Monday, August 13, 2007

Japan to help in setting up IIT

Times of India, Aug 9, 2007

PATNA: Lord Buddha has smiled on Bihar, the land where he gained enlightenment. The Japanese government is willing to lend a helping hand in the establishment of the proposed IIT at Bihta in Patna district in view of the state's close affinity with Lord Buddha.

"The Union HRD ministry has already made recommendations for technological collaboration with Japan for setting up the proposed IIT in Bihar," state science and technology commissioner Ajay Kumar Thakur said. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe will be handed over a proposal to this effect on his arrival to India on August 21, he added.

The Japanese premier, during his visit in April 2005, had himself proposed to extend help in the establishment of an IIT in India. Last year, the Union cabinet approved setting up of new IITs in India in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.

While the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan lobbied hard for the Japanese help for setting up IITs in their respective states, the Bihar government lagged behind in locating the requisite 500 acres of land. Furthermore, it did not even lobby for the Japanese help. Incidentally, the land in Bihar is being acquired from 130 farmers. As many as 120 of them have already given their consent in this regard.

"Japanese collaboration means inflow of funds and latest technology. Also, the Japanese experts could extend their expertise and technologies in other fields as well," Thakur said. He pointed out that all the IITs in India had collaborations with either USA, UK or Germany. With the Japanese collaboration, the IIT to be built in Bihar will have a definite edge over the other two IITs to be built in the other two states.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Move for 8 more IITs, 7 IIMs

Times of India, Aug 2, 2007

NEW DELHI: In a major rollout for high and technical education, Planning Commission has proposed a seven-year special plan (2007-14) which includes setting up eight new IITs, seven new IIMs, 20 NITs, 20 IIITs and 50 centres for training and research in frontier areas.

Of the IITs, three have already been cleared and one IIM at Shillong has received the green signal. The seven-year special plan for higher and technical education would start in the 11th Plan and spill over to the next without being diluted. The plan panel has proposed a funding of Rs 1.31 lakh crore for the seven year plan.

The full Planning Commission will discuss the proposal threadbare when it meets on August 6 to deliberate exclusively on the impetus that should be delivered to education for the 11th Plan.

The special plan envisages setting up of 30 central universities. One central university will be located in each of the 16 uncovered states while 14 new ones of world class will come up in states which provide land free of cost in attractive locations.

These universities will have various schools including medical and engineering institutions. Also, 370 new degree colleges in districts with low gross enrolment ratio would be established and 6,000 colleges would be strengthened.
In the field of technical education, the seven-year plan talks of expansion and upgradation of 200 technical institutions in various states. There is also a plan to upgrade seven technical universities which include Bengal Engineering College, Howrah, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Andhra University Engineering College, Vishakapatnam, University Engineering College, Osmania University, Jadavpur University, Institute of Technology BHU and Zakir Husain College of Engineering & Technology, AMU.

Apart from eight IITs and seven IIMs, there is a plan to have five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, two Schools of Planning and Architecture, 20 National Institutes of Technology, 20 Indian Institutes of Information Technology and 50 centres of training and research in frontier areas.

The central assistance under the special plan has a very strong reform component and looks up to states to agree for a minimum set of reforms to restructure higher education system covering admission, revision in curricula, collaboration with foreign universities and networking.