Friday, June 05, 2015

Only 5 of the 10 proposed IITs and IIMs to start admissions this year

With less than two months to go for the new academic session, it seems that the government may only allow about half of the 10 new IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management), announced in 2014, to start admissions this year.

According to sources, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) might postpone the launch of proposed IITs in Jammu, Chhattisgarh and Goa and new IIMs in Punjab and Odisha to next year as the respective state governments haven"t been able to offer suitable land for the permanent campus yet.

ET spoke to the mentor institutes of each of the above IITs and IIMs. None was willing to comment on admissions for the new institutes, saying there was little clarity on the matter from the Centre. Unlike the UPA-II when many institutions (IITs, IIMs and central universities) were immediately launched from temporary campuses, the MHRD under Smriti Irani has decided to not give the go-ahead unless the states fulfil the precondition of identifying suitable land for the permanent campus. The Modi government wants to ensure the permanent campus is not in a remote location and is well-connected to an airport and the nearest town/city.

"The new institutions announced by the UPA-II are still struggling to move to their permanent campus even five years after they started. IIM-Ranchi is an example of that. This would not have happened had the land issues been sorted beforehand. The delay eventually affects an institution"s ability to attract good faculty and also increases the cost of construction," said a ministry official.

Over the last one year, the site selection committee constituted by the ministry has visited each of the 10 states to inspect the sites offered by their governments. Of these, the panel has finalised and approved the sites for the proposed IITs in Kerala and Andhra and new IIMs in Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra.

The final decision on whether new IITs in Goa, Jammu and Chhattisgarh and IIMs in Punjab and Odisha can start their academic session this year will be made in the next two weeks. "A decision needs to be made soon as the mentor institutes and state governments need time to refurbish the temporary campuses and make other preparations," said another officer.

The Centre is not leaving anything to chance. It has circulated a Cabinet note to set up societies for all new IIMs and IITs. The government has allocated Rs. 500 crore (Rs. 5 billion) in 2015-16 for setting up five IITs (Jammu, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Kerala and Andhra) and five IIMs (Odisha, Bihar, Punjab, HP and Maharashtra) announced last year.

Source: The Economic Times, June 5, 2015
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