IIT director under attack for backing Sibal

IIT-Guwahati director Gautam Barua on Tuesday came under attack from the apex body of the faculties of all IITs for supporting the Centre's 'one nation, one test' proposal for entry into them and other centrally-funded engineering institutes.

Without naming Barua, All India IIT Faculty Federation, said, in a statement, that it was 'shocked and pained' that one of the IITs' directors had criticised on TV channels the decision taken by the senate of the IIT-Kanpur to conduct its own entrance exam from next year opposing the Centre's format.

Participating in a TV debate over the issue two days ago, Barua had said, 'I am sad about the extreme step taken by the IIT-Kanpur senate on such a small issue'.

Criticising the statement, federation secretary AK Mittal said, 'It is unfortunate that a professor of the IIT system thinks that the selection of the students and the academic autonomy of the IITs is small issue.'

Mittal's remarks came days after the federation attacked IIT-Kharagpur director Damodar Acharya for supporting the Centre's proposal.

The faculties' body hailed the decision taken by IIT-Kanpur, saying it has taken 'lead in making the long-awaited, justified action of announcing its own admission test through its Senate Resolution [as sanctioned by the Institute Act].

'The IIT-Kanpur decision by no means can be treated as an isolated event. In fact, its sets the tone for other IITs that do not agree with the current HRD ministry proposal of common entrance test to make similar decisions in their respective senates and support the initiative of IIT-Kanpur,' it said.

The federation accused a section of the media of 'trying to project that the IITs are split over the HRD ministry's proposal about the common engineering admission test'.


With several Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) coming out in opposition on the proposed common entrance test, Human Resource development Minister Kapil Sibal Tuesday reiterated that the common test was in favour of students.

Sibal, who is in Washington to attend the India-US Education Dialogue, told reporters that it was clear that autonomy of IITs needed to be maintained but questioned how their autonomy was being affected by the decision.

'Academic autonomy of IIT system has to be maintained, and must be maintained that is quite clear. But if someone says look, autonomy of IITs is being jeopardised, I would respectfully beg to differ. If I am enlightened further how it is being jeopardised, I am always open to make them more empowered,' he said.

The minister's comments come after the senate of IIT Kanpur came out against the common test amd announced a separate entrance test from 2013.
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