The New Measures being introduced in M.Tech. Program of Indian Institutes of Technology will change the landscape of postgraduate education in India and align it with global trends quickly, according to Prof B.S. Murty, Director, IIT Hyderabad.
Prof B.S. Murty was part of a three-member committee on reforms on M.Tech. programme in IITs whose recommendations were accepted by the Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ during the IIT Council meeting held Friday at Delhi
The Members of the Committee include Prof. B.S. Murty, Director, IIT Hyderabad, Prof. Manoj S. Gaur, Director, IIT Jammu and Prof. M. Balakrishnan, IIT Delhi.
Prof B.S. Murty, Director, IIT Hyderabad, addressed a Press Conference in the campus on 29th September 2019 in which he spoke about the recommendations made by the Committee.
The reforms were called for as (a) The percentage of MTechs placed in jobs during campus recruitment is small. (b) A number of MTechs seats are being unfilled due to the students leading MTech programs to take up public sector and industry jobs. (c) MTech is not the minimum requirement any more for joining PhD and most of the IITs take BTechs directly into PhD programme. (d) Earlier, people with MTech qualification were able to get into academic jobs, which no more the case and PhD is essential for a faculty position in most of the institutions.
Due to the above reasons, Students are joining MTech mostly to upgrade themselves to get industry jobs. Some of them are even using this as paid parking space to pursue other interests.
Keeping the above in view, the Committee made four specific recommendations that, if collectively implemented, may be able to address issues in the current system.
- Increase the M.Tech. fee and bring it at least to the level of B.Tech. fee (Rs 2.0 lakh per year) over the next three years. Simultaneously the needy students should be supported directly by the Government through DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) or arranging educational loans.
- The present stipend (Rs 12,400 p.m.) given as half-time teaching assistantship should be stopped and the good fraction of the M.Tech. fee (say 50%) be made available to the Departments for offering Teaching Assistantships (for UG labs and courses) to the students who are competent and want them. These funds can also be used for other professional activities of the Department.
- Top one percentile of the students qualifying in each GATE discipline be offered full fellowship for 5 years (on par with regular PhD fellowship) to join any Institution of their choice for PhD (CSIR fellowship model in Sciences).
- Clear mechanism for encouraging Institutions to move towards sponsored students from Industry and/or organizations or even sponsored programs be put in place.