IIT, IIM faculty not world class: Jairam Ramesh

New Delhi:  Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, an IIT alumni himself, has kicked up a controversy claiming the faculty of the premier IITs and IIMs are "not world class" but are "excellent" because of the quality of students.

"There is hardly any worthwhile research from our IITs. The faculty in the IIT is not world class. It is the students in IITs who are world class. So the IITs(Indian Institute of Technology) and IIMs(Indian Institute of Management(IIM) are excellent because of the quality of students not because of quality of research or faculty," Ramesh told reporters on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi.

The outspoken minister is an alumni of IIT Mumbai from where he obtained his B.Tech degree in Mechanical Engineering.

On his Ministry`s decision to have a joint venture with Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to set up a National Centre for Marine Biodiversity in Jamnagar, he said the decision was taken as a world class research centre cannot be built in a "Governmental set up" and can never attract young people.

Asked whether there was any conflict of interest in collaborating with Reliance, the Minister said, "Life is one large conflict of interest."

"We cannot build a world class research centre in a Governmental set up. The governmental set up can never attract young people. Never. Let us understand our experience in the last 60 years. Government research institutions can never attract young talent.

"So we want to think differently. We have to think differently, how we are going to organise our research institutions. And this is one way of building PPP," Ramesh said.

"So I have been to Jamnagar and we are in a PPP mode. We are having a joint venture with Reliance to set up a world class national centre for marine biodiversity," he said.

Jamnagar is also the site for India`s first marine national park, the Minister said.

This would be a new centre that would focus exclusively on the conservation of our marine biodiversity, Ramesh added.