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Project Vishwajeet: HRDM's Mission To Step-up IITs In Global Rankings. Here's What You Should Know.

Project Vishwajeet: The HRD Ministry has agreed to set up state-of-the-art research laboratories to match international facilities with an aim to push the IITs in global rankings.

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In the first meeting of Project Vishwajeet, the HRD Ministry has agreed to set up state-of-the-art research laboratories to match international facilities. As part of the project, special focus and funding will be granted to 7 IITs in Delhi, Bombay, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee and Guwahati.

What is Project Vishwajeet?

Project Vishwajeet is the mission of HRD Ministry to fast forward 7 IITs into top global academic rankings. Setting up of laboratories with international facility is one of the many steps taken by the HRDM as a part of Project Vishwajeet.

Indian institutes lacking international standard facilities with respect to research aspect is considered to be one of the key factors for downfall of the IITs in the global rankings. To make up with the internationalisation of the 7 IITs is one of the key elements of the project.

The IITs take on Project Vishwajeet

The IITs feel that the project should be more inclined in bringing a major quality upgrade at IITs than about focusing on global rankings.

How will the labs be set up?

  • Each institution will be asked to select 5 areas where they have inherent strength which require a world class lab to compete at the global level
  • These 5 areas of every institution will be funded by the government by providing additional plan grants

What is the big picture painted by the HRDM?

  • On a larger scale is the aim of the HRDM to globalise the IITs
  • To bring this into action, plans are to fill 20 per cent of the faculty vacancies with foreign instructors
  • 20% increase in seats alloted to international students at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
  • A 1:7 faculty-student ratio
  • A separate capital grants for world class infrastructure

What are the steps taken by the government to achieve all of the above?

  • The government is already working out the modalities to ease up visa procedures for recruitment of international faculty at IITs
  • It is expected that all of the 20% fresh recruitment shall be foreign faculty by 2020
  • Special efforts will be brought in to identify Indian students doing research in the top 100 institutions in the world
  • It is also speculated that 20% of the total students will be international students at doctoral and graduate levels
  • At least 20% of all the M.Tech and Ph.D students shall be offered as supernumerary positions for foreign students
  • It has also been agreed that entrance exams such as GATE, JEE advanced should be aggresively held overseas to attract more international students
  • In order to multiply global collarborations, at least 10% of the research projects shall be taken up as joint research projects with international universities in the top 100 universities in the world

Others plans to make IITs world class institutions of higher education are as follows:

Faculty teaching in the top 100 universities may be asked to accept the position of Distinguished International Professor (DIP) so that they can teach a semester in the IITs for the next 3 years.

Project Vishwajeet: HRDM's Mission To Step-up IITs

How much does it cost to fund all the above plans of the HRDM?

  • It is expected that each of these institutions shall build a corpus fund of Rs. 500 Cr by April 2018, and Rs. 1,000 Cr by April 2021 through alumni contributions, corporate donations and CSR funds.
  • The student fee would be fixed by the institute BoG and any marginal addition to the corpus fund will be matched by the Centre from plan funds.

The IITs have also indicated to the Prakash Javadekar led HRD ministry that they would prefer to expand intake in post-graduate courses and research areas rather than at the undergraduate level. The seven IITs will increase seats by 20% at the M Tech level to focus on research.

A teacher student ratio of 1:10 instead of the current 1:15 is also planned to ensure better attention to students. The larger aim, however, is a 1:7 teacher student ratio.

Read: Joint Admission Board decides to increase the intake of foreign students at IITs

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