(I)IT-BHUPosted: February 16, 2009
I am writing about a topic which is close to my heart … though thats not the only reason i am writing about this. Over the last few years, there has been heightened interest in replicating the model of excellence as represented by the IIT’s on a much larger scale, increasing India’s competitive positioning in terms of highly skilled manpower, when it comes to engineering. As a part of this, there is the process of creating new IIT’s across the nation. This is indeed a laudable effort, and should, over a period of time, contribute to a large extent to creating greater levels of technology excellence in the nation.
There is, however, one institute which is in the lurch, when it comes to being IIT. This is the Institute of Technology – Banaras Hindu University, lovingly known as IT-BHU. Before i proceed, let me tell you that i studied there, so please keep that in mind when reading this piece further. When i went to college, the number of IIT’s was 5. There were the IIT’s at Kanpur, Kharagpur, Delhi, Bombay, and Madras. However, the hallowed IIT-JEE was an exam which enabled you entrance to these five IIT’s, and to the IT-BHU. As such, from the input perspective, the IT-BHU was quite at the same level as the IIT’s. Now, to the process of converting raw schoolkids to engineers … the college is one of the oldest in the country (founded in 1919 … Prof. Charles King was the first Principal of the college, although then it was in a different form, Minin and Metallurgy still not being a part of a single engineering college), and as such, has a tradition of educational excellence. Add to this the legacy of a university founded by the Mahamana (my Grandfather used to tell me that Mahamana used to be referred to as Silver-Tongued), and which has seen such illustrious and learned men as Dr. Radhakrishnan at the helm of affairs.
With a legacy as brilliant as this, and a faculty which is considered amongst some of the best in the nation, if not the world, the process for converting schoolkids into engineers is among the best in the nation. Coming to the conversion process … the process of converting schoolkids into engineers … the input to the institute comes through the IIT-JEE … the premier entrance exam. So, the quality of students who study at IT-BHU is comparable to the IIT’s. The education given is world-class, with a standardized curriculum, and faculty which is among the best in the world. Hence, the output is comparable in terms of quality to the IIT’s. With a legacy like this, and education which is of the standard of IIT’s, it is only reasonable to place IT-BHU at par with the IIT’s.
What is interesting is this … There was a Press Release announcing the conversion of IT-BHU to IIT. And what is even more interesting is that somewhere down the way, this decision was reversed. Wouldnt it be logical to convert a college, which already has the standard, in terms of input, conversion, and output, of an IIT, into one? An interesting article i found about this …