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Lok Sabha passes IIIT Public Private Partnership Bill 2017

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A bill to grant statutory status to the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode was passed through a voice vote in Lok Sabha on July 19, 2017. The Government has also mentioned that fees for the poor students will not increase and that reservation law will apply in these institutes.

Background Information about Information Technology (IIITs):

The previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government initiated the opening of 20 IIITs with private partnership of which 15 are already operational.

  • The 15 IIITs that are currently operational are located in Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh), Guwahati (Assam), Vadodara (Gujarat), Sonipat (Haryana), Una (Himachal Pradesh), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Dharwad (Karnataka), Kottayam (Kerala), Nagpur and Pune (both Maharashtra), Senapati (Manipur), Kota (Rajasthan), Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and Kalyani (West Bengal).
  • The first batch of under-graduate students enrolled in the year 2013-14 will be passing out in this year.
  • These engineering and tech schools were established at a cost of Rs. 128 crore each, with the centre contributing 50% of the amount, states 35% and private partners like industries and foundations the remaining 15%.
  • However, these institutes have so far not been eligible to grant degrees.

Key Provisions of Indian Institute of Information Technology Public Private Partnership (IIIT-PPP) Bill 2017:

The IIIT (Public-Private Partnership) Bill, 2017 seeks to grant statutory status to 15 IIITs and declare them as ‘Institutions of National Importance’ (INI). Premier public higher education institutions in India which play a pivotal role in developing highly skilled personnel are conferred INI status through an act of Parliament.

  • By an act of parliament, an institution which “serves as a pivotal player in developing highly skilled personnel within the specified region of the country/state
  • It also seeks to enable these institutions to grant degrees to their students in the academic courses conducted by them.
  • During the debate on the bill, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar mentioned that there will be no increase in the fees in these institutes. He added that  fees is not the only source of revenue for the institutions as there are other sources like research grant and projects and new researches which make up for the expenses.