Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hike IIT fees four times: Committee

Sticking to its earlier recommendation of increasing the tuition fees for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) four times from the current Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 200,000-­250,000 per year per student, thegovernment-appointed Anil Kakodkar committee has suggested the substantial rise in fee at the undergraduate level. This would be reasonable considering the high demand for IIT graduates and the salary that an IIT B.Tech. is expected to get and the capital investment per student is estimated at Rs.2 million, the panel says.

Currently, around 500,000 engineering graduates come out of engineering colleges. This number would cross one million in three to four years from now and only about 1 per cent of IIT B.Tech.s do Ph.D. at the IITs, the report says. The committee has therefore suggested that each IIT should progressively grow to have around 1,200 faculty (from around 500 today) and closer to 12,000 students with maximum growth coming from an enhanced number of Ph.D. students. Further, the committee has suggested setting up of five more IITs so that the number of IIT Ph.D. graduates scales up to 10,000 per year. At present, there are 16 IITs in the country.

In another important decision, the committee has suggested the retention of time-tested parameters like a certain faculty student ratio of 1:10 and PG:UG ratio of 1:1 or higher. The committee has suggested a minimum of 0.6 Ph.D.s per faculty annually, eventually reaching 1 Ph.D. per faculty.

On this basis, the committee is aiming at scaling the IIT system to 16,000 faculty and 160,000 total student strength (with 40,000 at the Ph.D. level, 40,000 at the Masters level and 80,000 UG students) by around the year 2020. Each year, then, the IIT system will admit 10,000 Ph.D.s.

The committee has also recommended an Executive M.Tech. programme for about 10,000 working professionals from industry through live video classes to enhance the knowledge base. Towards enhancing autonomy, the panel has proposed that each institute be fully governed by its board of governors including aspects like financial planning and expenditure rules, faculty remuneration, fees and number of faculty and staff. The board should have one representative each from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the state governments, alumni and faculty.

Significantly, the committee has suggested each institute to subject itself to a comprehensive institution review by an internationally eminent group once every five years. "Such reviews which will be overseen by the IIT Council, will have focus on quality, programmes, their direction and size, working of the institutions and suggestions for change, including new initiatives," the report adds.

Source: The Financial Express, May 14, 2011

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