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IIIT awaits unitary varsity tag

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 27: The state-run International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) here would soon get a unitary university status with the Assembly passing the IIIT-Bhubaneswar Bill, 2012, last evening.

Officials said the bill has been sent for the governor’s assent, a mere formality, to be followed by a gazette notification. A unitary university is an autonomous unit without any constituent colleges.

The institute, which was established in 2007 at Malipada on the city outskirts, is governed by the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) at present.

“We are waiting for the official notification. Once we get the status, we will have more autonomy in academic matters,” said principal information officer of the institute P.K. Bishoyi.

Minister of state for information technology Pratap Keshari Deb said the unitary university tag would put IIIT-Bhubaneswar at par with the seven other IIITs in the country enabling it to conduct its own examinations and publish results. “It will no longer have to depend on the BPUT. Other advantages are that it will be funded by the state and there will be reservation of 50 per cent seats for domicile candidates,” Deb said.

At present, the institute gets all its students from the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination pool. The state government will take a call on whether the institute will conduct its own entrance examination for admission to its MTech (computer science and engineering) and BTech courses in four disciplines.

Proportionate reservation will be worked out for students belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, socially and economically backward classes, women and other categories out of the domicile quota, the minister said.

According to provisions of the bill, the university will work with the government, industry and other stakeholders to develop and deliver technological solutions to enhance their service delivery. The governor will continue to be the chancellor while the director will head the institution for a term of five years.