Human resource development minister Kapil Sibal, who managed to woo the Opposition, got two key education bills passed in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
The Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2011 — already passed by the Lok Sabha — will create eight new IITs and upgrade the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, as an IIT.
Many of the minister's bill have got stuck in the past, but on Monday Sibal was at his persuasive best as he wooed the BJP with utmost humility.
"I am a humble man, Sir, trying to serve in my little capacity, in the interest of the future of education in this country and I am ready to be pilloried for any wrong that I do," Sibal said. "…If there is any misgiving, one would be ready and revisit in the manner that members consider it appropriate."
Earlier, BJP MP Chandan Mitra had expressed apprehensions about the legacy of BHU being lost due to the change, but MP Dr Karan Singh, while celebrating BHU, said the IIT tag will give students there better career opportunities.
Sibal told the House that the BHU V-C would be chairperson of the board for the first three years and then "nominate somebody in his place as the Vice-Chairman…" Mitra had earlier said the BHU V-C should have been retained to maintain the character of the institution.
The other bill passed, the National Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2010, declares certain institutions of technology as institutions of national importance and seeks to add five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research as institutions of national importance.