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Nasscom's proposal for 20 new IIITs

May 22, 2008 17:22 IST

The National Association of Software And Services Companies (Nasscom) on Thursday presented the model 'detailed project report' to the ministry of human resource development to set up 20 new Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) in India during the 11th Five-Year Plan.

Nasscom has recommended that Jammu, Dehra Dun, Chandigarh, Delhi, Lucknow, Patna, Shillong and Kolkata should host the new institutes.

This model DPR will serve as a template for the preparation of the DPR for each individual IIIT.

Each IIIT has been proposed to be set up as a fully autonomous institution, through a public-private partnership model. The partners in setting up the IIITs would be MHRD, the governments of the respective states where each IIIT will be established, and industry members.

Each IIIT has been envisioned to become a world class academic institute and also evolve into technology/functional centres of excellence through a strong focus on research in frontier technology areas.

To achieve this objective, it is imperative to attract best-in-class faculty, and students; develop sustainable linkages with industry; and provide an environment conducive for research excellence.

To justify the large investments being made in the IIITs, it is important that they provide a sufficient scale at undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral research levels.

Speaking about Nasscom's role in preparing this model DPR, Nasscom president Som Mittal said in a media release: "Addressing the current skill gap is vital for the Indian IT industry to maintain its growth trajectory and move up the value curve. Skill gap here refers not only to the low employability of the current graduate pool but also to the future needs of the industry in frontier technologies and functional domains."

"While the former will be addressed through upgrading the curriculum, facilities and faculty development in the academic institutions, the latter will require the academic institutions and industry to collaborate in pre-competitive research and develop specializations. Given the increasing requirements of the IT industry, it is also important for the new institutes to scale up beyond the conventionally accepted numbers at both under-graduate and post-graduate and doctoral research levels," he added.

"The model for the new IIIT's proposed in the DPR focuses on both academic and research excellence through innovative governance and operational approaches and a strong and sustained participation from the IT industry," he said.

"However," he warned, "achieving this will not be easy and it is important that each institute is supported, especially in the initial years and is also allowed complete autonomy to define its roadmap and implement it. The IIIT initiative of the government is a welcome initiative and the IT industry is very keen to work with the government and other stakeholders to realize the objectives of this initiative."

Mittal said: "We strongly believe that this will not only benefit the IT industry but will also have a cascade effect on other sectors of the Indian economy. We are also thankful to MHRD for giving us the opportunity to prepare the model detailed project report (DPR) for this nationally important initiative."

Nasscom has also taken the following initiatives for skill development in India for the IT and BPO sectors. Some of these are:

  • Capacity building for PhD. in computer science
  • Faculty Development Programmes
  • Finishing school for engineering graduates (pilot conducted last year)
  • NASSCOM Assessment of Competence - NAC
  • NAC- Tech certification
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