EDUCATION PLUS

NIT-Tiruchi to give mentoring support to NIT-Puducherry



The National Institute of Technology - Tiruchi (NIT-T) has received instructions from the Ministry of Human Resource Development to provide mentoring support to the proposed NIT for Puducherry.

As per the order, existing NITs will provide mentoring support for the 10 new proposed NITs for the first two to three years. A central team is expected to finalise the location for the new NITs in Puducherry, Goa, New Delhi, Uttarkhand, Mizoram, Megalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Durgapur.

According to informed sources, the Puducherry government has identified land both at the headquarters and its Karaikal enclave.

The mentoring NITs will see through the process of land transfer and take all decisions pertaining to academics to ensure that the new NITs bring in the required standards; locating rental land and buildings close to the sites identified for permanent campus; funds requirement, and necessary arrangements so that students could be admitted from 2010-11. The mentoring institutions are expected to send monthly reports.

According to the MHRD instruction, the first batch of the students must come out of the mentoring NIT itself in case the temporary premises are not available or the site is not identified.

As for the Puducherry NIT that will also cater to Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the Director of NIT-T, M. Chidambaram, said the process of identifying faculties would be initiated in right earnest.

The other mentoring NITs encompass the ones at Warangal (for the New Delhi NIT), Kurukshetra (Uttarkhand), Nagpur (Mizoram), Surat (Megalaya), Agartala (Manipur), Silchar (Nagaland), Durgapur (Arunachal Pradesh), and Calicut (Sikkim). The MHRD order had stated that detailed instructions on registration of Societies for the new NITs would be issued separately.

The NIT in Goa will also cater to the union territories of Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep, and the one in Delhi will also cater to Chandigarh. Of the new NITs, six will be in the north-eastern States. It is learnt that each of the new NITs will be established and made fully functional over a five-year period at a cost ranging between Rs. 250 crore and Rs. 300 crore. In the event of the new NITs assuming shape from the next academic year, the total count will go up to 30.

New hopes

Since there will be an NIT for each State from the next academic year, there is hope among academic circles that the MHRD will restore the 50 per cent Outside State Quota seats that was prevalent till 2007-08. The very purpose behind formation of Regional Engineering Colleges — that were transformed into NITs — was to infuse an all-India symbolism through admission of students from all other States and Union Territories in the true spirit of national integration, according to eminent educationist and the first principal of Regional Engineering College -Tiruchi (now National Institute of Technology – Tiruchi), P.S. Manisundaram.

The 50:50 proportion of Home State Quota: Outside State Quota was the formula based on which the RECs came into being. The idea was not only to foster an understanding of various cultures but also to provide opportunities for quality technical education in institutions of national importance for students across the country, said Prof. Manisundaram, who was also the first vice-chancellor of Bharathidasan University.

After the replacement of the Other State Quota with All India Merit basis for admission to the 50 per cent of seats other than Home State Quota since 2008-09, instances of students of particular States (where coaching centres rule the roost) gaining undue advantage in admissions have become quite apparent, explained an AIEEE trainer.

R. KRISHNAMOORTHY

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