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Foreign faculty to teach at IITs

HRD minister Kapil Sibal’s meeting with IIT directors on Wednesday resolved the salary imbroglio that saw IIT faculty go on strike. 

A detailed presentation by the ministry — showing that IIT faculty after revision got more than UGC scale and even DRDO scientists — seems to have done the trick. The few unresolved issues, Sibal promised, would be immediately looked into.

Though a final decision has not been taken, there is a possibility that common counselling for AIEEE and JEE could be held for successful candidates of both entrance tests from 2010. However, a decision on merging IIT-JEE and AIEEE to become a common entrance test will be taken later.

The meeting, a sequel to Sibal’s earlier meeting with IIT directors on June 30, discussed progress of new IITs. It also saw the minister assuring the directors that a special cell would be set up in the ministry to facilitate entry of foreign faculty in IITs. The meeting also discussed the need to create, subject to ministry’s approval, an international pool of faculty for IITs. The matter will be discussed in a separate meeting of IIT directors.

To deal with faculty shortage, IIT directors have been told to double PhD intake and prepare a list of students who were awarded PhD degrees this year. The list may be exchanged with directors of other IITs who can consider them for appointment as faculty.

Told about the Bologna Accord, Sibal said India should also evolve its own model. Bologna Accord, specific to European Union, aims to create European higher education area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards comparable and compatible throughout Europe. Most of the EU countries are its members.

IIT directors were told about the white paper promised by them on research and development in IITs including details of publications in high impact journals, patents, and other educational details.

The ministry told IIT directors about the Supreme Court order that asked IITs and other educational institutions to help SC/ST students at each stage. IIT Delhi has already been asked to reconsider its decision of expelling some students from this section on account of their poor academic performance.

As for new IITs, the meeting was told that PhD courses were started in IITs at Hyderabad and Patna. IIT Hyderabad has also started MTech courses in the current academic year. Conversion of IT, BHU into an IIT is also under consideration. Board of governors for new IITs is also under consideration.

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