NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill which seeks to declare four National Institutes of Design in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, and Haryana as institutions of national importance.
It will allow the four institutes to grant degrees and diplomas.
Currently, these institutes are registered as Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and do not have the power to grant degrees or diplomas.
The National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on July 30, 2019.
It was passed by voice vote in the House.
The Bill seeks to amend the National Institute of Design Act, 2014.
Replying on the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Goyal assured the members that the autonomy of these institutes would be maintained.
He said, "Except at the time of appointment of member of governing councils, the government has no role to play. Nothing on these institutes come to me (for administration purpose). I am here only because of this bill. We want complete autonomy of the institutes."
On the suggestion to give funds to private institutes of excellence, he said that government funds can be given for setting up government institutes of eminence.
He also assured the members that the suggestion of roping in industry academia and consultancy with industry would be considered The minister also said that nobody has taken away the credit of earlier leaders and eminent professionals who contributed for these institutions.
While participating in the debate, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that the government should also focus on faculty development of such institutes of national importance as these premier institutions including as IITs and IIMs are facing faculty shortage.
He also said that besides upgrading the status of four NIDs, the government should also focus on their partnership with the industry to bring out consumer friendly products.
Moreover, NID should also focus on designs in crafts and handloom industry, which would also increase employment opportunities.
"There is advancement in science, technology and industry, but in design we have not moved forward," he said.
N Gokulakrishnan of AIDMK asked the government to set up a NIDs at Chennai and Puducherry.
Jaya Bachchan of SP highlighted the issue of faculty shortage at premium education institutions and said that government interference is increasing.
Ahamed Hassan (AITC), Prashanta Nanda (BJD) and Banda Prakash (TRS), S S Gupta (AAP) and Amee Yajnik (Congress) also spoke on the bill.
Kahkashan Perween of JDU also asked the government to set up an NID in Bihar.
K Somprasad of CPIM demanded that the Kerala Institute of Design be given the status of institute of national importance.