Committees to also create and groom IIT professors who can be future directors
The Union ministry of education has set up four committees with the intent to explore a range of governance reforms for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Specific emphasis will be laid upon the autonomy of an institution’s board of governors and restructuring the membership of the senate.
The four committees were set up by K Radhakrishnan, chairman of the IIT Council’s Standing Committees, in December 2020. Each committee will address a specific issue pertaining to the administration of the IIT’s.
In 2020, Radhakrishnan wrote a letter to the higher education secretary, Amit Khare, stating his concerns and various solutions to overcome them.
Radhakrishnan suggested giving the boards of six IIT’s graded autonomy beginning for the academic session 2021-2022. The nature of independence is yet to be determined, however, the government will continue to appoint the institute director and chairman of the board.
One of the committees set up will be dedicated to creating and grooming a talent pool of IIT professors who possess the potential of becoming a director in the future. This aims to help save the time taken by an institute director to evolve as an academic leader.
The agenda of another committee will be to restructure the senate, the highest decision-making body of an IIT. The reason stated behind reforming the body's membership citing was the unwieldy number of teachers who are part of the senate.
The senate should be pegged at a percentage of the permanent faculty members instead of all permanent teachers being appointed as members, read Radhakrishnan’s letter. He stated that the older IITs have grown too large in size for effective decision-making.
Innovative methods through which the IITs can raise funds outside of the government grants will be the primary focus of another committee that has been set up.
This is the government’s second attempt at exploring the possibility of giving the IITs more autonomy. In 2018, the ministry of education had set up a seven-member panel, headed by former IIT-Kanpur chairman M Anandkrishnan, to explore the feasibility of diluting government control over 23 IITs.
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