Because we can't accept it, we shouldn't dish it?
If you bring a current professor of an IIT, an alumnus, and a current PhD student at an IIT to a TV show and ask them what they think of Jairam Ramesh's remark, guess what the response would be? Thankfully you don't need to either teach, or have graduated from either of these institutions to know the answer to that.
Guess what, Jairam is right. Neither of these institutions have anything to show when it comes to research. Oh sure, this lack of world-class research may be true to other teaching-learning institutions too, but guess what, if there were institutions that could have produced research, it had to be the IITs and IIMs.
Simple. There are no others institutions in India where faculty enjoy as much job-security or are given as much time so they can engage in research. The truth is, the IITs and the IIMs are great examples of institutions (just like Indian business firms) that have thrived under a scenario of artificial scarcity, and have had the good fortune of being protected from world class competition from the outside. It is therefore only pertinent that we own to what the reality is when it comes these institutions.
That we haven't been doing it is no reason why Jairam shouldn't say it.