The Indian Institutes of Technology may soon adopt a blueprint for reforms aimed at yanking the IITs up global rankings, under which the Institutes will increasingly fund themselves and also gain greater autonomy from the government.
Human resource development minister Kapil Sibal has called a crucial meeting of the highest decision making body of the IITs to discuss three reform plans and a new set of academic programmes the Institutes want to introduce. The IIT Council will meet on January 21 to shore up reform plans in governance and administration, promotion of students from one semester to the next and examination reforms, top government sources confirmed to HT.
The agenda for the meeting also includes plans to introduce academic programmes in cyber security at the IITs, and ratification of extensions granted to the Directors of IIT Madras and IIT Delhi. “I have called a meeting of the Council and we will take up the reform plans at the meeting,” HRD minister Kapil Sibal told HT.
IIT Bombay chairman and former atomic energy chief Anil Kakodkar, head of a panel set up by Sibal to prepare a blueprint to make the IITs among the world’s best institutions, is expected to make a presentation on the panel’s report at the meeting. The panel is expected to recommend a new financial model to allow the IITs to generate their own income and depend less on the government. In return, the IITs will receive greater autonomy.
IIT Kanpur Director Sanjay Dhande is expected to deliver a presentation on a proposal to uniformalise the criteria for promoting students from one semester to another across IITs – a demand frequently raised by students. Dhande was in 2010 appointed head of a panel by Sibal to prepare a strategy to end the system of different IITs employing varying performance criteria for promoting students. A panel under science and technology secretary T Ramasami is working on examination reforms.
“None of the three panels have submitted their final reports yet, but are expected to present at least a template,” a source said. The meeting is also expected to clear a proposal to set up a permanent secretariat for the IIT Council.