NEW DELHI: The famed IITs are likely to open as many as 30,000 new seats in the next four to five years as a proposal in this regard got an in-principle approval of the IIT Council on Tuesday. The council also agreed to a national level aptitude test at the higher secondary level to help students seeking to join engineering programmes assess their capabilities.
Emerging from the almost eight hour meeting that was also attended by the IIT directors and chairmen, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said the 23 IITs had been asked to evaluate their level of preparedness in the context of raising the seat strength. “At present, the issue before us is ensuring the ideal teacher-student ratio which is 1:15 at present. It should be 1:10 with the filling up of the vacant positions,” he said.
IITs have a total strength of 70,000 seats across B.Tech, M.Tech and research levels. The proposal is to raise it by 10,000 annually, thereby taking it to 1 lakh by 2020. The seat strength is expected to be raised by 4000 at the B.Tech level and by 6,0000 at the M.Tech and research level.
The council also deliberated in detail about a national level aptitude test, which could act as a screening test before enrolling students into the IITs. Sources in the Ministry said the modalitites were still being worked out. However, the test was not likely to have a bearing on admissions, some said.
Javadekar said they had focussed on improving the research environment in the IITs. Students migrate abroad for better research avenues; the aim of the government is to reverse the trend and ensure “brain gain and not brain drain”, he said.
To promote research in engineering institutes, the council also cleared a proposal to introduce “Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship” for students passing out of IITs. As per the proposal, the fellowship will be awarded to 1,000 students from the next academic year. The candidates would be selected by an evaluation committee who would study research project they wish to undertake.