Lack of resources restrict third generation IITs from mentoring local engineering colleges

IITs to mentor at least five engineering colleges, however, new IITs might face difficulty in doing so.

With decreasing enrolment of students in engineering courses at UG level and lakhs of colleges shutting down, evaluating the standard and quality of should be on the top of the priority list for the education sector. In its 52nd meeting held on August 21, Council of IITs decided that all the 23 IITs will mentor atleast five engineering colleges in their vicinity to improve the quality of engineering education.

Under the mentorship programme, IITs will encourage joint student activities, collaborative research projects, open lectures and increase the number of PhD pursuing faculty members of local colleges under the Quality Improvement Program (QIP).

“IITs are ahead of rest of engineering colleges in terms of research infrastructure, labs, resources and quality faculty. The focus will be more on enhancing teaching techniques and sharing of resources,” said Pradeep Mathur, director, IIT Indore.

The IITs will have to carefully pick the Engineering colleges that need to be mentored. “We are ready to mentor more than five colleges, provided these colleges show eagerness to upgrade their standards. Geographical proximity will definitely be one of the major parameter while selecting colleges.”

V Ramgopal Rao, director, IIT Delhi, stressed at the need to have proper mechanism to decode the parameters of selection and the first batch of mentorship programme can be started in the next three months. “Recently established IITs do not have infrastructure like labs and research equipment, as they themselves are in the formative stage, but few of them can rely on the experienced faculty members recruited recently,” added Rao.

IIT Goa, Bhilai and Jammu belong to the third generation of IITs, which are less than 8 years old and still matching up to the levels of older institutes like IIT Bombay, Kharagpur and Kanpur. “We are not as good as old IITs in terms of infrastructure but as the mentorship programme will be more about building capacity of teachers of mentee institutes, we will be able to contribute with excellent faculty and bring the overall academic level to high standards,” said BK Mishra, director, IIT Goa.

“Many students, who pursue BTech from other institutes, join IITs to pursue MTech. The mentorship programme will minimise IITs efforts in grooming these students as the overall academic environment of local colleges is expected to change over time,” added Mishra.
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