IIT Council Meet: Wellness centres, counsellor to prevent student suicides; key points

For every 10 students, one faculty advisor will be assigned. There were deliberations that faculties should have a ‘personal touch’.

IIT Council Meet: Wellness centres, counsellor to prevent student suicides; key points Dharmendra Pradhan at IIT Council meeting today (Source: Official Release)
Team Careers360 | Apr 18, 2023 - 9:07 p.m. IST
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By Sheena Sachdeva & Mridusmita Deka
NEW DELHI: The Council of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in its 55th meeting today discussed several issues including student wellness, fee hike, vacant seats and implementation of the new National Education Policy (NEP). The 55th IIT council meeting was held at IIT Bhubaneshwar and union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan addressed the meeting.

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On student suicides, a source aware of the IIT council meeting told Careers360 that for every 10 students, one faculty advisor will be assigned. There were deliberations that faculties should have a ‘personal touch’ because the loss of any life is not desirable. All IITs have wellness centres and counsellors and for this some positions and people will be required. This will be approved via IIT Council and board, the source added.

IIT council also discussed “Chair Professorship” wherein professors and experts from foreign universities with specializations in areas where the country needs to propel towards making a five trillion economy will be encouraged in IITs.

Also Read | Fill 27,693 vacancies in IITs, NITs, central universities by 2023-end: Panel to education ministry

During the meeting, Pradhan said that IITs should resolve societal problems at a scaleable and replicate commercially viable solutions. He further said that IITs should provide all support system for students and should have zero tolerance for all kinds of discrimination. Students in IITs should be the face of new India with no discrimination and ready to be global citizens.

In the context of the changing global scenario and the Prime Minister's vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat as a developed country by 2047, a statement issued in this regard said, the council discussed the need for the development of the next 25 year vision for the IITs. The Council decided that each IIT shall deliberate with faculty, students and other stakeholders and finalize their long term vision by next year. The council will also create a short-term strategy plan for immediate needs of the country.

The IIT council also discussed the ways on how vacancies can be filled at the earliest.

They also discussed the positive impact of PM Research Fellowship and the proposal for extension of the program.

Director of IIT Gandhinagar presented the possible underlying societal, psychological and other health issues behind depression among students. The council discussed several steps needed to ensure mental health and wellness of students at IITs. The council focussed on the need of robust grievance redressal system, increasing psychological counselling services, reducing pressure and highlighting the importance of reducing fear of failure/rejection among students.

Multiple Options, Enhanced Support to SC, ST, Female PhD Students

The reasons for student drop outs were discussed in the council. The minister asked for ensuring that the students should be allowed multiple options as per NEP 2020. He further directed the Higher Education department for further detailed report and scheduling discussion on the matter.

The council also agreed to enhance support to SC and ST students. The council also resolved to enhance the tenure of support to female PhD students for one more additional year.

Read More | Over 50% young women out of education, employment: NSS report

The council discussed the proposals to introduce 4 year BEd (ITEP) programme in IITs. The Minister emphasized that IITs can be torch bearers for bringing quality upgradation in teachers.

The council discussed the measures to overcome language barriers to reach out to students of rural India and making teaching-learning available in regional languages including technological tools.

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