46th meeting of the Council of IITs Presided Over by Dr M M Pallam Raju
Tushar Ahmed Saifi,, INVC,, Delhi,, ‘The 46th meeting of Council of IITs took a number of decisions on measures to take IITs to excellence and greater relevance. The meeting, chaired by HRD Minister M. M. PallamRaju, was attended by Chairman of Board of Governors and Directors of all 16 IITs. In his inaugural address, the minister emphasized that IITs should strive for greater industry linkages. ShriPallamRaju said that both the quality and quantity of faculty was key to improving the standards of technical education in the country.
Peer Review of IITs : The Council of IITs decided that the Peer Review of each Institute would be carried out on a periodic basis, once in every five years. The Review Committee would consist of five eminent persons from Industry and Academia. The Committee members would be selected by the Chairman of the Council of IITs from a panel of 10 names given by the Board of Governors of respective Institutes. For the new IITs, similar exercise will be carried out on completion of five years. The Peer Review will be based on similar well-established review systems in world-class institutions and would be rigorous and forward-looking. Besides periodic review of the institution, each IIT will similarly undertake, an in-house, department-wise review before any external Peer Review is carried out. The process, results and the follow-up on Peer Review would be uploaded on Institute/IIT Council’s website as a mechanism to foster a culture of transparency and accountability.
Revision of Fee for UG Students : At present, the Undergraduate students pay an annual tuition fee of Rs. 50,000/-. The fee was last revised from Rs. 25,000/- to Rs. 50,000/- per annum from academic session 2008-09. No tuition fee is charged from the students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. A number of other facilities like free mess, free hostel facility and free book bank facilities are available to SC and ST students. Besides this, 25 percent of total students, whose parental income is less than 4.5 lakh per year, are given 100 percent scholarships. The Council of IITs approved the recommendation of the Group of Directors of IITs and Empowered Task Force for revision of fee for UG students from the existing Rs. 50,000/- to Rs. 90,000/- per annum from the year, 2013. The revised rates will, however, be applicable for the new entrants to the UG programs and the fee may be revised periodically. Members of Council of IITs stressed that easy loan facility is available to students and no student, who has qualified the JEE, is denied entry into IITs due to financial constraints. One of the key recommendations of the Kakodkar Committee was that the IITs become financially independent of non-plan (operational) budgetary support to meet their operating expenditure, while the capital, students scholarships, support and infrastructure expenditure continue to be met fully under plan (capital budget support) by the government. The Kakodkar Committee had in fact recommended fee for UG, Masters and Ph.DProgrammes to the order of Rs. 2 - 2.5 lacs per annum, which was revised downwards by Director of IITs and the Empowered Task Force.
Boost to Ph.D. Programs : With a view to increase the number of Ph.D.s from 3000 at present to 10,000 by 2020, the Council of IITs approved the recommendation of the Empowered Task Force headed by Dr. Anil Kakodkarfor “strengthening the Ph.D. Programme in the IITs”. This provides for relaxed conditions for enrolment into Ph.D. program in IITs. The admission would be given without GATE score to students with CGPA of more than 7.0 at the end of the 3rd year but GATE score would be required for scholarship. However, students from Centrally Financed Technical Institutions (CFTIs)with CGPA of more than 7.0 would be eligible for Ph.D. programs and also assistantship/fellowships without requirement of GATE scores. All others will have to appear for GATE to get into M. Tech. and Ph.D. programs in IITs. A Ph.D. programme for persons working in industry and teachers in Engineering Colleges will be introduced in all IITs wherein the course requirement would be fulfilled through courses to be delivered remotely using the National Knowledge Network (NKN).
Joint IIT-NIT Trainee Teacher Scheme : The Council of IITs approved the Trainee Teacher Award NIT / IIT Joint Schemewith an aim to enhance the teaching quality and to address the faculty shortage issue. This scheme is open to all graduating candidates who are in top 15% in the Centrally Funded Technical Institutes (CFTIs). All other candidates who are in top 15% from other AICTE/UGC approved institutions / universities (non-CFTIs) and having a valid GATE score would also be eligible. The concerned NITs would identify and implement initial screening criteria for the selection of potential candidates. They would be engaged as trainee teachers at NITs. While initially they would assist in teaching, they would simultaneously go through part-time M.Tech and PhD programs of IITs to acquire higher academic qualifications, which is a prerequisite for faculty at NITs.
Green Initiatives : The Council of IITs decided that each IIT would establish a Green Office, which would carry out Green Audit and ensure inclusion of green technology related topics/courses in the curriculum. The Kakodkar Committee Report also emphasizes the need for IITs to be in the forefront of development of technology for sustainable growth. Most of the education and research institutions in Europe and America have adopted Sustainability Agenda and are implementing programs to reduce their Caron footprint, recycle the resources, adopt energy efficiency measures and include sustainability issues in the teaching programs. As part of this, every student will be required to complete at least one project of technology application relevant to local neighborhood development relevant to his/her area of expertise/concern. The Council of IITs also decided to have greater community engagement and transparency in processes for projects and procurement along with exemplary labour practices.