Friday, 15 June 2012

IITK's Actions and the IIT Act

IIT Kanpur’s Actions Re: the IIT Council’s decision and their implications vis-à-vis the IIT Act

·         Ordinance 3.2 of IIT Kanpur reads:

3.2 The Admission of Indian Nationals to the B. Tech., B. Tech.-M. Tech. (Dual Degree) and M.Sc. (Integrated) Programmes shall be made once a year on the basis of the Joint
Entrance Examination (JEE) conducted jointly by all the IITs.

·         So, their resolution to conduct their own Entrance Examination goes against Ordinance 3.2, which states that the JEE will be “conducted jointly by all IITs”.
·         The Senate will therefore have to amend this Ordinance.
·         This amendment, by clauses 29(2) and 29(3) of the IIT Act, has to go to the Board of IITK, and the Board can cancel or modify it.
·         Now, the issue is, even if the IITK Board approves the modification, is it valid?
·         Clause 33(2)(b) apparently gives powers to the IIT Council to set policies for “matters of common interest”.
·         IITK is apparently arguing that Clause 33(2)(a) deals with issues academic, and there the role of the Council is to “advise on matters relating to”. So the Council has only an advisory role in this matter and Clause 33(2)(b) does not apply to matters academic.
·         There is now a question of what is meant by “advise”. The following definitions are from the “World English Dictionary”

1. to offer advice (to a person or persons); counsel: he advised the king ; to advise caution ; he advised her to leave 2. formal  to inform or notify 3. obsolete chiefly , or  ( US ) to consult or discuss

·         The “formal” definition is “to inform or notify”.
·         Further, clause 37 states that “If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act” then the Central Government  can “make such provision or give such direction not inconsistent with the purposes of this Act, as appears to it to be necessary or expedient for removing the difficulty.”
·         Finally, as per clause 9 of the IIT Act, the Visitor may appoint persons to “to review the work and Progress of any Institute and to hold inquiries into the affairs thereof and to report thereon” and to “take such action and issue such directions as he considers necessary in respect of any of the matters dealt with in the report and the Institute shall be bound to comply with such directions.”
·         I am not a lawyer, so these are just a layman’s reading of the provisions of the IIT Act and its implications in the current matter.

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