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Joshi term for IIT funds

New Delhi, Dec. 2: The Centre will provide grants to IITs only if they agree to spend 50 per cent of the money on research projects.

Human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi would also prefer the projects to be aimed at developing swadeshi technology to honing skills borrowed from the West.

Speaking at a function of the All India Council for Technical Education today, Joshi said innovation was only possible if “we invent technologies ourselves instead of improving upon technologies borrowed from the West”.

By making grants from the Centre conditional on research, Joshi is killing two birds with one stone.

On the one hand, he is trying to make the institutions more performance oriented and, on the other, reduce their dependency on the West.

In India, there has been a dearth of quality research, which is one reason for the steady exodus of technically qualified manpower.

Harping on his pet swadeshi-versus-videshi theme, the minister said technology should not be just “aped” from the West but developed in a manner that fits in with local needs.

India, he stressed, must develop its own model of technological development so that the benefits percolate down to the common man and not remain just the preserve of the rich. “Profit”, he added, must not be the sole motivating factor, as technology must have a “human” face.

Currently, each IIT receives approximately Rs 70 crore in planned funding, regardless of the institution’s size and performance.

For instance, IITs in both Guwahati and Delhi receive the same amount of funds, although the number of students in Delhi IIT is more.

On the performance front, too, the five IITs — in Delhi, Kharagpur, Chennai, Guwahati and Kanpur — do not have the same standard.

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