New Delhi: Seeking to take forward reforms in education, HRD minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesdat asked the IITs to expand into new areas like medicine and law and evolve a framework in this regard.
Interacting with the IIT directors in Delhi, Sibal said that the institutes need to explore the possibility of having multiple campuses, good connectivity and courses with multi-disciplinary approach.
“You need to prepare a framework on how to achieve expansion, inclusiveness and excellence. IITs are good because you get the best students, not necessarily you give them the best. What you need is to give them the best,” he said at a meeting at the IIT in Delhi.
He also said the IITs should go beyond the fixed boundaries.
“There should be multifarious disciplines in IITs — school of medicine, law, social science and even literature. What I want is innovation. Why cannot the 14 IITs become 14 universities with innovation,” he said.
Sibal’s remarks assume significance in view of a government-appointed committee suggesting for starting multi-disciplinary approach in the IIT system. The committee on renovation and rejuvenation has favoured the idea of making IITs universities and allow them to start courses in various disciplines.
Sibal also emphasised on more interaction with the industry and provide technology solution for the growth of the economy.
Nearly 52% of the GDP in the country is generated from service sector while 30% comes from manufacturing and the balance from agriculture.
“Impact of science and technology is crucial for all these sectors. The country will have a surplus 47 million students by 2020. They need to be absorbed in India and outside. IITs need to be the leaders of knowledge economy with creation intellectual property,” he said.
Emphasising on expansion, Sibal asked the IITs explore the possibility to open more campuses with better connectivity. He appreciated the efforts of IIT Kanpur to open a branch in Noida.
As enrollment of girl students remain abysmal in IITs, he asked the directors to find ways how more women could be encouraged to pursue education in these institutions. At present, girls constitute 10% of IIT students.
“You prepare the framework on all these issues. ministry will consider that and come up with a concrete policy to help you,” he said.
Sibal lamented over India lagging behind in research. While about 50,000 people are doing Ph.D in China per year, the number is about 5,000 in India.