A look at newly set up IITs and central universities
Team Careers360, 20 Mar 2013

IN the last few months, the Ministry of HRD had begun the spring-cleaning of the Higher Education system. 

First, the sanction to prosecute the AICTE, then the acceptance of a Yashpal Committee report, a slew of new bills, and even the ill-advised move to withdraw deemed university status for 44 colleges (look forward to our story on the same in the next issue), all show a certain seriousness on the part of the state. But unfortunately, the state never looks inwards to see if its house is in order. 

Images : Sanijib Kr Mukherjee 

The GOI, in every communication cites the famous Supreme Court judgement, declaring the 112 teaching shops that came about in Chhattisgarh in 2004 (judgment is displayed on UGC website). The judgement clearly says what constitutes a university (See Box for excerpts from the judgement). To put it crudely, it has a 5-point test; land, campus, faculty, academic diversity and money, and for the court all the elements are equally crucial. If one applies the same standards to most of the newly-announced IITs and Central Universities, then none of them would pass the muster. 

As the Supreme Court rightly cautioned, “A University having no infrastructure or teaching facility of any kind would still be in a position to confer degrees and thereby create a complete chaos”. And if not checked, even as they stumble on their way to meet the requirement, these institutions would produce scores of engineers, scientists, graduates and diploma holders. In the case of IITs, at least there is a mentor to provide some academic solace. The students of the new Central Universities do not even have that. We applied the 5-point test to see whether the judgement applied to these universities and IITs. Here is what we found. 

In the photographCAMP OFFICE of the Central University of Orissa is a flat in this multi-story residential campus. The university operates from this office and has some classrooms as well as infratructure in another rented campus at Koraput.


Eight new IITs 
Rewind to August 15, 2007, when the Government announced, “We are setting up five new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, eight new Indian Institutes of Technology, seven new Indian Institutes of Management, and twenty new Indian Institutes of Information Technology”. It is now three years after the announcement, and the status of these eight IITs, (see table for the detailed analysis) do not present a pretty picture. 

Three out of the proposed eight function from the premises of their mentor IITs. If the mentor IITs, do have such capacity, then they should increase their intake. If they don’t then the students are invariably shortchanged. Barring IIT, Hyderabad, and IIT Patna, no other IIT has recruited faculty. One, IIT Mandi, has just advertised for faculty. The less said the better about land, infrastructure and other essential ingredients that go into the making of great technical institutions.

New IITs  

Location

 

Date of 

commencement

Student 

strength

Specialisations

 

Mentor

IIT

Temporary campus

 

No. of faculty 

on board

Gandhinagar

 

Aug-08

 

120

 

Chemical Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

IIT 
Mumbai

 

Vishwakarma Government Engineering College, Chandkheda, Gandhinagar – 382424,

Faculty ad is on. Nov 2008 was last date. 

No further info

Patna

 

Aug-08

 

120

 

Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

IIT 
Guwahati

 

Operating from Navin Government Polytechnic Campus,Patliputra Colony

30 faculty recruited in the first round

 

Ropar

 

Jul-08

 

120

 

Chemical Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

IIT 
Delhi

 

Transit campus at ROPAR 

 

The advert is on. 
No further info

 

Rajasthan

 

Aug-08

 

120

 

Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

IIT 
Kanpur

 

Opearting from IIT Kanpur

 

N.A.

 

Hyderabad

 

Aug-08

 

120

 

Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

IIT 
Madras

 

Ordnance Factory Estate, Hyderabad.

 

32 

 

Bhubaneswar

 

Aug-08

 

120

 

Civil Engineering, Electrical 

Engineering and Mechanical Engg.

IIT 
Karagpur

 

IIT Karagpur temporary campus

 

16 

 

Indore

 

Aug-09

 

120

 

Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

 

IIT,
Mumbai

 

Two floors consisting of a built up area of 3400 sq meters at the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), Devi Ahilya Vishwa Vidyalay at Indore.

Advt. for faculty was on recently

 

Mandi

 

Aug-09

 

120

 

Electrical, Mechanical and 

Computer Science & Engineering 

IIT 
Roorkee

 

IIT Roorkie temporary campus

 

Faculty advert on 28th Jan 2010 closing date 1st March 2010

 

Extracts from  the Chhattisgarh judgement

28. As shown earlier, University is a whole body of teachers and scholars engaged at a particular place in giving and receiving instructions in higher branches of learning; Other necessary attributes of University are: plurality of teachers teaching more than one higher faculty and other facilities for imparting instructions and research, provision for residence and must have certain standard of instructions providing for graduate and post-graduate levels of study. It presupposes existence of a campus, classrooms, lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, offices, besides some playgrounds and also sport facility for overall development of personality of the students. â€¦â€¦. The impugned Act does not at all establish a University, yet by issuing a notification conferring the legal status of a University to a Project Report (which is on paper only) bestows upon it a right to confer a degree, which right it gets by virtue of Section 22 of the UGC Act. The manner in which a University is notified by issuance of a Gazette notification under Section 5 and conferment of a juristic personality under Section 6 of the Act is clearly contrary to the Constitutional scheme and is not contemplated by Article 246 of the Constitution.

35 … incorporation of a company is entirely different from incorporation of a University and they are conceptually different. Sections 3, 3 (1)(i), 12, 13, 26, 33 and 34 of the Companies Act relate to incorporation of a Company. It need not have a prior business and a mere statement of a lawful purpose in the Memorandum of Association is enough. If a Company is unable to achieve its objective and is unable to carry on business, the shareholders may suffer some financial loss, but there is absolutely no impact on society at large. However, a University once incorporated gets a right to confer degrees. A University having no infrastructure or teaching facility of any kind would still be in a position to confer degrees and thereby create a complete chaos in the matter of co-ordination and maintenance of standards in higher studies which would be highly detrimental for the whole nation...42... In order to establish a University, there must be adequate land on which the campus may be made and necessary infrastructural facilities provided. No University can come into existence without a proper campus which requires land...

Central-413 new Central Universities
Here, the situation is much worse. Announced in 2008, the Act was passed in parliament on February 12, 2009. And the Vice Chancellors were appointed by March 1, 2009. Most of them have launched a slew of courses from the last academic session. None of the new universities came on record nor did they allow us to interact with their students. Some of the photographs along side tell there own stories. 

Interestingly, only two of the 13 have any information on their academic councils. The quality of a degree, in terms of the structure of the courses, syllabus, delivery and evaluation has to be ideally monitored by the council. In a good university like the JNU, a course would go through a three-stage approval process and a programme (say an MA) would take a four-stage approval. 

In the photographCENTRAL UNIVERSITY of Jharkhand's campus, though slightly better, is still a temporary arrangement.

Normally it takes a year to develop a course and another to launch it. But none of these seems to apply to these universities. Take the case of the Central University of Tirvarur or that of Kerala. One operates from a commercial tower and another from the District collectorate. Both offer a slew of courses. The camp office of University of Orissa is a flat in a housing colony! 
Aviation_map
The advertisement of Central University of Tamil Nadu clearly states, “The hostels, detailed course review, fee structure etc would be worked out and intimated to students some time in the future”. How are these degrees any different from the ones offered by those 112 universities, rightly banned by the Supreme Court?

Images : Ramesh Dave

Should the  initial batches of students be subjected to agony, just because our politicians want to announce new initiatives? Hope the Supreme Court takes suo moto cognizance of these violations and puts a stop to admissions in these universities until they meet the norms set by the court adequately. Will the court bite the bullet? 

In the photographCENTRAL UNIVERSITY of Gujarat currently operates from these rented premises. It offers cutting edge courses, which even established universities would be hard-pressed to offer. 

camp office of the Central University of Orissa is a flat in this multi-storey residential campus. The university operates from this office and has some classrooms as well as infrastructure in another rented campus at Koraput

Central University of Gujarat currently  operates from this rented premises. It offers cutting edge courses, which even established universities would be hard pressed to offer 
 
table_Gvt_Regcentrl_un_orissa

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