LS passes bill to turn IIITDM Kurnool into institute of national importance

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Members in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday.

A bill to declare the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing (IIITDM) at Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh as a centre of national importance was passed by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

The bill provides for inclusion of IIITDM, Kurnool along with the other IITs, in the principal Act. This institute will be declared as an institute of national importance with the power to award degrees to the students.

The legislation was approved by the Union Cabinet in February. When the measure takes effect, the IIITDM would become the fifth institute with this tag.

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar welcomed the suggestions made by the members on the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and said employability of IIITs was good, but needed to be improved further.

“We have not produced Google or Facebook…so we must improve the skills…Every institute has to learn from each other,” he added.

He said professionals must understand the behaviour and expectations of customers as it would improve employability.

On the suggestions made by Sanjay Jaiswal (BJP) and Kaushalendar Kumar JD(U), he said Bihar has central universities, an IIT in Patna, an IIM in Bodh gaya and another IIT would be started in Bhagalpur.

“We do not discriminate among states,” Javadekar added. He also expressed confidence about achieving the target of a gross enrolment ratio of 30 per cent by 2020.

Moving the Bill for consideration and passage, Javadekar said the measure would be a very important development for the higher education sector in India.

Speaking on the Bill, Sougata Ray (TMC) demanded a national curriculum for Information Technology education so that there is standardisation in education and “students are not taken for a ride”.

Supporting the bill, Sanjay Jaiswal (BJP) urged the minister to set up a similar institute of national importance in Bihar, particularly in Champaran.

Kaushalendra Kumar said that the move would help create jobs in Andhra Pradesh and demanded starting of more courses in IIT Patna.

Gopal Shetty (BJP) said that after passage of bills in Parliament, concerned officers work very slow on them, due to which people do not benefit on time. “So, accountability should be fixed on officers, he added.

K Ashok Kumar (AIADMK), Nihal Chand (BJP) and Ratna De Nag (TMC) also participated in the discussion.

The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act, 2014 confers the status of Institutions of National Importance on the IIITs and also provides for matters connected with administering these institutes.

The government had approved the creation of a new NIT at Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh as embodied in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014.

Due to the addition of a new IIIT, amendment has to be made in the IIIT Act, 2014. With this, IIITDM. Kurnool will be the fifth member as a centrally funded IIIT.