The Central Government has asked all IITs to sign an agreement that will hold them ‘accountable’ for the funds that are granted these institutes. The extraordinary move of the Government, if implemented, will require the old IITs funded by the centre to deliver on performance parameters, raise their own resources for funding and help in nation building.
According to the sources, some of the IITs were not very enthusiastic about the agreement and expressed their reservations regarding the move. The Government allocates funds worth Rs. 12,000 crore to central education institutes. Out of this, Rs. 500 crore is given to five of the old IITs. If the agreement is signed by both parties, IITs will be asked to link the funding to action plans and outcomes.
A draft of the MoU has already been forwarded to each IIT along with a communication to all IIT directors on 16 January. The communication informed that the funds allocated for 208 will be based on annual development plans instead of the block grant mechanism. The HRD Ministry had also invited proposals from IITs seeking grants, latest by January 25, 2018, in order to further discuss the matter.
How will the Agreement affect the IITs?
- The draft MoU requires all IITs to increase their student intake in order to meet the demand of the industry.
- It also calls on the IITs to boost indigenous manufacturing, provide R&D consultancy and contribute in nation building through technological innovations and flagship schemes of Government for economic growth.
- The MoU also asks all the IITs to recover user charges at rates no less than the cost recovery norms. It also suggests that the IITs offer as many self-supporting courses as possible rather than offering courses through cross-subsidy that leads to overcharging students.
- The agreement also asks IITs to get government approval before signing a collaboration or MoU with any foreign organization. It also states that the accounts must be audited by internal auditors regularly apart from a formal CAG audit.
- IITs will also have to submit annual targets and deliverables according to the list of performance evaluation parameters mentioned in the agreement on a nine-point scale with negative marking applied.
- Evaluation will be done quarterly on the basis of academic receipts, interest earned, income from investments, consultancy, prior-period income, overheads, user charges, subsidy and other incomes. The scores will be forwarded to the Board of Governors for joint review at the end of financial year.
- The Directors of IITs will be required to ensure solutions for issues raised. The MHRD will provide financial support for recurring as well as non-recurring liabilities according to the government norms. It will also provide guidance to resolve various issues.
The agreement has been introduced by the Government to comply with the new General Financial Rules 2017 set up by the Ministry of Finance. The move is expected to increase efficiency in expenditure of funds and measuring performance keeping the action plan in mind. The same model will also be implemented for the NITs as well as other centrally funded institutes.