Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Information Technology Public Private Partnership (IIIT-PPP) Bill 2017 was passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday enabling 15 IIITs established on a PPP model in the country to grant degrees to students.

The bill seeks to grant statutory status and “institute of national importance” tag to the institutes. It was passed through a voice vote in the lower house.

Relpying to a debate on the bill, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said the government will expand such institutes as they are performing well. He however stressed fees for poor will not increase because of the new measure rather they will receive scholarship.

The reservation law prevailing in the country will apply to these institutes, added Javadekar.

The 15 IIITs are now operating from: Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh), Guwahati (Assam), Vadodara (Gujarat), Sonipat (Haryana), Una (Himachal Pradesh), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Dharwad (Karnataka), Kottayam (Kerala), Nagpur and Pune (both Maharashtra), Senapati (Manipur), Kota (Rajasthan), Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and Kalyani (West Bengal).

While Javadekar credited former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajapayee for his vision for the IT sector, Congress leader Deepinder Hooda criticised him for not mentioning contribution of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in bringing policy initiative in the IT sector.

It may be mentioned that, the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had initiated the opening of 20 IIITs with private partnership of which 15 are already operational.

Meanwhile, the academic session commenced in 15 IIITs, including the branches in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana and West Bengal. Further, the first batch of under-graduate students enrolled in the year 2013-14 will be passing out in this year.