Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New IITs yet to get govt approval, students in a spot

Hundreds of students entered the new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), set up in 2008 expecting a bright future for themselves. But their dreams have hit a roadblock, even as the first batch of BTech students is set to graduate in May. The new institutes are yet to be approved as IITs by the Parliament. As a result, the students graduating this year will not get an IIT degree for the time being.

All IITs are governed by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961. The Act declares them as 'institutions of national importance' and specifies their framework for governance, powers and duties. The Gandhinagar campus was among the six IITs set up in 2008. Another two were added the next year.

While the Lok Sabha passed the bill for incorporating the new IITs under the act, it is yet to be cleared by Rajya Sabha. Because of the uncertainty, the IITs are unable to fix a date for their first convocation. Traditionally, IITs host their annual convocations in August. "We are hoping the Parliament moves quickly," said a director of one of the new IITs. "It takes time to plan a convocation that meets IIT standards."

The first batch of 30 MTech students of IIT-Hyderabad graduated in 2011. The students are waiting for their degree certificates. Prof. Uday Desai, Director IIT-Hyderabad, said, "We have given the students provisional degree certificates for the time being. With the Lok Savha having cleared the bill, half the job is done. We hope that the Rajya Sabha clears the bill this time." A total of 160 students will be graduating from the IIT-Hyderabad this year.

Some 600 under-graduate and post-graduate students will be passing out from the new IITs this year. IIT-Gandhinagar has 88 undergraduate students.

Source: The Economic Times (Online Edition), February 29, 2012

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