20 Sep

The Indian Institutes of Technology may for the first time themselves fund up to 50 per cent of their financial needs soon, under a new financial model expected to dramatically enhance their autonomy from the government.

The model is being finalised by a human resource development ministry panel under former atomic energy secretary Anil Kakodkar to prepare an autonomy blueprint for the IITs, three committee members independently confirmed.

But gradual fee hikes may be inevitable under the new model, the sources accepted.

The IITs at present depend completely – 100 per cent — on grants awarded directly by the HRD ministry, unlike Indian Institutes of Management in Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta, which are virtually independent.

The financial independence has given the B-schools a bargaining power that enables them to function with far less government intervention than the IITs.

Recognising the correlation between financial independence and autonomy, HRD minister Kapil Sibal — who appointed the Kakodkar committee in February — is keen that the IITs increasingly fund themselves.

The Kakodkar panel’s mandate is to draw up an autonomy blueprint that can help catapult the IITs into the top few institutions across the globe. The IITs can generate funds through a combination of gradual fee hikes backed by scholarship schemes  to help all needy students, greater collaboration with industry and government on revenue-generating projects and tapping alumni.

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