The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Council met on August 23 to discuss the possibility of increasing students intake as proposed by the HRD Ministry. However, citing stretched resources, from infrastructure to faculty, the seven old IITs have refused to add more seats to their four-year Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) programmes.
The IIT Council — the highest decision-making body of the institute, had given an in-principle approval to the ministry’s suggestion to increase their student strength from 72,000 to 1 lakh over the next three years until 2020. That is, the institutes will collectively aim to add 4,00 B.Tech seats each year until 2020 and 6,000 M.Tech and research seats each year over the next three years.
In a bid to achieve this target, IITs will have to waive off the condition which makes students stay compulsorily on campus.
Currently, the country holds 23 IITs out of which the old ones are- Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Madras and Roorkee. While the second generation IITs in Hyderabad, Ropar, Patna, Mandi and Jammu will increase their undergraduate strength 2017 onwards. All the 23 IITs were asked to assess their capacity and resources and come up with a roadmap on how to achieve the overall proposed hike.
According to The Indian Express, IIT Mandi will add 50 seats by next year; IIT Hyderabad will add 40; IIT Jammu to add 30; IIT Patna 25 and IIT Ropar will add 105 seats. Out of the 23, 20 IITs sent their feedback to the HRD Ministry, of which only 5 completely agreed with the proposal.
None of the seven older IITs is on board as far as increasing undergraduate seats are concerned, said sources. “They are interested in taking in more M.Tech and Ph.D students,” said a source to The Indian Express.
“The older IITs have reached their saturation point as far as admitting B.Tech aspirants is concerned. The onus is now on the newer lot to achieve the B.Tech increase suggested by the government,” said a director of one of the seven older IITs who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“Hostel accommodation for new students cannot be arranged overnight. We have been asked to admit more non-residential students. But this is not possible for some of the institutes which are located in remote locations. How can IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur and Kharagpur do this? Finding rented accommodation near these institutes is very difficult. Students stay back late in the laboratories. They need to stay on campus,” said another director of one of the seven older IITs, who also did not wish to be identified.