FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about conversion of IT-BHU to IIT-BHU
(By: Yogesh K Upadhyaya)
The recent govt. announcement to convert our institute into an IIT has filled our hearts with joy. It has also created anxiety about the issue. The Chronicle has contacted the authorities to get the idea about the IIT news and process. We hope our readers will find it useful.
Please note that the information given here is correct at the time of publishing. It may change over a period of months.
Q-1: What does the govt. announcement say?
The announcement (made on Friday, March 28, 2008) says that govt. plans to convert IT-BHU into an IIT. It is the only institute selected this time for conversion based on the criteria of its long-time association with IIT-JEE exam and quality of standard comparable to IITs.
"In addition, it is also proposed to convert the Institute of Technology of the Banaras Hindu University into an IIT. Admission to this Institute is already based on the IIT - Joint Entrance Examination."
Q-2: Is the news real?
Yes, the news is real and there is no doubt about it. In the past, we used to get similar news (about our institute being selected for upgrade), but they were published by few newspapers, showing some sort of possibility. This time the news was carried over by all the major news media. It was also published by govt. Press Information Bureau:
The above news was announced by our HRD Minister Shri Arjun Singh in a press conference. He also added that the list of IITs is approved by our Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Our alumni association has independently verified the news with HRD Ministry, our Vice Chancellor and our Director.
Q-3: What will be new name of our institute after conversion?
After completion of all formalities and approval, our institute shall be called "IIT-BHU, Varanasi". This is to reflect the emotional attachment to our University and our desire to continue collaborating with other faculties (Science, Medical, Management, Law, Agriculture, etc.), as stated by our VC during teleconference with a group of our alumni.
Q-4: Will it be an IIT?
It will be exactly same as other IITs. It will have same funding, same brand image. Except that it will be still a part of BHU. It will have financial, academic and administrative autonomy similar to IITs. It will be part of league of all established and new IITs. It will have exactly same standard of curriculum, same pay scale for faculty, even same logo as that of IITs.
Q-5: What about administration?
The institute shall have the same mode of governance as that of IITs, including the post of Director and Registrar. However, the Chairman of the Board of IIT-BHU shall always be the Vice-Chancellor of the University, while in other IITs he is an outside person nominated by the government. Govt. has already stated that new IITs (including ours) will have administrative structure somewhat different than the existing IITs.
This is because we have emotional ties with our university since the inception of our college in 1919. It is unthinkable that our university can be separated from its only engineering college.
Q-6: What will be the conversion process?
The conversion of our institute into an IIT is a complex political process, involving incorporating it into the IIT Act and also modifying BHU Act. More details is provided in a separate article "IIT-BHU announced, what next?"
Q-7: How long the conversion will take?
As per our information, it will start very soon and it will be over very quickly. As a first step, a bill to support new IITs shall be introduced in the coming monsoon session of the parliament (July-August).
The entire process may take less than a year (according to our VC). This is because general national election is planned for May 2009; and any change in the new govt. at center may change the plan for new IITs.
If everything goes as per the plan, our institute may become an IIT before the end of next academic year (June 2008-April 2009). In that case, students graduating in 2009 will get an IIT-BHU certificate.
Till that time, we shall continue to be known as IT-BHU.
Q-8: Any obstacles or concerns about conversion process?
Since the plan is already approved by the central govt. and the cabinet, we do not see any problems during conversion process. However, we have to watch out for the milestones such as parliament modifies IIT Act.
We also have to wait for approval of separation of our faculty from the university by the BHU Executive Council and modification of BHU Act by the parliament. This rule is also applicable for conversion of Institute of medical Sciences-BHU to AIIMS, which is already announced by central govt.
Q-9: What are the benefits of becoming an IIT?
Benefits of becoming an IIT are too much to list. Please refer to our special article "Why we opted for an IIT status?"
Q-10: What about govt. funding?
With becoming an IIT, we will receive more govt. funding. To begin with, we will start receiving annual funding from the central govt. immediately, from the next academic year (June 2008-April 2009). Currently our institute receives about Rs. 50 crores /yr. From next academic year, it will be at par with other IITs. IITs receive Rs. 110 crores/year on average, apart from Rs. 30-50 crores/yr as research funding.
Besides, we shall also receive funds to improve our infrastructure. The amount is to be decided, but it will be generous.
More information on this issue is at the following posts.
- Government announces conversion of IT-BHU to IIT
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about conversion of IT-BHU to IIT-BHU
- Why we opted for an IIT status?
- IIT-BHU announced, what next?
- Campaign for IIT status in published media
As always, comments are most welcome.
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