IIIT Amendment Bill 2017

The Cabinet has approved the IIIT Amendment Bill 2017 which grants statutory powers to 15 Indian Institutes Of Information Technology (IIITs) set up through Public Private Partnership (PPP). The PMO has removed the role of central Government / visitor/ president in appointment of directors and chairpersons of IIITS.

What amendments means for IIITs?

  • This amendment will give them power to grant award degrees and will declare them as “ institutions of National Importance
  • It will also enable them to use the nomenclature of Or MTech or Phd degrees as issued by an autonomous university.
  • The most debatable provision the bill grants to these institution is the autonomy in appointments to post such as chairman of the board of governors and the director.
  • The bill has also proposed a collective forum to coordinate the activities of all IIITs.
  • The amendment recognizes IIITDM Kurnool as the 5th centrally funded IIIT. Until now it was run through PPP mode.

What are the proposed benefits of doing this?

  • The Students who graduate from the following institutions will have better prospects of getting job in the market. Moreover he will be at par with the students of any other professional institution.
  • The autonomous and statutory status to these institutions will help them garner more crowds, which are essential for developing a strong academic research and development.
  • As the institution will be autonomous in making appointments and promotions, the faculty and the teachers will be more motivated to work.
  • The autonomy will also help them in meeting the market demands and standards which gets ignored in the affiliation mode.

What bigger changes can it trigger?

  • There is already a debate going on regarding the autonomy of colleges of Delhi University ( SRCC College, St Stephens College, and Hindu College ) which will further make the issue more serious
  • The bill will also open up the issue of appointment of chairman of FTII made by central govt. which saw protests in the preceding year.

Is giving autonomy a good idea?

  • Those against IIIT Amendment bill have given the example of IITs which are equally efficient and are run in Partial autonomous environment.
  • Moreover they also doubt that these institutions which are governed by public funds may turn their back to the larger role in society by making them elite specific to make a name for themselves in the market.

Way Forward

However, these are just apprehensions. Granting autonomy will obviously make them better in both quantitative and qualitative way. Autonomy will take the institutions one step closer towards self-governance.  Moreover this bill will take us one step closer to SKILL INDIA and MAKE IN INDIA campaign which needs a lot of skilled man force. Also granting autonomy is not the end of journey for making the higher education system better. A lot more has to be done to for instance reforming Medical Council of India, reform of the UGC etc.