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Smriti Irani promises free education for SC/STs, dalits, disabled in IITs

India TV News Desk 07 Apr 2016, 12:02:45 PM IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani has promised a fee waiver for all SC/ST, Dalit and physically challenged students of the 23 branches of the prestigious IITs, according to a Times of India report.

The report says that  a formal announcement in this regard will be made soon, benefiting nearly 50 per cent of the 60,471 students enrolled in the top institute.

"Besides a complete fee waiver for these students, those with a family income of less than Rs 5 lakh will be given a 66% concession in the fees," the HRD Minister told TOI.

Currently, the IITs have a 15% qupta for SCs, 7.5% for STs and 27% for OBCs. The 66% concession in fee will benefit a much larger number of students from the middle-class and lower middle-class segments.

IITs currently have no reservations in teaching positions.

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are autonomous public institutes of higher education. They are governed by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 which has declared them as institutions of national importance and lays down their powers, duties, and framework for governance etc.

The 23 IITs are located in following cities: Bhilai, Chennai, Delhi, Dhanbad, Dharwad, Goa, Guwahati, Jammu, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Mumbai, Roorkee, Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Mandi, Palakkad, Patna, Ropar, Titupati and Varanasi.

Meanwhile, IITs will start admiting foreign students for their undergraduate and postgraduate studies from next year. A final decision is likely to be taken in the next IIT Council meeting regarding this.

The Central government is also contemplating is to increase the number of seats by 100 to 200. However, the number may vary between IITs. Foreign students who seek admissions will be charged the full course fees. The government may consider giving scholarships to students of certain countries.