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Government may allow IITs, IIMs to open campus abroad

Shifting from its earlier stand, the government on Tuesday indicated that it may allow the IITs and IIMs to open campuses in foreign countries.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development D Purandeswari told the Rajya Sabha that government would be open to idea of allowing the IITs and IIMs to set up campuses in foreign countries once they improve their faculty positions.

The government had earlier turned down a proposal of IIM Bangalore to open a campus in Singapore. The HRD Ministry did not agree to the proposal saying that the Memorandum of Association of IIM, Bangalore, does not empower the institute to open campuses abroad.

The Minister on Tuesday said it may not be immediately feasible for the IITs and IIMs to open campuses abroad as they are facing faculty shortages and have to undertake 54 per cent expansion in their intake to implement OBC quota.

Setting of campuses abroad may further strain the IITs’ limited manpower and other resources, Purandeswari said in a written reply.

She said various MOAs of the IIMs will need to be amended because these MOAs do not empower them to open campuses abroad.

Replying a separate question, the minister said the government has received suggestions that while increasing the overall number of seats by 54 per cent in IITs, increase in number of seats in individual disciplines may not be insisted upon.

It may be decided by taking into account the popularity, demand and importance of the disciplines.

The suggestions are under consideration of Ministry of Law and Justice, Purandeswari said.

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