Strategy for dropouts; sports quota; common entrance test in IIT Council discussions

IIT Kharagpur will plan for SC, ST scholarships; IIT Delhi on reducing coaching; IIT Madras on sports quota; IIT Hyderabad on MTech programmes.

IIT Kharagpur will frame a strategy to address the issues which lead to dropouts. (Image Source: IIT Council Official website)IIT Kharagpur will frame a strategy to address the issues which lead to dropouts. (Image Source: IIT Council Official website)

Sheena Sachdeva | June 24, 2023 | 03:24 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur has been tasked with gathering information on students dropping out from BTech and other programmes from all IITs and “frame a strategy to address the issues which lead to dropouts”, show the minutes of the recent meeting of the IIT Council, held on April 18 at IIT Bhubaneswar. This directive came from the chairman of the IIT Council who is the education minister, Dharmendra Pradhan.

Apart from this, a common entrance test for engineering for all centrally-funded technical institutes (CFTI); a proposal for a sports quota, a suggestion from IIT Madras; a proposal to hold the IIT Joint Entrance Examination (JEE Advanced) in regional languages; new industry-oriented MTech programmes; and the IITs’ vision for 2024 were also discussed at the meeting, show the minutes. The council also passed a resolution to adopt the National Credit Framework.

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Given below were the decisions and discussions of the 55th IIT Council meeting.

IIT Kharagpur: Strategy for BTech dropouts

Virendra K Tewari, director, IIT Kharagpur, presented statistics on student dropouts across all IITs. Dharmendra Pradhan directed IIT Kharagpur to frame a strategy to address the issues leading to student dropouts and report in two months. This will be “ in respect of IITs providing multiple entry-exit options to students as prescribed under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020", say the minutes.

Also Read | Over 19,000 SC, ST and OBC students dropped out from central universities in 5 years: Centre

IIT Delhi, JEE coaching, common admission test

Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, chairman, National Education Technology Forum and former chairman of All India Council for Technical Education made a presentation on the “need for common admission test for all centrally-funded technical institutes (CFTIs)”. The meeting minutes say this was discussed in detail and that there will be “brainstorming sessions in the next 3-4 months to examine the various facets of the issue”. A similar presentation on the topic of the common entrance admission test will be submitted to the JEE Apex Board as well.

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The IIT Council also discussed reducing the coaching requirements associated with entrance tests . It was suggested that “the design of all such examinations should be such, so that it minimises the coaching requirements for the students”, stated the minutes. IIT Delhi will be preparing a report on this and submit a proposal to the education ministry in five months.

iit delhi, iit council, rangan banerjee, education ministryIIT Delhi (Image Source: IIT Delhi Official Website)JEE Advanced in regional languages

The council was informed that like the JEE Main, JEE Advanced “may also be held in regional languages” which is currently only conducted in two – English and Hindi.

The council has suggested that the director general of National Testing Agency (NTA) be asked to send the details of the languages used while conducting JEE Main to institutes to assist them further.

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IIT Madras proposes sports quota

V Kamakoti, director, IIT Madras, proposed a “sports supernumerary quota in IITs”. According to the Hindustan Times, the proposal was “well received”. IIT Madras will submit a detailed report to the ministry in three months.

iit madras, iit council, education ministry, iit delhiProfessor V Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras

Industry-oriented MTech programmes

After a proposal of starting industry-oriented postgraduate programmes across IITs presented by B S Murthy, director, IIT Hyderabad, the committee comprising Murthy, Manoj S Gaur, director IIT Jammu and M Balakrishnan, honorary professor, IIT Delhi made recommendations on this. The council has asked the committee to submit an implementation roadmap in three months.

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IIT: Merit-cum-means scholarship

Director IIT Kharagpur proposed an “enhancement MCM scholarship & pocket allowance for SC/ST students”. The council has agreed to the proposal “in-principle”. Further, IIT Kharagpur will submit a proposal on the subject to the ministry of education in three months.

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Vision for IITs@2047

Rangan Banerjee, director, IIT Delhi, proposed a committee for “IIT 2047 vision”. Banerjee suggested an “international advisory group of leading experts to interface with the vision committee”. While IIT Madras and IIT Kanpur have already prepared their vision documents, the council decided that each IIT shall prepare a vision document along with a short-term strategy paper. The vision documents can be prepared within one year and the short-term strategy papers within three months. IIT Delhi will lead this initiative.

Multidisciplinary courses

A proposal to start multidisciplinary courses such as Bachelor of Science (BSc), Master of Science (MSc) in humanities and other disciplines came from Manoj Singh Gaur, director, IIT Jammu. The council suggested that other IITs shall explore similar joint programmes in collaboration with local institutions.

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IIT Madras: Half time teaching assistantship

Kamakoti from IIT Madras had submitted a proposal to provide half-time teaching assistantship (HTRA) for six years to female PhD scholars. The council has agreed “in-principle” to provide PhD HTRA for one additional year (6 years in total) for female PhD research scholars. IIT Madras will submit a detailed financial proposal to the ministry of education.

On suicides and mental health

On the rising student suicides and metal health issues of students on campus, the council had earlier asked all IITs to deploy counsellors. During the council meeting, it suggested that all IITs ensure “the ratio of faculty to students should be maintained to 1:10” as prescribed by the ministry of education.

The council decided to have a robust grievance redressal mechanism at each IIT, stated the minutes. Further, all IITs shall submit an action taken report within three months.

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Internship for international students

Rajat Moona, director, IIT Gandhinagar, proposed short-term and medium-term internship programmes at IITs for international students. However, the council has suggested that the initiative be routed through the ‘Study in India’ programme. IIT Gandhinagar will formulate a detailed report on the “financial repercussions for next five years” in three months.

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PMRF and research promotions

The council agreed on the implementation of Phase 2 of the Prime Minister Research Fellowship (PMRF) for five years with an intake of 5,000 scholars (1,000 per year). IIT Madras will submit a detailed proposal to the education ministry. Rajeev Ahuja, director, IIT Ropar, proposed establishing chairs in IITs to promote research. IIT Ropar will submit a report on this in three months.

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