Indian Institute of Technology council, the highest government-nominated body of the 16 IITs hosted 49th meeting with Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday in Kolkata regarding some of the major changes in IITs as the need of time to enhance the productivity of the institute.
1. The decision of fee hike put on hold.
Smriti Irani has put the decision to hike the fee on hold. According to Times Of India report, she had said that the issue of fee hike was sensitive and ministry cannot rush through it. However, no timeline has been fixed to take a decision on this issue.
The IIT Council had proposed to hike tuition fee of students by 150 per cent from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2.65 lakh to meet the recurring expenses of the institute. The proposal made by Anil Kakodar committee in 2011.
According to the proposal, IITs are highly subsidised by the government. The cost of a students graduating from IIT is around 3.5 lakh per year, the students are paying Rs. 90,000 per year as tuition fee. The hike was proposed in light of meeting the institutes' expenses on labs, equipment, staff salary, housekeeping, water and electricity.
2. Fee for physically handicapped students rejected, more scholarships proposed for economically weaker students.
Smriti Irani announced to provide freeships to physically handicapped students. Sharing the good news on Twitter she said, "Happy to report that IIT Council has decided to abandon fees for our physically challenged students." Moreover, it was proposed that more scholarships need to be provided to the students belonging to the economically weaker background once the hike takes place.
3. Recommendations on 'single' entrance test by November
The council meeting headed by Smriti Irani has decided that a core committee will study and evaluate the proposal to hold single entrance test for IITs. The recommendation is likely to be put in place by the first week of November.
According to the proposal made by IIT council, the admission procedure for IIT were 'time- taking' and 'cumbersome' and did not leave much time for institutes to conduct enough number of counselling sessions.
The aspirants, currently, need to give two-tier entrance tests namely, JEE Mains followed by JEE Advanced to get admission in IITs. Pitching the National Institute of Technology (NIT) admission procedure, IIT asked for single entrance test for admissions. For NIT, clearing only JEE Mains is required for admissions.
4. Quota of students appearing in JEE Advanced increased.
The council has approved the proposal of increasing the quota of students appearing for JEE Advanced from 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh. The proposal was put forth by IIT Joint Admission Board (JAB) in September.
The change was proposed taking into consideration the two-fold reasons, first, around 200 seats are lying vacant this year in IIT, and second, three more IITs will be taking admissions in next academic year.
5. Peer-group Assisted Learning (PAL) to be set up.
The council has also decided to put in place, Peer-group Assisted Learning (PAL) to help students in their academics by involving bright senior students. These senior students will hand-hold the weak students to meet the challenges of rigorous and intensive education system. The plan also involves admitting foreign students especially from SAARC and African countries.
The decision was taken in light of higher drop-out rates by IIT students. Irani during Monsoon Session of Lok sabha said that many as many as 228 students dropped from IITs in the academic year 2014-15 facing various problems but the highest being 'academic stress'.
Source: India Today