Indian Govt Likely to Give More Autonomy to Top Engineering Institutes

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NEW DELHI: Recently, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) constituted a panel to assess the prospects of reducing the control of the government over 23 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The panel is headed by M Anandkrishnan, the former chairman of IIT-Kanpur and also includes directors of five top IITs which are IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras.

Objective of the Panel 

The objective of the panel is to work towards the government’s plan to bring about changes in the higher education system and ensure that the rankings of these institutions is enhanced globally. Some of these institutions have already made their way to QS rankings which was released earlier this month.

Changes proposed

The panel will propose for changes in the IIT Act which will include amendment in the selection process of the governing boards of the IIT. Currently, each of the IITs comprise of a 9-member board of governors who are appointed by the Union government. Changes in the act would involve more powers to the governing boards, thereby giving them more say in bringing about changes in the fundamental rules which are related to the day to day working of the IITs.

The idea of giving more powers to the top engineering institutes was put forward after IIT-Bombay and IIT-Delhi were included in the “Institute of Eminence” category. Such institutions have the power to determine the fee structure and the curriculum.

The IIT panel will consult the heads of IIMs and discuss with them the impact of having more decision making power. The panel will submit its report to the ministry by the end of 2018.

Autonomy Given to IIMs

Earlier this year, Twenty Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), were given more autonomy. According to the changes that were made in the IIM Act, the 15 member governing board of these institutes will now have 5 alumni and will have the power to appoint their own chairman.

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