The authors in this article speak about the IITs today and point out that too many IITs will dilute the quality and credibility of the institutions.
The authors call IITs the crown jewels of the Indian Higher Education system and are world-famous for their quality of education in the fields of Technology and Engineering. They are also well known around the world for research and such activities.
There have been several proposals related to the starting of new IITs in the country and the UGCs decision to grant the Institution of Eminence status with allowing campuses of foreign universities to be established here and the authors express their discontent on the same.
In the 1950s when these institutions were started, they were just 5 but now there are around 23 of them. The central Govt does the major caretaking for these institutions and they started as catering to engineering and technology but are also slowly moving towards humanities as well.
The IITs see small enrollments for students and are not universities. IITs offer both UG and PG programs as well.
There is great competition to get into these institutions both as a student and as a faculty as well and a lot of efforts are needed in this regard.
The faculty and the quality of education here is excellent as it counted one among the global ranks.
Hence, we can understand that the growth in the number of IITs is not the ideal thing to have as this dilutes various aspects; meaning that the institution caters to not just academics but several other activities and reduced allocation might dilute this, also the utilization but seem to decline and the local needs of the place it is started might not be catered.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) institutions are the need of the hour but not all of them have to be IITs. There are several institutions in the country that are very good at what they are doing and we have to encourage them to reach the standard of an IIT and not start new IITs.
We need to better them and liberalize their method of working; also the collaboration with global universities sounds like an idea but branch opening will not work as the purpose will be defeated.
Sexual Harassment at Workplace
This article and editorial come in the backdrop of the Priya Ramani case and her acquittal from the defamation case filed against her by former union Minister, MJ Akbar, for the sexual harassment charges she leveled against him.
From these pieces let us try to learn about Sexual Harassment at the workplace and the Sexual Harassment at workplace act, 2013.
Sexual harassment doesn’t always mean rape and it has several other forms as well that we need to understand. Also note that sexual harassment can occur in any place, let alone the workplace so we need to take that into consideration.
The act does the right thing by defining what all is inclusive of sexual harassment, it includes:
Physical contact and advances
Demand for a sexual favor
Making sexually colored remarks and comments
Unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct
The act provides that a court case can be filed for damages under the laws, even if it is against the employer himself or herself.
The act also provides for the formation of an internal complaints committee that has to be set up in an organization having more than 10 employees.
If the ICC doesn’t exist, then the complaints can be filed in the Local Complaints Committee which is there in the area.
If the LCC is hard to reach, the complaint can be filed to the District officer who appoints a nodal officer in every block, taluk or tehsil or municipality, or ward for this purpose who forwards the same to the LCC for further investigation.
We also need to note that India has signed and ratified the CEDAW or the Convention on Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
We also need to note about 1997, Vishaka judgment by the supreme court which provided the Vishaka guidelines and these guidelines became the bedrock for the formation or codification of measures or mechanisms against sexual harassment at the workplace.