Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Sunday, September 18, 2005

100 PhDs

Third in the Foundation Day series.

One of the highlights of the Foundation Day, at least from my perspective was the Q&A session that followed the "messages" from the Panelists.

[The following is an approximately correct version of what happened]

Somu to Prof. Sangal
Somu: Sir , I have heard from various corners and have heard you announce that IIIT aims at graduating 100 PhDs every year starting from the year 2010. I as a PhD student from IIIT would like to know how is it that the Institute is moving towards realising this?

Prof. Sangal: It is said that US produces 600 PhDs only from Information Science field; China it is said (someone from crowd says 2000); and India with all the IITs, BITS-Pilani and IISc, hardly produces 50 PhDs, combined together and it's a shame! IIIT wants to set itself a target which is respectable and challenging. That's how we are looking at the target.

Somu: That does not answer my question, Sir. What are the steps that the Institute is taking towards realising the target? [It requires 100 students who are enrolled for PhDs to think of producing 100 PhDs]

Prof. Sangal: Producing 100 PhDs is the toughest of the challenges that we have set for ourselves. As for the way in which we go about it, we are not yet clear. We are on the look out for a way.

This speaks volumes about what and where we are heading towards. The next few of my posts shall try to consider how things are moving.


Blogger vamsee said...

I see nothing wrong with our director's approach. Except that you don't announce stuff for which you haven't made any plans. I for one, would love to see 100 PhDs coming out of this college every year. I'd be happier if they all stay in India and make it a better place.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Kiran said...

In IIIT, as a start-up institution, we run a risk of being projected as over-hyped. Contradictory announcements like these cost us our credibility !

Thursday, September 22, 2005 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous unknown said...

so, i comment as anonymous here... the post maybe old, but might as well as comment...

hmm... lets see, 2010 is 5 years away, while i have no idea how many PhDs we currently have, the point is 100 is way too unrealistic. as it is, the PhD program is barely known anywhere in the country. to add to this, theres too few people who want to do PhD. do we really need to dilute the standard by takin in 100?

i'd say rather concentrate on the MS program, more people could be interested in this, and the pool of talent in seems to be kinda better than what we get from the other streams. (im being modest, so what?) if we really want to project a "research" institute, it would be a lot better to train your researchers from the onwards...

[ personally i'd rather see more people being put into the MS and possibly PhD than taking lotsa new PhDs from outside ]

Sunday, October 02, 2005 2:24:00 AM  
Blogger agastyabhrata said...

This is to the Unknown and Kiran :

The issue is IIIT might have set a stiff target by claiming to do it by 2010. But if the Institute can set out to draw its students to do research in India - and if they get sufficient boost from parties across India in their effort - I do not see why they cannot do it - if not 2010 - it'll be 2015.once the momentum gets going - the dates and deadlines hardly matter.

I think this is an important point to be noted. As you said, the MS conversions from B Tech is a right step forward. Things can be bettered. Towards a positive future - cheers!

Sunday, October 02, 2005 10:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

start-up institution? I dunno either our institute can produce 100 PhDs or not but surely it is not a start-up now. Would you call google a start-up company though they started at the same time when we started. It is the potential which matter not the statistics.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 10:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

100 PhDs! Phew! That is a tall ask but our honourable director must have a good reason to believe 'he' can produce 100 of them every year. It is HIS institute and he can aim for anything. It is no more an institution of the students. Their interests are not protected. Take for example, the recent placement row over the dates.

Having being a part of the furniture at IIIT for four years, it does not come to me as a surprise!

Let us first begin with the reasons behind strategic blunders at IIIT accredited to a rather capable set of brilliant academicians who, collectively, have become an inept bunch of stoic administrators.

Our institute looks at being a 'world-class' 'research-oriented' 'trend-setting' academic insti. I had had a talk with Prof Sangal a couple of years back when his plans of putting IIIT on the research map was in the nascent stage. He believed that IIIT was already better than IITs and has no real competition in India. We are competing with the West. He also believed that getting B.Tech folks to do all the research may be a nice thing to start with. I remember that there were 9 people enrolled for PhD at that time. Two of them left within a span of three months. Recently, a Bengali guy with a strong faked-accent quit his
PhD. The reason quoted is that he was not doing his work honestly and was thrown out. How could he be the Secretary and the most imp. student one day and a non-performing asset the very next day? What was responsible for it? Politics!

A certain professor who believes himself to be the most superior amongst all is incharge of the most of academic affairs and is more powerful than dean and director. hope all of us know his name. He started all this trouble a few years back when he made a distinction between students based on their CGPAs. This created a feeling of low self-esteem amongst ppl with not so great CGPAs. They believed they were good for nothing and to get quick grades they staged their comeback on the vehicle called projects (reasearch projects) under lesser professors. This lead to crap being produced in the name of research.

Prof. Sangal, after resigning from Satyam, took charge as Director (full time):) First thing he wanted to do was to follow what Vipul Kedia (an IIIT and IIM-A alumnus) said - 85% attendance (as happens at IIMs). Ridiculous. Students of IIIT (an especially the current fourth year batch) have become the genuie pigs for the experiments of Prof Sangal.

Freedom was the best part of IIIT till year 2001. It is no more a part of it. People are forced to take up a few courses so that the instructors (who very surprisingly all happen to be acquaintances of Prof Sangal) get the salary from IIIT funds that ultimately students cough up.

Do you know that most of the professors at IIIT have come here due to recommendations and not through any competitive selection procedure. And most of them are related to Prof Sangal in one way or the other.

My two cents on IIIT losing its existence by the year 2015 if Prof Sangal and Prof KK continue to rule the roost.

And yes, 100 PhDs! Set your sight on something more realistic say a DRUG-free life for students at IIIT.

And yes, the brother of Agasthya, do no delete this comment. let ppl read what is true.

Saturday, December 10, 2005 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its 2013. What do you have to say now? (evil grin)

Thursday, September 05, 2013 12:00:00 AM  

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