MTech students in IITs will now have to pay more with the IIT Council approving a fee increase to bring it to the level of BTech courses. The Council chaired by Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal also approved the 'tenure track pathway' to decide whether a new faculty member is going 'up' or 'out' after a fifth year review of his or her performance.
The agenda item 'Reform of the MTech Programs' stated that "Proactively increase the MTech fee and bring it at least to the level of BTech fee (Rs 2 lakh per year) over the next three years. Simultaneously the needy students should be supported directly by the government through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) or arranging educational loans."
The proposal has been made based on the recommendations of a three-member committee on reforms on MTech programme in IITs.
"The committee had recommended uniform fee structure for M.Tech programme in all IITs and for charging the same fee for M Tech as in B Tech programmes. Institutions are encouraged to move towards sponsored students or even sponsored programmes as per requirement of industry," the official said.
OCI card holders will now be exempted from taking the JEE Mains exam for admission to IITs and will be directly be able to take the advanced exam, according to HRD Ministry. For promoting IITs as global education destinations, the IIT council decided that foreign students including the OCI card holders with foreign passport and those have studied abroad - would be provided direct entry to appear in the JEE Advanced examinations.
"IITs would prepare a scheme for providing scholarships for the bright foreign students to study in IITs. They would also explore the possibility of offering online programmes to students both in India and abroad. The process of recruiting foreign faculty would be continued by liberalising the current regulatory processes," a senior official said.
"The IITs will work on improving their research excellence and through that their national and international rankings. For this, each IIT will come up with their action plan," the official added. The IITs will launch a major drive for improving the hostel facilities and rebuilding the dilapidated hostels.
"Separate funding for this would be earmarked under HEFA. Further, where possible, the PPP model would be implemented which would be started by IIT Delhi," the official said. In order to promote excellence in the IITs, all new appointments would be through tenure track system, under which IITs will have more flexibility in recruitment without insisting for necessary three years' post- PhD experience.
"The performance of such faculty members will be reviewed by an Internal Review Committee after three years, and by an External Review Committee after fifth year based on which the decision for their retention or promotion to the next higher grade will be decided.
"It was also decided that the first and second generation IITs will not engage faculty members from third generation IITs before they complete a minimum of two years," the official said.
In order to ensure that students passing out from IITs do not face any difficulty in foreign countries with regard to their degrees not being accredited by the designated authority, the Council decided that external peer review of IITs will be done by an External Review Committee in the format prescribed by the NBA and based on the review by the Committee, accreditation will be given by NBA.
"Each IIT will identify their thrust areas for specialization and communicate the same to MHRD within a month. In these areas, they have to set up nation-best research facilities," the official said.
The HRD Minister launched a common IIT and IISc admission portal developed by IIT Bombay for international applicants interested in pursuing postgraduate studies.