IIT Council’s Recommendations | 23 Feb 2021

Why in News

Recently, the Institute of Technology (IIT) Council has constituted four working groups to look at greater autonomy for the IITs.

  • The decision is in line with the National Education Policy recommendation.
  • The IITs are seeking autonomy on the lines of what was granted to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

Key Points

  • About :
    • Members and Head:
      • The IIT Council is headed by the Education Minister.
      • It includes the directors of all IITs, and the chairs of each IIT’s Board of Governors (BoG).
    • Objective:
      • It is meant to advise on admission standards, duration of courses, degrees and other academic distinctions.
      • It lays down policy regarding cadre, methods of recruitment and conditions of service of employees of all IITs.
  • Working Groups of the Council:
    • Group-1: Graded Autonomy, Empowered & accountable BoG and Director.
    • Group-2: Grooming distinguished academics for directorship of IITs.
    • Group-3: Reform and restructuring of Academic Senate.
    • Group-4: Innovative funding mechanisms.
  • Other Recommendations:
    • Use of Technology:
    • Reducing Staff:
      • Cutting IIT staff strength to lower levels.
        • The IITs currently function so that for every ten students, there is one faculty member. And for every ten faculty, they have pre-approval for 11 staff.
    • Research and Development Fair:
      • To organise an IIT research and development fair to showcase the quality research work being done by IITs to the industries.
    • Development Plans:
      • Asked the IITs to develop Institute Development Plans to improve the mobility of faculty between institution and industry to promote research collaborations.
  • Need of Autonomy:
    • Better Decision Making:
      • Administrative and financial autonomy helps institutes to take a valuable decision for the benefit of students and the organisation.
        • In the absence of autonomy, most decisions are taken by bureaucrats, who lack the technical knowledge needed to decide for technical institutes.
      • Constructive decisions can be taken only by academicians and experts, while IITs do not enjoy complete autonomy, they have partial freedom.
      • Recently, an expert panel, appointed to recommend measures to better implement reservations at IITs, has proposed that IITs should be exempted from caste reservations for faculty appointments as they are institutes of national importance.
    • Improved Responsibility:
      • Lack of autonomy not only permits interference, but also creates divided responsibility, which inevitably leads to maintenance of the status quo, which in today’s India is not desirable.
      • With autonomy these institutes would have full control on their policies and operations, as well as have full responsibility for what value they provide.