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IT companies to partner government to run IIITs

There are rising possibilities of top IT companies like Infosys and Wipro coming together to partner with the government in running the next-generation technical institutions. An HRD ministry committee is set  to select industry partners for the 20 new Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs).

Mohandas Pai from Infosys is heading the committee. He believes that the 20 new IIITs should have a minimum 3-5 partners. The draft recommended that multiple partners be chosen for IIIT so that each IIIT will have broad focus in terms of areas of research, necessarily being interdisciplinary is the norm rather than a limited focus within the same subject. It could be difficult for one single private partner having deep domain competencies in all the areas that IIIT focuses on.

The committee has also proposed to include non-IT companies as partners. On the lines of IITs, the Centre will set up 20 IIITs over a nine-year period starting 2011-12. They will be set up at a cost of Rs 128 crore each, with Centre, state and the industry footing the bill in 50:35:15 ratio. Karnataka, which already has an industry-backed International Institute of Information Technology in Bangalore, is pitching for an IIIT in Dharwad.

According to the reports, to have a long-term commitment, industry partner should make a minimum contribution of Rs 2 crore. The same company may fund different IIITs based on their need. The IIIT should be free to work with multiple partners. The industry partners can have a share of 25% in the board of governors.

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