The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) on Friday asked the Kakodkar Committee to “re-work” its proposal seeking a four-fold increase in fees for undergraduate courses at the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

At a meeting of the Joint Council of IITs held here, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said the proposal to increase the fee from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2.5 lakh a year would act as a deterrent to aspiring students. He asked the committee to re-work the “mathematical model” and present its report to the Board of Governors of the IITs before forwarding it to the Ministry for a final call.

The five-member committee, set up to suggest a road map for IITs' autonomy and growth, had recommended the hike to make IITs more self-sufficient, reduce dependence on grants, and enable the institutes to create faculty and non-faculty posts on their own without having to seek government clearance.

The committee, which presented the report before the Council, also suggested that the 15 IITs should raise the money to run undergraduate courses entirely through tuition fees and not depend on grants.

The Kakodkar Committee was set up in October 2009. Its other members are: T.V. Mohandas Pai, Director (Human Resource), Infosys; K. Mohandas, Vice-Chancellor of the Kerala University of Health and Allied Sciences; Professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala, IIT Madras; and Hari Bhartia, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry. IIT Guwahati Director Gautam Barua, IIT Mandi Director T. Gonsalves and IIT Kanpur Chairman M. Anandakrishnan were special invitees.

The committee had a series of meetings with the IIT directors, faculty and industry representatives.

Its members visited five universities in China last November to familiarise themselves with the best practices in science education and research. The committee will come up with fresh recommendations within a month.

The Joint Council could not take up the Ramasami committee report on the format of the IIT Joint Entrance Examination due to Mr. Ramasami's absence from the meeting.

Research parks

However, it was agreed that 50 research parks — on the lines of the one developed by IIT Madras — would be developed in the 12{+t}{+h} Five Year Plan. The members also agreed to enhance the Ph.Ds from the current 1,000 to 10,000 annually.

Cyber security

A presentation was made to the Council on adopting “cyber security as part of the curriculum by IITs.”

It was decided that a committee under Dr. R. Chidambaram would be set up to develop a road map for the future and give a report in three months.

The committee would involve all educational institutions as well as government departments for this purpose.

The report of Professor Devang Khakhar on attracting grants from Unesco and other multi-national agencies, such as the European Union, was welcomed by the members of the Council and the report approved.