Human resource development minister Kapil Sibal has proposed a rethink on a controversial blueprint for financial autonomy of the Indian Institutes of Technology, nipping in the bud the possibility of a dramatic fee hike.
The proposal for government withdrawal from about half the total funding for the IITs, made by an HRD ministry panel under former atomic energy chief Anil Kakodkar, was first reported by HT on August 19, 2010.
The panel’s recommendation that the government withdraw from funding recurring expenditures of the IITs, and only provide finances for capital costs – like new buildings and infrastructure – would have meant a significant fee hike.
But Sibal told the IIT Council – the highest decision making body of the IITs – to reconsider the financial model proposed by the Kakodkar panel. Sibal had similarly struck down a proposal for fee hikes at the IITs, from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 4 lakh a year in 2010.
The Council agreed to advertise for Directors’ posts at the IITs, and gave its ‘in-principle’ approval for a request from the Mauritius government for assistance to set up an engineering school. Sibal announced that the government will set up 50 research parks during the 12th Five Year Plan.
The IIT Council discussed proposed reforms on making uniform the criteria for promotion of students from one term to the next at the IITs.