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IITs getting poor quality of students: Narayana Murthy

Infosys chairman emeritus N R Narayana Murthy has said that the quality of students entering IITs is degrading year after year due to coaching classes. While addressing the ‘Pan IIT Summit’ in New York, Murthy called for an overhaul of the selection process for the coveted technology institutions.

"Thanks to the coaching classes today, the quality of students entering IITs has gone lower and lower. Apart from the top 20% of students who crack the tough IIT entrance examination and can "stand among the best anywhere in the world," quality of the remaining 80 per cent of students leave much to be desired," Murthy said, receiving a thundering applause from his audience.

Coaching classes teach aspirants limited sets of problems, out of which a few are asked in the examinations.

"They somehow get through the joint entrance examination. But their performance in IITs, at jobs or when they come for higher education in institutes in the US is not as good as it used to be.

Murthy said a blueprint needs to be prepared to ensure that IITs should “transcend from being just teaching institutions to reasonably good research institutes" at par with Harvard and MIT in the next 10-20 years.

"Few IITs have done well in producing PhDs but in reality when we compare ourselves to institutions in this country, we have a long way to go," he said.

Suggesting measures to ensure greater research output in the country, Murthy said the Indian government has to be persuaded to create institutions that fund research projects.

In addition, faculty members should also be evaluated annually on their research performance by an independent committee; Murthy said adding that India must shift from the tenure system for its faculty to a five year contractual appointment system.

The Infosys mentor also lamented the poor English speaking and social skills of a majority of IIT students, saying with Indian politicians "rooting against English"; the task of getting good English speaking students at IITs gets more difficult.

"An IITian has to be a global citizen and must understand where the globe is going," he added.

The only way IITs can become better is if 80-90 per cent of members on their governing council are alumni added Murthy.

"Nobody is bothered about an institution more than its alumni. We must somehow persuade the government of India to let go of its control and make sure majority of the council members is the IIT alumni."

He said while only a couple of IITs feature in the top 50, there should be at least five IITs in the top 10 engineering schools in the world in the next 10-20 years, he added.

Source: Times of India

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India realty likely to see up to $5 billion PE exits in 2012

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Private equity funds are expected to exit between $3 billion and $5 billion worth of Indian real estate investments in 2012, international brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle said on Tuesday.

Most of these investments were made in the country in 2005/06 and are now coming to the end of their 5-7 year cycle, triggering the exit, the brokerage house said in a report.

Over the last four years, PE investors have already exited $3 billion worth of real estate investments, accounting for 23 percent of their total investments since 2005.

Developers are already struggling with a lack of financing options as property sales in major cities are flat with higher interest rates deterring potential homebuyers, cutting off cash to developers, many of whom have racked up high debt levels.

Source: Reuters