Lok Sabha

July 30, 2018

Saugata Roy asks a Question on Institutes of Eminence

Saugata Roy asks a Question on Institutes of Eminence


Our former President Pranab Mukherjee and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh often used to say that none of the Indian universities or institutes of technology are in the first 200 universities of the world. So there must be some effort to put them on the first 200 institutions.

I want to mention two things – big institutions are not built by money and infrastructure alone. Prof Raman got the Nobel prize working in a ramshackle laboratory in Calcutta and Prof Saha and Bose got their international eminence working from there. So, the main thing is to attract talent from abroad. Two Indians, Hargovind Khurana and Prof Chandrashekar, got their Nobel prize working from abroad.

Now the question is how to get these eminent people from abroad? But unfortunately in the last few years best professors who came to work for Government of India have left. Raghuram Rajan, Prof Panagariya, Arvind Subramanian have left Government of India. There is still a blame game going on during the time of this Government.

So, he has given details of how the full list was prepared. You had one professor from Harvard Business School. I don’t know whether to favour some business or any other reason, but I want to tell him that the whole process of selection has been vitiated. The credibility of the process has been vitiated by the inclusion of Jio belonging to the Reliance Group.

I want to ask the Minister specifically two questions,

a) what are the steps being taken by the government to bring the best Indian professors working abroad to work in India in universities or institutes of technology, and
b) in light of the widespread criticism of giving Jio – belonging to the Reliance Group – a letter of intent while there is no institute (it is only on paper and it has been widely criticised both in academic and political circles), whether the Minister will reconsider his decision of giving a letter of intent to the Jio Institute?