IITs to implement OBC quota, demand more funds

April 16th, 2008 - 11:22 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) Wednesday decided to implement reservation for the other backward classes (OBCs) from the next academic year by adding 880 seats, but asked the government for more funding for infrastructure. “The seven old IITs will implement the nine percent quota for OBC candidates and the three new institutes will implement 27 percent reservation in the new academic session,” IIT Delhi Director Surendra Prasad said.

“All three new IITs will have 120 seats each and they will implement the quota in totality. The seven old IITs will increase the student intake by 13 percent to accommodate the nine percent reservation this year,” Prasad told reporters here after directors of all IITs met the human resource development (HRD) ministry officials.

The three IITs coming up in Rajasthan, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh will start operations from the coming academic session.

Prasad said that during their meeting with officials they pressed for more funds to develop infrastructure like teaching blocks and hostels.

“Additional infrastructure such as hostels, laboratories, class rooms and staff quarters should be made available to the IITs as soon as possible. Infrastructure development is crucial for meeting the goals set for the next two years. We have made this clear to the ministry,” he added.

Gautam Barua, director of IIT-Guwahati, said: “The directors also felt that in order to attract young professionals to faculty positions, the pay and allowance structure for teaching staff should be far better than the present level.”

The directors also said that financial support to postgraduate students should be increased as they work as teaching assistants in many undergraduate courses.

In its budget for 2008-09, the government has allocated Rs.15.45 billion for all IITs.

The directors of seven IITs, the Indian Institute of Mines, Dhanbad (Assam), and the Institute of Technology at the Banaras Hindu University (Uttar Pradesh) were in Delhi to discuss and devise a roadmap to implement the OBC reservation law in their institutes.

All the nine institutes follow the IIT-joint entrance examination (JEE) to select students every year.

Every year a total of 4,000 students take admission in various undergraduate courses in the seven IITs at Mumbai, Guwahati, Roorkee, Chennai, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Delhi.

“The existing IITs will increase student intake by 54 percent to put in place 27 percent reservation by the 2010 academic session,” S.C. Saxena, director of IIT Roorkee, told IANS.

“Both undergraduate and postgraduate courses will take OBC candidates in compliance with the quota law,” Saxena said.

Barua said that during the counselling of students, the IITs will screen all OBC students and leave out the ‘creamy layer’ - the elite segment of the OBCs - from the selection process for reserved seats. As for the verification of the candidate’s category status, the existing rules and norms of the government shall apply.

Prasad said OBC candidates would get a concession of 10 percent in selection cut-off marks to get an entry into the IITs.

“The cut-off for OBC category students shall be 90 percent of the cut-off of general category students in the JEE,” Prasad said.

The directors said they did not see a degradation of quality in education due to the implementation of OBC quota in the IITs.

“We don’t see any reason for quality going down,” Barua added.

In 2006, parliament passed a bill providing for 27 percent reservation for the OBC candidates in government-aided institutes of higher learning. The act was challenged in the Supreme Court, which last week gave its approval to go ahead with the scheme but excluded the ‘creamy layer’ from its ambit.

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