The government is setting up a system to monitor the construction of new IIT campuses in the country in a bid to ensure their completion within the time-frame and avoid cost escalation.
According to sources, the human resources development (HRD) ministry will recruit a panel of chief engineers who will keep track of the progress and quality of ongoing work on the autonomous public institutes of higher education.
In June, the cabinet approved revised cost estimates of eight new IITs that had more than doubled due to lag in schedule and subsequent cost overrun.
The cost of construction of IITs at Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Mandi, Patna and Ropar increased from Rs 6,080 crore to Rs 13,990 crore. The revised estimates are for a period of 11 years from 2008-09, a senior official said.
Several of the proposed IITS are already under construction, sources said.
The issue of cost escalation was taken up at a meeting of the IIT council last month. “The council was informed that the HRD ministry is in the process of setting up a monitoring system as decided by the union cabinet,” said a source. “This was to ensure that there are no further cost and time overruns in completing the construction of the eight IITs.”
The panel will visit the under-construction campuses and file a detailed report on the progress. “We need to have a system in place so that there is constant monitoring of the construction work, thus ensure there are no lapses,” a source said. “In case there are any shortcomings, they can be brought to the notice of the ministry for action.”
Efforts are on to also ensure that best construction agencies come into the IITs to undertake work. Thus, the ministry has also decided that IITs suggest the best practices that allow flexibility in choosing the best construction agencies within the framework of General Financial Rules (regarding financial management in government).
The student strength in each of the eight IITs at the end of the project will be 2,360. The total student capacity in these IITs by March 2019 will be 12,880. The direct beneficiaries in terms of numbers will be about 12,880 students.