoR. I know it because I graduated from IITR last year and I have been reading the forums of alumini of UoR/IITR.

JJ said...

Rightly said dheeraj --Whats there in the name ? as shakspeare says. :) University of Roorkee or IIT-R .Naam mein kyaa rakhaa hei :)

SP said...

Unfortunately in India everything is in a name. The funding comes with the name. The placement comes with the name. The evaluation of teachers comes with the name. And many more things come with the magic 3 letters IIT.Just talk to any students at ITBHU and you will know how much troble they are facing with the missing I. Next in line for IIT status is surely ISM. From the begening everyone knows CAT and GATE are used by many, but JEE is restricted to 15IITs, ITBHU and ISM.

PULKIT said...

In the case of IIT Roorkee, the Government had passed two Ordinances till the Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill 2002 was passed. If allowed by constitution, the MHRD must do the same for the Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill 2011 o benefit new IITs and IT BHU.

Abhijeet said...

Your information regarding IIT Roorkee is incorrect. My friend who passed IIT Roorkee in 2002 told me that people who graduated in the year when it conversion was decalred (no done) also got IIT degrees. Their old degrees were taken back and new degrees were issued. That included graduated of 2000 and perhaps 1998 and 1999 also. Please check your facts.

Abhijeet said...

I apologize if I sounded disrespectful. I did not mean to be. But I personally believe that a degree written "Indian Institute of Technology" means a lot that a degree without "Indian" in it. I have come across several instances when this mattered. The reason is obvious; people see the end result, they cannot observe the effort.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Abhijeet, I stand by my statement. All convocations prior to Sep 2001 (when ordinance was issued) gave degrees as "University of Roorkee" and there was no conversion of degrees from UoR to IITR. All convocations after Sep 2001 gave degrees as IIT Roorkee. The talk about conversion was strong in the year 2000, but they did not postpone their convocation so that they can get IITR degrees. The convocation in the year 2000 was held in Nov 2000, as usual.

PULKIT said...

This is to bring to everyone's notice that the Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill 2011 has been passed by Rajya Sabha today 30 April 2012. It is a matter of pride that justice has been done and truth overpowers politics. Long live the IITs...

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Pulkit, Thanks for sharing the good news. Better late than never.

Vikas said...
This is the link to the amendment bill. The only reason for delay of convocation is that the bill mentions (page 5) that students admitted post 2006 be given IIT degrees . This may not have been the case in IITR . Its not that students wouldn't take IT degrees , The university is not able to give the BHU degrees post 2010 due to the bill which was passed in 2010 . Now you would ask why such a clause in the bill . This is because the committee that had recommended the up gradation of BHU had submitted the report in 2006 and the govt had made its intention clear at that time that the conversion would take place. Since they had mentioned student admitted after 2006 BHU could hold their convocation til 2009 . But as is the case with Indian democracy , any bill takes time and even the govt did not show urgency until 2k12 when the students in other 8 IITs were going to graduate . The two batches in BHU 2010, 11 had to wait as the bill could not be passed in RS and BHU had no authority to give them degrees as the bill had already been passed in LS .
BHU is something every IT student takes pride in that's why the name IIT BHU . There is no question of lack of confidence as you have put it . Hope that makes it clear.
How can students refuse to take degrees , As in you take what you get . If the college is not allowed and not giving you degrees .. how would you be taking it anyhow ? The students don't run a college and can't dictate administration .
And anyways how much of a difference anyways it make to the guys who have already passed out . We are already in our jobs , others have already joined MS or MBA whatever . We only had our provisional BHU degrees to get these . It doesn't matter if an extra I gets on your degree , most employers ask for your Resume and they won't go and see if you passed in the year when it was IIT or just BHU .

I mean even if someone writes on their CV IIT BHU (formerly ITBHU) . Would this be lesser in value than another guy who writes IIT BHU (nothing in bracket) . I seriously doubt it .
Come on its just trivial . DCE is DTU , but no one knows it and no one bothers to tell any one about it . The employees seek for DCE students and the students mention DCE in their Resumes . Nomenclature is trivial .
the advantages of BHU becoming an IIT will be seen for future batches when the facilities and research grants at IT BHU comes to the level of IITs . Better students would be admitted (JEE Ranks) , and many more companies would land up at campus .. not that there were any less in our time at BHU

Thanks ,
A proud ITBHU (Minus the I) 2010 Pass out

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Vikas, Please read the bill carefully. It does not say that BHU cannot give degree. In fact, it clearly says that students joining after 2006 will be considered IIT student only if they are not already given degree by someone else (and that someone else can only be BHU).

In fact, what a bill says cannot determine how a university shall function. University functions are decided by laws and not by bills. In fact, even after the bill has been passed by Rajya Sabha, it is still just a bill, till President approves it as well (which is just a formality as per our constitution, but theoretically, President can take enormously long time to take a decision, and then return the bill to Parliament for re-consideration). And, in any case, the bill (or act) is only providing an enabling clause (because it was written long time ago), and it does not bar BHU from giving degrees. In fact, it allows these graduates to be given BHU degrees even after the President has approved the bill and it has been notified into the Gazette and has become the law of the land.


I want to give you all a happy news that bill have been approved by both the H'nble Houses of parliament and has been sent to H'nble President of Republic of India for her consent....We are expecting the letter from the law misistry about the oridance by end of this month.

Arindam Sengupta said...

A fact some of you might find interesting. There's this (there could be others) institute, the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), that runs an M Tech program in CS and admit candidates through BOTH channels - GATE as well as their own entrance test - followed by an interview. For other courses of course they use only their own tests.

Now they are also an Institute of National Importance set up by an act of parliament (ISI Act) and wouldn't dream of converting to an IIT!

So clearly just using scores of a test (JEE/GATE) conducted by IITs for some course is decidedly not any sort of criterion for conversion into an IIT, on technical grounds.

The case with pure schools of technology is of curse different.

shreyoshi said...

This is wrt the comment by Giri@iisc (March 30) - ISM Dhanbad doesnot use the score of IIT-JEE for admission like IISc does. ISM & IT-BHU take IIT-JEE qualified students through the IIT-JEE centralized counselling, unlike IISc or IISER or IIST which take students using the IIT-JEE scores of students who couldnot qualify in IIT-JEE. You can confirm this by seeing the heading on-

v3ga said...

The President has passed the Bill. So there are officially 16 IITs

v3ga said...

The president passed the bill. SO there are 16 IITs

Muhammad Muhsin said...

Same could be the case with new NIT's..The NIT bill amendment passed recently in Parliament only mentions about new IISER's ,not the 10 new NIT's from where about 1000 students will pass out in 2014.Even this bill should be taken up in the Parliament soon so that our politicians get enough time to play politics and pass the bill before 2014!!!!
It seems no one is aware of this or else no one is concerned.
Someone should take up this matter...

shreyoshi said...

‘Indian School of Mines could be converted as IIT’-