The 15 Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), established through public-private partnership, have been declared institutions of national importance. The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the bill that will now allow them to grant degrees.
Union minister for human resource development, Prakash Javadekar, said the fees for the poor students will not be increased and that reservation law will be applicable to these institutes.
“Education is not an issue for party politics. It is an issue of national policy,” said Javadekar in his reply to the debate over the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-Private Partnership) Bill, 2017. He said the fees is not the only source of revenue for the institutions as there are other sources like research grant and projects and new researches which make up for the expenses.
“There might be a slight increase for those who have the capacity to bear. But for the poor (students), scholarships will be available,” the minister said.
As the students of existing Indian Institutes of Information Technology are completing their graduation by July and August, 2017, there is an urgent need to confer statutory status upon the institutes. The bill will allow these institutes to use the nomenclature of BTech, MTech or PhD degree as issued by university or an Institution of national importance. The formal degree would help the students fare better in job markets and the institutes will attract quality students.
The cost of each IIIT is Rs 128 crore and is contributed by the Centre, state government and the industry in the ratio of 50:35:15, sustainable within 5 years of commencement.
During the debate, Deepinder Hooda of the Congress criticised Javadekar for not mentioning contribution of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in bringing policy initiative in the IT sector.
“We should not indulge in politics in such important issues. It was Rajiv Gandhi who was pioneer in beginning IT education in the country,” Hooda said.
He also attacked the NDA government for removing names of Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi from various government schemes. The Congress MP also asked Javadekar to explain why works on the proposed IIITs in Amethi and Sonepat have been stopped.
Referring to difficulties being faced by India’s IT firms due to changes made by the Donald Trump administration in granting H1B visas meant for highly skilled workers on short duration, Hooda said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must tell the country whether he had raised the issue with the US during his recent visit there.