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Government to identify `Indian ivy league' educational institutions  

Govt to identify `Indian Ivy league' to boost research

Greater autonomy, funds promised; regulatory body on cards

The Human Resource Development Minister, Mr KapilSibal, addressing the 98th Indian Science Congress atSRM University in Chennai on Monday. - V. Ganesan

The Government plans to identify a set of `Indian ivy league' educational institutions for additional support to promote higher education and research, said the Union Minister for Science and Technology, Mr Kapil Sibal.

Addressing the 98th Indian Science Congress inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, here today, Mr Sibal said that along the lines of the public sector `navratnas', the Government will identify these educational institutions with high potential for growth. These would be given total autonomy, supported with generous funds and freedom to source external funds. The existing Navratnas - the IITs and IIMs - will get greater administrative and financial autonomy. They can approve their own budget and manage funds generated on their own. The Director and the Board would prepare annual action plans and key performance indicators at each level.


To promote higher education, the Government plans to set up regulatory authority to oversee institutions and a refinance institution for education loans, he said. The Education Finance Corporation will refinance students' educational loans and give access to low cost funds for notfor- profit educational institutions.

A National Commission for Higher Education and Research would be created to regulate higher education. To develop India as a hub of innovation, long-term academia- industry relationships will be encouraged through tax incentives and open access to resources free of intellectual property entanglements; corporates will be integrated with academic and research institutions to create a pipeline of skilled human resource. Public funding for market-oriented research will be enhanced; technology in SMEs will be modernised; and collaboration between Indian and foreign entities will be encouraged.

The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010, introduced in Parliament provides for mandatory accreditation and creation of an institutional structure, he said.

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, said an Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research to produce more than 1,000 doctoral and post graduate fellows every year is being established. The teaching community has to strengthen the teaching and research sides of the University system, he said. Universities have to be more hospitable to creativity and genius, and less captive to bureaucracy and procedure. Universities are the vital link in science teaching and research. Unless the base of educational system is strengthened, the height of the pyramid of excellence cannot be extended. The Prime Minister emphasised the need to strengthen the link between universities, research laboratories and industry. Scientific principles discovered by Indian scientists like C.V. Raman have helped develop advanced instruments which are now imported at great cost. The Science Congress should discuss these issues and come out with actionable recommendations. The scientific community should give due recognition to scientists who build advanced instruments. The Ministry of Science and Technology should designate 2012-13, the centenary year of the Indian Science Congress, as the `Year of Science in India'," he said.

…..from the pages of THE HINDU newspaper.

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