Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Kapil Sibal on Wednesday offered greater autonomy to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management if they provided a vision, setting five-year “goalposts” for themselves.

This offer came a day ahead of the daylong fast called by the All-India IIT Faculty Federation to register its protest against their revised pay scales notified last week.

Maintaining that the government was open to talks with faculty members of IITs, the Minister contended that no meaningful dialogue was possible under duress.

Vision document

Mr. Sibal said he was willing to consider more autonomy incrementally for the IITs if they came up with a vision document.

“We want to encourage excellence. I wish they had come forward to suggest ways to be independent of the government. We are for their independence.”

The Minister had made a similar comment on Tuesday about the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs); especially vis-À-vis the demand of the ones at Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Kolkata for managing their own affairs from their respective corpus funds.

“We are incrementally willing to let go if they present a vision document; complete with goalposts for the next five years.”

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