From IIT politics to IIM politics..

Just a couple of months ago, the govt announced that a new IIT will come up in Karnataka. This led to political battles over which city/place will host the new IIT. It was as if the new IIT was some kind of a industrial project which will lead to huge income and welfare for the local public. The relation is actually the opposite. It is the overall development of city which keeps these educational institutions humming. One can compare IITs in Kanpur, Kharagpur, Guwahati with IITs in Mumbai, Delhi, Madras etc to get some ideas.

This politics moves to IIMs now. Despite poor logic to set up more of such places, the govt announced yesterday to set up 6 new IIMs. This was in line with the Union Budget proposal to set up new IIT/IIM in the states. In the budget, it announced the states that will have these new entities. Y’day the note specified the places in the same states:

The union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the proposal to set up six new Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) across the country.

 The new IIMs would come up at Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Bodh Gaya (Bihar), Sirmaur (Himachal Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharashtra), Sambalpur (Odisha) and Amritsar (Punjab). “These new IIMs will begin functioning from assigned temporary campuses and shift to their permanent sites after construction of their campuses is completed,” IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the media after the cabinet meeting. He said it was intended that the six new management institutes will commence their first academic session from 2015-16.
Each institute will start with an intake of 140 students in the Post Graduate Programme (PGP) courses, Prasad said, adding that the annual intake will increase to reach a level of 560 students each year by the end of seven years.
Admission to the post-graduate programme in management, which would be the flagship programme of these institutions, will be through the Common Admission Test (CAT) being conducted by the IIMs.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his 2015-15 budget speech made a commitment to establish five new IIMs in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Punjab. 
In addition, the reorganisation of the state of Andhra Pradesh into the two states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana has necessitated the setting up of an IIM in Andhra Pradesh.

The academic session for 2015-16 has already started . So have admissions already happened at these places? I mean the choice of cities is interesting to say the least. No lessons have been learnt from previous choices where hardly any faculty really wants to go barring a few. As always, there is just no mention over the quality of faculty at these places when the older ones are struggling to find them despite being in cities of choice.

Actually what was even more interesting is the last line which has been emphasied. What do you mean by necessitated the setting up of an IIM in AP? It is just because the Vishakapatnam one which was meant to be in AP now will be based in Telangana? But this is no compulsory thing which happens in State reorganisation like so much of taxes, expenses, cities and so on.

Indian higher edu policy currently just has one choice – keep milking the “II” cow till the animal dies. The State govts have failed miserably to nurture and develop their own univs/instis. The onus is on the Centre which keeps announcing newer and newer IIs just to please the states. And then states can still benefit if the talent remains in the state identifying growth opportunities. But this is a rare case as most head to big cities (many to just pay off their loans). Even if there is an attempt to fund and develop faculties, one can still make some peace with the idea. But there is no such thing. PhD scholars in India struggle with everything rigt from livelihood to credibility. We are happy as long as we can keep getting faculties from abroad but why will they go to such random cities?

It is just getting crazier by the day. At this rate, we will soon start saying IIT/IIM colony/ward wise as well..

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