The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, approved setting up of six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Jammu, Kerala and Karnataka.
They will be initially established as societies and later converted to ‘full IITs’ by amending the IIT Act of 1961.
At present, India has sixteen institutes located at Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Mumbai, Roorkee, Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Mandi, Patna, Ropar and Varanasi.
The Indian Institutes of Technology are the top-most autonomous public institutes of higher education in the field of science and technology in in India.
The Cabinet further gave its approval for operationalisation of these IITs initially by forming of Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in order to give a legal status to them till the amendment for their incorporation in The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 is enacted.
Each new IIT will have an initial intake of 180 students in its first year from temporary / transit which would increase to 450 in the second year and to 928 (840 Undergraduates, 80 Postgraduates and 8 Ph.D.) in the third year of their operation.
The total cost for running these IITs is Rs.1,411.80 crore and will be incurred between 2015-16 and 2018-19, the government said.
The new IITs will be operated from their temporary campuses for the initial period of three years before shifting into their permanent campuses in the 4th year. Each IIT will have a sanctioned strength of faculty members, with a faculty-student ratio of 1:10.
The approval for the establishment of the six new IITs to be registered as Societies under the Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 to create new legal IIT entities.
Passing the Bill for amendment of the IT Act, 1961 for incorporation of the six new IITs in the Parliament will take some time, the government added. The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, contains no provision to enable establishment of new IITs.
“Every new IIT commenced since its enactment has required an amendment to the Act itself. In light of this, it would be appropriate to establish the new IITs through the formation of Societies as it has not been possible to amend the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 to make provision for establishment of new IITs, before the admissions to academic session 2015-16 in these new IITs,” it added.
Each IIT is an autonomous institution, linked to the others through a common IIT Council, which oversees their administration. The Union HRD Minister is the ex-officio Chairperson of IIT Council.
The cabinet also increased the allocation for the setting up of five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) to Rs 4,799 crore from Rs 2,500 crore.
The are being set up in Kolkata, Pune, Mohali, Bhopal and Thiruvananthapuram.
“While construction of these five Institutes is in progress, approval of the revised cost estimates will enable the Ministry and the Boards of Governors of the Institutes to enhance the pace of work and expeditious completion of fully operational permanent campuses with 9,275 students, 928 faculty and 1,020 non-teaching staff by 2018-19,” it said.
The Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research offer under-graduate courses and post-graduate education and research, much like the IITs. However, unlike the IITs, the focus will be more on research and science, and less on creating engineers and technicians.
They will interact with National Laboratories, and other research institutes to develop a synchronous environment for research “that would transcend rigid administrative structure and also encourage interdisciplinary research.”
Many areas of basic science eventually evolve as applied sciences e.g. lasers, super conductivity, semiconductors, nano-materials etc.
“Research in such areas can generate significant intellectual properties which have the potential for generating sizeable revenue.”