The Telegraph | Wednesday , August 24 , 2016 | Special Correspondent | Nod to step up seats in IITs
New Delhi, Aug. 23: The IIT Council today gave in-principle approval to a proposal to enhance the student intake in all programmes by almost 50 per cent over the next three years. The council, the apex body to decide on IIT matters and headed by human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar, asked the 23 IITs to assess their capacity and come up with a roadmap on how many seats each of them could increase every year to achieve the overall proposed increase from 21,500 now to 31,000. IIT rules demand all students stay in hostels. Since building them takes time, the IITs will allow fresh students taking admission in MTech and PhDcourses from next year to stay outside the campus. “The proposal for increasing seats has been approved in principle. Each IIT will now analyse the faculty strength and facilities and prepare a roadmap on how to go about it,” a director said. The main hurdle will be poor faculty strength. While each IIT is supposed to maintain a ratio of one teacher for 10 students, the ratio now is one for 15. Javadekar told reporters after the meeting that the IITs would try to fill the posts by attracting Indians with PhDs working in foreign institutions. The council decided to start a Prime Minister’s Fellowship to encourage BTech students to pursue PhD. BTech graduates from IITs with good performance will be able to seek direct admission into PhD and get the PM Fellowship of Rs 60,000 per month for five years. At present, students pursuing MTech and PhD in IITs after clearing the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) also get scholarship, which will continue. An MTech student gets Rs 12,400 per month while a PhD 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.
Javadekar said a Global Research Initiative Network would be launched to facilitate collaboration with IITs and foreign institutions for student exchange on joint research projects. The 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. The council okayed introduction of an induction course prepared by IIT-Banaras Hindu University on how students should conduct themselves and approved Project Vishwajeet that aims to help IITs get good global ranking. IITs are losing out in world rankings because of poor peer perception, Javadekar said. “The IITs will now tap the Indians living abroad, the Indian students pursuing higher education abroad, to change the perception about IITs,” the minister added. The council gave in-principle approval for start of an aptitude test to screen engineering aspirants. Nearly 30 lakh students appear for engineering entrance tests in the country every year. About 12 lakh appear for the JEE-Main conducted by the CBSE. The top two lakh are allowed to take the JEE-Advanced for admission into IITs. 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. – Courtesy