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Fee hike recommended for IITs

With the Anil Kakodkar panel that had been established by the government to bring educational reforms at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), have recommended a fee hike for undergraduate courses at the premier engineering institutes.The panel was asked to rework on the road map for providing autonomy to the IITs and their future. Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal kept a non-committal stance regarding the recommendations and said that the final decision would be taken by the IIT Council later.

The panel laid out the roadmap for research at the institutes and said that the number of PhD students should be increased from the current 1000 students per year to 10,000 by the year 2020-2025.The panel also recommended that bright undergraduate students should be enrolled for PhD at the end of their third year. It also said that the faculty strength at the institutes should be increased from the current 4000 to 16,000 in the next 10 years.

Another recommendation made by the committee is that 50 institutions other than the IITs funded by the central government should benefit with the help of the IIT faculty. These institutes will be the National Institutes of Technology, the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) and other institutions.

According to the committee the IITs should be able to recover the full operational cost of education through their fees and not take any aid from the government's non-planned budget.This might result in a substantial increase in the fees of the premier institutes for which the committee has recommended a "hassle-free" bank loan arrangement at the time of the IITs' admissions.Another major suggestion by the panel says that for students who are from reserved categories and from economically weaker sections of the society, the ministry should bear the complete operating cost of education for them.

The panel further proposed that the government should make an annual outlay of Rs1.5 lakh per student in the IITs that are already established. For the new IITs, the panel suggested that an endowment grant of Rs.50 crore per IIT should be given over the next five years.The panel asked the government to give capital fund at the rate of Rs.20 lakh per additional student.

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