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IIT-Delhi wants to set up campus abroad, asks for ‘clear directions’ from education ministry

Under UGC regulations, IIT-Delhi will have to submit a 5-yr and a 10-yr strategic plans to set up a foreign campus, with details on infrastructure, staff recruitment, student admissions.

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New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi is considering opening a campus outside India and has written to the education ministry seeking “clear directions” on this, ThePrint has learnt.

Sources in IIT-Delhi said the premier technology institute is interested in opening a campus abroad but there have been no proper directions from the government so far.

“We have written a letter to the ministry asking them for clear directions on how to proceed to set up an international campus. We are interested to know whether the government will step in to hold government-to-government dialogue or if institute-to-institute collaboration is what is expected,” a source in IIT-Delhi told ThePrint.

ThePrint reached the education ministry’s additional secretary via email and WhatsApp for a comment on the proposal but had not received a response until the time of publishing this report.

ThePrint also reached IIT-Delhi Director V. Rajgopal Rao over phone but he refused to comment.

According to the latest regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC), released earlier this year, Institutes of Eminence (IoE), such as IIT-Delhi, are allowed to start a maximum of three off-shore centres in five years, but not more than one in an academic year. The UGC, under the education ministry, is responsible for determining and maintaining the standard of higher education in India.

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Clarity needed to figure out process, funds

Sources in IIT-Delhi said the institute is waiting for clarity on how to proceed with the plans, which could require the government’s intervention.

UGC regulations state that an institution willing to establish an offshore campus will have to submit an application to the education ministry, which should include a 10-year “strategic vision plan” and a five-year “rolling implementation plan”. These must spell out the plans for academics, faculty recruitment, student admissions, research, infrastructure development, finance and administration, etc.

The offshore campus is expected to have an initial teacher-to-student ratio of 1:20, and 1:10 by the end of five years. In addition to this, at least 60 per cent of the appointed faculty members must be on permanent basis.

“As a public-funded university, IITs do not have enough funds to set up a campus abroad worth crores of rupees. It is only when the government sheds some light on this issue can IoEs start some kind of process. If the government lays the onus on just the institutes, then some kind of help will be sought from private industry players. With the concept of endowment funds being in their nascent stages, it is unlikely that IITs will have enough funds to start an offshore campus on its own,” another source at the institute told ThePrint.

IIT-Delhi Director Rao had earlier told ThePrint that a discussion in this regard had already started with top institutes such as the other IITs.

“The NEP also talks about this (internationalisation of education)… while they are inviting international universities to come and set up campuses here, they are also encouraging our leading institutions to go out and start campuses elsewhere. In fact, MHRD (education ministry) has already written to us, asking ‘are you interested in taking this up and how do you plan to do that’,” he said.

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  1. Seriously, public money being used for this?
    And govt bureaucrats are being directed by our politicians to work on this?

    Many govt schools in our states have such poor infrastructure and teachers, spend more money on that please. Don’t ignore the poorest and backward areas – from whom you got the votes to rule.

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