Six new IITs, Govt may spend over Rs20,000 crore 

The central government is looking to spend above an amount of Rs20,000 crore to build six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). This was first announced in 2015.

The Highlights

–Rs7,000 crore will be spent in the first phase ending in March 2020

— The rest over the next four years ending in March 2024, informed an official on condition of anonymity.

— In December 2015, the Union cabinet cleared the proposal to open six new IITs in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Goa and Jammu and Kashmir

— Six new IITs will operate from makeshift campuses in these states

“Land for six new IITs has already been procured and states’ cooperation this time is good. Once the EFC approval comes, things will pick up,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

HURDLES SO FAR

During the 11th Five Year Plan, which ended in march 2012, the previous UPA government had estimated to spend over Rs6,000 crore for eight new IITs. But delays in land procurement, construction and inflation pushed up costs to Rs14,000 crore.

A professor from an older IIT closely associated with the establishment of new IITs said timely funding is the key. Thus states must give land to the HRD ministry for the purpose and that too at the earliest.

“The upcoming new education policy must make it clear that new higher educational institutions should not be delayed beyond a certain time limit. Else, the intention of establishing IITs and similar institutes gets diluted. It’s not just a finance issue, but also a bigger academic issue,” said Narayan Ramaswamy, partner education practice at consulting firm KPMG.

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