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 Parliamentay panel against pvt control of IIITs

From Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI :
A parliamentary panel has scuttled an industry association move to grab the proposed 20 IIITs which are sought to be established in the country soon under the public private partnership (PPP) framework.

The panel, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, has objected to the government’s plan to allow private players “full control” of the proposed Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) at the end of five years of their establishment under the public private partnership (PPP) framework. 

Submitting its report on the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Bill, 2013 seeking to set up 20 IIITs, the penal recommended that the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry should encourage industry-academia collaboration for academics and research only and refrain from setting up the IIITs in the PPP mode.

According to the bill the Central and the state governments concerned would contribute towards setting up of the institutes in the ratio of 50 and 35 per cent respectively, while an industry partner will contribute just 15 per cent of the expenditure.

The land for the proposed institutes will be provided by respective state governments and after completion of five years, these institutions would become “fully private” as industry partners will become major stakeholders in their management and administration.

“The proportion of the role being given to the industry partner in proposed legislation was disproportionately large compared to the contribution it would be making towards the cost of establishing the institutions,” parliamentary standing committee noted in its report tabled in Parliament on December 13.

An individual entity having a stake on the ownership might give rise to conflict between the welfare objectives of the government and the profit motive of the industry “a few years down the line”.

“The committee strongly feels that instead of having IIITs under the PPP mode, what need to be encouraged are industry academia collaborations,” it added.

Finding no justification in the government plan to set up IIITs in PPP mode, the penal noted that Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) were functioning “remarkably well”.

“They are known worldwide for their excellence despite no industry having a stake in their ownership. In fact, industries now compete to associate themselves with these institutes for the quality of graduates they produce every year,” it observed.

The committee’s recommendation has come at a time when the Centre has already approved the proposal of 11 states including Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh for setting up of these institutes. Academic session for 2013-14 has begun at IIITs at Kota, Chittoor, Guwahati and Vadodara for undergraduate programmes as well as at Tiruchapalli for postgraduate programmes.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development found many holes in the proposed legislation of the ministry and suggested it to make necessary modifications.

The cost of each IIIT would be Rs 128 crore and the panel apprehended that the IIITs would be purely private entity right from day one given the provisions in the legislation.

Reference

The Lok Sabha had, in early October this year, referred the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Bill, 2013 to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development for further suggestions.

Assocham supports the objective of the bill to bring in public-private partnership to scale up training facilities for quality human resource development in the field of IT.

NASSCOM has set a goal of achieving USD 50 billion (Rs 3,000 billion) in revenue from the BPO sector by 2020, an ambitious target for a segment that earned USD 18 billion (Rs 1,100 billion) till March 2013. This is bound to lead to an increase in those employed in the IT and ITeS sector.

Assocham strongly believes that the PPP model will empower IIITs to produce quality manpower for decades to come.

At present, there are four IIITs funded by the central government. These are at Gwalior, Allahabad, Jabalpur and Kancheepuram and are currently categorised as deemed universities.

The plan is to establish one IIIT in every state, the sources said.

 

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