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Thrust in IITs was not on research, but things changing: Sibal

Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said so far the thrust in IITs had not been on research, but things are changing now.

Ahmedabad: Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said so far the thrust in IITs had not been on research,
but things are changing now.

His comments came in the backdrop of Environment
Minister Jairam Ramesh`s statement that "there is hardly any
worthwhile research taking place in our IITs".

Sibal, however, avoided getting into any argument with
his Cabinet colleague.
"I would not like to make any comment on what the
Minister has said as it would not look good," he told
reporters here when asked about Ramesh`s critical remarks on
faculty of IIMs and IITs.

"But I would like to say that when the IITs were
formed, a majority of courses were of B Tech and thrust was
not given to post-graduate degree (M Tech), where all the
research activity takes place," the HRD Minister maintained.

"Bright students used to do B Tech here and if they
wanted to go for research, they used to go to the US."
"Another thing that we should keep in mind is that a
country like the US spends USD 250 billion annually on
research. Even China spends about USD 50-60 billion, while in
India we spend just USD 8 billion dollar annually," he said.

"So we have to think about it before saying research
is not being done due to faculty members of IITs."

Ramesh, speaking in Delhi on Monday, had said, "the
faculty in the IIT is not world class. It is the students in
IITs who are world class. The IITs and IIMs are excellent
(institutes) because of the quality of students not because of
quality of research or faculty."


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