As per reports in Press Trust of India, Vivek Kumar Singh, the study's lead author from the Department of Computer Science of the Banaras Hindu University said, "Of these two, NTU established in 1991 is younger than the five older IITs, which shows that the age of an institution alone does not necessarily matter for higher performance. If a new institution like NTU can achieve research performance levels to be included among top ranking world institutions, then why not some of the Indian IITs." He further added that IITs are still behind in research performance when compared to IISc (Indian Institute of Science).
In the study, research publication data indexed in Web of Science was analyzed. The data was examined to determine productivity, productivity per capita, rate of growth of research output, authorship and collaboration pattern, citation impact and discipline-wise research strength of the different IITs. The study noted that even though the IITs are the premier institutes in the field of engineering and technology in the country, they do not rank high in the list of top universities in the world.
The first ever IIT was established in 1951 at Kharagpur, followed by IIT Bombay in 1958, IIT Madras in 1959, IIT Kanpur in 1959 and IIT Delhi in 1961. All these IITs were established through foreign collaboration. In 1961, the Parliament passed the Institutes of Technology act which declared these institutions as institutes of national importance.
Almost three decades later, IIT Guwahati was established in 1994 which was followed by conversion of Roorkee University to IIT Roorkee in 2001.
In the period between 2008-2012, nine more IITs were established at Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Patna, Ropar, Indore, Mandi and Varanasi respectively. Then during 2015-16 seven more IITs were proposed at Palakkad, Tirupati, Dhanbad, Bhilai, Goa, Jammu and Dharwad.
Since the IITs were all established at different times, they were all grouped into three different groups. The 7 IITs which were at least 15 years old fell in one group, the 9 IITs established during 2008-2012 were grouped together, and in third group were the recent 7 IITs established during 2015-16. The study excluded the seven recent IITs.
The study found that there was considerable difference in research performance levels of old IITs and new IITs. Explaining the possible reason for this difference, Singh said, "This can be explained by the fact that new IITs are quite young for a research performance comparison with old IITs. Some new IITs, particularly the IITI (IIT-Indore) show promising research performance."
Another important conclusion from the study was that the major chunk of research at the IITs is being done in physics, chemistry and mathematics disciplines and the institutes lagged in research in engineering.
(With Inputs from IANS)
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