This blog is a continuation to one of my previous post named Understanding IIT. For visitors unaware of what does it means by the three letter word "IIT" please refer to the previous post. Here is another link from wikipedia containing a lots of information on IIT.
As I have already mentioned IIT are not very much known for research and development, but rather for un-parallel quality of students has produced who have dominated the arena of academics, industries and silicon valley in US.

Lets first have a look at the research aspect of IITs. The big question that hits my mind whenever I starts thinking about IITs is that where IIT has able create excellent alumnis who are doing marvelous jobs in the field of research, IIT is lagging in a big way in term of quality of research it produces. Here is a blog named "A caustic perspective on India" giving insight into the comparative survey of quality of research done in IITs and other Indian Universities in this post and this post. For netizens lazy enough to browse thes pages here is the extract of the post which shows no of hits there research papers got in google scholar.

CampusNumber of hits
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore12,900
IIT Bombay10,704
IIT Delhi10,324
IIT Madras9,523
IIT Kanpur7,370
Delhi University7,320
IIT Kharagpur6,728
University of Madras5,370
Calcutta University4,400
IIM, Ahmedabad2,550
Bombay University3,040
IIT Roorkee1,018
IIT Guwahati618
IIM, Calcutta622
IIM, Bangalore568
IIM, Lucknow124
These results in no way looks nice as compared to the huge pool of research done in the world. Then the question naturally arises is why??? what makes IITs perform so bad in reaserch??? Why so less hits, why so less citations???

Let me try to answer these question and suggest some practical remedies to get out of the trap of research-less-ness of IITs. IITs are the best engineering Institutions in India. Every student getting into IITs has to clear a very very tough exam called JEE with success rate of 1 in 50. Obviously the student who gets out through such exam is considered as the best brains of India. But unfortunately the advantages of IIT just abruptly ends there. The quality of the professors are not that great. And IITs are govt. organization. They suffer from n number of govt-organization-related diseases like "corruption", "lack of inovation", "red tapism", "bad planning", 'political interference" and the list goes on. Still they suffers a milder-dose of these diseases and this is the reason they have excels in the area where they excels.

But the system of IITs are so un-tuned that there are numerous possibilities to tune them to obtain better and better performance. For examples the best resourses of IITs (i.e. BTechs) aren't efficiently utilized for research. Rather just as a copy-cat of US univs they are increasing the number of intakes of MTechs and Phds. But what I feels is that they should devise schemes to efficently milk there best cows rather than to add extra not-so-innovative (drop this word if you don't like the previous word) cows. Very few Btechs (I think I am one of them) got projects related to there interest, but maxially got projects they are not at all interested in it. So IITs just can't milk them to the maximum possible extend. Therefore what I think is that IIT should take care of the interest of the students while giving projects.

But another aspects [I think this is the most important aspect] that lacks in IIT is what I called Knowledge Base. By the term "Knowledge Base" what I mean in layman term is proper organized database of the knowledge, experience, know-hows, codes, thesis, links, and other research-related-inheritables. I don't find a single reason why a person doing reasearch in the field of X should spend 3 months acquiring the neccessary information regarding X, while 5 persons have already done good amount of work in X. But what IITs have is a mere collection of hard-bound thesis. Research is not about re-inventing wheels. It is not about writting the same code which has been written by 5000 reserchers in the world. Its about Innovation, its about creation, its about new ideas, its about fruitfull creations. The IIT profs have forgotten above lines (or just don't care about it). The result: undue importance in writting codes and obtaining result that has been obtained by 500 researchers already and has practically add no-value to R&D of iit. It doesn't adds anything to resume of the student too. So why should he do reaserch????

So the end-point is about mind-set. The authority of IITs should change their mindset. IITs should start building their own knowledge base, start giving proper importance to the BTech-level projects, stops giving importance to code, start rewarding innovativeness. It would be further beneficial if they start sharing there knowledge base amongst themselves. Then only we could reach the level of the best institutions in the world

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