The Union Human Resources Development minister Kapil Sibal has said the government has no intent to impinge on the autonomy of the Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs) and he has virtually ruled out going back on the new proposal.
Defending the decision to have one nationwide common entrance test, which is being opposed by IIT Kanpur among others, Sibal said this has been taken in accordance with the IIT Act passed by the Indian Parliament.
Sibal said this is a unanimous decision of the IIT Council.
“There is no intent to impact on the IIT system autonomy. The exam that is being contemplated is to be set by the IIT itself,” Sibal said. “We have no desire to anyway directly or indirectly. To protect the autonomy of IIT,” Sibal said and argued that the decision of the IIT Council is in tune with the international practices.
Sibal is leading a high-powered Indian delegation to co-chair the India-US education dialogue with the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
Sibal had on May 28 announced that from 2013, aspiring candidates for IITs and other central institutes like NITs and IIITs will have to sit under a new format of common entrance test, which will also take the plus-two board results into consideration.
The minister had claimed that it was approved without dissent at a council consisting of the IITs, the IIITs and the NITs.
Senate of the IIT-Kanpur has rejected the Centre’s ‘one-nation one-test’ proposal and decided to conduct its own entrance exam from next year.
Sibal said that on his return from Washington, he would study the decisions being taken by the IIT Kanpur.
In his remarks, the minister said India, having a young and dynamic population, is facing enormous challenge in the higher education sector, and in order to provide college education to all the country in the coming years as many as 800 new universities and 40,000 to 50,000 new colleges.
“It is not an easy task. It is a monumental task. But there are enormous opportunities there.”
“We need to look at solutions which are out of the box, which are Froogle innovations,” Sibal said, adding that how to ensure that enough people go to college is one big challenge.
The country, he said, needs another 800 universities, and between 40,000 to 50,000 colleges, a goal he said is tough to achieve.
Sibal argued that the same quality of education can be provided with the communication revolution taking place.
“I think, globally we have to thank the way we think,” he said.
“Time has come for educational institutions to think differently,” he added.
Sibal said not much foreign investment is not coming in the country’s education sector.
This is quite surprising.”I still can’t fathom,” he said.
India would be setting about 100 community colleges in India from 2013 with the help of the United States.