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10 new NITs approved, northeast gets lion's share''

17 Sep 2009 NEW DELHI: The union cabinet on Thursday decided to set up 10 new National Institutes of Technology (NITs), six of which will come up in
northeastern states to facilitate quality technical and engineering education in the region.

These new NITs will be established in Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Goa, Delhi, Pudducherry and Uttarakhand. Currently, India has 20 such top technology and engineering schools, which are considered only second to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

"The process for setting up of these new NITs will start in 2009-10 with formation of their respective societies, constitution of their board of governors, appointment of directors etc. The admissions to these new NITs will be made from the academic session 2010-11," Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said after the cabinet meeting.

"These institutes will be covered under the National Institutes of Technology Act, 2007 making them colleges of national importance, which will ultimately help in addressing the aspirations of people especially of the northeast region where six new NITs are to be established," Soni said.

The process of setting up these new institutes will be completed over a period of five year. The total cost of setting up these institutions will be Rs.2,600 crore (Rs.26 billion). While the NITs at Delhi and Uttarakhand will cost the government Rs.300 crore each, the rest of them will be built at an expenditure of Rs.250 crore each, the minister added.

Though government decided to set up of new NITs, the name of Arunachal Pradesh as one of the states where an NIT would be located was not officially announced as elections to the state assembly ere scheduled for Oct 13 and the code of conduct is in place.

The new NITs will start classes either in campuses taken on lease or temporarily in mentor NITs.

Work for construction of campuses for these new NITs will also be initiated subject to the land being provided free of cost by the concerned states and union territories.

The new NITs are being set up so as to meet the needs of states and union territories which do not have NITs as of now. This will meet their long standing demand.

Soni said the new NITs will be able to provide high quality education to many of the bright students from these regions, as 50 percent of the seats are to be filled from the eligible students from these states and union territories.

"Many of the states or union territories, where these new NITs are being opened, especially those in northeast, are lacking in national level technical institutions," the minister added.

The new NITs will increase the output of high quality engineering and science graduates in the short run and postgraduates and Ph.Ds in the long run, she said.

The new approved NITs are categorized under two schemes. Scheme A consisting of proposed NITs at Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Goa (Goa will also cater to union territories of Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep), Pudducherry (which will cater to Andaman & Nicobar Islands) and Sikkim.

Scheme B consisting of approved NITs at Delhi (which will also cater to Chandigarh) and Uttarakhand.

Source : India Times

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