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

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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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