IIT-Roorkee Director Pradipta Banerji said on Saturday that Indian industry should emulate the Western model and donate to academia in India while addressing the media on the sidelines of the Cognizance festival.
He cited the examples of Cornell University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which receive generous funds from industry and achieve great results. Banerji gave his reasons for the absence of IITs in the list of the world’s top 200 educational institutions which gets regularly mentioned by the president of India.
“We did a study and presented it. It is huge that the IITs are within the top 400 (best institutes) in the world because our funding is peanuts. Their one department budget is more than our institution budget,” said Banerji comparing IITs with foreign state universities like University of California, Berkeley, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and National University of Singapore.
The professor said that if the financial muscle of some foreign state universities is so much greater in comparison to IITs, then one can only imagine the financial might of foreign private universities like Harvard University.
He also said that there are constraints in India and funding just cannot be raised from anywhere. The professor also clarified that he is not expecting funding to be similar to the foreign state universities he mentioned.
“The government tries to help the IITs within their constraints, if they don’t have the money, where will they get the money from.”
Banerji wished the continuation of funding to IITs which existed two years ago. It was Rs.190 crore for IIT-R. There is a huge crunch of space and need for more laboratories in IIT-R, he added.
IIT-R is building a large lecture hall complex to centralize teaching and propel inter-departmental interaction and collaboration. The institute is planning to free up the present class room buildings to redesign them into laboratories and faculty rooms.