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Govt shortlists states to set up IITs, IIMs

Kalpana Pathak  |  Mumbai 

Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan and Mizoram top Centre's list for establishing centres of excellence.
The eight new (IITs) and seven new (IIMs), which has announced, are likely to come up in the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
An official source said the government was working on ways to give these institutes an even, regional spread.
The states will be selected on the basis of their economic and social status. A count is being done on the number of engineering and colleges that these states have currently and their student population.
For instance, Jammu and Kashmir has a high chance of getting either an IIT or an IIM as it has only five engineering colleges and four colleges affiliated to the University of Jammu and University Kashmir.
"Among the states in the West, Rajasthan could also be considered as Gujarat and Maharashtra already have an IIM and an IIT, respectively. In the East, with Shillong having an IIM now and Guwahati having an IIT, Mizoram and Nagaland could stand a chance," said a source close to the development.
Among the southern states, Andhra Pradesh could get an IIM or an IIT as Bangalore and Kozhikode have an IIM each and Chennai boasts of an IIT.
"The idea of choosing these states to establish these centres of excellence is to maintain a regional balance in the country. This will be done keeping in mind the government's inclusive growth agenda," the source added.
In India, 340 districts have extremely low college enrollments. The central government plans to work with the states to support the expansion of colleges to these 340 districts.
The central government also plans to have at least one good college in each of these districts and is considering ways of funding their establishment.
Generating funds to establish these IITs and is, however, not a cause of concern. "The government can fund these institutes from service taxes and education cess that it collects. Since it is also looking at supporting higher education with public private partnership, finance will not be an issue," said a professor working for the National Knowledge Commission.

First Published: Wed, August 22 2007. 00:00 IST