A Bill is on the anvil to ensure greater empowerment for Indian Institutes of Information Technology by conferring on them the status of institutes of national importance.

“The Centre is planning to bring the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) Bill, 2010 in the Parliament,” Director of IIIT-Allahabad M.D. Tiwari told PTI here.

He said a meeting to discuss the final draft of the Bill was held in New Delhi last week in which top officials of the Union HRD Ministry and directors of four IIITs took part.

“The Bill will confer the status of institutes of national importance on IIITs, besides specifying powers and functions of its officials and the procedures which can be followed for a smooth and transparent academic environment,” Mr. Tiwari said.

“Conceived with the objective of developing professional expertise and skilled manpower in Information Technology and related areas, the IIITs have so far been functioning as bodies registered under the Society Registration Act and therefore governed by its regulations and by-laws,” he said.

“Once the Bill gets passed, the IIITs will become entities duly approved by the Parliament. Consequently, these centres of excellence will also have the power to frame their own ordinances and statutes,” he said.

“The IIIT Bill is also an attempt of government to streamline the functioning of these centres of excellence, whose number is likely to be raised in the 11th Five Year Plan period (2007-12), when at least 20 States will have such institutes,” Mr. Tiwari said.

“In drafting the bill, the HRD Ministry has used the NASSCOM-McKinsey report 2005 as the reference point.

The report had said India would need a 2.3 million-strong BPO workforce by 2010 to maintain its current market share. It is expected that the IT sector will grow at a rate of 25 per cent and achieve a level of $60 billion by 2010,” the IIIT-Allahabad director said.

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