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Sibal clears last hurdle in BHU road to IIT

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  • Published 8.09.09

New Delhi, Sept. 7: Human resource development minister Kapil Sibal has cleared the last roadblock to the conversion of Banaras Hindu University’s engineering wing into an IIT, accepting an administrative umbilical chord threatening to strangle the promised upgrade.

Sibal has accepted a BHU demand that its vice-chancellor be made a co-chairman on the board of governors of the proposed IIT to be created by cleaving the 93-year old university.

Top government officials confirmed to The Telegraph that Sibal yesterday signed his approval on the BHU demand, ending over three years of hectic bargaining between the university and the Centre.

The Institute of Technology, BHU, first promised IIT status under the NDA government, may now finally be an IIT by the start of the 2010 academic session. “The minister’s signature effectively seals the deal,” a top official said.

There are no longer any differences between the HRD ministry and BHU on the structure and administration of the new institute, which will be called IIT-BHU.

IT-BHU is now scheduled to become India’s 16th IIT and the first that will bear in its name a link to another institution.

The government and BHU will need to complete a series of bureaucratic and parliamentary procedures before IT-BHU’s upgrade is official. The HRD ministry and the university will then need to implement a plan already in place to phase IT-BHU out of BHU and into an independent entity.

The HRD ministry will first include the name of IT-BHU in the list of new IITs that it has created, but which are still awaiting legal approval under amendments to the IIT Act.

The Centre hopes to introduce the proposed amendments in the next session of Parliament.