What’s seen as a bane by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) is believed to be a boon for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
IIMs in Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta may have refused to toe the ministry of human resources development (MHRD) line, but IIT Kharagpur has had no problems signing on the dotted line of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Murli Manohar Joshi ministry.
To introduce greater transparency in its accounts, IIT Kharagpur has decided to rope in an external auditor from this financial year. The decision was taken during the premier institute’s board meeting in the city on Tuesday. “Besides bringing in transparency in the accounts, it will also facilitate funds flow into the institute,” said Sanjiv Goenka, chairman, board of governors, IIT Kharagpur. The decision was taken on the basis of a directive from the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG), which scans the institute’s books of accounts every year.
Besides giving the green signal to a third eye on its finances, IIT Kharagpur has also decided to increase its number of students, from 4,500 to 10,000, and faculty strength from 450 to 1,000 by 2013. The institute is working out the modalities to admit foreign students as well.
These issues form the core of the MoU signed with the ministry. All three premier IIMs had resisted the MoU move, which according to them would infringe on their freedom. The institutes have rejected the draft forwarded by the ministry and are said to be jointly working on an alternative MoU.
“We think signing the MoU will help us manage our resources efficiently. Besides ensuring funds availability, it will also serve as a target, which we should strive to achieve,” said S. K. Dube, director, IIT Kharagpur. As part of its agreement, IIT Kharagpur has agreed to channelise all grants to the institute from abroad through the Bharatiya Siksha Kosh, set up by Joshi to distribute scarce resources among institutes of higher learning. “The government should know about the source and use of foreign funds,” stressed Dube.
Besides placing a demand for Rs 150 crore with the central government, IIT Kharagpur has projected a target of generating Rs 100 crore from consultancy and sponsored research projects in this financial year. Kharagpur has also submitted a plan to spend around Rs 50 crore — in excess of the Rs 25 crore corpus stipulated by the ministry — on infrastructure development on campus. The three IIMs, each with a corpus of Rs 100 crore and more, are reluctant to spend it, as that would allow the ministry to exert more control.
Though divided over the MoU line, the premier tech school has decided to bridge a gap with the B-school by launching a management course in Calcutta for engineers. “We will kick it off as soon as possible,” promised Goenka.