IITs to make presentation to MHRD on project Vishwajeet on October 20

With the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Council approving Project Vishwajeet that is meant to push seven IITs to the top rung in global academic rankings, the institutes will make presentation on the same to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on October 20.

The seven IITs who are part of this project namely IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Guwahati, IIT Roorkee and IIT Kanpur.

Plans under project Vishwajeet, which was approved by the IIT Council on August 24, include that of filling 20 per cent vacancies with foreign faculty, allowing off campus PhD students, 20 per cent international students at undergraduate and post graduate level and a 1:7 faculty-student ratio, apart from separate capital grants for world class infrastructure.

"We are preparing a roadmap for the project and will make presentations to the MHRD in our October 20 meeting with the ministry. Though the approval came in August 24, we are yet to begin work on the same. It is too early to comment on how the project is shaping up," said a director of one the seven IITs on condition of anonymity.

According to another IIT Director, the proposals will be submitted on October 17, post which the presentations will be held on them on October 20. After a final nod is given, allocation of funds will be done.

While Vishwajeet has been approved by the IIT Council, real ground work is yet to begin.

An IIT Director said that it still remains at a proposal stage. "We are yet to give our proposals. Once we do that, it has to be approved. The funds being allocated for these initiatives will then be ascertained. Only when we receive the funds can we begin work," he said.

Apart from creating faculty and foreign student positions, the proposal will include exchange programs to be permitted from other countries at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Efforts are also to be made in identifying Indian students doing quality research in top 100 global institutions. Target is also to have one post doctoral student for every four doctoral (PhD) students.

Moreover, supernumerary positions are being planned to be created in doctoral and post doctoral studies for foreign students as part of the project. IITs have already announced taking entrance tests like JEE and GATE overseas, as a step towards improving citizenship diversity in their classrooms.

Under the project, idea has also been mooted to offer research grant of Rs 1 lakh for scholars and faculty members who have published at least two papers in renowned journals listed in Scopus database in a year with at least 25 citations.

Meanwhile, the project envisages separate capital grants to be provided over a period of four years till 2020 to develop international standards infrastructure as seen in the top 500 universities. While a corpus fund of Rs 500 crore is to be built by 2018, the same is to be raised to Rs 1000 crore by 2021 through alumni contributions, corporate donations and CSR funds.

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