MHRD constitutes panel for feasibility study of IITs’ autonomy

IIT Delhi

The Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD) has set up a seven-member committee, under former IIT-Kanpur chairman M Anandkrishnan, to explore the feasibility of reducing Government’s control over the 23 IITs.

The committee also having directors of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) located in Kharagpur, Madras, Bombay, Delhi and Kanpur, is expected to submit its report in two months.

The committee is most likely to suggest changes in the composition of the Board of Governors (BoG) of IITs. As per Section 11 of the IIT Act, the board has nine members, all of whom are either directly or indirectly nominated by the government. In contrast, as per the new IIM Act, each IIM has 15 members of which five represent the institute’s alumni.

“Some of the best engineering schools abroad have bigger boards representing diverse voices and experience. They also have a strong alumni presence. The IIT boards are small and their composition is controlled by the government. There no room or provision for alumni either,” said a committee member.

In addition to that, the committee will also examine to empower the board to amend the institute’s statutes that govern day-to-day functioning. Currently, no amendment, repeal or addition to the statutes is possible without the approval of the President, who is the Visitor of all IITs.

It is also expected that the will also seek feedback from the IIMs on their experience under the new IIM Act before finalising its report. “We need to know if there are any lessons in there for us,” the above member added.

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