New Delhi: The government announced the states where new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) will be set up in the next four years, but did not disclose the criteria used to arrive at this decision.
Four new IITs, which train students in various streams of engineering, will be in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab. This is in addition to the four IITs previously announced in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh.
The six IIMs will be launched in Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Haryana. A new IIM in Shillong will start admitting students in the academic?session?that?starts?in?June.
The government also did not set a deadline for states to give land to launch the elite engineering and business schools.
Political leaders and members of Parliament have been lobbying hard to land an institute in their constituencies, even though the schools do not specifically benefit local youth as seats are filled by tests open to all students in the country. Still, states equate the institutes with industry, exposure and other colleges setting up.
It was widely known that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not want the schools’ location to be decided by political lobbying, but on fixed criteria such as proximity to industry.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, human resource development (HRD) minister Arjun Singh did not spell out on what criteria the locations were decided. “That is an endless argument. I do not wish to go into this discussion,” he said, facing repeated questions on what criteria were used to decide the states and why states such as Kerala had been left out. He also said the government had favoured a fair distribution of these institutions in the country. “I have taken the PM’s name. I have his blessings,” said Singh.
The institute of technology in Banaras Hindu University will also be upgraded to an IIT.
The city location of only one IIT, that in Madhya Pradesh, was announced. It will be located in Indore.
There are seven IITs in India right now, offering just more than 5,500 hard-fought-for seats, located in Kharagpur (West Bengal), Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Guwahati (Assam), and Roorkee (Uttarakhand).
Six of the IIMs admit 1,600 students in all right now. They are located in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow, Indore and Kozhikode.
Singh said each of the new IITs will admit 2,500 students by the end of six years after launch, while each new IIM will offer 120 seats to start with.
The government will spend Rs760 crore for starting every new IIT and Rs250 crore for every new IIM. The launch is part of the 11th Plan (2007-12).
Answering questions on the Foreign Education Providers Bill, which will set rules for foreign universities to begin operations in India or get into partnerships with Indian universities, the HRD minister said that Left parties wanted a strong regulatory mechanism in place before giving their approval to the Bill. The Bill was to be introduced in Parliament last year, but the government withdrew it for fear of opposition from the Left, which supports the government from outside.
Singh said the Right to Education Bill, which seeks to set standards for every school, has gone to the Planning Commission for comments.
The HRD minister also announced the location of 30 more Central universities, scattered across the country.