Monday, December 06, 2010

Now, IITs may help tech institutes, advise states

Mushrooming technical institutes and engineering colleges, often accused of poor standards, can now look forward to some handholding by the premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The four-decade-old Institutes of Technology Act is being amended so that IITs shoulder additional responsibility of supporting and collaborating with technical education institutions and advising state governments on technological problems within the zone they are located.

The Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2010 makes it mandatory for the 15 IITs, including the eight new ones set up in 2008, to provide training, facilitate study visits, share laboratory and other resources with technical education institutions in their zones.

In spite of a green signal by Council of IITs, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development has recommended that clauses making it compulsory for IITs to collaborate and assist technical institutions and governments should not be made mandatory. The committee members include Rahul Gandhi, Kanimozhi and Suresh Kalmadi. In its report on the proposed bill submitted last month, the committee stated that the issues of resources, capacity and faculty at IITs should be addressed first and that the technical education institutions themselves should also have the vision to deal with the new demands of the society and the industry.

The committee headed by Oscar Fernandes relied heavily on reservations of the Ministry of Finance which had pointed out that with these new clauses, an obligation had been cast upon the IITs to strive to meet the technological needs of the states in their zone.

Source: The Times of India, December 6, 2010
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