New Delhi: Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, an IIT alumnus himself, has kicked up a controversy claiming the faculty of IITs and IIMs are "not world class." He has also said that IITs and IIMs are excellent because of the quality of students and not because of the quality of research or faculty.
"There is hardly any worthwhile research from our IITs. The faculty in the IIT is not world class. It is the students in IITs who are world class. So the IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) and IIMs (Indian Institute of Management are excellent because of the quality of students not because of quality of research or faculty," Ramesh told reporters on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi on Monday.
The outspoken minister is an alumnus of IIT Bombay from where he obtained his B.Tech degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1975.
Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal seemed to agree with his Cabinet colleague. "He (Jairam Ramesh) is himself an IITian. He might be having inside knowledge. Even otherwise...do we have world-class institutions? As Education Minister, I am striving towards achieving world-class standards for our institutions. This is a fact that our institutions don't figure in the top 150 list," he said.
The Environment Minister's remarks have, however, evoked a sharp response from the faculty of the premier institutes.
"A good artisan doesn't not blame his tools. He (Jairam Ramesh) has crossed the limits. It's a challenge to teach students who are sharp and bright. Some of our best research institutions are government-run. He should not berate these institutions but rather look towards making them even more effective," said Professor Anil Gupta, a faculty member at IIM Ahmedabad.
(With PTI inputs)