Thursday, 1 October 2015

Union HRD Minister Smt Smriti Irani Chairs meeting of the Council of National Institute of Technology, Science Education and Research at Warrangal

Common Counselling not only reduced stress on students and parents, but also minimises the Number of vacant seats, says Union HRD Minister
The Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani chaired the meeting of the Council of National Institute of Technology, Science Education and Research held at National Institute of Technology in Warangal today. The Council is an apex policy making body for 31 National Institutes of Technology (NITs), five Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur. In her opening remarks, Smt Smriti Irani emphasized that each of the institutions should be an island of excellence in Innovation, Design, and Research in specific areas, but these islands should have synergised strategy to collaborate and grow together. Highlighting the achievements of the Council, Smt Smriti Irani, apprised that common counselling was implemented for NITs, IITs, IIITs, IIEST and other Government Funded Technology Institutes (GFTIs) for the admissions in above institutions. She further mentioned that common counselling not only reduced stress on Students and Parents, but also minimized the number of vacant seats. Less than two per cent seats remained vacant after five rounds of counselling leading to all time high numbers of admission in these prestigious Institutions. She congratulated CSAB (Central Seat Allocation Board) team for the achievement.

The Council deliberated on the proposal to have ‘one exam, one rank, one counselling’ for all institutes of national importance, and also on the proposal to do away with 40% weightage for the Board exam. Since there are other stakeholders who need to be consulted, it was decided to constitute a core committee examine and recommend suitable course of action.

The Council adopted a funding mechanism under which Government will appreciably enhance investments in capital assets, labs, equipment and research, leaving the bulk of running expenses to be recovered through student fee. The increased fee would be met 100 per cent by student - loans at zero per cent rate of interest. This will help in building NITs into robust institutions.

The Union Minister of HRD expressed her concern that there have been growing incidences of depression among the students due to non performance in studies. Therefore, NITs, IISERs, and IIEST should adopt ‘student centric approach’. She unveiled slew of measures to support students who need academic help. A scheme of ‘Hand Holding’ of students who are weak in studies will be implemented in institutions. A mentor student will be designated to take care of such students. The mentor students will be provided financial incentives which will be supported by Ministry of HRD to concerned NIT.

Each NIT, IISER, and IIEST Shibpur will provide a guarantee of clean hostel, clean mess, clean water and hygienic & wholesome food. This will be incorporated in mission statement of each institution. Smt. Irani, also emphasized that students grievances should addressed effectively and in time bound manner. Current grievance redressal system has been found wanting in this respect. She constituted a Student Grievance Redressal Cell at the Council level. This Cell will monitor the redressal of grievances and coordinate with Directors of institutions to address them effectively.

A review committee for NIT System was set up by the Council. The recommendations regarding improvement of Governance, Research and e-Governance have been accepted by Council and soon implementation of the same would happen to take NITs to next level.

The Chairperson also took stock of the progress made by NITs under flagship programme of GIAN, Unnat Bharat, MOOCs, and Digital Library. She stressed that NITs, IISERS and IIEST should take strong initiatives to gain full benefits of these unique schemes.

In the end, the Union Minister of HRD expressed that performance of the institutions would be monitored critically. The performers will be rewarded while non- performers will be evaluated critically. The Council also adopted the suggestion of the Minister for awarding the Best NIT/IIEST Award. The modalities will be worked out in the Council’s Standing Committee. She hoped that each Institution will not only achieve targets and goals set by Council today but surpass them.

Sri Vinaysheel Oberoi, Secretary, Higher Education along with senior officers participated in the meeting along with Chairmen and Directors of all NITs and IISERs.