The Council of the Indian Institutes of Technology—the top decisionmaking body for the institutions— has not agreed with the recommendation of the Anil Kakodkar committee for a big fee hike from Rs 50, 000 at present to more than Rs 2 lakh per year for the financial autonomy of the IITs and felt it could act as a deterrent for students.
The Council, which met on Friday, however, gave in-principle approval for setting up of one technical institute in Mauritius with the help of IITs and also decided that IIT directors should be appointedthrough a process of open advertisement and not through search committee alone.
Kakodkar, who was asked to suggest a road map for the IITs, was asked to examine various suggestions made during the meeting and reworkthe report. The meeting also could not discuss reform in the Joint Entrance Examination and curriculum as T Ramaswamy, secretary, department of science and technology, was absent. Ramaswamy had prepared a report on the issues. Sources said the Council spent a considerable time in discussing the Kakodkar committee report. Many directors felt Kakodkar’s suggestion on financial autonomy for IITs was too simplistic and it would be difficult to sustain it through a fee hike alone. Others said the economic model should be reworked. HRD minister Kapil Sibal said charging a high fee could act as a deterrent to students from applying. Kakodkar has recommended a fee hike at the undergraduate level but asked the government to fully fund students pursuing PhD and research. He has said the fee for 25% of students should be funded by the government.
The council agreed with two reports by Sanjay Dhande, director of IIT, Kanpur, on uniform criteria for promoting students and on the requirement of infrastructure for research. It agreed to review and implement Dhande’s recommendation, noting the credit-based practices being followed by different IITs for promotion of students from one semester to the other.
In order to ensure certain common features, it was agreed the academic bodies of IITs should consider acquisition of credits as a criteria for movement of students and grant of degrees.