Context: The IIT Council has set up committees to look at greater autonomy for the elite institutions, in line with the National Education Policy recommendations.


  • The Institute of Technology Act(IIT Act) provides for an IIT council.
  • The Council of Indian Institutes of Technology, or IIT Council, is the governing body responsible for all of the Indian Institutes of Technology.
  • The IIT Council is headed by the Education Minister and includes the directors of all IITs, and the chairs of each IIT’s Board of Governors. 
  • It is meant to advise on admission standards, duration of courses, degrees and other academic distinctions.
  • It lays down policy regarding cadre, methods of recruitment and conditions of service of employees of all IITs.

Key recommendations:

  • The IIT Council has decided to set up four working groups related to NEP implementation, including a group on ‘Graded Autonomy, Empowered and accountable [Boards of Governors] and Directors’.
  • Industry linkages: Other working groups will discuss ways to raise funds for the IITs outside of government grants, the need to groom distinguished academics to take over the directorship of the IITs, and faculty development.
  • The Education Minister also asked the IITs to develop Institute Development Plans to improve the mobility of faculty between institution and industry to promote research collaborations.
  • There was routine discussion on how to reduce non-essential manpower, given the increasing digitisation of administrative responsibilities, and outsourcing of departments such as maintenance, housekeeping and transport.
  • The Council recommended cutting IIT staff strength to lower levels.
    • The IITs currently function so that for every ten students, there is one faculty member. 
  • The Council has also set up a committee to recommend reform and restructuring of the Academic Senate. 

Need for autonomy

  • The IITs are seeking autonomy on the lines of what was granted to the IIMs.
  • We have recommended that it should be the Boards of Governors who appoint the Directors, not the government. 
  • Though multiple committees have made similar recommendations, their suggestions have not yet been acted upon.

NEP, 2020 recommendations for higher education:

  • National Research Foundation: Through the establishment of the NRF, the policy aims to support research at universities, and enable top Indian universities to compete at a global level.

  • Academic Bank of Credits: A major change suggested in the NEP is the establishment of an Academic Bank of Credit (ABC), which would digitally store the academic credits earned from various recognized HEIs (Higher Education Institutes), so that the degrees from an HEI can be awarded taking into account credits earned.

  • Multiple Entry and Exit points: The NEP 2020 aims to make the UG courses of Bachelor’s degrees multidisciplinary by allowing students to choose whether they want a 1 Year, 2 Year, 3 Year or a 4 Year course.