The government will have no say in the appointment of directors or in the audit of a breed of new Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) it is planning to set up through public-private partnership (PPP) investments.
The human resource development (HRD) ministry has decided to offer unprecedented autonomy to 20 new IIITs - the country’s premier information technology schools - to attract private investment, top government sources said. A draft IIIT Bill, prepared by the HRD ministry, makes it clear that IIITs set up through the PPP mode, though non-profit, will have significantly greater autonomy than government IIITs.
At present, no higher educational institute set up through an Act of Parliament has the autonomy planned for these new institutions.
The board of governors of an IIT set up through the PPP mode will appoint the institute director while the president —visitor to all central institutions — will have no role. The visitor will continue to appoint directors of government IIITs.
The IIITs set up through the PPP mode will be free to get themselves audited by any chartered accountant of their choice, and are not bound to undergo the scrutiny of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
All higher educational institutions set up through Acts of Parliament at present must undergo CAG audit scrutiny and their directors are appointed by the President.
A proposed IIIT Council — a body consisting of directors and chairmen of all IIITs along with other representatives —will formulate the first statutes of each government IIIT.
But boards of individual IIITs set up through the PPP mode can prepare their model statutes under the draft Bill. The IIITs were first conceived in the late 1990s at a time when India was emerging a power in IT. The country has four IIITs run by the Centre.