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IIT plan to limit subsidy

New Delhi, Sept. 14: The IIT Council today decided that subsidy on tuition fees for BTech courses should be given only to those students who pursue research and take up teaching jobs.

The council, chaired by human resource development minister Kapil Sibal, considered the report of the Anil Kakodkar committee which had suggested that operational costs for running the four-year courses should be covered by raising fees.

Students now pay Rs 50,000 as annual tuition fee. The operational cost per student comes to about Rs 2 lakh a year.

The council today decided that from 2013, students would have to pay the balance Rs 6 lakh if they take up a non-teaching job after graduation.

Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students, who do not have to pay any fees now, and students from poor families, who are on scholarship or have been granted interest subsidy loans, will, however, be exempt.

Students who study for MTech and PhD and take up teaching after that would not have to pay the Rs 6 lakh.

“The intention is to attract IIT students to teaching and research,” Sibal said, adding they expected the number of PhDs to go up from 1,000 a year now to 10,000 in 2020.

The government will track each BTech graduate through its proposed electronic database of certificates. The ministry has prepared a draft National Academic Depository bill that could be introduced in the winter session.

“We hope the national depository will be in place by 2013. Once the certificates are put in DMAT format, we will know if any student is joining any job after completion of the course. Then we will ask the employer to pay Rs 6 lakh to the IIT for that student,” Sibal said.

The decision will have to be approved by the finance ministry.

Academic Prof. Yashpal welcomed the idea: “This is a good decision which aims to attract BTech holders to teaching and research.”

Single exam

The council also agreed that there should be a single entrance test for all engineering institutes from 2013. The proposed single exam will give weightage to Class XII marks.

Since there are about 40 senior secondary boards with different assessment systems, a committee under science and technology secretary T. Ramasami has suggested a formula for normalisation of marks.

“The formula is based on percentile system under which the score obtained by the topper of each board will be considered 100 per cent and, accordingly, the score of other students would be calculated,” IIT Guwahati director Gautam Baruah said.

Sibal said he would take up the matter of a single exam with states before a “final decision”.

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