The words were barely out of Jairam Ramesh’s mouth and the tweeple had already pounced on them. The 57-year-old Union minister’s comment — “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” — has sparked off an online debate with terms, “Jairam Ramesh” and “IIT/ IIM,” trending on the microblogging site last evening. Best-selling author Chetan Bhagat, an alumnus of both IIT and IIM, seemed incensed by Ramesh’s suggestion and tweeted, “Before Jairam Ramesh talks about IIT/IIM faculty being worldclass, he should comment if our politicians are worldclass.” The terse message became a “top tweet” on Twitter, indicating it was a part of “widespread conversation”.
While the biggies battled it out, the aam netizen too participated in the students versus faculty debate with Ramesh getting as many bouquets as brickbats. Many, like Bhagat, turned the spotlight on the political class. “Pls also comment on having world class politicians in India. Unlike IIM faculty, they make crores,” tweeted user “tanaishaa”. According to Twitter user “lfc_ind”, it was rather “odd that Jairam Ramesh slams IITs and IIMs when his political colleagues have done everything possible to destroy these fine institutions.”
Not all were opposed to the minister’s opinion. “Seems like Jairam Ramesh has gotten himself into another controversy. I agree with him though. More than incompetence its the lack of vision,” tweeted user “teknicsand”.