On August 23 the IIT Council met to discuss the pros and cons of increasing the number of students to the IITs. The Indian Institute of Technology Council is the uppermost decision-making body of the establishment. This body had earlier given an in-principle approval to the suggestion made by the HRD Ministry to raise the strength of their students from 72,000 to 1,00,000 by 2020. In order to do this, the institutes need to add 400 seats to the B. Tech course and 6000 to the M. Tech course each year until 2020.
However, the seven older IITs have cited stretched infrastructure and faculty in their refusal to add more seats to their undergraduate B. Tech programs. To meet the target and accommodate more students, the institutes will need to waive the condition that students are required to stay on campus compulsorily.
Of the 23 IITs, the 7 refusing to add seats to the undergraduate program are IIT Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Guwahati, Delhi, Kharagpur and Roorkee. Hyderabad, Ropar, Patna, Mandi and Jammu are the second generation IITs that are prepared to increase their strengths from 2017.
According to sources, only 5 IITs have agreed completely to the proposal and 20 in all have sent feedback with regard to the proposal from HRD. While the older IITs have reached saturation point with regard to the undergraduate programs, they are interested in adding to their M. Tech and PhD sections.
A director of one of the 7 IITs who did not wish to be identified, stated that the main reason for reluctance was due to lack of accommodation and stretched resources. As they have been asked to admit more non-residential students, finding accommodation near the institutes is difficult. Furthermore, this is not always feasible as many students stay back at labs late into the night and therefore, it is easier if they are on campus.