THE IITs agreed Tuesday to add more seats to their undergraduate and postgraduate programmes to increase their student strength to one lakh over the next three years. The proposal was approved “in principle” during the meeting of the IIT Council chaired by HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar. Currently, close to 72,000 students study in 23 IITs.
“The IITs have been asked to go back and decide how many seats they can start adding from next year based on their available resources like faculty and classrooms. They collectively aim to add 4,000 BTech seats each year till 2020 and 6,000 MTech and research seats each year over the next three years,” said a ministry official, who did not wish to be named.
To achieve this, the IITs will have waive the condition that makes students stay compulsorily on campus. In other words, the institutes will depend on admitting more non-resident students.
The engineering schools will also launch ‘PM Research Fellowship’ for around 1,000 students completing their BTech course at the IITs. Under this programme BTech students will register for PhD immediately after finishing their course. Calling IITs “modern temples”, Javadekar said the scheme will help reverse the brain drain as students will have research options within the country.
The government’s proposal to provide additional funding to the seven oldest IITs to improve their performance in global rankings was also discussed at Tuesday’s meeting but a decision was put off. “This needs to be discussed further,” Javadekar said.
Another decision taken by the council is to introduce a three-week induction course to help new students adjust as they join these institutes after a rigorous competitive examination.