Budget 2018: Govt reduces outlay for IITs, IIM funds stay flat as challenges remain

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The government has reduced the outlay for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) by 20 percent in the Budget 2018, to Rs 6,326 crore while that for the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have stayed flat. With several of the past announced new IIMs still operating out of temporary campuses, finance minister Arun Jaitley stayed away from making announcements for more campuses.

Take IIM Jammu for instance. While operations have begun, it functions from the IIM Lucknow campus. Similarly, IIM Amritsar operates from the Punjab Institute of Technology building in Amritsar. The newer IIMs that include those in Visakhapatnam, Amritsar, Nagpur, Bodh Gaya, Sambalpur and Jammu are being mentored by the older IIMs including the ones in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Indore and Lucknow.

“Placements have been a challenge in the institute as also the admissions. We have sought assistance from the government in popularising the institute,” said the deputy director of one of the new IIMs set up post 2015.

For the IIMs, the fund outlay is of Rs 1036 crore, from Rs 1030 crore last year. However, there has not been any additional funds set aside for setting up of the campuses of some of the new IIMs

IIT

Similarly, the total number of IITs in India stand at 23, including the proposed ones. In its budget in July 2014, the government announced setting up 6 new IIMs and 5 new IITs.

“We have been allocated campuses but student intake is very low,” said the director of a North-based IIT whose has just begun operations.

When it comes to the new IITs and IIMs, the problems are the same. Very few students chose these institutes and placements have been an issue. There have been cases where only 50 percent of the batch has been placed and their concerns have not yet been addressed.

“There is a need for much higher world class institutions in the country. However, it makes no sense for two institutes to function from the same campus. Either allocate land or merge them into the existing institutes, because at the end of the term it is the students who suffer with no jobs,” said an education consultant firm based out of Delhi.

Among the other higher education institutions, the finance minister government announced that they will be setting up 24 new Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals by upgrading existing district hospitals in the country. Jaitley said that this would ensure that there is at least one Medical College for every three Parliamentary Constituencies and at least one Government Medical College in each State of the country.

In the medical space, apart from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Delhi and some of the newer ones at Bhubaneswar, Patna, Raipur, the twelve other proposed AIIMS in Assam, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir among others are still in the construction phase. A senior AIIMS professor explained that the older institutes are acting as pseudo-mentors for the newer AIIMS and land allocation has been a major challenge.moneycontrol