'PM Research Fellowship' to contain brain drain?
The central government approved the introduction of "PM Research Fellowship" in IITs. Under the program, around 1000 IIT B.Tech students will be provided research fellowships after finishing their graduation. The students would be paid a monthly fellowship of Rs.60,000. The new scheme aims to contain the 'brain drain' by encouraging students to pursue research in India without having to go abroad.
IITs, nowhere in the Top 100
Currently, only one IIT, IIT Delhi was placed among top 200 global university rankings according to Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) 2015. According to rankings by THE (Times Higher Education), IIT Bombay scored just '28.6 out of 100' on 'research parameters'. In a study by THE, not a single Indian university made it to the top 200 world rankings 2015 to 2016.
IITs set to undergo massive overhaul
To keep up and compete with the world's best educational institutions, the IIT council approved a number of changes to the system of education in India's premier engineering colleges. The changes include : an improved focus on fostering research, the weak link in IITs' ecosystem; increasing the student intake, opening admissions for non-resident students, increased funding to Top 7 IITs etc.
Plans to increase the student strength
The proposed change to increase the strength of IITs will see the student intake go up by 40%, making it 1,00,000, in the coming three years. Currently, there are 72,000 students across all 23 IITs of the country. By 2020, the IITs will collectively add 4000 B.Tech students, and 6000 post graduates (including research scholars), every year, over next three years.
Enhanced student strength to be supported by non-resident students
The plans to increase student strength in IITs will be supported by the IIT council's decision to allow post-graduate students outside college campus, a first ever for IITs, who have had a 100% residency policy.
Teaching vacancies to be ironed out
To raise the stature of IITs in the 'global academic rankings', plans will be accommodated to fill 20% of the vacancies with foreign faculty. For this academic leaders teaching at world's top 100 universities will be invited to work at IITs as DIP - Distinguished International Professor, to teach a semester. Further vacancies will be filled to maintain a teacher-student ratio of 1:7 .
Funding for infrastructure and research
A capital grant will be provided for next 4 years to develop the IIT infrastructure at international standards. Each IIT would build a corpus fund of Rs.500 crore by Apr 2018 and Rs.1000 crore by Apr 2021. Funds would come from alumni contributions, donations from corporate and CSR funds. Each of them would also be sanctioned research projects worth Rs.100 crore.
Government to spend Rs.360 Cr on Research Fellowships
The government looks to spend close to Rs.360 crore on the new "Research Fellowship" scheme over a period of 5 years.