HRD plans to increase seat capacity, number of IoEs as govt looks to stop brain drain

The Centre is planning to increase seat capacity in all premier institutions by 50% by 2024 and will take the number of institutions under the ambitions Institutes of Eminence programme to 50, HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said on Friday.

The HRD minister took a meeting of top officials and directed that a committee be set up under UGC chief D P Singh to give suggestion on retaining Indian students in the country’s institutions. The panel will give its report within a fortnight.

“Also, as per this government’s manifesto we have to increase seat capacity by 50% in all premier institutions by year 2024 and also Institutes of Eminence should be increased to 50 by 2024,” Nishank told the officers according to an official statement released by the ministry.

Given the current scenario, increasing seats and number of IoEs is a challenging task.

Increasing seat capacity by 50% in all premier institutions would require major fund infusion. All the minister said the ambitious IoE or Institutes of Eminence programme would be significantly scaled up to include 50 varsities or colleges.

Presently, the ministry has planned giving the IoE status to 20 institutions, ten in public and ten in private sector. The HRD ministry would need the nod of the Union Cabinet incase it wants to increase the number of IoEs.

The ministry has initiated the IoE programme to nurture world class institutions.

In the meeting, Nishank also indicated that the HRD ministry is planning a series of measures to control the outflow of Indian students to foreign countries for education.

In a series of tweets, Nishank said he had advised the HRD ministry to make efforts to address the needs of the students aspiring to go abroad and take initiatives to retain them by providing appropriate opportunities of education in premier institutions in India.

Nishank said he had also asked the ministry to address concerns of students returning from abroad by supporting them to complete their programme here in India.

“I have also asked the Chairman of UGC to head a committee to prepare guidelines and measures to ensure that more and more students study in India and come out with a mechanism to increase students’ intake in well-performing institutions,” said Nishank.

It is believed that a lot of Indian students otherwise headed to foreign study destinations may change their plans in a COVID-19 hit academic year.

Last year around 7.5 lakh students travelled abroad to pursue studies taking valuable foreign exchange with them.

Higher Education Amit Khare said the root causes are many and we should take every step to address the issues and also attract the international students to India under our Study in India programme.

UGC chief Singh said there was need to create more twinning programs, dual degrees and also ensure that that proper research facilities are created. AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe said his organisation will come out with a white paper soon regarding measures to be taken after studying the entire scenario.

Among other decisions taken during the meeting was bringing a mechanism for increasing intake in well performing universities. Also mechanisms will be explored for starting Multi-disciplinary and innovative programs, twinning and joint degree programs, Cross Country designing of centres, facilitating online lectures by eminent faculty abroad, linkage between academia and industry, facilitate Joint degree ventures and lateral entry to higher education Institutions.

Separate sub Committees consisting of Directors of IIT, NIT, IIIT, CoA and Vice Chancellors of Central Universities will be created who will assist Chairman UGC and Chairman AICTE. Chairman NTA and Chairman CBSE and others will also chip in.

Source: Hindustan Times



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