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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.

IIT bill approved, 6
new IITs soon
NEW DELHI : With the Rajya Sabha passing the Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill 2016 on August 2 the way has been cleared for six new IITs. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill on July 26.

The new IITs will come up in Jammu, Tirupati, Palakkad Kerala, Goa, Dharwad (Karnataka) and Bhilai (Chhattisgarh).

Replying to a debate on the bill, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said IITs are centres of excellence and would continue to remain so. “We will not allow anything that will lower their standards. Actually we all should try to improve them further and make them really world class institutes. Therefore quality is absolutely important.”

The bill also seeks to bring the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, within the ambit of the IIT Act.

The Bill provides for the incorporation of IIT (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad and states  that until its statutes are made under the Act, it will be governed in accordance with the statutes of IIT Roorkee.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been keen on making these IITs operational at the earliest after they got a Cabinet nod last December. The Bill got unanimous support from the Parliament.

According to HRD officials, the new IITs will be operated from temporary campuses for an initial three years and will be shifted to permanent campuses subsequently.

Replying to a debate on the bill, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said that the government has formed the High Education Financial Agency (HEFA) to upgrade infrastructure.

On the fee structure, he said students from the ST and SC communities, those from the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category and the physically challenged get a full waiver of fees in IITs and NITs. He said, those whose family income is below Rs 9 lakh per annum also get zero per cent education loan.

“Education must be inclusive. But those capable of paying must pay. You should not oppose when the rich are being asked to pay,” the minister said.

Now, the bill awaits Rajya Sabha clearance and the President's nod.

The passage of bill had a quick reaction in Dhanbad and 889 students took admissions to B.Tech and five-year integrated courses on Monday. There are in all 912 seats in ISM - 824 in B.Tech and 88 in integrated B.Tech and M.Tech.

ISM offers undergraduate courses in computer science and engineering, mechanical, electronics and communication, electrical and mining, petroleum, civil, electronics and instrumentation, chemical, environmental and mining machinery engineering and engineering physics. Computer science engineering, mathematics and computing, applied geology and applied geophysics are taught under the five-year Integrated B.Tech and M.Tech degree course.

IIT Admission Exams in Foreign Countries

NEW DELHI : The IIT Council has decided to hold entrance examinations for IITs in neighbouring countries so that  eligible foreign students get a fair chance to study in the IITs.

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on July 25 in a written reply to a Lok Sabha question.

According to the reply the exam will be held in countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Singapore, UAE and Ethiopia. Only such candidates who qualify in this exam would be offered admission to study in the IITs subject to the following:

i. The entire cost of admission of the foreign students may be recovered from the student fee which may or may not be covered by a scholarship. There shall be no additional cost to Government on account of these admissions.

ii. There shall be no reduction in the seats available for students in India while providing admissions to foreign students. These seats would be considered as supernumerary seats.

iii. There shall be no discrimination in giving facilities between Indian and foreign students.

Further, IIT Bombay has been designated as the National Coordinator for coordinating the visit of IIT teams to these Countries with the Indian Missions abroad, so that the students in these countries are made aware of the advantages of studying in the IITs. It is expected that the above initiative will become operational from academic year 2017-18.

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

 

 

 SC lifts stay, IITs to go ahead with counselling

By Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI :
On July 10 the Supreme Court gave Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) a green signal to go ahead with counselling and admission.

A three-judge bench, presided over by Justice Dipak Misra, vacated its July 7 stay on the whole admission process, saying, "You can't keep the student community in anxiety."

The bench, however, directed the Centre and IIT Madras, which conducted this year's JEE Advanced, to explain at the next hearing on October 10 how they planned to avoid bloomers in the question papers in future. It asked them to develop a mechanism to avoid incorrect questions in the entrance examination, held for admission to IITs, NITs and others.

The court noted that all 33,307 students had already taken admission, including 10,987 in IITs.

The court rejected a plea by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Sanjay Hegde, appearing for some students, for preparation of fresh list of successful candidates as 18 bonus marks were awarded to all, affecting their ranks.

The bench said its 2005 judgement in the Gurunanak Dev University case would not apply to the present case as only 10,000 students were involved there. There were 1.56 lakh students who have taken the present examination.

On careful study of the Gurunanak Dev University case verdict, it is also revealed that there was no negative marking there, while in the present case there was negative marking for wrong questions attempted by the students, the court said.

Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted that such a situation would be avoided in future where the students were to be awarded bonus marks across the board for incorrect questions.

A counsel, appearing for the IITs, submitted that an expert body of 33 members from various institutes met twice and decided that award of bonus marks to the students across the board was the only solution to the problem.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Union government, submitted that the apex court should allow the admission process to continue.

The court, which lifted its stay on the counselling, said it would consider the matter to examine the mechanism to ensure that no incorrect questions were allowed in the examination papers.

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.

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.”

IIT fee hiked to Rs 90, 000 per annum

From  Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI
: Acting on the Anil Kakodkar committee report, the Council of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) decided, on January 7, toAnil Kakodkar implement committee's key suggestions, including a hefty fee hike that would make the new entrants to the IITs to shell out 80 per cent more than what their seniors had to pay.

The IIT council, headed by Human Resource Development Minister M M Pallam Raju, approved a steep hike in the tuition fees of the undergraduate programme from the current Rs 50,000 per annum to Rs 90,000 per annum.

“The new fees structure, to be reviewed every year, will be applicable to new entrants from this year,” the minister told journalists soon after the Coincil meeting. The new fee structure will not be applicable to those who are already pursuing undergraduate programmes at the premier institutions. “Old students will not be affected by the fee hike. They will continue to pay the amount of fees what they are paying,” he clarified.

He said that there would be an annual review of the fee structure of the IITs but clarified that it does not mean it will be increased every year. The fee of the undergraduate courses of the IITs was last revised from Rs 25,000 per annum to Rs 50,000 per annum from the 2008-09 academic session.

No fee is charged from the students belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Besides, 25 per cent of the total students, whose parental income is less than 4.5 lakh per annum, are also given 100 per cent scholarship. “This will continue,” Raju said, when asked if SC and ST students as well as those whose parental income was less that 4.5 lakh would also now have to pay tuition fees.

The decision to hike the fees of the IITs was taken to enable IITs generate its own resources to meet its various expenditures. “If you look at IIMs, they are fairly independent and are generating their resources. Like IIMs, we want IITs also to be independent,” Raju said.

The hike has been introduced following recommendations of the group of directors of IITs and Empowered Task Force. The Kakodkar Committee, however, had recommended a steep hike of Rs 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh per annum from the existing Rs 50,000.

The council also decided to hold peer review of the each of the IITs once in every five years, besides an internal review of the premier institutes by themselves.

The peer review committee will comprise five eminent persons from industry and academia to be selected by the HRD minister, who happens to be the chairman of the IIT council, out of 10 names given by the Board of Governors of the respective IIT.

The review, the results of which will be uploaded on the websites of the institutes and councils, will be based on similar well-established review system in world class institutes.

For the new IITs, similar exercise will be carried out on completion of five years. 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.

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 Kakodkar for “strengthening the Ph.D. Programme in the IITs”. This provides for relaxing the norms for enrolment to the 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 the 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 Scheme 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.

Says the executive summary of the report : While students with a Masters degree and, to some extent B.Tech students, of IITs would constitute an important channel (all efforts must be made to attract them into the IIT PG stream), one would need to tap other channels to get quality students in adequate numbers. The Committee has, therefore, suggested engagement of IITs with other good quality engineering and science education institutions, particularly those of the Central government like NITs, IIITs and IISERs, with a view to enlarge the pool for selection of quality students and also attract their faculty into the PhD programme. The Committee has also suggested special efforts be made to identify and pick up bright 3rd year students of IITs, NITs and such other such public or private institutions and to initiate them into the PhD programme.

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.

The Anil Kakodkar Committee was constituted by the MHRD in 2010. (vide letter MHRD vide F.NO.19-3/2009-TS1 dated 3rd February, 2010)
 

 

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