KANPUR: 'The issue of
recent fund crisis at IIT Kanpur due to lower allocation by the HRD Ministry
doesn't fall under Niti Aayog's scope'. This clarification was made by Dr V.K.
Saraswat, member of the Niti Aayog, during his visit to IIT Kanpur for
Foundation Day celebrations, here on Monday. He specifically mentioned that the
Niti Aayog is a different body compared to the erstwhile Planning Commission.
He stated that the present Central government has decided
not to make any changes to the 12th Five Year
Plan. Hence, the funds for constructing three new IITs have been redirected
from the earlier allocated funds for IITs. This has in-turn resulted in lower
grants for the existing colleges.
He made special notice of the fact that our Prime Minister
has great faith and hopes in our IITs, and hence no derailment has happened in
fund allocation. However, prioritization is being done while distributing
funds, so that more such prominent institutions can be opened.
On the other hand, the Director of IIT Kanpur raised
concerns that the institution has seen fund slashing to the tune of 100 crores
in the past 2 years. This in turn has significantly affected the building of
new infrastructure on the campus. He put forth his apprehension stating that
unless a sustained policy on fund provisioning is made, these institutions may
face consistent hurdles in operation.
When asked about the functioning of Niti Aayog, DrSaraswat
mentioned that it is working towards skill and technology development of the
Swacch Bharat Programme. There are in
excess of 400 million youths under 35 years of age in India, and this a very
strong potential area for us. If we need to grow as a nation, we shall need to
hone their skills and increase their productivity, he said.
Talking about faculty crisis in IITs, Dr Saraswat said that
there has been a massive inclination towards working in the service sector, owing
to higher payscales. As a result, a very few join teaching or research as a
profession, and hence the shortage.
As the service sector pays attractive salary packages, the
students don't opt to go elsewhere. But for the country to develop, progress in
service sector isn't enough. Industry and agriculture has to be looked at
equally importantly as well.
He spoke of the eventual development in IITs where in the
students shall be motivated towards teaching while pursuing their engineering.
With the inclusion of the Sixth Pay Commission, the pays and perks of teachers
at IITs have reached a decent level. And with the Seventh Pay Commission due to
come in soon, the pays shall get more attractive. We can hence attract a large
chunk of quality students towards pursuing teaching as their career.
Prof Indranil Manna,Director of IIT-Kanpur, said that due efforts
are being made to bring back those alumni who have moved abroad to pursue their
PhD. These students can be approached to join as faculty in the institute.