New Delhi: A bill to bring four institutes of information technology under the ambit of a single authority and help students get degrees was today passed in the Lok Sabha.
The Indian Institutes of Information and Technology (IIIT) Bill, 2014, is the first education bill passed by the new government which was formed on May 26 under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Bill also declare some IT institutions to be of national importance and provide manpower of global standards.
The four institutes are IIIT-Allahabad, IIIT-Gwalior, IIIT Design and Manufacturing Jabalpur and IIIT Design and Manufacturing Kancheepuram. The Act will give these institutions independent status with uniform policy framework.
HRD Minister Smriti Irani said the students passing from these institutes will now get degrees and the government would take make all efforts to attract the best of faculties.
The bill seeks to provide the four existing IIITs an independent statutory status and proposes to declare them as institutes of national importance to enable them to grant degrees to their students.
Replying to members' comments on the autonomy of these institutes, Irani said: "The governance structure of these institutes will be like that of the IITs and NITs which were based on the Central Universities Act as passed by Parliament. So questioning the structure would be like questioning Parliament's wisdom".
Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani said: "We are trying to improve the quality of education in the institutions we have. We want to bring in a process through which advertisements would be put out for faculty members."
Replying to criticism that the bill was trying to alter the governance structures of the IIITs, Irani said the IIIT governance structure was like that of the IITs and the NIITs which were formed by acts of parliament.
"So to question it is to question an act of parliament," she said.
The declaration of the IIITs as institutions of national importance was being initiated with a view to providing manpower of global standards for the information technology industry, the bill said.