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Eight ‘2nd gen’ IITs set up in 2008-09 struggle for students, admissions 33% of target: CAG

The CAG performance audit for the period between 2014 and 2019 covered the IITs at Indore, Ropar, Hyderabad, Patna, Mandi, Gandhinagar, Bhubaneswar and Jodhpur.

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New Delhi: The eight Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) established under the UPA government in 2008-09 have not been able to fully “maximise educational opportunity to students”, as only 33 per cent of the targeted number of students could be admitted in the initial six years, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found in an audit report released last week.

The IITs studied under the audit include those at Indore, Ropar (Rupnagar), Hyderabad, Patna, Mandi, Gandhinagar, Bhubaneswar and Jodhpur, which were are also known as the ‘second generation’ IITs.

There are currently 23 IITs in India. Seven were set up between 1951 and 2001, eight were added in 2008-09, IT-BHU was converted to IIT-BHU in 2012, and seven more were added to the list in 2015-16.

A performance audit (PA) of the eight ‘second generation’ IITs was started in August 2019, with the objective to assess whether “creation of infrastructure, procurement of equipment and services, academic and research activities, governing and oversight and financial management was done in an economical, efficient and effective manner”. The audit covered a period of five years, between 2014 to 2019.

According to the CAG report, “Ministry of Education (MoE) envisaged an overall targeted intake of 18,880 students in the initial six years (2008-14) across eight IITs. It was noticed that only 6,224 students (33 per cent) could be admitted in all the eight IITs during this period, thereby not fully achieving its objectives of maximizing educational opportunity to students.”

The report added that “in PG/PhD programmes, vacancies were observed across all eight IITs indicating a need for realistic assessment of the student intake as well as evaluation of these programmes with an objective of attracting required suitable students”.

The report also revealed inadequate representation of students belonging to the SC, ST and OBC categories in postgraduate (PG) and PhD enrolment in all eight of these IITs.

In PG courses, the shortfall in admission of SC students was as much as 30 per cent at IIT-Gandhinagar, while for ST students, the shortfall ranged between 7 per cent (IIT Ropar) and 69 per cent (IIT Gandhinagar). In PhD courses, the shortfall of SC students ranged between 25 per cent (IIT Hyderabad) to 75 per cent (IIT Ropar), while for ST students, the shortfall ranged between 65 per cent (IIT Bhubaneswar) to 100 per cent (IIT Jodhpur).

The audit also revealed vacancies in teaching posts, delays in land allotment, and low internal funds receipts.

Also read: 7 IITs in top 10 of govt’s Atal rankings for innovation, IIT Madras is No.1

‘5-36% vacancies in faculty positions’

In addition to shortfall in student admissions, the CAG audit of these eight IITs also revealed a few other challenges.

For example, according to the report, “despite the efforts put in by the IITs and increase in faculty recruitment from year-to-year, vacancies ranging from 5 to 36 per cent in faculty positions were observed in seven IITs”. The vacancies were observed in all these institutions except the one in Ropar (Rupnagar, Punjab). The shortfall in teaching staff was noticed till as late as the end of March 2019.

Commenting on the vacancies, the audit report stated, “This inhibited speedy expansion of student intake. In the long run, the vacancies will have an impact on the quality of education as vacancies increase the workload on existing faculty in these premier institutions.”

The auditor also noticed delays in land allotment to some of the IITs and observed that facilities for students eventually suffered because of this.

“In IIT Hyderabad, IIT Indore, IIT Jodhpur and IIT Patna, sufficient land as envisaged (500-600 acres) by the Ministry of Education (MoE) was available, while in IIT Bhubaneswar, IIT Gandhinagar, IIT Mandi and IIT Ropar, issues in allotment and transfer of land persisted even after a decade of their establishment,” the CAG report pointed out. “Lack of requisite land was a major impediment for the IITs in providing planned facilities to the students.”

The report added that the pace of construction work did not correspond with the pace of envisaged increase of students and facilities. “The non-achievement of targets of infrastructure development in a timely manner affected student intake in all eight IITs,” it added.

The delays in terms of infrastructure development were significantly high at five of these IITs — for IIT Hyderabad, it was up to 56 months; for IIT Mandi, it was up to 41 months; for IIT Ropar, up to 39 months; and for IIT Gandhinagar and IIT Indore, the delays were up to 37 months, the auditor found.

“This also resulted in spill-over of the infrastructure development beyond the six years project period. This necessitated revision of the capital outlay from Rs 6,080 crore to Rs 14,332 crore and the project period to 13 years,” the report added.

The CAG report also pointed out that the institutes were not able to generate sufficient internal receipts and had to be dependent on the Union government for funds. “The proportion of the internal receipts (fees, interest, consultancy works, publications etc.) to the recurring expenditure of the IITs was very low even after having been established over a decade. This forced these IITs to be heavily dependent on Government of India (GoI) grants for meeting recurring expenditure,” it said.

Highlighting a specific financial delay in the case of IIT Hyderabad, the auditor said that it noticed “inordinate delay of three years in utilising available funds of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) loan”. The delay, according to the auditor, resulted in “non-achievement of intended objective of advancement of academic and research activities in the Campus in a timely manner”.

This report has been updated to correct a numerical error in the headline. The error is regretted.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: Govt starts search for 6 newest IITs’ directors early, after delays in recent appointments


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