Jairam Ramesh:

Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has kicked up a controversy claiming that the faculty at the premier Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management is not world class.

“IITs are surviving because of their 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 and IIMs are excellent because of the quality of students not because of quality of research or faculty,” said Ramesh in New Delhi on Monday.

Why is this a controversy?  Who disagrees and why?

I don’t agree that the students of IITs and IIMs are world class: They are the best we have at cracking systems. I wouldn’t equate that with being good students of a field.

But that’s getting into semantics.