Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Smriti Irani while chairing a meeting of the Council of Indian Institutes of Technology in IIT Mumbai today emphasized that IITs carry a major responsibility of facilitating the Make in India campaign by participating in research and innovating processes to improve the competitive edge of Indian manufacturing on the global stage. Already many IITs are engaged in research, but they need to reach the frontiers of knowledge. It is also essential that socially relevant themes are given focus in research. She emphasized the need to build IITs into robust and autonomous institutions, and become global centres of knowledge.
The Council is the apex Policy making body for the (18) IITs. Sri Vinay Sheel Oberoi, Secretary, Higher Education along with senior officers participated in the meeting along with Chairmen and Directors of all IITs. Prior to the Council meeting, the Minister has opened a new 1,000-seater hostel for girl students and visited the National Centre for Aerospace innovation and research (NCAIR) in IIT Bombay. The current system of admission through a two-stage entrance was reviewed by the Council. It was decided that the system would be examined in depth by a group of eminent persons to determine whether it needed modification. Their recommendations would be provided by the first week of November 2015.
The Council proposed a funding mechanism for IITs that would appreciably enhance Government investments for building world class infrastructure. A committee of Directors would examine ways to enhance loans to students, and maintain and enhance scholarships to needy students, especially those from the SC/ST/economically weaker sections. The Council suggested that freeships should be provided for all physically handicapped students. With a view to handhold students to meet the challenges of an intensive, rigorous and focused educational system, a Peer-group Assisted Learning (PAL) system will be put in place. Under this, bright senior students would handhold the weak students; IITs would work out further details. The Central Government would support and fund this initiative.
A system for admitting foreign students would be put in place, with preference being given to students from SAARC and African countries. All IITs would participate in the National Ranking Framework and would ensure that their performance is placed on the NIRF portal before 31st December. They will also participate in the Rashtriya Avishkaar Abhiyaan by adopting the schools in their vicinity. The Chairperson also took stock of the progress made by the IITs under flagship programme of IMPRINT, GIAN, Unnat Bharat, MOOCs, and Digital Library. Every IIT will provide a guarantee of clean hostel, clean mess, clean water and hygienic & wholesome food. This will be incorporated in mission statement of each institution.