land hassles stem the flow of NRI investment in Punjab, the Government
takes steps to ease the legal woes of expatriates.
rampant misuse of the Dalit Act in Uttar Pradesh has a larger malaise behind
it, writes India Today's Subhash Mishra UNDUE
Conclave concludes on a high note. Al Gore, Stanley Fischer and other world
leaders listen and are heard. Catch up on the highlights. Take
me to Conclave now
ISSUE JUNE 02, 2003
COVER STORY: TOP 10 COLLEGES
IIT-Kharagpur and IIT-Kanpur continue to be a
chip above the rest with their academic excellence
What is it
that sets IIT-Kharagpur apart? There are two factors, somewhat unrelated
to academics, that give it its excellence quotient: ambience and location.
"It is like a modern day gurukul," explains Director Shishir
K. Dube. "Unlike other IITs, we are far away from a metropolis. With
teachers and students living on the campus, there is constant interaction."
SHISHIR K. DUBE, Director, IIT, Kharagpur:
"Our institute is like a modern day gurukul."
Perhaps, it is in recognition of this that the Centre makes a generous
grant to the college every year. The Rs 100 crore has gone a long way
in improving facilities. Over the years, IIT-Kharagpur has developed the
largest technical library in Asia (with over 3.5 lakh volumes), the biggest
electronics library in India and has installed computers in every hostel
room and facilitated "e-classrooms" with 2,100 hours of video
Besides the infrastructural back-up, it is Kharagpur's "mandate"
to ensure that its students "have a better knowledge of the industry"
that they are most likely to cherish. Much before the 1999 Ramarao Committee
recommendations and the Central Government's accent on research at technology
schools, IIT-Kharagpur was on the road to R&D. The institution has
tie-ups with a host of national and international heavyweights like DRDO,
ISRO, National Aerospace, the Tatas, SAIL, National Semiconductor Corporation,
Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments and Johns Hopkins University. As part
of the initiative, the college invites professionals from the industry
as guest lecturers. In their second year, many BTechs are expected to
work on a six-month project with a partner company. It also helps that
the institute's R&D and consultancy activities have raked in almost
Rs 58 crore this year for ploughing back into projects.
Birla Institute of Technology
& Sciences, Pilani
Institute of Technology,
Anna University, Chennai
The most astounding success on campus has been the National Semiconductor
Corporation-sponsored VLSI (very large-scale integration) lab. One of
three such laboratories outside the US, the VLSI lab at Kharagpur has
produced 12 cutting-edge chips in the past two years for use by the global
infotech market. No other institute in the country has any chip-making
facilities. "IIT-Kharagpur has now become a brand name," says
Professor Anil Bhowmick, dean of sponsored research and consultancy.
But Dube, who joined IIT-Kharagpur last year, thinks this is not enough.
An authority on oceanographic studies, he has worked with the Indian Meteorological
Department, IIT-Delhi and at institutions like the University of Reading,
UK, and the Florida State University. The storm-surge prediction software
that he developed at IIT-Delhi-where he spent 25 years-is being used in
meteorological services in various countries. Dube wants iit-Kharagpur
to focus on such areas of research. Accordingly, the institute has adopted
what it calls 13 "mission projects", introducing new subjects
like mechanised-food engineering, molecular biotechnology and nano science.
"We do not want to come up with only those technologies that will
only take us to the moon," says Dube. "IITs are pledged to nation-building
and we would like to give something back to our region."
Most IIT-ians would agree. The stamp of an IIT is its sense of national
identity besides academic superiority. And it is no coincidence that six
of the first seven ranks in the engineering stream-except for bits Pilani
in the fifth position-have gone to these premier institutes. For the past
three years, none of the engineering colleges have been able to uproot
either IIT-Kharagpur or IIT-Kanpur which is in the second slot. The contest
between the two themselves was close with Kharagpur beating Kanpur by
a mere 1 point.
In third place, IIT-Mumbai has climbed one position despite dropping
to the 11th position on factual data. REC, Trichy, which bagged the 17th
rank last year, is No. 8 this time. Conspicuous by its absence is the
College of Engineering, Roorkee. It secured the 11th rank perceptually,
but lack of factual information weighed it down. As they say, there is
always the next year.