HRD minister pushes hard for funds to set up 8 new IITs

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HRD minister, Smriti Irani is pushing hard for funds to set up at least eight new IITs as quickly as possible. She has also met the finance minister Arun Jaitley for fund.

Though the bureaucrats are of the view that it would be a huge challenge to find money, land and faculty. In order to implement the BJP’s poll promises, Irani wants speedy actions on it and is also seeking fund for other priority projects like Central University for Himalayan Technology and a national e-library.

States like Kerala, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Goa, Sikkim and Chhattisgarh would benefit from Irani’s proposals. Seemandhra has already been promised an IIT as part of the Andhra Pradesh bifurcation.

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The number of IITs turned out to be 16 in 2009 but the new ones are facing challenges such as fund crunch. About Rs 12,500 crore were allotted for the IITs in the 12th Five year Plan (2012-2017). Of this only Rs 6,000 crore is set aside for the eight IITs set up in 2009.

The HRD officials argued that in the current state of the economy, investing on an expensive project of setting up eight new IITs is not possible. They also pointed out at the problems that the new IITs are already facing and some of them are operating out of make-shift campuses as land is not available. Whereas in some cases construction and infrastructure development has also been delayed.

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