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Updated: October 18, 2009 15:09 IST

New policy soon to attract more overseas students to IITs

PTI
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A file picture of Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu A file picture of Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

The first IIT Council meeting under the chairmanship of HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday is expected to frame a multi-pronged policy, including introducing scholarships and reducing of fee, to attract more foreign students at post-graduate level in the institutes.

The council will also decide on allowing the prestigious IITs to create extra seats for foreign students at PG level to ensure that youths from other countries take part in research and development in a big way.

At present, foreign students have to pay a much higher amount of money than their Indian counterparts as fee. There are two different fee structures - one for the students of SAARC countries and another for the students of other nations.

However, both the fee regimes entail to much more spending than what the Indian students pay, an IIT director said.

The number of foreign students are very less in the IITs, mainly because of the high fees.

“IITs attract mainly students from the developing countries. These students find it difficult to pay the huge amount and develop cold feet on coming here,” he said.

The council will ratify the revised pay structure of the IIT faculty. The new pay structure had attracted criticism from the IIT faculty which went on a hunger strike on September 25.

Mr. Sibal met representatives of IIT faculty which was demanding removal of 40 per cent cap on promotion of professors to senior grade. The faculty demanded abolition of contractual appointment at entry level.

The minister told them that the government “guidelines are just norms and there can be flexibility or relaxation in exceptional cases“.

The Council will also discuss giving more autonomy to the elite institutes. Mr. Sibal has said that the government is ready to give more autonomy if the IITs come up with a vision plan for next five years and achieve them.

The IIT Council will also discuss the issue of the possible impact of the foreign institutes which will be allowed under the proposed Foreign Education Providers Bill.

The elite institutes are apprehensive that they may lose their faculty to the foreign institutes which may offer fat salary to the teachers.

They have been demanding a level-playing field between the foreign universities and the Indian institutes.

The council will deliberate on how to attract faculty to join the IITs. These institutes are facing a shortage of faculty up to 30 per cent.

IIT Council is the highest decision making body for the elite institutes.

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