IITs setting up offshore campuses may get royalty from institute abroad

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Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) setting up their offshore campuses can get royalties from institutes established abroad for using brand names, a Union government panel has recommended.

The expert committee stressed on safeguards to save the IIT brand in the long run and in cases where institutes established abroad do not perform well for any reason.

“Establishment of IITs should get something back from institutes abroad. For example, there could be a royalty for using the IIT brand. There should be safeguards to save the IIT brand in the long run. Every effort should be made to ensure that the IIT. The brand is not mixed in any way, If an institution set up abroad does not perform well for any reason,” the 17-member panel said in its recommendation.

The panel suggested that these institutes should adopt the best governance systems from anywhere in the world, including the governance structure of IITs.

“The governance structure should be such that linkages with mentoring IITs are maintained, no approval from mentoring IITs or the Government of India would be required,” it said.

The panel also recommended that the curriculum structure should be flexible and multi-disciplinary, suggesting considerable freedom to course instructors in teaching and grading followed at IITs.

“Innovative, integrated dual degree programs combining technical courses with science, humanities, finance, arts etc. should be allowed. It is expected that such innovative courses will be in high demand and may give an edge to newly established institutes over the existing ones,” it said.

Several IITs have received requests from countries in the Middle East and South Asia to set up their campuses. While IIT Delhi is considering setting up a campus in the UAE, IIT Madras is exploring options in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Tanzania.

The Center had earlier this year constituted a committee headed by IIT Council Standing Committee Chairperson Dr K Radhakrishnan.

The panel recommended the creation of a generic system like IITs, NITs or IISERs, under which multiple institutes can be established as the current IIT Act does not provide for setting up IITs outside the country.

“The Act of Parliament creating these institutes should give them more freedom than the existing IITs. These institutes should adapt themselves to local laws and other legal and financial requirements and therefore have enough freedom to excel,” it said.

“Local firms should be identified and boarded by Indian embassies abroad. It should not be the responsibility of the IIT’s consultant to appoint these firms as they may not have the requisite knowledge and experience to work with such firms. IITs must ensure timely progress. Will closely deliver their requirements, specifications and interface with the selected organization,” it added.

The panel recommended that there could be multiple models of establishing institutes depending on the specific location such as individual IITs, a group of IITs and HEIs, a group of IITs in collaboration with a reputed host university.

“For example, in the UK, collaboration with a reputed host university will be preferred. However, this collaboration must be entered into carefully so that the expectations and responsibilities of the participating IITs are aligned with those of the host university,” it said.

This story appeared from a wire agency feed without text changes.

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