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IITs do all but research in engineering

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The New Indian Express |  By Richa Sharma  |   19th March 2017  |  Opinion |

NEW DELHI: The great Indian IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) dream may be losing its charm. A study has found that these premier institutions lag way behind in producing quality research in engineering which is their core area.  The study, published in the country’s prestigious scientific journal Current Science and conducted jointly by authors from the Banaras Hindu University and South Asian University, reveals that majority of the research output from IITs is in subjects such as physics, chemistry and material science. For IITs to be placed high among the global institutions, a lot of effort and support is required, it states.  The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are laggards in producing quality research in engineering. Publishing research is important for any institution, for it helps in determining its international reputation and funding in case of private institutions. A joint study by authors from Banaras Hindu University and South Asian University analysed research performance of 16 IITs. At present, there are 23 IITs in India but data of rest seven was not available. “The discipline-wise research performance analysis indicates that majority of the research output from IITs is in Physics, Chemistry and Material Science and research in engineering disciplines lags behind substantially,” observes the study.
It adds that IITs being primarily engineering and technology institutions should produce more research work in core engineering disciplines. The IITs lag behind as they are not focusing on publishing research in right kind of publications internationally. The analysis also explains that there is a substantial difference in research performance levels of old IITs compared to the new IITs. Among 16 IITs, seven are old—Kharagpur, Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Delhi, Guwahati and Roorkee. While nine others—Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Patna, Ropar, Indore, Mandi and Varanasi—have been established in the last 10 years.  “The new IITs are very young for a research performance in comparison with old IITs. Some new IITs, particularly the IITI, show promising research performance.” The research also stresses that one of the major outcomes of the analysis was that even the best-performing IITs of India are behind two top-ranking world universities—Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in research.  “Of these, NTU (established in 1991) is younger than the five older IITs, which shows that the age of an institution alone does not only call for higher performance. If a new institution like NTU can achieve higher research performance levels then why not some of the Indian IITs?” it questions. –  Courtesy  /   Click here to View / Download the Article Fulltext  Research performance of Indian Institutes of Technology by Banshal, Sumit Kumar ; Singh, Vivek Kumar ; Basu, Aparna ; Muhuri, Pranab Kumar, Current Science, Vol. 112, No. 05 – 10 March 2017 – 10 Pages


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