IITs Should Be Able to Choose Their Directors, Says HRD Ministry Panel

The panel's recommendations come a year after the Indian Institutes of Management were granted a large amount of autonomy.

New Delhi: A committee comprising directors of Indian Institutes of Technology, set up by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, have reportedly sought the power to appoint their own institute heads and chairmen.

According to the Indian Express, the seven member committee was constituted to look into the possibility of reducing government control on IITs and suggest changes to the Board of Governors. The Centre put in place this committee based on recommendations from McKinsey and Company to Prakash Javadekar.

The panel was headed by former IIT-Kanpur chairman M. Anandkrishnan and comprised directors of IIT-Madras, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and IIT-Kanpur, and a professor from IIT-Madras, according to the newspaper.

The panel’s recommendation comes a year after the Indian Institutes of Management were granted a large amount of autonomy under the Indian Institute of Management Act, 2017. IIMs are now empowered to choose their own heads and chairmen, in addition to other changes.

Also read: Are There Alternatives to the IITs?

The HRD ministry-appointed panel on IITs looked at the IIM Act in detail, according to the Indian Express. “The report has recommended amendment to Clause 6 (dealing with duties and powers of an IIT), Clause 11 (composition of the BoG) and Clause 17 (on appointment of director) of the IIT Act, 1961, to introduce the proposed changes,” the newspaper reported.

These changes would restructure the Boards of Directors at IITs. The panel has recommended that the boards be expanded to include four “distinguished alumni of the IITs”, as well as a Central government nominee. Of the 14 Board members, the recommendations say that at least two should be women and one should be from the SC or ST categories.

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