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BJP proud of IITs, IIMs; blasts Ramesh's comment

Last updated on: May 24, 2011 19:26 IST

BJP proud of IITs, IIMs; blasts Ramesh's comment

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Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh's controversial remarks that faculty of the premier IITs and IIMs are "not world class" invited a sharp reaction on Tuesday from the dons who said it showed his "tremendous ignorance".

Ramesh's remarks also triggered a political slugfest between the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

BJP reacted with utter disdain and lambasted Ramesh, an IIT alumnus, with a sarcastic observation that the country actually needs "world class ministers."

"We cannot have world institutions unless we have world class ministers," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said. BJP is also proud of the elite institutions which have produced 'famous names', he said.


Image: Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.
Photographs: Reuters
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Congress termed Rudy's remarks as "naive". "We do not appreciate unsolicited advice from third class people as to who should be first class or who should be third class," party spokesman Manish Tiwari said.

Ramesh's remarks also evoked a mixed response among his ministerial colleagues.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal asked whether India had any world class educational institute while Minister of State for Science and Technology Ashwani Kumar dubbing as unfortunate the remarks said government scientific and technological institutions have done India proud.


Image: Minister of Communications and Information Technology Kapil Sibal.
Photographs: Reuters
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Ramesh kicked up a controversy by claiming that the faculty of the IITs and IIMs are "not world class" but said these institutions are "excellent" only because of the quality of students.

"It (the remarks) shows that Jairam Ramesh has shown tremendous ignorance about the intellectual capabilities of these institutions. I would not deny the fact that these institutions need to do much more," said Anil Gupta, a professor with IIM-Ahmedabad.



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However, Gupta said, it was not right to say that the faculty was not contributing.

"But to say that faculty is not making any contribution and and it is just because of the quality of students...then people should take the CAT scores and give job to them. Why does not the companies give job on the basis of CAT scores," he said.

Sebastian Morris, another professor at IIM-A, said Ramesh's remarks were "simplistic".

"If you look at it, a fairly significant part of the faculty in IIMs and IITs would be having same qualification and same background as the faculty in the top class institutions, which means they have done their PhDs abroad," he said.

Ramesh had also said there was hardly any worthwhile research from these institutes.


Image: Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

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Congress left it to Ramesh to fend for himself over the controversy surrounding his remarks but attacked BJP for its scathing criticism on the issue.

 "I do not know in what context and what circumstances Jairam Ramesh has made the remarks. Whether it has been taken in context or out of context, he is the best person to be really be able to answer this question," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said.

"So far as IIM and IITs are concerned, there is no question or ambiguity about their contribution to Indian academia and even to building some of the primest institutions around the world," he said.

Ashwini Kumar said, "I am the Minister for Science and Technology... I am better equipped to say that out scientific and technological institutions have done us proud... It is time to loudly celebrate achievements of the Indian establishments."

"We cannot demoralise our scientists... I cannot appreciate the statement that lock, stock and barrel condemns our public sector institutions and IITs."


Image: IIT.

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