Modi government's big push in higher education: NEET, IITs, IIMs
Despite strong reservations expressed by several states against conducting the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), the Parliament in August passed by voice vote the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2016, that provide for putting the NEET in place for admission to medical and dental courses across the country from 2017.
The government says the NEET is designed to curb corruption by bringing in transparency, checking multiplicity of exams and stop the exploitation of students in counselling.
In April, then Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani approved more than two-fold hike in annual fees for undergraduate courses in Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) from the present Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh from next academic session.
A bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in July which aimed at bringing the six new IITs (IIT Tirupati, IIT Palakkad, IIT Goa, IIT Dharwar, IIT Bhilai and IIT Jammu) under the ambit of the IIT Act.
Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar in August inaugurated the transit campus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Jammu.
In November, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Mahendra Nath Pandey told the Rajya Sabha that the IIT-Council has approved, in principle, the proposal for increasing the overall students' strength in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the country from the current 82,604 to one lakh by the year 2020.
A number of steps such as outstanding young faculty awards, mobility of faculty from one central educational institute to another, and pay parity to faculty have been taken to attract best faculty in the IITs in the country.
The Narendra Modi government has launched the Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN) to enable foreign faculty to teach some courses in the higher educational institutions.
The Union Cabinet in October approved the establishment and operation of an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Jammu at a cost of nearly Rs 62 crore.