As a former IIT graduate and later a faculty member in IIT I am watching the ongoing controversy, a very unfortunate one to say in one word, between the IITs and the govt. Over the decades IITs have produced graduates who are in fact India’s pride and other’s envy. Instead of applauding the IITs for their sacred efforts govt has come down heavily against these excellent centres of higher learning. There are no good reasons for our govt to play this game. Apparently in order to punish the coaching centres govt has taken this drastic step. But is not to justify the age-old adage, ‘Let the house get burnt, but the mouse must die?’ By the way, has the govt stopped the IAS coaching centres or CAT coaching centres or for that matter ‘tuition’ for class I students?
The HRD ministry has many urgent problems to address. All the govt schools across the country need urgent repair; furniture like table and chairs for the students are missing. There are no playgrounds, no computer labs and no fans and lights. The school I read 60 years back has seen little or no improvements.
Besides, on an emotional plane, will any mother hand over her newborn child to some one to look after when she is fit to look after the kid? The faculty members in IITs, as I have experienced as a student and then performed as a faculty member, treat the students as their children and have struggled hard to train them the best possible way. Late Prof S K Mitra of Naval Architecture at IIT Kharagpur (lovingly called Nauka Mitra, he knew it!) once declared in the class in early 1960s, ‘Boys, I do not see any difference between you and my son, Robin.’ Why does our ministry try to create thousand orphans by their unfortunate actions?
I am glad that Times of India (June 11, 2012) has carried a balanced and sensible editorial, ‘Leave IIT Alone’ highlighting the raging issue. Hopefully, the govt borrows the ears of Lord Ganesh to hear this appeal!