The Unwarranted IIT-G Mess

Tuesday, 19 January 2021



The Unwarranted IIT-G Mess

Swapnil Bharali | November 23, 2019 15:52 hrs

Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (or IIT-G) has always been regarded as an example to emulate by other state and national universities of the region. Such has been its hallowed reputation as a centre of excellence that its deans and administrators have been part of the academic crème de la crème of Guwahatian society. Its former director, Gautam Baruah, remains one of the most respected educationists and education administrators of our times and even post his retirement, he is a much sought after person in the region’s science and technology seminars.

The change of guard, it seems, has brought along with it some unpalatable occurrences that have begun to tarnish the image and reputation of IIT-G. And these involve finances and their misappropriation thereof. Corruption, to put it simply! All of these currently are in the allegation stage and so, it would be improper for me to be explicitly critical any further. But I have always believed that there can’t be smoke without a fire.

However, what is certainly wrong and can be considered as a failure on the part of the institute’s management is the fact that its students (who are among the brightest and most intelligent in the nation) are resorting to agitation thereby eroding the studious and academic atmosphere in this pristine institute. When something like this happens where students become rebellious against the management, then it is very clear that the management is somewhere at fault and a very impartial enquiry needs to be undertaken. After all, pushing students into agitation for something as despicable as corruption in the institution (and thereby terminating the services of an able professor on the grounds of ‘whistle-blowing’ against the management) stems of rot that has been permeating for a while now and this certainly does not augur well for the sharpest brains in the country.

IIT-G needs to come clean on the issue even if it means that the central ministry has to step in. After all, we have had a really clean government at the Centre and such “allegations of corruption” need to be cleared upfront. However, the disturbing observation is that the institute’s management is using strong arm tactics on the students and attempting to sweep the dust under the carpet. There has not been a single statement in the media from the institute’s PRO and everyone is being evasive. Not done IIT-G!

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