Two IIT directors speak up: Not under UGC until you change law

At present, 16 IITs across the country function as “apex institutions for engineering education and research” under the HRD.

Written by Naveed Iqbal | New Delhi | Published: August 23, 2014 4:03 am

Days after the University Grants Commission asked the Indian Institutes of Technology to “align their courses and degrees with the ones recognised by the UGC”,  the institutes have reiterated their autonomous nature, stressing that the UGC and IITs are two different systems.

On Friday, hours after President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a conference of Chairmen of Boards of Governors and Directors of IITs at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Director IIT Bombay, Devang Khakhar, said the “government cannot bring the IITs under the UGC unless they change the law”.

At present, 16 IITs across the country function as “apex institutions for engineering education and research” under the Human Resource Development Ministry.

The institutes are governed by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, which declares them as “Institutions of national importance”, and lays down their powers, duties and framework for governance.

Director IIT Delhi, R K Shevgaonkar, said the two bodies are governed by separate acts of Parliament, and that the IITs “have never received any communication from the UGC before this”. According to him, the notification concerning aligning of courses has not been received by all IITs and has been sent to select institutes.

The UGC notification did not come up for discussion during the Directors meeting with the President on Friday, but Shevgaonkar emphasised that if at all the UGC has an issue, it must take it up with the IIT Council and not write to all institutes individually. “All matters concerning IITs are taken up by the IIT Council which has the HRD Minister as its Chairperson. All directions come from there,” Shevgaonkar said.

The IITs offer four-year bachelors degrees in different branches of engineering and the UGC’s communiqué came days after its recent reversal of Delhi University’s Four Year Undergraduate Programme.

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  1. R
    Raj V
    Oct 30, 2016 at 1:37 am
    IITs should be allowed to keep their autonomy. None of the UGC recognised universities can match the publications and talent of IIT students with very few exceptions like Jadhavpur university. However HRD ministry shoudl ake care of the welfare of the stduents w.r.t.fees and yhier other mundane needs.
    1. A
      Aug 23, 2014 at 11:49 am
      What is standard of india? There should not be any military ruling in education system. UGC's stand is not acceptable at all. IIT's and IISc should be given freedom to design courses to attract good students to choose research carriers.
      1. I
        Aug 24, 2014 at 3:21 am
        What is this BJP govt doing? A good mandate doesn't u destroy everything. If the govt. wants to change things it should go as per rules not sending letters and showing muscle at individuals levels. If wants to change it should use the parliament power it has been bestowed by people instead of executing whims.
        1. D
          Aug 23, 2014 at 10:09 am
          IITs may not be under UGC but then they should follow Indian standard voluntarily.
          1. S
            Support Modi
            Aug 23, 2014 at 4:59 pm
            And bring down their standards consequently? Which has a higher retion internationally - UGC, or IITs?They are reputed because they had used their autonomy to actually teach the students something, evaluate them continuously (not once a semester) and make them actually think rather than learn by rote.Ever looked at the IIT JEE papers of the 80s? If it were aligned with UGC, it would be 'Define Kirchoff's law' and not some tangled problem whoch the students would answer.Sadly, MMJ, Arjun Singh, Sibal and now Smriti Irani are bent on destroying the only relic from Nehruvian era that actually woked
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