While the proposal to set up a new Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kerala has given the state a reason to rejoice, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) awaits to be elevated to an institute of national importance.
It was more than a decade ago, in 2003 that CUSAT first appeared in S K Joshi Committee Report as one of the seven colleges and universities eligible to be upgraded to an IIT. In 2005, CUSAT featured in the Anandakrishnan Committee report as one of the five colleges eligible to be upgraded to an IIEST (Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology).
However, since then, the development is moving on a snail’s pace with debates going on about whether the institute should be an IIT or IIEST. While one of the five colleges was upgraded to an IIT in 2012 and one to an IIEST in 2014, three others along with CUSAT have not been upgraded yet.
Until 2008, the discussions were along the lines of upgrading it to an IIEST when the government was in favour of elevating it to an IIT. The present discussions, after former HRD minister Shashi Tharoor’s tenure, are again in the lines of upgrading CUSAT into an IIEST.
[blockquote source=”Name of the source”]“The proposal is still under consideration and a meeting was held in June in the presence of MHRD and Additional Chief Secretary for Higher Education K M Ibrahim.[/blockquote]
Though there is a provision for elevating CUSAT to an IIT, the possibilities are low, say experts.
The proposal is still under consideration by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development.
[blockquote source=”K M Abraham, additional chief secretary, Higher Education.”]“The expenditure committee of Planning Commission has given its approval to go ahead with the upgradation. The process is in the pipeline. The Ministry is also awaiting certain documents from the institute and the government. However, we cannot say how long the entire process might take,”[/blockquote]
[blockquote source=”G Madhu, syndicate member of CUSAT and principal of CUSAT School of Engineering.”]“Both IIT and IIEST have equal significance as institutes of national importance. However, IIT scores better as a brand. Continuing the process of elevating CUSAT to an IIEST is easier since it is ongoing and any debate about considering an IIT status for CUSAT will only add to the delay,” [/blockquote]
[blockquote source=”K V Thomas MP”]“The union budget proposed one new IIT for the state. Whether a new one has to be set up or an existing college has to be elevated depends on the decision of the state government.[/blockquote]