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The idea came up as a way to curb the billion-dollar private coaching industry that has grown around the IIT entrance exam, JEE.

New Delhi: A section of the faculty and alumni of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) has suggested a radical idea that could change their very nature – make the premier engineering colleges post-graduate and research-centric institutions like the IIMs instead of focusing more on undergraduates as they currently do.

Sources in the human resource development ministry said the idea was discussed by policymakers and experts while they were trying to figure out ways to curb the role of private coaching classes that prepare students for the Joint Entrance Examination. Students start preparing for the JEE as early as in class 5 in some cases, and this has given rise to a billion-dollar private coaching industry.


Also read: Thanks to IITs, India to see a lot more women in civil and mechanical engineering 


The proposal is set to be taken up for discussion at a meeting of the IIT Council on 21 August. The council, which takes all important decisions related to the institutions, consists of the directors of all IITs, and is headed by the union HRD minister.

A radical change

IITs are traditionally known for their undergraduate programmes and their placements. But the new proposal entails that the IITs mentor B.Tech. colleges instead.

“At the undergraduate level, one IIT can mentor some 100 institutions around it. Then, out of the students from those institutions, some 10 selected students from each institution can complete their final semester in the IIT,” a source in the ministry said explaining the proposal.

“That way, each IIT will be able to at least provide accommodation and other facilities to a selected 1,000 students.”

Undergraduate programmes are also a major source of revenue for the institutions — the fee for a B.Tech. course is over Rs 1 lakh per semester. However, ministry officials said this should not be the main concern while considering this change.


Also read: IITs, IIMs, NITs have just 3% of total students but get 50% of government funds 


“Funds should not be the biggest cause of worry for them. They can probably charge the same amount of fees by mentoring institutions. The larger concern is if the IITs will agree to give up something that has built their reputation for ages,” said a senior official in the ministry.

Mixed reactions

Is India’s engineering education system or the IITs themselves prepared for such a radical shift? Experts have mixed opinions on it.

A director of an IIT who did not wish to be named said: “While it would be good if the IITs move towards a more research-based approach, giving weightage to master’s and Ph.D. degrees, this cannot be done until the time we do not have second-rung institutes that can teach as well as the IITs at the undergraduate level. We have to first create institutes that are as good as IITs, and then gradually reduce the intake of students at the undergraduate level.”

The director said it is a welcome step that the government is at least considering a discussion on this issue, as it will pave the way for more research in the IITs, but added that whatever needs to be done has to be gradual.

However, Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi, who teaches at IIT Kanpur, said the move would be “disastrous”, and believes it will be rejected by the council.

“If something like this happens, we will destroy a system which is running well. We do not have good research or master’s-level studies happening in India, but at least the education system at the undergraduate level is running well right now. We should not destroy it,” he said.

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37 Comments Share Your Views

37 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think it will ever happen because the whole mode of thinking is faulty. Why don’t we keep on adding creativity in test paper to direct coaching institute to produce educated individuals rather than trained individuals? Why IIT ask same trick questions year by year…..Why don’t they make paper subjective?
    If you give handsome income to NIT and IIT professors, more individuals from top institute will get attracted to NIT and IIT professorship rather than coaching institutes. This will fill the vacancies in these institutes.
    I mean it is just like somebody has got cancer and rather than curing cancer, he is killing himself so that he may curb cancer.

  2. If IIT is doing such wonderful teaching job then why the tutorials, lectures of the faculty at IITs can’t be made available to the students of other engineering colleges. They will also benefit and overall quality of graduates will improve. In my own experience many ordirnary students who studied from state engineering institutes when went to good US universities did extremely well and are as good as any of the IIT students. So problem is not with the students but how we teach them and IIT getting the best of the talent churn out relatively better engineers. If these institutes were so good then why Indian rails still operate at 50km/hr. Why bridges fall every year? Why no IIT student ever won a noble prize etc etc. We should focus on getting talent in to school teaching programmes and make meaningful improvement. Look at countries like Korea and Taiwan who have world class institutes despite the fact that they are so small and poor in English. They have evolved programmes as per the needs and successfully implemented them.

  3. What a pathetic proposal..Some stupid who has not done his graduation from IIT or who failed to get a seat at IIT has proposed this idea. Such a move would be hugely criticized and the entire blame of killing the beautiful institution will fall on the present govt.

    The reputation of IITs have been so painstakingly built over a period of time with enormous efforts by various individuals. IITs are known to the world as best undergraduate institutes and even many graduates from IITs don’t pursue their MTech or doctorates from IITs, but move to more reputed Western institutes/colleges. You should only Strive to build on the foundation that has been laid and not abandon the foundation and concentrate the top floor instead. Building would crumble miserably.

    I don’t find any wrong with the coaching institutes and it is like the tutions that students have for various lower level classes as well. Since it generates income for these institutes some frustrated fellow wanted to kill it. Why? If you can see, these coaching institutes have excellent teachers and many are graduates from IIT themselves. You just cannot dream such faculty at school level. Which school will afford to hire such faculty. When you want good teachers, you need to pay for it. Further, in schools all kind of students study and many may not have the inclination to go deep in science and maths. It is not possible to teach higher knowledge to such kids whose interest lies elsewhere. Generally a teacher at school has to concentrate on all students and hence the overall quality will always be mediocre. But a coaching institutes does not have any restrictions and it can club the best students together and impart the best knowledge to them.

    India is winning medals at international science olympiads consistently . How? Do you think they got their Calibre from the schools. Definitely not. Most of the teachers from schools do not have the knowledge to even think or teach at this level. Every student who wins international accolades got their knowledge only from coaching institutes which have excellent teachers.

    Shun this stupid idea and in a country where even the highest is obtained not by merit but by quota, these institutes are the only solace. Allow them to impart the highest to the students. Don’t poke your dirty nose into such a good thing.

  4. This is a good and bold move by whoever proposed it, I believe that this should be done while the funding model should be like DAE/DRDO/ISRO. UG teaching at IITs is roughly the same as elsewhere as far as the syllabus is concerned. Typically same standard text books are also followed for all practical purposes. The only difference comes form the fact that the quality of faculty members and the insight which they are able to provide to the students on different areas. Thisis what makes some difference and produces better UG students as compared to other colleges. However the questions to be asked is what good is IIT system doing? be emotions apart, about 50-80% of students become demotivated during their BTech program and have no clue about their pursuits. The reason is not not quality of teaching but most probably it is the curriculum, most of the student enter only to get an IIT tag even though they do not get their choice of discipline and worst of all there are too many distractions available which are also promoted by these institutes in name of extracurricular activiteis. Only handful of IIT students opt for research in India, most of them go abroad. Chunk of them go to industry and most of the low performers end up become entrepreneur i.e. start companies which are unable to stand the tide of time (of course only very few survive also). Even the recently announced PMRFs who are supposedly to be better and are paid a stipend equivalent to that of a postdoc if not a lecturer are not upto the mark. So the relevant question to ask is what is the country gaining out of all this investment of public money? Are we creating manpower to serve at places abroad? or to get new startup for making apps (this is the latest trend) even the core industries don’t get benefitted as every one wants a high paying software job while the low performers struggle hard even to get any kind of job some of them even get employed as supervisors in service industry. Is this what they are trained for? Thereby I believe that the potential of faculty members at IITS are excessively under utilized by focussing on UG research. On the contrary institues such as IISc/NCBS/TIFR which focuses mostly on PG/doctoral students have performed much better in terms of research output. Hence I believe that at least the old IITS should move to IISc/TIFR model and concentrate on PG/doctoral students and research where as newer ones can go for UG teaching therby even if the idea fails, the system wouldnot collapse due to support of UG education in new IITs. Of course such a radical decision would ring alarm bells for professors who have given up research and teach, but all in all I believe that the system needs some radical decisions.

  5. Actually
    I think You Should Read All The Comments.

    Iam In 11th Class currently Preparing For JEE ( I Have A Coaching)
    We Know How The Indian System Works.
    Just A Paper Is All It Matters. So Yes We Have to do it.
    If IITs Change the admission procedure
    Like Taking around 25000 Students A Year with Mains , Advance and Aptitude With General Knowledge And A Interview Will Make Students to be better and not only a A Guy good at solving question will go out there but students have good knowledge about science and there particular branch will also be in advance.

    This will result in better future engineer.

  6. Private coaching industry at least improve the standard of students in absence of proper education in schools. If the private coaching industry is bad so is private medical practice and the private legal practice in India. Because of the malpractices prevalent in the medical and legal systems the country is suffering more. Nobody cares to purge these two systems.

  7. I am a student preparing for iit. I think it is a better way idea becz as IIT will mentor all the btech college s the even a normal student will get the same infrastructure

  8. Sorry to say , but if we talk about studies at intermediate level ,it is impossible for a mediocre student to crack such exam like JEE by self study and with the help of school teachers who themselves struggle with solving jee main level problems forget about advanced. Although coaching are business centered education institutes but have really good faculties who can train students for competitions ,unlike school who prefer rote learning .

  9. All project offered by Min of RLY failed and made loss of several crores. IIT should learn how to success a project. Presently IIT selling foreign product only. I am retired research engneer of RDSO Lko. Low frequency have high penitration comment of HOD civil Jitendar Vaisya proof the poor knowedg of IIT.

  10. So in short we won’t quality of education at school level. We will keep diluting the syllabus at plus 2 level and then to avoid dealing with school education issue. We will destroy the only good undergraduate institutes in the country. What an idea, what an idea. After all this we will crib that students don’t stay back after graduating from IIT’s. Mera desh badal raha hai.

  11. Reducing ug intake is a good thing. India needs better research output. If PG and P.hD posts are increased that will benefit our country. But no matter what kind of questions IITs ask in entrance test, some how coaching institutes will just change themselves. To abolish them, IIT entrance should focus on individual CV of students and recommendations, life experiences like foreign universities do.

  12. Amazing thought process! The problem is at the root of the school system that is not working and a test designed to further make life miserable for school students. My experience of being part of coaching industry for 2 decades tells me that we need to get these fixed first:
    1. Make a school system where only TRAINED teachers are deployed who must come through a IIT/IIM like system for teachers; of course, you will need to pay them well to attract good talent.
    2. Design tests that test what the student is expected to know, and , NOT what the student is not expected to know.
    At the same time, it will be a great idea to make research environment better for IITs.
    By the way, IIMs do not provide undergraduate program and still there is a flourishing coaching industry to help students get admission in PG – the same can happen with IITs also!

  13. B.Tech students entered IIT because of the standard of coaching centre or IIT?.
    Change regulation
    After they complete final year ask for GATE score and all india rank.
    If they obtain same or better all india rank, let them get BTech.
    Otherwise let them repeat for one more year.
    Now see the confidence of people and admission. It will be almost zero.
    IIT is considered better than other local colleges. It is natural and it is there in every country.
    Old IITs due to their calibre admit only PG, do researc

  14. Starting a PG level course is different and shutting down UG level course is different. The UG courses of IITs are world known. It produces world-class engineers. If one sees the problem in the billion dollar coaching industry fix the problem. Why break something else which is working perfectly. Secondly, if UG program at IIT is closed where will student go. We need to build other institutes which are as good as IITs. Or the students will be forced to go abroad for UG studies. This will put more burden on the pocket of the parents. Last, why are the coaching industry surviving? Because the school level teaching is not sufficient. Most of the teachers in schools are underpaid. Some of them are teaching in school as past time or because they don’t get any other job. Fix the schooling problem, which is the responsibility of the government. Since the government does not have the willpower(or is impotent) to fix the root cause of the problem they are messing around with the already established system and coaching industry is just the scapegoat.

  15. Probably not a good idea to that IIT should have only post graduation program because if the raw materials will not be delivered by the good quality by the left over institute good quality teacher will disappear. This funny idea is bound to be a bit of disastrous move.

  16. First a great analysis is necessary to find out why those coaching institute are in demand among the aspiring students and their parents.It’s because the quality of education in 10 and +2 are not upto the marks and it compel them to join the coaching to compete the tough JEE .And it will be wise to to keep the IITs NITs as it is now which help India to get world class undergradutes.For research government can built other institution otherwise a long earn reputed institution will be for name sake only like other research institute in India.

  17. Is the vision of IIT to limit the coaching classes industry? And for that one will shut down IIT UG programs. Come on… just give up life. Shocking mentality. Is this how a capitalist open economy institute think? Who stops the IITs from focusing on research? Coaching classes? Shame

  18. Firstly, if one could crack JEE without the help of coaching class then why will he crack his head with additional burden? The problem is that the current schooling pattern and JEE pattern are different. It requires far better teachers than housevives who join schools as teacher for time pass. First clean up the system from the primary school. Bring in quality teachers in primary and secondary level. Remove reservation in teaching. How can a teacher with 40% score prepare child for 100%?. If possible try to adopt the passion and culture of private coaching classes in public school. Infect I have taken out my child from regular school and she spend her full time in coaching class only. By the way, it is not for preparing her for JEE alone.

    If you want IITs to focus on research then make IIT courses as integrated PhD course where one can complete PhD in 7-8 years .

    • Any tutor/ teacher can prepare child to be good.personal achievement’s and ability to deliver results are 2 different Things .one may not be an iitIan but Can still make the Students sail thru the hallowed portals of These Premier Institutes..

  19. It seems the problem here is the bn dollar coaching centres. Now killing the coaching centres, which keeps and guides the aspiring students. And is mainly run by the brainy teachers, whom the govt was not able to support in getting a job, toil day in and day out to churn out the products.

    The cozy life of the policy makers only can come with such ideas. A nation wide thought process need to be done before venturing into such acts.

  20. It is like cutting the feet to the size of the shoes. Why should we look at billion dollar coaching industry? We have not strengthened the secondary education. IIT s , if they want to be postgraduate institutions it is retrograde steps . Engineering colleges as of now, if you probe properly, you will find 1. No qualified faculty2. Same faculty works in arts as well as in the engineering college if the same management. It is the art of indian jugglery. 3. No lab facilities proper, e.g. mechanical engineering students may not have lab work done as it is prescribed in the syllabus yet record is perfect. Plagiarism begins here. 4. In some colleges no language faculty even though name appears on rolls. 5. Every one must travel only in the institution bus. 6. Even if you are selected by counselling you pay in different kinds of fees in different ways and at different times.
    Now IIT s have been doing excellent teaching and training at graduate levels. If you think IITs will mentor nearby colleges it is impracticable. In the engineering colleges in about 80% it is students’ own effort that they manage to pass not through getting educated in the respective colleges. This is the truth. So IIT s must think with the existing infrastructure PG courses can be added and the same alumni will pursue PG courses. They need not go anywhere else. If you make a research JEE billion dollar company is run by retired professors ( not all, some profs even don’t take tuition) and entrepreneurs and politicians who have their own institutions, who can invest, earn more in a short span of time. One minister recently started Neet coaching centre and earned twice the investment in a week.

  21. Education JEE,NEET all have become commercial.selfish will opt anyway.No need to change present system. Other system imagined will also will have similar loop holes and people will try to earn by selling education.

    Education has become business.
    Cant help.

  22. NPTEL is already there, polish the project, make it compulsory for all graduates, conduct online exams and we will have good quality grads.

  23. Really innovative concept to act as mentor to 100near by UG institutions.
    Research activities will b more effective n result oriented.UG intake to IIT is cream brain lot of Nation will also b distributed among 100institution s will create homogeneous cultivated brains so nation will get more employable technocrates.
    IITs will get focussed research environment.better utilisation of available resourses with improved support to industries.
    Worth to discuss the concept at IIT Council….all best wishes…
    Prof D V Bhatt
    SVNIT -SURAT

  24. In India, lack of employment opportunity is a big issue.IIT coaching industry provides employment to lakhs of people. Periodically IIT’s officials try to break the backbone of the coaching industry by changing the pattern and many more thing. I am not getting what is the problem with professors instead of doing research they continuously they get involved himself in these matters. Since I am from studying in IIT itself reality is that the employability of the IIT graduates in core sectors is very low because of old and conventional curriculum and teaching methodology. In spite of focusing on curriculum, we can see what is going on. If one tries to end the coaching industry a day will come when this industry will shift towards private engineering colleges because in India most of the youth have family responsibilities and they prefer job instead of higher studies.
    There are still thousands of words left to write but neither I have free time to write nor u have to read.

  25. “We do not have good research or master’s-level studies happening in India” – This comment from Prof. Sanghi needs some serious introspection. Tthe fact that almost all the faculties in IITs did their Masters or/and Doctoral studies abroad speaks a lot about the research style here. Serious research is limited to IISc, some of the stand-alone pure science institutes, and some departments in certain IITs. So, implementing the proposed move without ratcheting up the research atmosphere across the IITs is absurdity.

  26. Really good move to prove the capabilities of IITs. Till now IITs are just producing Engineering cheap task force for countries like USA. Now, we must see their capabilities in R&D. The second move by Government must be to close them if they are not able to prove their capabilities in R&D.

  27. The suggestion needs to be discarded. Many bright students all over the country get the advantage of studying at national institutes for B Tech programs. Do we want them to study abroad even for first degree programs? It would indirectly benefit foreign universities. JEE structure should be reviewed whether attending extensive coaching classes is necessary. By the way, BTech programs at I I T provide local feeder for M Tech programs.

    I I T s are complacent in its programs, particularly B. Tech. Programs. Still there is a lot of scope for quality improvement.

  28. I am an IIT graduate (1967-72 batch). I wrote JEE in Nagpur in 1967. I hadn’t heard about coaching classes.

    We BTech students held the PG students in contempt; we considered them an inferior species!

    In my opinion, IITs should consider how to make the coaching classes ineffective, say, by frequently changing the pattern of their JEE question papers. And they should somehow force the BTech graduates to stay in India for some years after graduating. Also reduce the size of the BTech batches, concentrate on PG.

    • Sir first they should create opportunities of job…. They are already saying that they (govt.) can’t create job….i myself is teaching in a coaching institute but I am not sympathizer of coaching….if the govt. can’t create opportunities of job why is it hell bent on removing already existing sources of job for people….

  29. Nothing is said here about the harm the billion-dollar coaching industry is inflicting on the education system .It looks to me the courses covered in different boards/councils are not adequate to crack the JEE.Is it desirable?Do IITs expect beyond the syllabi covered by students?In no case there should be such a rigorous preparation from early childhood for adopting a particular faculty.If an examinee does n’t get it even after such stupendous labor and making their families poorer substantially,will it be the end of road?

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