The Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) have been declared "institutions of national importance". As of today, 15 of them can award degrees, including M.Tech and Ph.D.
There was a sense of urgency as the first batch of students at five branches would complete graduation in July-August.
IIITs can now award degrees
What does the new bill mean?
In 2010, the UPA government had approved 20 IIITs. However, they weren't allowed to grant degrees.
The new bill gives the institutes autonomy. Reservation will apply here.
HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar assured poor students will continue getting scholarships, but "there might be a slight increase (in fees) for those who can afford".
The role of the Centre in appointments has also been removed.
The PMO-HRD tussle over the bill
While the PMO batted for complete autonomy, the HRD was reportedly concerned about dropping all role in key appointments.
According to the draft bill, the Visitor to the institutes (the President of India) was to be at the top authority.
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Bill also allows IIITDM to grant degrees
The bill also allows the IIIT Design and Manufacturing (IIITDM) in Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh) to grant degrees. After this law is enacted, the IIITDM will be the fifth centrally-funded IIIT.
Currently, the ones at Allahabad, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Kancheepuram are functioning under the IIIT Act, 2014.