8 Aug :The Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister reviewed the status of the Prime Minister’s initiatives during the year aimed at improving the standard of higher education and to increase enrolment and facilitate access to quality higher education in the country.
The initiative to set up eight new Indian Institutes of Technology is on course with the first academic sessions starting in 2008 in six of the new IITs in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Orissa, Punjab and Gujarat . The session for IIT Orissa has already been started at lIT Khargpur in July 2008 and classes will begin for IIT Punjab at lIT Delhi in Sept 2008. And the academic session for the other 4 new IITs, will begin during August 2008.
Out of the 7 new Indian Institutes of Management proposed the IIM at Shillong has already commenced its first academic session from July 2008. The remaining six IIMs will be established in Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and Haryana.
The government proposal to set up five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research is on schedule. Of these two IISERs at Pune and Kolkata were inaugurated in 2006-07 and are now fully functional, and the IISER Mohali started its first academic session in 2007-08. Two more IISERs at Bhopal and Thiruvanthapuram will commence their first academic sessions in August, 2008.
Two Schools of Planning & Architecture (SPAs) are being set up at Bhopal and Vijayawada . Classes in both the new SPAs will begin with the academic session of 2008 through temporary campuses. The SPA Bhopal will be mentored by NIT Bhopal while the SPA at Vijayawada will be mentored by SPA, Delhi .
The strengthening of Polytechnics is under way with steps being taken to set up 1000 polytechnics (300 in Government Sector, 300 through PPP mode and 400 private polytechnics); Further 500 existing polytechnics are being expanded and the Community Polytechnics scheme being revamped and their number being increased from 669 to 1000.
Steps are being taken establish 10 new National Institutes of Technology. The likely location of these NITs will be in States/UTs which at present don’t have an NIT.
Sixteen Central Universities are being set up under the initiative seeking to established a Central University in states not having a Central University . Four existing universities; Sagar University in Madhya Pradesh, Bilaspur University in Chhatisgarh, Garhwal University in Uttrakhand and Goa University, are proposed to be taken over and upgraded as Central Universities. The remaining 12 new universities are to be set up in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab , Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Kamataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
14 World Class Central Universities (WCCU), are proposed with the locations being firmed up in consultation with the Planning Commission. The State Governments have been requested to identify suitable land.
A total of 373 degree colleges will be set up in the districts having GER lower than the national average as identified by the UGC. Out of these districts, about 90 districts have been shortlisted which have less than 6% GER, have less than 4 colleges per lakh of population and are also minority concentration districts. It is proposed to fast-track the starting of the degree colleges in these shortlisted districts this year.
Twenty Indian Institutes of Information Technology are planned with NAASCOM having submitted a project report. The setting up of the IIITs under the PPP mode has been discussed with the States and most of the States agreed to tap not-for-profit private investment, while ensuring that PPP should not lead to any erosion of access to the poor sections of society.
Scholarships for College and University students, based on merit, to non-creamy layer students numbering about 2% of the. student population will be given to those who pass out from various intermediate boards. The scholarship will be Rs.l,000 per month for the first 2 years after which it will be of Rs.2000 per month for the balance period of the professional or other courses in Higher Education. Every year about 41,000 boys and 41,000 girls will benefit from the scheme.
The government is working on an Education Loan Interest Subsidy Scheme. It will be a Central Sector scheme for providing interest subsidy during the moratorium period on the educational loans taken by students belonging to "non-creamy" layer for pursuing professional education in India.
All the Central Educational Institutions are implementing OBC reservations as per the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 from this year onward on a staggered basis and the necessary funds have been released to all of them, after holding the meetings of the Empowered Committees. All the IITs, IIMs and the Central Universities that are covered under the Act have started giving reservations to OBCs in a staggered manner. As a result of the implementation of OBC reservations in this academic year, there is an increase of over 20500 in the intake capacity in the Central Educational Institutions.