India's exclusive engineering club has been expanded. The Union HRD ministry has decided to open six new IITs instead of just the three which were supposed to begin operations this year in Bihar, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. There will now be 13 IITs with a total of 6,872 seats. More than 700 seats have been added thanks to the six new IITs.
The ministry sent a directive ordering the IIT's Joint Admission Board (JAB) to admit students to three more IITs in Orissa, Punjab and Gujarat.
The UPA government at the Centre had announced that it would set up eight new IITs during the 11th Five Year Plan. Sources in the ministry said that the new campuses have been opened to accommodate additional OBC students. Six of the seven older IITs are implementing 9% OBC quota this year, while the seventh, Roorkee, is implementing 12%. The new IITs are implementing 27% OBC quota.
With Orissa going to the polls soon, this is also being seen as an election move. In the case of the other two, both Punjab and Gujarat have been asking for their own IITs for quite some time now.