Despite the efforts made by the HRD Ministry to persuade the premier institutions, the seven older Indian Institutes of Technology have disagreed to increase the number of seats in the B.Tech programmes. The IITs stated that due to stretched resources such as faculty and infrastructure, the intake in B.Tech programme can’t be increased. However, these institutes have agreed to increase the number of seats in their M.Tech and Ph.D. programmes.
IIT Bombay, IIT Guwahati, IIT Roorkee, IIT Kanpur, IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur and IIT Madras are the old IITs that have said no to increase the student intake as proposed at the IIT Council meeting on August 23.
Seats in the older IITs were rapidly increased for the B.Tech programme when the 27% OBC reservation was implemented. In 2008, the number of undergraduate seats offered by these seven IITs was 4,000 which has been raised to 6,500 seats over the years.
On the other hand, the second-generation IITs will be increasing their seats from next academic session. Number of seats added to the above IITs are as follows:
|Name of the Institution||Number of seats added to the Institution|
|Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad||40|
|Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi||50|
|Indian Institute of Technology, Patna||25|
|Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar||105|
|Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu||30|
Currently, there are 23 IITs in the country with a total strength of 72,000 students. The IIT Council meeting held in August agreed with the HRD Ministry to raise the student strength to 1 lakh till 2020. In order to reach the target, the IITs will have to add 4,000 B.Tech seats every year till 2020 and 6,000 M.Tech and research seats within the next three years.
The IITs were contemplating taking non-resident students to achieve this number as there is a shortage of infrastructural resources to accommodate the students. The HRD Ministry had asked the institutes to design a roadmap to achieve this goal. 20 of the 23 IITs gave given their feedback and only 5 of them have completely agreed with the ministry’s proposal.
A director of one of the older IITs said that it takes time to arrange accommodation for the students and it can happen overnight. Building facilities for students is not easy for the IITs located in remote areas as they lack space. The director also said that renting accommodation near the institutes for the students is not possible because the student sometimes have to stay in labs beyond time and they need to stay on campus for this purpose.
Pradipta Banerji, Director, IIT Roorkee, said that the institute cannot sustain the increase in student intake as they will not be able to set up the infrastructure in time and there will be a shortage of labs in the institute due to the increase in the number of students. The institute takes the third highest number of undergraduate students among the seven older IITs.
Banerji also added that adding non-resident student is not possible as it will exceed the HRA of Ph.D. students and will become highly expensive for undergraduate students. He also said that the increase in student count can only be achieved by increasing the undergraduate intake in the newer IITs while the older IITs will focus on increasing number of research scholars and M.tech intake.
Another reason cited by older IITs was the lack of faculty members in IITs. Under these circumstances, increasing the strength would mean the lack of proper guidance for students as there are not enough faculty members to cover all the students. The student teacher ratio is 15:1 that should ideally be 10:1. The reason behind this is the 2500 faculty vacancies across all the IITs. This has also resulted in poor ranks given to these institutes by the international ranking assessment agencies.