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UGC asks educational institutions to upload clear, accurate accurate data of institute on ‘Know Your College’ (KYC) portal

 

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all colleges and universities to upload the accurate data of institute on ‘Know Your College’ (KYC) portal and update the same periodically. In a letter dated July 21, Jaspal Sandhu, Secretary of the UGC stated that the KYC is a long term vision of the Government of India for creating an appropriate framework for the students seeking various information about the educational institutions from a single window instead of looking for different websites. Accordingly, Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched the ‘Know Your College (KYC)’ portal which will act as one-stop shop for students and their parents across the country to help them make an informed decision on the choice of institutions and the courses. The portal was officially launched by the President of India on November 11, 2014. A PIB release said that the portal covers almost 10,500 colleges which conduct about 14,000 programs in Technical Education and 35000 colleges conducting at least 20,000 programs in Non-Technical education.  It is a repository of information pertaining to colleges and information related to its faculty, labs, library, infrastructure, and availability of hostel facilities etc.

Students are encouraged to send their complaints on discrepancies of information provided by colleges through this portal. In the letter addressed to the Vice-Chancellors (VCs) of all the universities in India, the UGC Secretary however noted that “many institutions have not uploaded the data about their respective institutions on the portal.” The data uploaded on the portal need to be clear and accurate, it said. In this connection, keeping in view the importance of the KYC portal, the Secretary sought the personal intervention of all the respective VCs in the matter and requested them to “upload the accurate data” about their Institution on the KYC portal, which should be updated periodically.  This portal is being maintained by AICTE and is available to the public at http://www.knowyourcollege-gov.in/–       UGC Circular – Published on 21/07/2017 :  UGC Letter reg.: Know Your College portal

Tamil Nadu to deduct ‘affiliation points’ from engineering colleges with constantly changing exam schedules

The Indian Express | Express Web Desk | New Delhi | July 24, 2017 |

It has also been announced that students have three years after completing their graduation to clear arrears. Previously, candidates had up to six years to appear for and pass the subjects which they had not cleared during their graduation.

Tamil Nadu’s Higher Education Department is planning to put college affiliations at stake if the institutions fail to follow a fixed schedule for conducting examinations. Known for their constantly changing exam schedules, many of Tamil Nadu’s engineering institutions do not follow the academic calendar provided by the Anna University. “We will bring it into the affiliation system. The new rule will ensure that a college pushing a test that was supposed to start for instance on July 3 to July 15, will stand to lose affiliation points,” said state higher education secretary Sunil Paliwal on Sunday, according to a report by TOI. He added that students require a fixed examination schedule around which they can plan other activities, including the extracurricular. Changing and stretching exam schedules leads to students missing out on internships, college fests and other activities.

“All 23 regional education officers have recently conducted meetings with engineering college principals in the state to address them on this issue,” Paliwal said. Colleges that lose too many affiliation points are also at risk of losing demand for seats. According to CEG dean TV Geetha, the colleges will receive guidelines instead of instructions on how to proceed. It has also been announced that students have three years after completing their graduation to clear arrears. Previously, candidates had up to six years to appear for and pass the subjects which they had not cleared during their graduation. “As many as 8,000 papers were up for correction this year, and students have to suffer because of a large number of back papers that fill up. We will cut it down to 1,800 from this year,” Paliwal said. – Courtesy

RTU includes ‘Human values’ in BTech course to make engineers good humans

Aabshar H Quazi |  Hindustan Times | Jul 18, 2017  |

Engineering students in Rajasthan will now study ‘human values’ and ‘environmental engineering and disaster management’ as compulsory subjects in the first year of their BTech course.

Engineering students in Rajasthan will now study ‘human values’ and ‘environmental engineering and disaster management’ as compulsory subjects in the first year of their BTech course. The Rajasthan Technical University (RTU) in Kota has decided to introduce the subjects for, what it calls, inculcating ethical values among the engineering students and promoting their social connect. Students of the 118 engineering colleges affiliated to RTU will study the subjects from this academic session (2017-18). “The idea is to not only nurture a good engineer but also make a good human being for which value-based education is necessary,” RTU vice chancellor professor NP Kaushik told Hindustan Times. “We want to prepare an engineer who has social connect, and at the same time can connect with the environment because most of the natural disasters in the world occur due to human errors.” The human values subject includes topics, such as natural acceptance of human values, ethical human conduct, need and content of value education, and harmony in human being, family, society and nature.

The subject will also have practicals. “Students will be sent to hospitals, old-age homes, slums and also for social work with NGOs, so that they can understand human values in application instead of mere theory,” Kaushik said. Students will also conduct practicals in environmental engineering and disaster management. About 14,000 applications have been received for admission to the first year BTech course. Five subjects — mathematics, physics, chemistry, English and computer programming — are taught in first two semesters of the first year. Now RTU will give option to students to study physics/chemistry and English in any of the two semesters to make way for the introduction of the new compulsory subjects. This means that if a student studies physics in the first semester, then he/she can study chemistry in the second semester, or vica versa. If a student studies human values in the first semester, then he/she can study English in the second semester, or visa versa. Another aim behind introducing the new subjects is to reduce pressure of studying physics and chemistry in one semester, said an RTU professor. Like other subjects, human values and environment subjects will carry 100 marks for theory and 50 for practicals. RTU has developed the syllabus for human values and environment/disaster management subjects and released a list of books. “First-year engineering students will read topics like pollution, deforestation, global warming, waste management, rainwater harvesting and disaster management so that when they become engineers, they take care of environment in their professional work,” said professor BP Suneja of RTU. – Courtesy

What makes NPTEL India’s EdTech hero — without newsy fundings and valuations

Factor Daily | Sriram Sharma | July 24, 2017  |

  • Initiated in 2003 by seven IITs, NPTEL’s YouTube channel has over 245 million views.
  • To put that in perspective, MIT’s OpenCourseware, another top Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) has fewer than half its views.
  • Online certifications are offered at Rs 1,000 per course, through an in-person proctored exam.

“Some people train for JEE from their 6th standard. There’s a huge number of people in India, students particularly, who have a strong analytical and problem-solving background. Not all of them get into IITs or the top institutions. What happens to those guys? They go to other colleges, and they do engineering. When they have access to IIT courses, a huge number of people are able to appreciate that. I think it really starts somewhere there,” says Professor Andrew Thangaraj, electrical engineering department, IIT Madras, in a phone call with FactorDaily. Thangaraj has been serving as NPTEL coordinator at IIT Madras since 2001 and is currently national MOOCs coordinator for NPTEL in the SWAYAM project of the ministry of human resources development (MHRD) of the Indian government. We’re discussing the impact and reach of NPTEL (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning), which by some measures, is already a world beater. It’s also quite likely that you haven’t heard of it, unless you’re from an engineering background.

NPTEL was initiated in 2003 by seven IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Guwahati and Roorkee) along with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, in 2003. In its first phase (2003-2009), NPTEL developed 235 courses in web/video format, at http://nptel.iitm.ac.in (now defunct). In Phase II (2009-14), an additional 600 web and video courses were recorded, with new features, such as indexing and keyword search. A YouTube channel was created in this period. In Phase III, starting 2014, an optional NOC (NPTEL Online Certification) was offered for Rs 1,000 through a proctored exam, which has seen over one lakh registrations so far.  “With over 250 web and video courses and more in development, NPTEL’s extensive offerings are rivalled in scale by few other online courseware programs,” wrote Taylor Walsh in his 2011 book entitled Unlocking the Gates: How and Why Leading Universities Are Opening Up Access To Their Courses. A lot has changed since then, most significantly, the rollout of a proctored certification program that costs Rs 1,000. Enrollments for July 2017 are open now for 159 courses, its course explorer states.

So, how big is NPTEL? It’s the most accessed library of peer-reviewed educational content in the world, an emailed fact sheet states. According to Alexa, it’s ranked at 328 in India. Its YouTube channel, with close to 20,000 videos, has more than 800,000 subscribers and over 245 million views. Head-to-head, MIT OpenCourseware has more subscribers, but fewer than half the views (112 million views). But Youtube stats alone don’t give a full measure of this mammoth beast. Its content is also free to download, available on DVDs, and distributed under the CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike) license. In its product brochure, NPTEL calls itself “the largest online repository in the world of courses in engineering, basic sciences and selected humanities and social sciences subjects.” That’s quite a mouthful, and kind of explains why it doesn’t get more recognition for its achievements. The former President of India felicitated the programme earlier this month, if that helps. “The video repository provided by NPTEL and mirrored in YouTube is the largest technical education online video repository in the world, which is structured and developed according to a unified curriculum, with free and unlimited access without a formal registration for downloading them,” wrote professor Mangala Sunder Krishnan, National Web Courses Coordinator, NPTEL Project (2003-2015), in a draft entitled The Story of NPTEL. The article is currently under review for publishing by the Commonwealth of Learning, an intergovernmental body with its head office in Vancouver, Canada. The programme has recorded more than 300 million visits, the article states. “Unfortunately, no agency bothered till now to verify our claims,” wrote Professor Krishnan, clarifying in an email to FactorDaily that this figure does not include the millions of visits to Google Scholar, the MOOC platform used by NOC. NOC has hosted more than 350 courses and run proctored exams, and issued certificates to more than 100,000 registrants, he said.

How NPTEL is charting a new course

In the first 10 years of its operation from 2003 to 2014, NPTEL functioned as a repository for self-learning content. In March 2014, NPTEL gave its MOOC programme a unique value proposition — a certificate from the IIT or the IISc. The courses as such were free, anybody could enrol, go through the content, answer the assignment, and make use of the forum. But for Rs 1,000 per course, an in-person proctored exam would provide proof of proficiency. “We get them (the students) a hall ticket, photo and ID. Our representative is there at each centre, and we verify the credentials, and they take the exam in a proctored environment. That was the change we made in the Indian setting because it was important for us to know who is writing the exam,” said Bharathi Balaji, senior project officer at NPTEL. The platform support was given by Google, and launched by the MHRD, with TCS iON (a business unit of Tata Consultancy Services) as an exam partner, she said.

Certificates are awarded on the basis of a 25% weighting for the assignment score, and a 75% weighting for the final exam score. Certifications come with three tiers of merit — Gold (90% and above), Elite (60-90%), and Successfully Completed (40-60%). Every course conducted on NPTEL records a wide range of statistics on enrollments, registrations, certificates issued, and top-ranking students. NPTEL’s courses are also differentiated on the basis of diversity of the courseware offered, regardless of their popularity. While courses on computer science, Indian philosophy, quantum physics, and design get thousands of enrolments, there are some that get just hundreds. “We don’t do just popular courses — IoT, big data, and digital marketing are in hot demand today, but that’s not all we do. All the core engineering disciplines are covered in our courses. We cover all disciplines, including management and humanities, UG (undergraduate) and elective courses, PhD-level courses. Some courses have just a 100 students, but you won’t find them being offered at any institute across the country,” Balaji said. Based on NOC Statistics, computer science is the most followed subject on the platform in terms of top enrolments — the top nine enrolments are all from just this stream. NPTEL is also indirectly influencing the quality of teaching and technical skills of college faculty in the country. Fifteen percent of NPTEL’s enrolments come from faculty members, an NPTEL infographic on learner profiles shows. “This is something that has naturally happened, and it’s turning out to be a faculty development programme without us even thinking it to be so,” said Balaji.

Upping the talent stack

Why would anyone visit NPTEL when there is a plethora of world-class options available, including MIT OpenCourseware, and dozens of courses from the world’s top universities on edx.org? One clue might lie in the fact that not everyone in India is comfortable with a western accent. “There are plenty of MOOCs available, but the accent of the teachers is not Indian, and they charge more money for certification courses. So I have not applied for them,” said Alok Shakya, a final year engineering student at KNIT Sultanpur, UP, who has completed five certifications from NPTEL. He had applied to IIT-JEE earlier but didn’t get through, he said. Shakya took NPTEL’s courses to get a better grasp of concepts in the IT industry, as he didn’t find any good resources in his college. He stumbled upon NPTEL while searching for an explanation on a programming concept on YouTube. “I watched the videos and my doubts regarding that particular concept became clear. My college seniors also advised me to go for NPTEL courses,” he said. His favourite professor on NPTEL is Tanmai Gopal, who co-created the course entitled Introduction to Modern Application Development (IMAD), he said. While 80% of NPTEL’s audience comes from India, it also has participants from across the world. “We have a lot of traffic from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi, apart from US and Canada,” said Balaji. “Even for our exam in March, there was a faculty member from Saudi (Arabia), who had enrolled for a course and wanted to get the certificate. So, she actually flew down on the day of the exam in the morning, and got her certificate,” said Balaji. NPTEL’s most-watched video on Youtube, a lecture entitled Introduction to Basic Electronics has fairly positive comments from people around the world. “This Man is brilliant! Every American teacher could learn from this man!!!,” writes one commenter.

NPTEL’s greatest hit

According to NPTEL’s statistics, Introduction to Modern Application Development (IMAD) is the most popular course on the platform. The free online course was launched a year ago and has cumulatively seen over 1,00,000 registrations so far. “People haven’t just taken this course, more than 10,000 applications have been built. I feel it’s pretty amazing for something that was just a side project for us,” said Tanmai Gopal, CTO and cofounder of Hasura, a Bangalore-based cloud infrastructure focused startup, speaking to FactorDaily on the success of the course. “There’s a huge gap between the kind of knowledge you need when you start doing development, building applications, and what you actually learnt in university and school,” Gopal said. “On a side note, a big difference between India and the Silicon Valley is that everybody really understands tech there. There’s so much awareness in the entire ecosystem about what applications are, and how they’re built etc. But, their rate of innovation is much faster. Their applications are of a much higher quality from the word go. It kind of boils down to this fundamental knowledge of how applications are built, or how to get one built if you’re a business owner,” he said. To encourage deep, quality discussions on the platform, Hasura set up a Stackoverflow-type forum for people inside the community. The game-changer for students was the ability to write and deploy code, and see the finished product on their own subdomain. “Everybody has the will and energy to do things, but you need money, a credit or debit card, and spare income to do a random thing like hosting a server,” Gopal said. The IMAD.Tech portal was created using Hasura’s back-end technology, which enabled tens of thousands of people to run their own subdomain on a small cluster of servers.

“I could learn basic things by executing them on the console that the course provided on IMAD,” said Yogesh SP, a developer who works at Pathtracker.io, a Bengaluru-based tech startup. He appreciated how one could “learn by doing” in the course. “The course is more about creating a live website. It helped improve my HTML, CSS, JS, SQL skills. It enhanced my skills and provided me with a step-by-step approach to building a website,” he said. His future plan is to crack the Associate Android Developer course, and become a full-time Android developer. “That was one of the big things for students. It’s not just listening to things; after listening to me, you’re supposed to go try something out, and you’re supposed to go build something. You can build this on your mobile phone, on a tablet, Windows, Mac, Linux — it doesn’t matter,” Gopal added.

Growing enrollments with Local Chapters

Local Chapters, an initiative launched by NPTEL to drive up student participation, was launched in April 2015 as a pilot in Tamil Nadu. Through this programme, NPTEL appoints an SPOC (single point of contact), either a faculty member or a college student, as its ambassador. Until now, NPTEL has on-boarded over 1,000 colleges across the country in the programme and adds 5-10 more each week. Tamil Nadu (192) and Maharashtra (190) have the highest number of local chapters, followed by Andhra Pradesh (91). Enrolments are concentrated around industrialised states where there are a lot of engineering. colleges, said Thangaraj, adding that NPTEL’s state-wise statistics are in sync with the gross enrolment ratio for a university education. “Traditionally, even IT recruitment is like that and fits the same patterns. We are trying to make inroads into other states. It’s a bit of a long battle, and we’ll probably get there,” he said. Since last year, NPTEL has started recognising these Local Chapters as well, and rating them according to performance, based on the number of toppers, gold medalists, and elite students they produce. “We do a rating of the top 100 Local Chapters, also on our site,” said Balaji. While NPTEL has successfully closed the college loop, the industry loop is something it is yet to nail. However, it has had some success in offering its courses to decrease the onboarding time at companies, Balaji said. “Companies hire freshers and want them to do some courses before they come in. Companies said it reduced their training time at the job. TCS openly announced in one of our data analytics forum that if anybody has completed this course at TCS, we have a vacancy here,” she said. – Courtesy

JoSAA 6th Counselling 2017 Update: 5,915 engineering seats still vacant in IIT’s, NIT’s, IIIT’s

JoSAA 6th Counselling 2017 Update: 5,915 engineering seats still vacant in IIT’s, NIT’s, IIIT’s.

India.com | By Priyanka Sharma |  July 23, 2017 |

New Delhi, Jul 23:  6th JoSAA Counselling Seat Allotment ended successfully leaving behind 5915 vacant in the engineering colleges, which include Indian Institute of Technology IIT’s, National Institute of Technology NIT’s, Indian Institute of Information Technology IIIT’s and various other centrally funded government institutes. The seventh round of JoSAA Counselling is still open. The aspirants who have not yet got admission still have a chance in IIT’s and NIT’s. The most popular courses like Computer Science and Technology have 26 seats vacant in various IITs, especially at the newer IITs like  Goa, Jammu, Indore, Patna, Dharwad and Jodhpur. In a similar manner,  electrical engineering course has 56 vacant seats. Also, the seats are even vacant at the top institutes like IIT-Delhi (two in the same course) and IIT-Bombay (one in civil engineering). Two seats in aerospace engineering remain vacant at the Powai campus. As per admission dean, “There could be several reasons…. Some candidates prefer Institute over the stream and many others want to pursue stream of their choice. What is surprising is that most of these are in the open category, which means there are candidates, but they don’t want to join these courses.”

“No withdrawal of admission will be allowed in the seventh and final round, and we hope no seats will remain vacant till then,” an official from JoSAA said. The sixth and seventh round of seat allotment will be announced on July 18 and July 21, respectively. Also, there 20 seats are available at the start of the seventh round at IIT Madras. The largest vacancy was at IIT-Varanasi. At the end of the joint counselling last year, there were 73 vacancies in the IITs, bulk of them in IIT-Varanasi (38). In case of NITs (National Institutes of Technology), there are 1,518 vacancies. – Courtesy  /  JoSAA 2017

NITI Aayog is inviting applications for setting up of Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)

AICTE Notification :   NITI Aayog is inviting applications for setting up of Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a flagship program of the Government of India.

AIM endeavours to do this by providing support to various academic institutions and corporate sector organizations to establish Atal Incubation Centres (AICs).

Application for Atal Incubation Centres

Background

AIM intends to support the establishment of new incubation centres called Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) that would nurture innovative start-up businesses in their pursuit to become scalable and sustainable enterprises. The AICs would create world class incubation facilities across various parts of India with suitable physical infrastructure in terms of capital equipment and operating facilities, coupled with the availability of sectoral experts for mentoring the start-ups, business planning support, access to seed capital, industry partners, trainings and other relevant components required for encouraging innovative start-ups. Moreover, AICs would be established in subject specific areas such as manufacturing, transport, energy, health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation etc.

Eligibility

Entities such as such as higher educational institutions, R&D institutes, corporate sector, alternative investment funds registered with SEBI, business accelerators, group of individuals, and individuals are eligible to apply.

Financial Support

AIM will provide a grant-in-aid of upto Rs. 10 crore for a maximum period of 5 years to cover the capital and operational expenditures to establish the AIC.

Requirements

The applicant would have to provide at least 10,000 sq. ft. of ready-to-use, built-up space, for the exclusive use of the AIC.

Any queries may be sent to  :  md-aim@gov.in

Follow on Facebook :  https://www.facebook.com/Atal-Innovation-Mission-1269534143131857/

Last date of submission: 31st July 2017

Click Here to Download Guidelines, pdf 36 pages      /    Click here to Apply Online & Read more …

India’s largest Employability Skills Test by Wheebox launched in association with AICTE, UNDP and CII

India Education Diary | 

Leading Employability Assessment Company Wheebox in association with premier consortium partners AICTE, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Pearson Education and India’s leading HR technology outsourcing firm PeopleStrong launched India’s largest Employability Skills Test across 29 states and 7 UTs on the occasion of ‘World Skills Day’. The final year graduates, post-graduates and diploma holders from engineering, polytechnic, ITIs, state-run colleges & management schools can take part in the Wheebox Employability Test (WEST). The registration for online assessment for educational campuses commences on 15th of July on wheebox.com/west and last date of conducting proctored examinations across campuses will be 30th October, 2017. Students can register online at wheebox.com/west and take an online test measuring individual abilities in numerical and problem solving skills along with English, basics of information technology (IT), and behavioral traits. The duration of the online test is 70 minutes and is available in both Hindi and English. The assessment test provides initial transcript and detailed scorecards for each module to the candidate highlighting the strengths and improvement areas. These scores are shared with 110 organizations across 10 Sectors in India aiming to give the candidates a snapshot of their capability.

In a span of 100 days over 5000 campuses and a million of candidates will make it the largest study on employability anywhere in the world. Last year the study encompassed over half a million candidates from talent supply and from demand side over 150 large corporations from 15 sectors participated in the study. The employability test attempts to make a meaningful matchmaking between talent demand and supply for the job market. The study and findings will be part of India Skills Report 2018 which will be published during Global Skills Summit on November. Speaking on this occasion Nirmal Singh, Founder and CEO of Wheebox said, “Last year over 30,000 new employment opportunities were provided to young graduates from campuses as an outcome of the initiative. This partnership brings a new dimension and understanding to the way India and the global world looks at hiring skilled talent. The report provides an insight into the future jobs and skills required by employers also the hiring trends of the market while understanding the needs of the job seeker and organizations”. “Our past reports have been stating that businesses are struggling to recruit the right people, with a lack of general employability skills including soft skills such as communication, learning agility and team work cited as the primary problem (64 percent). This sentiment may dampen business productivity, ultimately threatening future growth and profitability; India Skills report addresses this concern and enables the academia and industry to make informed decisions.” – Courtesy  /    Click here to register for Wheebox Employability Skill Test

IIT-Delhi boy Abhishek chosen for 14-day International Antarctic Expedition

THE ASIAN AGE. | SUSHMITA GHOSH |  Jul 22, 2017 |  IIT-Delhi boy chosen for Antarctic tour |

Abhishek, who is pursuing chemical engineering from IIT-D has drafted the vision for NITI Aayog and wants to work towards climate change.

New Delhi: A fourth year student of IIT-Delhi has been selected to participate in a 14-day “International Antarctic Expedition”, being hosted by the “2041 Foundation” from February 27 to March 12 2018, where participants will gain knowledge about prevailing issues of climate change, renewable energy, and sustainability. Abhishek, who is pursuing chemical engineering from IIT-D has drafted the vision for NITI Aayog and wants to work towards climate change. He has his own city-wide initiative to address the issue of waste management in his city. “Besides gaining knowledge about the prevailing issues, we will learn about how it affects our present and future worldwide, along with a better understanding of the continent’s fragile ecosystem, experience its unique wildlife and observe the magnificent landscape of Antarctica,” the IIT-D student said.

Abhishek has been working with a member of Parliament, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Jodhpur and has also worked alongside the core team to draft the vision statement of “Mission Antyodaya” where they worked to provide the Government, PMO, ministries and NITI Aayog. However, in order to make it to the expedition, the engineering student is seeking supporters through the crowd funding online platform, Ketto, Asia’s most-visited crowdfunding platform with the largest funding community. “I want to join the expedition because I support the vision of global sustainable development. I would want to stretch my horizon in terms of my vision, experience and limit of purity in my attitude while contributing to the environment in whatever I do,” Abhishek added. The organisation 2041 was founded by polar explorer, environmental leader, and public speaker Robert Swan, OBE. As the first person in history to walk to the North and South Poles, Mr. Swan has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica by the promotion of recycling, renewable energy, and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change. – Courtesy

Contribute Now to Mr. Abhishek for the International Antarctic Expedition (Fund Raising)…Read More …https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/AntarcticaExpedition

Lok Sabha passes Bill allowing IIITs to give away engineering degrees to students

IndiaToday |  New Delhi, July 20, 2017 | & Live Mint |

The Bill seeks to grant statutory status to 15 IIITs and declare them as ‘Institutions of National Importance.’

The much awaited bill granting statutory status to the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) in PPP mode has been passed by the Lok Sabha. Also, the government said the fees for the poor students will not increase and that reservation law will apply there.

About IIIT Public-Private Partnership Bill, 2017:

  • The Bill seeks to grant statutory status to 15 IIITs and declare them as ‘Institutions of National Importance’
  • It also seeks to enable these institutions to grant degrees to their students in the academic courses conducted by them

Replying to a debate on the bill, here’s what HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said:

During the debate, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar stressed that the fees for poor will not increase because of the new measure. He also said that the reservation law prevailing in the country will apply to these institutes. “There might be a slight increase for those who have the capacity to bear. But for the poor (students), there will be scholarships available,” the Javadekar added. 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. Meanwhile, talking about India’s dominance in the IT sector globally, Javadekar credited former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for his vision for the IT sector.

Congress’s Deepinder Hooda criticised Javadekar:

Participating in the debate, Congress’s Deepinder Hooda criticised Javadekar for not mentioning contribution of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in bringing policy initiative in the IT sector. Referring to difficulties being faced by India’s IT firms due to changes made by the Donald Trump administration in granting H1B visas, Hooda said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must tell the country whether he had raised the issue with the US during his recent visit there. While welcoming the IIIT Bill, Hooda said the government must formulate strategy to support the IT industry in the wake of the US and some other countries resorting to protectionism.

“The grant of a formal degree in information technology, engineering or Ph.D will enhance the prospects of the graduating students in the job market and will also enable (these) institutes to attract enough students required to develop a strong research base in the country in the field of information technology,” a cabinet statement had said on 15 March.  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). – Courtesy

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