India set to churn out more techies, an IIT in each state

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An Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in each state is the ministry of human resource development's latest ambitious plan to improve the quality and quantity of technical manpower in the country. The proposed 20 institutes will open their doors from July next year, as per the ministry's plan.

The ministry's detailed project report will require funding of Rs 3,700 crore over a period of six years. The plan, submitted to the Planning Commission, says Rs 2,500 crore will be by way of plan expenditure. The government's plan has also been endorsed by National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). Each of these institutes is expected to accomodate 1,000 undergraduate and 1,000 post-graduate students at any given point of time, and will require a faculty strength of 200 and a support staff of 300. The proposal reworks the concept of IIITs, by moving away from pure information technology-related education.

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Instead, it is based on the understanding that “an information technologist is required to understand the information content of a system and be an expert in handling the information.” The institutes will offer a four year undergraduate programme , as well as masters and doctoral programme, which would be comparable to any internation technical university. The institutes will also be networked with IITs, NITs and IIMs. To maintain uniformity in quality, the government proposes admissions through a centralised all India examination like the All Indian Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE). The ministry's roll out plan aims at an intake of 75 students in the first year (July 2007), with a subsequent increase till the undergraduate intake goes up to 250 in the sixth year. While the master's programme will be rolled out in the second year, the doctoral in the third, and post doctoral in the fourth. By the sixth year, the total intake will go up to 635.

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