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End in sight to IIT-UGC stand-off

End in sight to IIT-UGC stand-off
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The IIT Council decided to set up a committee to resolve the stand-off with the UGC over some course structure offered by the IITs.

New panel to resolve issue

Chennai: The IIT Council decided to set up a committee to resolve the stand-off with the UGC over some course structure offered by the IITs.

The committee would examine threadbare laws governing both UGC as well as the IITs and seek to resolve the issue soon in keeping with the interest of the students, officials said.

"The committee would be headed by the higher education secretary," an official said.

The crucial council meeting here, chaired by HRD minister Smriti Irani, also decided to offer some relaxation to students seeking admission to the IITs. A student will have to be among the top 20 percentile of Class XII or have secured 75 per cent marks, whichever is lower.

UGC, the body governing higher education in the country, had stoked a controversy in August after it sent communications to the 16 IITs along with a host of other institutes to ensure that the degrees they are offering are aligned to those recognised by it.

Referring to section 22 of the UGC Act, it asked the universities to grant degrees only within its framework, making it clear that it should be informed six months in advance if a varsity wishes to award degrees other than the one specified by UGC.

Miffed at the UGC communication, IITs decided to take up the issue with the HRD ministry, contending that since they are governed under a different law, UGC communication should not apply to them.

The standing committee of the IIT council, which had met recently, was of the view that the issue should be resolved at the level of the HRD ministry.

One of the views emerging from the successive deliberation is that UGC should expand its list of recognised degrees as put out in its July notification, especially the ones offered by the IITs.

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