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With a view to cash in on the boom in the IT sector, the Centre is contemplating setting up of 20 Indian Institutes of Information and Technology in private public partnership in the country. As per the scheme, the central and state governments along with the industry will be stakeholders in the scheme.
Though the proposal was mooted about a year back, the Maharashtra government failed to capitalize on the opportunity. It was only recently that officials invited expressions of interest (EoI) from the private industries for setting up centre-sponsored IIIT. Officials from the state department of technical education (DTE), which has invited EoIs, said that Maharashtra was always shortchanged in the case of getting centre-sponsored educational institutions, despite being one of the most progressive states. It neither has the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management nor the National Law School. Apart from IIT Powai, only Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University (MGIHU) in Wardha and Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in Amravati are centrally-sponsored institutions in the state. However, MGIHU hardly appealed to the masses in the predominantly Marathi speaking state. Even President Pratibha Pail had recommended to establish either a central university or IIT exclusively for women in Amravati. But nothing materialized. Technical education director Subhash Mahajan told TOI that all the details regarding IIITs were with the Mantralaya and DTE had only invited EoIs. Currently, Allahabad, Gwalior, Jabalpur, and Kancheepuram are having centre-sponsored IIIT while three others in Hyderabad, Kerela and Bangalore are sponsored by the respective states on PPP models. DTE officials, however, stated that the decision to set up IIIT was taken during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12). Initially, Pune was selected as the location for the institution. It was supposed to offer research programmes in various emerging fields such as cyber security and image processing, networks and mobile computing, banking and insurance, energy and transportation, analytics, remote sensing, agriculture, energy, transportation, environment, natural sciences, nanotechnology, health care and image processing. However, the government then put the project on the back burner. The concept of IIITs was a part of initiatives undertaken by NASSCOM for educational and workforce enhancement. It will produce highly specialized professionals with skill sets in the emerging technologies. As per the scheme, the state will provide free land while the centre will grant Rs 50 crore for faculty development programme and also meet the recurring expenditure up to Rs 10 crore during the first four years of setting up of each IIIT.VED demands IIIT in Vidabrha:The Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED) has demanded setting up of IIITs in the region for the benefit of the students in the region. VED chief Devendra Parekh said that they had sent a letter to the Maharashtra government to constitute an experts' panel to study establishment of IIIT either at Nagpur, Amravati or Gondia. Blaming government for neglecting the Vidarbha region, Parekh informed that it continues to wait for the HRD ministry's nod to its proposal seeking an IIIT status for two premier institutes, including the Pune-based International Institute of Information Technology (I2IT) and one from Aurangabad.
Courtesy: Times of India
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