‘IITs To Focus On Research, Action Plan On Cards’

Bhubaneswar: With an objective to improve national and international rankings, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will soon come up with an action plan to improve their research excellence.

Every IIT will work on improving their research excellence and through that their national and international rankings, said Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank after chairing the 53rd Meeting of the Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) at IIT Delhi today.

Each IIT will identify their thrust areas for specialization and communicate the same to Ministry of Human Resources Department within a month. In these areas, they have to set up nation-best research facilities.

Several other major decisions were also taken during the crucial meeting.

For promoting IITs as global education destinations, foreign students – including the OCI card holders with foreign passport & have studied abroad – would be provided direct entry to appear in the JEE Advanced examinations.

The IITs would prepare a scheme for providing scholarships for the bright foreign students to study in IITs. They would also explore the possibility of offering online programmes to students both in India and abroad.

The process of recruiting foreign faculty would be continued by liberalising the current regulatory processes.

A major drive will be launched for improving the hostel facilities and rebuilding the dilapidated hostels. Separate funding for this would be earmarked under HEFA. Further, where possible, the PPP model would be implemented which would be started by IIT Delhi.

In order to promote excellence in the IITs, all new appointments would be through tenure track system, under which IITs will have more flexibility in recruitment without insisting for necessary three years’ post-PhD experience.

The Council approved, in principle, recommendations of the three Member Committee constituted for suggesting reforms in M.Tech system.

The Committee has, inter-alia, recommended uniform fee structure for M.Tech programme in all IITs, and for charging the same fee for M Tech as in B Tech programmes. Institutions are encouraged to move towards sponsored students or even sponsored programmes as per requirement of industry.

Academically weak students, who are not able to secure the required credits for promotion to the next semester may be allowed an exit option with a degree programme after second semester, rather than being forced out of the programme. Individual IITs will decide modalities for this.

In order to ensure that students passing out from IITs do not face any difficulty in foreign countries with regard to their degrees not being accredited by the designated authority, the Council decided that external peer review of IITs will be done by an External Review Committee in the format prescribed by the NBA and based on the review by the Committee, accreditation will be given by NBA.