New Delhi, Nov 26: A bill to bring four institutes of information technology under the ambit of a single authority was today taken up in Lok Sabha, a move that was welcomed by members from across the political spectrum.
Moving the Indian Institutes of Information and Technology (IIIT) Bill, 2014, for consideration, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said its passage would help realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of 'Digital India'.
The declaration of the IIITs as institutions of national importance was being initiated with a view to providing manpower of global standards for the information technology industry, the bill said.
The four institutes are IIIT-Allahabad, IIIT-Gwalior, IIIT Design and Manufacturing Jabalpur and IIIT Design and Manufacturing Kancheepuram. These institutes, which receive grants-in-aid from the government, were sanctioned Rs 649.86 crore during the 11th plan period to meet their recurring and non-recurring expenditure.
These institutes are fully funded by the central government but do not enjoy statutory status. The bill, once passed, will give these institutions independent status with uniform policy framework. It will allow their students to get degrees.
Citing a report, Irani said electronics import bill is likely to exceed the oil import bill by 2020, and hence there was a need to declare these four institutes as institutes of national importance. These institutes will help in creating manpower by educating people; Irani said.
The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in the previous session in August. It was originally introduced in 2013 but lapsed with the 15th Lok Sabha as it could not be passed by the previous government.