Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have always encouraged innovation and entrepreneurship. Shwetank Jain, studying BTech at IIT Kharagpur proved it by winning the first prize at the India Innovation Initiative (i3) National Fair by presenting his P2 Power Solutions – an Intelligent Power Conditioner with Hybrid System Integrator that economizes use of energy and enhances power quality. The fair was held at IIT Delhi and was organized by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Agilent Technologies, and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The Central government is planning to set up two new Indian Institutes of Information Technology in the northeastern region. While addressing the All India Editors conference, Ms. Purandeswari, Minister of State for Human Resource Development said, "The locations are being worked out." The minister informed that 44 new colleges and six engineering colleges will be launched in northeastern states. Ms. Purandeswari said, "Out of the 10 new National Institutes of Technology (NIT) proposed to be opened in the country during the 11th Five Year Plan, 6 NITs are proposed to be opened in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim."
At IITs, a large numbers of seats are vacant this year after the first allotment of seats. This year, 1, 27,760 OBC candidates appeared for JEE but only 2,357 aspirants could qualify in the exam. The director of IIT Guwahati, Mr. Gautam Barua said, “Our SC seats have not been filled up this year in the first allotment because a lot of candidates did not qualify. We have nine vacancies in the SC quota now.” If vacant seats do not get filled after the allotment of seats then the vacant seats for SC/OBC quota will be transferred to the general category or taken up by the candidates from the last year’s preparatory course.
Mauritius has shown keen interest in Indian Technical Institutes such as Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and other private institutes for establishing their campuses in Mauritius. Mauritius also articulated the proposal for a bilateral student exchange programme between the two countries. Discussion for this proposal was held between Dr. R. Jeetah, Minister of Tertiary Education, Science Research and Technology of Mauritius, and Minister for Human Resource Development, Mr. Kapil Sibal. The Minister for Human Resource Development, Mr.Kapil Sibal told Dr. R. Jeetah that his proposal regarding the technical institutes campuses in Mauritius would be duly considered. Mr. Kapil Sibal also emphasized on setting up a mechanism for equivalence of degrees between the two countries for smooth educational exchange.
The Indian Institutes of Technology have rejected the idea of selecting the candidates through a Common Engineering Entrance Test for all engineering colleges. HRD ministry-appointed committee said in its report, “Scores in a well-designed National Aptitude Test should be used to capture parameters of interest such as raw intelligence, aptitude, general awareness, comprehension and written communication skills. NAT should not require extensive preparation and coaching. The questions should be designed in such a way that it would not require inputs beyond plus 2 level.” To make the exam process more friendly for students, the committee has proposed to make NAT an online test conducted throughout the year.
After the first list of selected candidates got declared, it’s surprising to see that almost 469 seats reserved for OBC candidates are still waiting to be occupied. According to the Joint Entrance Examination organizing committee, some candidates were not able to grab a seat despite a relaxation in cut-off marks & hence, several candidates failed to utilize the reservation for OBC status. Mr.TS Natarajan, JEE organizing chairman and professor at IIT Madras said, "The IITs had set aside 2,570 seats for OBCs, but only 2,023 were filled. Some candidates could not establish their OBC status. Also, there were not enough qualified candidates. Further, many got the courses of their choice as general category students. The unfilled seats have therefore been transferred to the general category."