True implementation of false promises, journey of ISM Dhanbad, budget 2015 to 2016

The Budget 2016, amongst high promises in the education sector, fails to highlight the status of converting Indian School of Mines(ISM) into an Indian Institute of Technology(IIT). The BJP Government promised to upgrade ISM to the status of an IIT, during the financial budget session 2015.This conversion process requires an Amendment bill to be introduced in the parliament. However, in the past one year, no such bill has been introduced in the parliament.

ISM Dhanbad was promised to be converted into an IIT, by the government, so that the former institute could gain certain perks like, better placement opportunities, more research funds from the government, better opportunities for International collaborations, and a positive change in the perception. In the past one year, though, these promises stand unnoticed by the government and the future of ISM remains uncertain.

On speaking to the Director of ISM, Dhanbad, Prof. D. C. Panigrahi, said “We are already at par with the IIT’s in terms of faculty recruitment and student admissions. Passing the bill in the Parliament is just a formality which I believe will be done soon.” Similarly, the Dean of Academic Affairs, Prof. S. Mohanty, said, “The only things that will change after the conversion is the ‘grant’ which is sanctioned by the MHRD, and the ‘teacher-student’ ratio which will be adjusted from 1:12 to 1:10.”

While the institute’s management seems positive about the conversion process, ISM’s students feel that the Budget 2016 was a setback to their IIT dreams.  “We are very disappointed with this year’s Budget. We hoped to graduate as IITians, but we see no development in this regard. We are going to raise this issue with MHRD Head, Smriti Irani, when she visits our institute during the convocation ceremony next month.” says a  final year student of ISM Dhanbad.

With no mention of ISM Dhanbad in today’s budget speech, its transformation into an IIT as of now seems to be a mirage.