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Anil Kakodkar committee report on IIT autonomy measures

52% IIT entrants qualified by
self-study : report

By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI :
Fifty-two per cent of students who qualified IIT's advanced entrance exam (JEE Advanced) this year were self-taught and took no coaching, says an analysis done by IIT (Guwahati).

The analysis said that 5,539 students (52.4%) out of the 10,576 who got admission to IITs had studied on their own. Those who went to coaching centres comprised 44.5% (4,711) of successful candidates. The remaining 2% either took individual tuitions or did correspondence courses.

According to the IIT (Guwahati), the nodal institute that conducted the Advanced JEE this year in collaboration with the CBSE the IITs are still urban-centric with 75% of successful students coming from cities and the rest from rural areas. This is also indicated by the occupation of the parents.

Of the 36,566 who qualified for admission into IITs, NITs, IIITs and other government-funded technical institutions, parents of 10,200 are in government service followed by 5,814 in business, 4,097 in private jobs, 3,213 in agriculture, 2,018 in public sector, 1,700 in teaching or research.

Parents of 327 students practised law, 59 are in the pharmacy sector and only 21 are architects.

Rajasthan known for its IIT coaching centres in Kota has contributed the maximum -- 1646 students -- this year. An IIT director pointed out that Tamil Nadu which once contributed a lot to IITs is surprisingly not among the top 12 states.

Students going to CBSE-affiliated schools have done the best (5,849).

IIT-Guwahati also did an analysis of educational qualification of parents whose children qualified for joint counselling to IITs, NITs, IIITs and other government-funded technical institutes. A little over 1,000 were illiterate, 5,090 matriculate, 14,619 graduate and 8,893 postgraduates. Educational data of over 5,000 parents was not available. Analysis also shows that parental annual income of 6,929 successful students was up to Rs 1 lakh.

IIT-Kharagpur study

A similar but more exhaustive analysis conducted by IIT-Kharagpur, the nodal organisation for JEE-2014, that an overwhelming 63 per cent students who cleared JEE (advanced) did it without joining coaching institutes.

A report by the IIT Kharagpur, which conducted JEE-Advanced 2014, revealed that more than 50 per cent of IIT aspirants from almost all the zones cleared the tests by preparing on their own.

Out of 1,582 students who cleared the test from the Guwahati zone of the IITs, 998 (63.08 per cent) did so by going solus, or self preparation.

Among the 6,528 students qualified from the Bombay zone, 3,509 (53.75 per cent) shunned the “other mode” of preparation, which apparently included attending classes in coaching institutes.

Similarly, 2,568 (56.05 per cent) out of 4,582 who cleared the test from the Delhi zone did it all by themselves, as did 1,865 (60.14 per cent) out of 3,101 in Kharagpur zone and 1,469 (56.35 per cent) out of 2,607 in Roorkee zone.

The Madras zone remained an exception to this trend, with a mere 2,152 (37.57 per cent) out of 5,728 successful students telling the IITs that they had chosen the “other modes” over self preparation.

The statistics showed students from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) virtually dominated the tests, with 14,955 (55.08 per cent) successful students out of 27,152 belonging to CBSE affiliated schools.

It also revealed that the number of girls qualifying to pursue technical courses at the premier institutions remained low this year with just 11.08 per cent success rate.

Similarly, a mere 9.77 per cent students from the rural areas succeeded in the tests. At 2,654, their numbers were dwarfed by the massive 24,498 from the urban centres.

IIT-Kharagpur was the convenor of the test in which over 1.19 lakh candidates appeared.

South dominates

The report showed that the number of students from the southern states qualifying for admission to the IITs had increased in the previous one year compared to their northern counterparts, with the exception of Bihar, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

A comparative analysis of the data indicates that the number of
students from Karnataka who qualified in the nation-wide test was almost double (47.95 per cent) in 2014, compared to 2013. Kerala saw an increase of 61 per cent.

As many as 506 students from Karnataka qualified in JEE-Advance in 2014 as against 342 last year. From Kerala, a total of 475 candidates figured in the merit list this year against 295 last year.

Andhra Pradesh, from where the highest number of candidates (4,975) qualified this year, witnessed an increase in the number of students making it to the all-India merit list by 34.53 per cent. In 2013, a total of 3,698 students had qualified from the state.

Tamil Nadu too witnessed an increase in the number of students qualifying this year. As many as 603 students from the state figured in the list of successful candidates, against 450 in 2013.

The IITs admitted 9,784 students, out of a total 27,152 candidates who figured in the all India merit list, after three rounds of counselling. In its report, however, IIT Kharagpur, the convener of JEE-Advance this year, did not give state-wise statistics on the number of students admitted to the 16 premier technical institutes.

According to the report, Bihar was second among states in terms of increase in the number of students qualifying in 2014. The state, from where 1,509 students qualified in JEE Advance in 2013, saw 50 per cent increase in the successful candidates this year with 1,735 students making it to the merit list.

The IIT report also indicated a significant increase in the number of students qualifying from Gujarat and Maharashtra in 2014. As many as 672 students qualified from Gujarat against 450 the previous year, an increase of 59.61 per cent. From Maharashtra, 2,313 qualified against 1,557 last year - a 48.55 per cent jump.

From Rajasthan, 4,292 students qualified in 2014. The percentage increase in the number of successful students, however, remained at 18.20 per cent.

In 2013, the state saw 3,631 students making it to the all India merit list.

JEE-Advanced, 2014, was conducted under seven zonal IITs in 364 centres in 98 cities across the country, besides one centre in Dubai, on May 25. Over 1.19 lakh candidates took the test.

“There has been a significant increase in the number of candidates who qualified in JEE Advanced, 2014. This increase is from 20,834 in 2013 to 27,152 in 2014,” the report said.

Sanskrit to facilitate study of Vedic Sc.
NEW DELHI : The government has asked the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to introduce Sanskrit for facilitating study of science and technology as reflected in the Vedas and Hindu scriptures, HRD Minister Smriti Irani told Lok Sabha on April 25.

Replying to a question in Lok Sabha she said her Ministry has asked the premier institutes to set up cells for teaching Sanskrit on recommendation of a committee headed by former Chief Election Commissioner of India N Gopalaswami.

“The report suggested that IITs may facilitate study of science and technology as reflected in Sanskrit literature along with inter-disciplinary study of Sanskrit and modern subject. Accordingly, the IITs have been requested to teach Sanskrit language, especially with reference to study of works which contain scientific knowledge,” she said.

The committee, in its report to the ministry earlier this year, recommended subject-wise inclusion of “Indian knowledge” available in Vedas and other Sanskrit scriptures in school and college curriculum.

“Indian knowledge component available in Sanskrit works in corresponding modern subjects like mathematics, physics, chemistry, life sciences, engineering and technical subjects may be included in the respective subjects,” the report said.

It suggested creation of “Sanskrit cells” at all premier technical institutes, including the IITs and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), central universities and other engineering colleges, for facilitating the study of science and technology in Sanskrit literature and their inter-disciplinary study of various modern subjects.

For details go to their respective websites:

IIT, Bombay
IIT, Delhi
IIT, Kanpur
IIT, Kharagpur
IIT, Madras
IIT, Guwahati.
IIT, Roorkee

 

 

 Finance Ministry rejects IITs' rank elevation plan

By Rajiv Shukla
NEW DELHI :
The Finance Ministry has rejected the Rs 8,700 crore Project Vishwajeet aimed at boosting the global ranking of the top seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

Project Vishwajeet was proposed and approved by the IIT Council at its August 23 meeting last year following which the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) proposed a Rs 8,700 crore plan that would help enhance the global ranking of the seven IITs --Delhi, Bombay, Madras, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Roorkee and Guwahati.

The rejection has come as a setback to the IITs which slipped further in global ranking this year. The IITs were supposed to use the funds (Rs 1,250 crore each over a five-year period) to upgrade their infrastructure, hire foreign faculty members, tie up with international institutions and adopt a host of other measures to improve their QS and the Times global institution rankings.

Sources said the Finance Ministry has turned down the MHRD request for in-principle approval of the project with a note that the IITs should first address “fundamental issues” such as autonomy to fix fees, raising resources from corporate houses and alumni members, and strengthening existing schemes.

Strangely no Indian institute of higher education figured in the top 200 of the 14th edition of the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings released on September 5, triggering concerns about the falling standards of education in India and its possible impact on the job market. Only the Indian Institute of Science-Bangalore (IISc) figured in the 251-300 band of the list, which lists the top 1,000 universities from 77 countries.

While IIT-Bombay retained its position in the 351-400 band, its counterparts at Delhi and Kanpur slipped from the 401-500 segment in 2016 to 501-600 this year. IIT-Madras fared even worse, figuring only in the 601-800 band.

Sources said that while turning down the money demand, the Finance Minister suggested that the IITs first construct world-class laboratories through existing grants or the recently launched Institute of Eminence scheme.

“Under the Institute of Eminence scheme, 10 select government institutes will be given approximately Rs 1,000 crore. The finance ministry suggested that the IITs compete for that scheme instead of expecting funds through the Vishwajeet project,” the source said.

The overall budget of IITs received a hike of Rs 2,468 crore in 2017-18 to touch Rs 7,856 crore.

Project Vishwajeet included plans to fill 20 per cent vacancies with foreign faculty, allow off campus Ph.D students, 20% international students at undergraduate and postgraduate level, a 1:7 faculty-student ratio and separate capital grants for world class infrastructure.

The Project

Fill all vacancies: 20% of all fresh recruitment was to be done by foreign faculty. By 2010 - atlesat 10% faculty positions were to go to foreign academics. Special effort were to be made to identify Indian students doing research in the top 100 institutions of the World.

At least 10% of the total research projects taken up were to be joint research projects with foreign universities in the top 100 universities in the World.

Academic leaders teaching in top-100 universities were to be requested to accept the position of Distinguished International Professor (DIP). These Professors were to teach a semester in the IIT for the next 3 years. They were to be compensated as per their current compensation structure and the cost of travel was to be met by the Institution.

Atleast 20% of all M.Tech, Ph.D students were to be offered as supernumerary positions for foreign students. The current efforts to conduct GATE overseas were to be intensified and GRE scores were to be considered for admission.

The teacher-student ratio was to be maintained at 1:7 considering along with the faculty, the doctoral/post-doctoral students. If necessary, new teaching positions were to be sanctioned only for these institutions.

JEE Advanced to go totally online

From Our Correspondent
MADRAS :
The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE-Advanced), the gateway to prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), will be conducted completely online from next year, according to a decision taken by the Joint Admission Board (JAB), at a meeting held at IIT here on August 20.

The development was confirmed by a member of the JAB. Around 2.2 lakh students were eligible to take the JEE (Advanced) this year.

Students vying for admission to NITs, IITs and other centrally funded institutions need to clear the JEE Mains test to qualify for the JEE Advanced.

The government had earlier introduced the option of taking the JEE Mains test online, and the JAB has now decided to extend it to the Advanced exam.

More than 13 lakh take the Mains test, with less than 10% of them going online. Of these, two lakh qualify for the Advanced test. Now, these students will have to take the test online. “The move will ensure greater transparency and avoid instances of paper leak too,” said a senior official of the HRD ministry added.

To ensure students do not face any problem in taking the test online, provision for three-day training will be made where they will be allowed to take mock tests and operate the system.

Schools will also be advised to provide an opportunity to the students so that they can use the computers.

IIT Council approves massive seat hike

By Rajiv Shukla
NEW DELHI :
Blissfully unmindful of the paucity of faculty and infrastructure in the new Indian Institutes of Technology, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar pushed through his seat hike agenda at the 50th IIT Council meeting here on AugustHuman Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar speaking at the 50th IIT Council meeting at the IIT Delhi auditorium on August 23. 23, 2016.

The Council, which met under the chairmanship of the minister, decided to add 10,000 seats per year until 2020. This will be done by adding 4,000 seats in undergraduate courses and 6,000 in postgraduate and Ph.D courses per annum. The yawning problem of limited hostel accommodation will be solved by allowing students to stay outside the campus in rented accommodations, particularly those seeking admissions in PG and Ph.D courses. At present the IITs admit 10,500 UG students, 8,000 PG students and 3,000 Ph.D students.

The second important decision is to boost research -- and for this even B.Tech passouts will be allowed to do a Ph.D, deviating from the conventional practice of permitting only postgraduates to do doctorate programmes. Besides, a prime minister’s fellowship of Rs 60,000 a month for five years will be given to around 1,000 students to do research in IITs.

At present, students pursuing M.Tech and Ph.D in IITs after clearing the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) also get scholarship which will continue. An M.Tech student gets Rs 12,400 per month while a Ph.D student gets Rs 25,000 per month for the first two years and Rs 28,000 monthly in the next three years under the existing GATE scholarship. These scholarships will continue.

Another decision taken by the council is to introduce a IIT-BHU prepared three-week induction course to allow students to adapt to their new environment, take up courses on languages and creative arts, and bond with classmates as well as faculty members. Classes will commence only after the induction course.

The induction course, to begin with, will be introduced in seven IITs — Delhi, Bombay, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee and Guwahati.

The IIT Council also approved a pilot run of a national aptitude test, which will be voluntary in nature and will not have a bearing on engineering admissions.

The worry

The seat hike decision is worrying the IIT directors, and one of them, expressed angst saying "already the teacher-taught ratio in the IITs works out to be abysmal 1:15 instead of the desired 1:10, what is going to happen after the seat hike?" he asked.

When asked by the reporters, Javadekar brushed aside the query by saying that the IITs would try to fill the posts by attracting Indians with Ph.Ds working in foreign institutions.

When coaxed for an answer he said his ministry has already launched the Global Initiative of Academic Network (GIAN) under which foreign faculty are being invited to Indian campuses to take a few courses; 260 foreign faculty have already visited in the last one year and another 800 would come in the next one to two years, Javadekar said.

Scholarships

The council decided to start a Prime Minister's Fellowship to encourage B.Tech students to pursue Ph.D. The B.Tech graduates from IITs with good performance will be able to seek direct admission into Ph.D and get the Prime Minister's Fellowship of Rs 60,000 per month for five years.

Aptitude Test

The government is planning to put in place an engineering aptitude test that students of classes 11 and 12 can take up to assess their ability to excel as engineers beforehand. Once the aptitude test comes into force, all aspirants will have to take it. The successful students will be able to take further engineering entrance tests. The council decided the IITs should conduct a pilot aptitude test in the next one year after which how to roll it out would be decided.

IITs told to bear interest load on edu loans

By Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI  :
On July 14 the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) directed the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to bear from their own funds the interest on education loans taken by undergraduate engineering students.

The MHRD order asked the IIT directors to honour a decision taken in April this year that guaranteed interest-free loans to students who don't get a fee waiver.

The April decision specified that the interest-free loan would be given under the Vidya Lakshmi scheme but the July 14 MHRD directive deviates from the April decision and asks IITs to bear the interest load, thereby affecting the earnings from the recent fee hike.

The second deviation from the April promise is that the interest waiver will not be available to all students but only to those whose parents earn below Rs 9 lakh per annum. 

The April decision had said that "all students shall have access to interest-free loan under the Vidya Lakshmi scheme for the total portion of the tuition fee payable".

But the ministry later realised that the scheme had a condition: only those whose parental income was less than Rs 4.5 lakh a year were entitled to interest-free loans. The ministry runs a separate Central Scheme of Interest Subsidy (CSIS) for education loans, which has the same condition.

According to a 2014 report on the JEE Advanced, the entrance test IIT aspirants have to crack, 14.53 per cent of the 27,152 students - or approximately 4,000 - who qualified for admission had a yearly parental income between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 8 lakh. Around 13.21 per cent - or nearly 3,600 - had disclosed a parental income over Rs 8 lakh.

In April, the IITs increased undergraduate engineering fees from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh a year.

According to an estimate, the interest on a loan of Rs 8 lakh - Rs 2 lakh every year for the four-year undergraduate course - works out to Rs 2.8 lakh. If an IIT pays the interest on behalf of a student, its net earnings from the fee will go down to Rs 1.3 lakh a year.

The IITs now spend Rs 6 lakh a year on each BTech student.

Cabinet approves ISM as IIT Dhanbad

By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI :
On May 25 the Union cabinet decided to award IIT status to Indian School of Mines (ISM) fulfilling the promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the general elections inIndian School of Mines, Dhanbad 2014.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister also gave ex-post facto approval to six new IITs, two of which, IIT Palakkad and IIT Tirupati, have already started functioning from last year.

The Cabinet also granted ex-post facto approval for establishing an NIT in Andhra Pradesh.

The four new IITs will start functioning from this year in Dharwar (Karnataka), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Goa and Jammu. They will offer 120 B.Tech seats each taking the total seats in 23 IITs to 10,500 this year against 10,000 seats offered in 19 IITs last year.

In his budget speech last year, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced the new IITs and the conversion of ISM to IIT. However, an expert panel, set up by the HRD ministry, was opposed to the conversion, subject to fulfilling a series of conditions.

The committee, headed by former IIT Bombay chairman Ashok Mishra, had initially given an adverse report in view of deficiencies. But it was again asked to suggest ways to upgrade the 90-year-old ISM.

In its second report, submitted last year, the panel highlighted several lacunae, particularly in the standards of faculty, in many branches and said that every faculty member at ISM should be evaluated by the same yardstick as that of established IITs.

Faculty members falling short of the yardsticks should be sent to institutions like IITs or IISc to be trained and younger faculty without Ph.D should be asked to complete their thesis from IITs, IISc or any reputed institutions abroad, the panel had said.

The committee said ISM was good for mining and petroleum engineering, earth science etc. However, departments like computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and chemical engineering weren't at par with IITs in terms of quality of faculty, research output, industry-linkage and international exposure.

HRD Ministry sources said that all the concerns of the panel would be addressed in a time-bound manner.

The institute had appointed 50 faculty members between 2004 and 2008 who were only M.Tech holders.

The decision to upgrade ISM has spelt both a bane and a boon for the 90-year-old institute. Chairperson D.D. Mishra said IIT status would prevent the institute to open an off-campus in Visakhapatnam, despite the Chandrababu Naidu government offering 300 acres of land for the purpose.

"There are IITs in every state. One IIT cannot set up a campus in a state which already has an IIT. ISM as a special type of institution could have opened the off-campus," Mishra said.

SC/STs & disabled to get 100% fee waiver

By Rajiv Shukla
NEW DELHI :
In what may be called a 'rob Peter to pay Paul' policy the central government has announced a 122 per cent hike in fee for the Indian Institute Technology (IIT) students and at the same time allowed total fee waiver for the SC/ST students from next academic year.

The fee hike announcement, made on April 7 would, in effect, make general category students pay for the SC/ST categories.

According to the announcement the IITs will charge Rs 2 lakh tuition fee per annum for the general category students enrolling for various undergraduate programmes. This is a neat hike of Rs 1.10 lakh from the current annual fee of Rs 90,000.

The fee hike will be implemented from the academic session 2016-17, according to a "Clarification" sent to Directors of all the IITs on April 13 by R. Subrahmanyam, Additional Secretary (Technical Education). It said that "the students currently studying would continue to pay at the existing rates."  The "clarification" was issued soon after the 50th IIT Council meeting chaired by the HRD Minister Smiriti Irani.

The National Institutes of Technology (NITs) will also almost double the fee from the new academic year. They will charge Rs 1.25 lakh tuition fee per annum, up from the present Rs 70,000.

Fee waiver schemes
According to the IIT fee waiver scheme :

A) The SC/ST/Differentlyabled students shall get complete fee waiver.

B) The most economically backward students (whose family income is less than Rs.1 lakh per annum) shall get full remission of the fee.

C) The other economically backward students (whose family income is between Rs.1 lakh to Rs.5 lakh per annum) shall get remission of 2/3rd of the fee.

D) All students shall have access to interest free loan under the ‘Vidya Lakshmi Scheme’ for the total portion of the tuition fee payable.

Further, all IITs are asked to use the increased student fee for infrastructure development with the assistance of funds from the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) so that the increased fee directly translates into better infrastructure for the students. As per orders issued, the matter will be placed in next meeting of the IIT Council for ratification.

In NITs, though students belonging to scheduled caste and scheduled tribes get fee waiver, it was not clear at this moment as to whether the NITs will also provide waiver or concession of fee to non-reserved category students belonging to BPL and low income group as approved for the IITs. A standing committee of the IITs had, in its recent report, recommended increase in the tuition fee of the premier technical institutes from the current Rs 90,000 to Rs 3 lakh per semester.

The decision to hike the fee has been taken by the ministry following a proposal by a high-level IIT panel.

The panel, headed by IIT Roorkee chairman Ashok Misra, met last month and approved a proposal for a three-fold increase in tuition fee from the present Rs 90,000 to Rs 3 lakh per annum from the next academic session. A proposal for three-fold increase in tuition fee was first introduced before the standing committee at its meeting in Mumbai in October last, but it was referred to an expert committee comprising IIT directors.

The IITs are autonomous public institutes of higher education. The 23 IITs are located in following cities: Bhilai, Chennai, Delhi, Dhanbad, Dharwad, Goa, Guwahati, Jammu, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Mumbai, Roorkee, Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Mandi, Palakkad, Patna, Ropar, Tirupati and Varanasi.

The report of the Committee on funding of IITs and the recommendations of SCIC for revision of annual fee in IITs to Rs.3 lakhs per year from the current Rs.90000 has been examined. The rationale for the SCIC recommendation arises from the fact that the cost of maintenance of the IITs is to be met largely from the student fee. On an average, the Government is spending about Rs 6 lakh per year on each student in the IITs.

IIT dons create no interest for learning : study

MUMBAI :  Most IIT Bombay professor have failed to infuse interest for studies among the students, says a study published in the students' magazine called Insight.

The study published in the April issue of the quarterly magazine (Vol 15  Issue 3) says that about 88 per cent IIT Bombay do not study as their professors do not manage to generate interest in their courses.

While a few teachers are enthusiastic about teaching, others are not, reveals the survey published in the magazine. Fed up with criticism about their “poor performance” compared to previous batches, a group of IITians from the current batch had conducted a survey on the campus.

The first part of the survey focusing on why students don’t study at IIT-B, published in the January issue, had revealed that if not put on a deadline for an assignment, 75% students do not spend any time on academics. While more than 75% IITians seem to be more interested in pursuing hobbies, many are hooked on to social networking and micro-blogging sites.

The second part of the survey, published in the April issue, focuses on issues concerning the teaching and learning process in the institute. In this report, students have included reactions from professors, and also made a few observations.

At least 72 per cent students believe the course content is theoretical, lacks in application and therefore, is not interesting. Many IITians have sought a return to blackboard teaching as they believe that showing slides does not ensure value-addition from the teachers.

The study says that teachers have cited large classes as one of the reasons for “inefficient teaching”. “With a shortage of faculty, the surge in number of students has not given enough time to the teachers and for the infrastructure to evolve,” says the report.

Professors claim that they have to perform two jobs —teach and research. “It is not hard to see why it is possible that research could be more interesting and teaching could be relegated to being one of the unpleasant aspects of the job for many professors,” says the report. “Unfortunately, both teaching and research are fulltime jobs. Increased focus on one would impact the other,” says a teacher in the report. Also, 75 per cent of the students feel they can get a decent grade even by studying a night before the exam, which reflects badly on the standards of learning process.

Devang Khakhar, IIT-B director, says, “We are constantly working on improving the teaching and learning standards. The senate committee has proposed to set up a centre for effective teaching and learning. The institute is also making efforts to build new lecture halls to reduce the class size, and, thus increase interaction between teachers and students.”
 

 

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