40,000 PhDs by 2020 in IIT system: Kapil Sibal

Union Minister for Human Resource and Development Kapil Sibal has said that his ministry is looking at 40,000 PhDs in the IIT system alone by 2020. Speaking at the Idea Exchange initiative by Indian Express at St. Stephens College, New Delhi the minister said that research is our prime focus. We have increased money for fellowships in a big way.

Blaming the IIT system of research and development, Sibal said, “One of the greatest disincentives to do research in the IIT system is that from B.Tech, you have to move to M.Tech and then you have to do a doctorate. Most kids, after B.Tech, don’t want to spend two years doing an M.Tech. They go abroad and start doing research. So, all that research that should be done in India is being done abroad.”

“The PhD system is about how ideas are created and translated into goods and services by industry. And of course, we are now saying you can get a job in the university only if you have a doctorate. That’s a precondition,” he added.

Speaking on the issue of faculty crunch, the minister said, “The 6th Pay Commission has revised the pay scales. A teacher at the entry-point at university gets a higher remuneration than a person at the entry-point of IAS. You are no longer called a lecturer; you are an assistant professor, an associate professor. You are not prohibited within the university from doing other things. You can earn more money in the process, apart from the salary you get.”

While answering a query on skill development, Sibal responded saying “ We are on the cusp of launching what is called the national vocational education qualification framework. What we are trying to do is to involve school children in vocational education from class 9. In class 12, they will get a CBSE certificate and by that time, they will have acquired skills based on the outcomes of up to four vocations. We are setting up the national operational standards because you have to have operational standards to do this.”

Stressing on the importance of the accreditation, he said every institution should be accredited so that students can make informed choices.

[Source: Indian Express]

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16 thoughts on “40,000 PhDs by 2020 in IIT system: Kapil Sibal”

  1. The Hon’ble Minsiter of Human Resources Development says that there will be about 40000 PhDs from IIT system. On the one hand the the stipend provided to the the candidates doing fellowship or Ph.D program is very less for example in IIMs it is only Rs. 18000 per month. Unless and untill the government increase this stipend to handsome amount it is difficult to attract brain for doing ph.d. from such institutions. Where as the IIMs are taking a huge amount of fee from the candidates pursuing masters programmes, the stipend for doing fellowship program is very less. Hence the Hon’ble Minister should look into this matter and increase the stipend of the candidates.

  2. If Mr Sibal’s target is to award 40,000 Ph.D.’s per year by the IIT’s alone, this is a painfully unrealistic goal. Even if 40,000 refers to the number scholars enrolled in any given year, I don’t see how this could be achieved without seriously jeopardizing the quality of teaching and research at these institutions. . . As for the 6th pay commission and ‘incentives’ to go into university teaching and research, experience shows that a more general quality of life and intellectual satisfaction are at least as important factors ‘pulling’ people into academe as ‘good’ salaries. Forget about offering doctoral scholars monthly stipends of Rs. 30-40,000; it will not attract a better ‘class’ of students.

  3. IIT system as well as U.S. universities do permit B.Tech’s direct entry into Ph.D. programmes on the following grounds:
    The candidate should have excellent academic record (not only minimum prescribed for entry into like qualifying in GATE etc.) and he should have strong in depth knowledge and inclination towards area of research which he wants to pursue. No doubt, only few satisfy these requirements and they are offered entry and they too have to clear many subjects as prerequisite. This is the right approach.
    Regarding 40000 Ph.D’s from IIT system by 2020, I wonder what is the basis of this figure, which seems to be highly unrealistic from current standards. Currently, an IIT professor produces, on the average, 10 Ph.D’s in his whole career spanning about 40 years (including his tenure as Associate Professor and Assistant Professor). Assuming faculty strength of 800 in each IIT, the older IITs (7 in number) will produce 56000 Ph.D’s in 40 years. If Mr. Sibal’s figure of 40000 is for a period of 9 years from now this is highly unrealistic. (Hopefully he is not thinking of a figure of 40000 Ph.D’s in one year!).

  4. Ph.D. is not like earlier degrees, where fixing a number is in your hand. Ph.D. is not awarded for passing some regular exams but for doing something creative, which is also adjudged creative by qualified examiners. While efforts must by on by pumping in good money and respect for it, at best we can say that we want to increase this number substantially. Secondly, Ph.D. in the Indian context should be definitely linked with solving some national problem in any particular field. A thesis which is only good for publication in some foreign journals is not useful in the Indian context. And for this we should begin to respect our coming generation Ph.D. For an academician, a life full of enjoyment is possible with his/her research work which is the best reward which large money can seldom bring.

  5. The honourable Minister is banking too much on IIT’s instead of Universities. The IIT’s are taking best talents in B.Tech. courses and exporting them to developed countries to develope know how which we buy back. This is misuse of tax-payers money to produce Engineers who exploit India by selling know how.
    I think MHRD and UGC should concentrate on improving Universities.

  6. It is a task impossible in the existing scenario, which means on an average every year from 2012 onwards each IIT (assuming 14 IIT’s) must produce 317 Ph.D’s every year up to 2020 to acheive the target. Is this possible, if yes then definitely we will jeopardise the quality of reserach and teaching which otherwise is always questionable. Kapil ji is ignoring non-IIT system, that how much it contributes towards research and knowledge creation. IIT alone can not achieve this mandate and it will be foolish to put this much load on IIT Professor. The idea seems to be good that we must prevent mobility of BTech to foreign labs. for research.

  7. “The 6th Pay Commission has revised the pay scales.”
    Kindly see that all state universities adopt the same intoto so that State universities can also contribute in producing the quality research. Congress ruling states are not encouraging age of superannuation to 65 as reccommonded by UGC.