With the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) yet again making out a case for fee hike, Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday suggested that they maintain the present fee structure till the proposed Education Finance Corporation (EFC) is in place.

The issue was apparently raised by one of the IIT directors at the “brainstorming” session convened by the Minister to chalk out a road map for taking the premier institutes to the “next level.” Intervening, the Minister suggested that the IITs refrain from increasing the fee till the government puts in place a mechanism that will provide students access to funds.

This could well defer the fee hike till 2012 as Mr. Sibal earlier this week had said the Ministry was optimistic of being able to set up the EFC in the 12th Five Year Plan.

On other reforms, all the IITs were asked by Mr. Sibal to indicate in four weeks areas in which they can achieve the highest standards by 2020 so that these institutes can break into the top 50 league of institutions across the world. In the case of the new IITs, they have been given two months.

Panel to be set up

Besides, a committee has been set up to examine possibilities of improving the Joint Entrance Examination for IITs. While the committee has been given three months to submit its report, plans are also on the anvil to have a structured credit transfer system to allow IIT students to migrate outside.

Governance issues also came up for discussion and another committee was set up to suggest improvements in the administration of IITs and their relationship with the government. To market the IIT brand, it was proposed that all the institutes could have a common secretariat.