The prestigious engineering institute of India, IIT, is scheduled to have its council meet on the coming Friday. The meeting agenda includes discussing reforms for students and the institute.

Headed by the Human Resource Development Minister, the Council is the apex decision making body for all 23 institutes. Traditionally, on successfully passing eight semesters in four years, the students are awarded a B-Tech degree. However, many students drop-out midway.

Recently this year, the Human Resouce Ministry (HRD) shared worrying data in the parliament. According to the data, 2,461 students exited the B.tech and post-graduation courses across all IITs in the last two years. The numbers include the ones who couldn't keep up with their grades. This year, IIT-Kanpur expelled 18 students on grounds of poor academic performance, of which half were B.Tech students.

The HRD ministry, therefore, has come up with the suggestion of allowing academically weak students to leave midway but with a valid degree in hand. The proposed plan will give students an option to shift to B.Sc (Engineering) post the second semester given they meet the minimum academic standards.

The Council has a couple more agendas for the meeting. The council will discuss granting the Board of Governors autonomy on selecting their members and chairperson. Although, the HRD will still appoint Directors for IITs. Post the approval from HRD, for the rightful implementation, an amendment of the IIT act will be required as well.

The last known agenda of the council is to change the current financial structure of the institute and possibly make it autonomous as well. On approval, IITs can charge students a tuition fee based on the actual costs. The government will stop providing block grants to the institutes, and in turn, IITs won’t be answerable to the government on the expenditure of their finances. The government will provide students with direct financial aid in the form of scholarships or other means.

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