New Delhi: The process of setting up five Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and six Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) promised in the Union budget is under way, amid lingering concerns that this would dilute the brand value of the elite institutions and worsen their resource crunch.

The human resources development (HRD) ministry has discussed the proposal to set up the new institutes with the finance ministry twice in the last one month and the centre has written to the states where they are proposed to come up, two government officials familiar with the matter said. The schools will open next year and initially function from temporary campuses, said the officials, who declined to be named.

“There is always a need for more quality institutions and all the new IITs and IIMs will be operational from the coming year. It’s better to start them early," said one of the two officials cited above. “The HRD ministry will float a cabinet note soon—may be in the next two to three months," the official said.

The Union budget presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley had proposed IITs in Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, and IIMs in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra. The sixth IIM will come up in Andhra Pradesh as part of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill. The budget allocated an initial sum of 500 crore for the current fiscal year for these institutes.

Once all of them open their doors, India will have a total of 19 IIMs and 21 IITs.

The second government official said the Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by the IIMs and the Joint Entrance Examinations (Advanced) conducted by the IIT system will make provisions for admission to all the new institutes.

“Recently, the government of India has proposed six new IIMs in the country. Interested candidates may also choose postgraduate programmes (PGP) in these new locations, as well, under the section ‘Apply to the Proposed New Six IIMs’," the CAT registration guideline document has underlined.

This year’s CAT is scheduled for 16 and 22 November. The results will be announced in the third week of December for the admission to all IIMs in 2015.

However, the sudden increase in the number of these elite institutes has sparked concern in some quarters.

“There is certainly a need for more IITs and IIMs in the country, but they are coming too many too quickly. There was huge gap between when the older ones came up and the new ones are coming up. Instead of so many, so quickly, it could have come one by one over the last few decades. The government now has to work to reduce the risk (of failure) by way of leveraging technology, quality content and improved delivery," said Ajay Kela, chief executive of Wadhwani Foundation and an alumnus of IIT-Bombay.

The previous government had set up seven new IIMs and eight new IITs between 2008 and 2011, but most of these are operating from make-shift campuses and face challenges in terms of their quality of teaching and research. They are also short of teaching staff by 20-40%, as per official statistics.

The second official said the government is allocating more money to the new IIMs and IITs so that many of them shift to their permanent campus “within a year or so".

“The new IITs and IIMs announced this budget will have to come up on temporary campuses, but the ministry is making all efforts to shift the older ones that became operational post-2008 to their permanent campuses. For example, the new IITs are getting a little over 1,200 crore each this financial year to expedite their work instead of the earlier plan to allocate around 950 crore each," the official said.

However, the details are being worked out on the possible number of student intakes, and the streams with which these institutions will be operational from 2015.

Currently, more than half a million students vie for around 9,600 IIT seats, while nearly 200,000 candidates compete for less than 3,500 IIM seats.

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