Sunday, May 06, 2007
Priority should be for the existing IITs to step up the production of PhD’s in same way as China does. The present student to faculty ratio of about 10 in IITs is very small, and even if we account for about for 20% of Math, Physics, Chemistry and Humanities faculty for the service courses in engineering, the figure is still about 13, which is well below the 20+ figure in a public university in the US.All the seven IITs have PhDs in their faculty in the ranks of Asst Professor and above. The extension of the retirement age in IITs seems to have come at the right time to relieve the teaching load crunch.Starting a new IIT, from acquiring land to having a full fledged teaching and research institution, however, takes anywhere from 4-6 years. Additionally, recruiting faculty with PhDs in adequate numbers will be a challenging problem in itself. The production of PhDs in engineering in the country is about 900 per year in all disciplines with perhaps the lowest in Computer Science, a scant 50.