After due consideration of the subject of resource mobilisation for technical education with all aspects and extensive deliberations, and keeping in view the terms of reference, the Committee makes the following recommendations, which for convenience of reference have been grouped for each implementing agency.
A. GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
- Considering the importance of technical education in all development activities and its major role in assuring better quality of life for all citizens, the Government should make a firm committment to the cause of technical education both in the short term and long term, and its concern for maintaining the quality of education and research at the highest possible level consistent with their relevence to our national requirements.
- Donations and contributions to all approved / recognised technical education institutions by individuals and industries for establishment, maintenance and development of institutions should be made deductable from income tax upto 1.5 times the amount so paid in any financial year.
This tax benefit should also be extended to donations and expenditures for institution of scholarships, fellowships, awards and chairs; adoption of establishment of institutions; establishment and conduct of special programmes of studies and research; sponsoring of teachers for higher studies and study tours abroad; and other faculty and institutional development programmes.
- The Central Government should examine the feasibility of levying an educational cess on industries for funding technical education and R & D activities in technical institutions.
- The Government of India may set up an Educational Development Bank of India, with a capital base of about Rs. 3,000 crores with participation by Central Government, State Governments, financial institutions and international organisations for financing soft loans for establishment of institutions and also to assist students to meet their fee and living requirements.
- A National Loan Scholarship Scheme may be set up under EDBI and details of loan scheme worked out by the EDBI. Needy students should be provided soft loans through this scheme. Such loans may preferably be disbursed through bank branches linked to the institutions. The procedure for sanctioning, disbursal and recovery of loans should be made simple and user-friendly.
- All Government of India grants to institutions Presently given for the payment of post-graduate scholarships shall be given as a grant to the institutions for Teaching / Research assistantships. From these grants post-graduate students may be given remuneration for work done as a teaching assistant / research assistant.
B. THE CENTRAL AND THE STATE GOVERNMENTS
- The Governments should give long term policy decisions regarding availability of funds to the funded and aided institutions with the provision of automatic compensations for cost escalation and inflaction.
Financial restrictions, if any, may be imposed only with sufficient advance warning of atleast 12 months, and even then inevitable expenses such as salary and allowances, pension, etc. shall not be subjected to such restrictions.
- The plan allocation for technical education sector, both central and state, should be based and related to the plan outlays in the industrial and service sectors. As a matter of policy, plan allocation for sectors which require significant technical manpower support (such as Industry, Power, Railways, Transport, Communications, Housing, etc.) shall have an appropriate share earmarked for technical manpower development and this share shall be made available to MHRD to be used exclusively for the development of Technical Manpower.
- Revenues generated through enhanced fee structure, consultancy and other activities should not be offset against the government grants and should be made available to the institution to meet its developmental and other legitimate needs.
- For enabling institutions to become self-reliant, both the funded and aided institutions should be given seed money for corpus fund. Government grants to institutions should have three components, viz. plan, nonplan and corpus contribution. The corpus contribution should be a significant part of the total annual grant and in no case less than matching with the contribution raised by the institution in the previous year.
Savings, if any, in the annual recurring grants should be allowed to be credited to the corpus fund. The returns on the investments from corpus fund shall be exempted from income tax.
- The tuition tees in all Government funded and aided institutions in all the States should be revised to a rational level of atleast 20% of the annual recurring cost per student, with the provision that for U.G / Diploma Programmes, full freeships are provided to 5% of the students on the basis of merit and 5% on the basis of economic conditions, and another 5% of students are given half freeships on the basis of merit, where such freeships / scholarships do not already exist. The Government may reimburse annually to each institution the amount of the freeships as disbursed.
- The government funded and aided institutions may be permitted an increase in seats over and above the sanctioned strength for admitting self-financing foreign students and dependents of NRIs and such students should be charged higher fees in foreign currency. The amounts so earned should be credited to the corpus fund.
- The Government may evolve a policy to institutionalise the participation of staff members of technical institutions in consultancy and other revenue generating activities and may permit payment of a certain percentage of the net revenue from consultancies to the associated staff as an incentive.
- Wherever necessary, the State Government may also set up a State Education Fund, supplementing the NLSF scheme, to give assistance to needy students in the form of loan scholarships at nominal interest rates and easy repayment terms.
- The Central and State Government shall implement forthwith measures to give academic and administrative freedom and flexibility (autunomy) to well established technical institutions in their respective jurisdictions.
C. THE ALL INDIA COUNCIL FOR TECHNICAL EDUCATION
- The AICTE should establish liaison with the Ministry of Finance regarding the tax benefits to the donors as per recommendation (2) and the setting, up of EDBI as per recommendation (5).
- The Government funded and aided institutions may be given specific approval to increase intake by upto 20% in under-graduate courses and 20% in Management and Post- graduate courses in Engineering & Technology for accommodating self-financing foreign students and dependents of NRIs as per recommendation (12).
- The AICTE may lay down guidelines for revision in tuition and other admissible. fees for various categories of institutions from time to time.
- The AICTE may evolve policy guidelines for the implementation of recommendation (13) in respect of consultancy and other revenue generating activities.
- The AICTE may revise norms for teaching, academic supporting and non-academic supporting staff, and physical facilities for achieving cost efficiency in institutions. The teaching staff-student ratio may be revised to about 1:15 in degree level institutions and 1:20 in diploma level institutions. The strength of the administrative and other supporting staff may be optimised through usage of modern equipments and management practices.
- Annual branch-wise and total institutional- intakes may be rationalised to make optimum use of the facilities.
- Norms for books and journals may be revised and rationalised and sharing of library facilities and use of INFLIBNET promoted.
- AICTE may take steps for promoting and encouraging distance mode of technical education for advancing the skills and knowledge of employed persons and in functional and / or multidisciplinary areas of high employment potential, and for ensuring and maintaining high quality and standards in such programmes.
- Guidelines may be worked out for staffing of part-time and co-op programmes, to be run on self financing (net revenue earning basis), and these programmes promoted in technical education.
- The AICTE should evolve a detailed long term plan of action for development of technical education in the country as a whole and in individual states, taking into account currently available facilities and projected demands. Within this framework, private initiative in setting up of technical education institutions should be encouraged, especially in the states which are deficient in technical education facilities.
- The AICTE should evolve a model of a cost effective, efficient and high academic performance institution based on some of the successful examples State and the Central Governments.
D. THE INDUSTRIES
- The industries, being the mean beneficiaries of the technical education system, may take steps to make donations and contributions for such purposes as establishment and development of institutions; establishment and development of corpus funds; institution of scholarships, fellowships, awards and chairs; conduct of special programmes of studies and research; sponsoring of teachers for higher studies and study tours abroad; etc.
- The industries may consider adoption of one or more existing institutions so that these institutions can conduct sandwich programmes.
- Linkages may be established with the technical institutions in various academic and R & D activities and, where possible, research activities / programmes may be sponsored.
E. THE INSTITUTIONS
- The institutions should generate revenue through such activities as consultancy, sponsored research, testing & certification, revenue-generating continuing education and part-time courses, production of leaching aids, development of software, etc.
- The institutions should promote consultancy activity involving all the staff by sharing the profits with the staff.
- From 10% to 40% of the teaching staff positions may be filled up by visiting faculty and faculty on contract appointment, preferably from industry and R & D organisations. Eminent retired teachers may also be reemployed on contract basis.
- Administrative cost may be reduced by reducing staff strength and using modern equipments and management practices.
- Academic and non-academic supporting staff may also be reduced to optimal levels.
- In order to reduce the operating cost and to improve efficiency, contract services may be used wherever possible.
- At the level of national and other well established institutions and organisations, it is desirable to have networking and collaborative arrangements especially where expensive instruments and research facilities are concerned.
- Institutions should interact with Industries, alumni and other individuals for obtaining donations and contributions for such purposes as enhancement of corpus fund; addition / extention of buildings; improving library and research facilities; institution of scholarships, fellowships, awards and chairs; sponsorship of teachers for studies and tours abroad; etc.
All the donors and contributors must be given due recognition.
- The National level institutions should establish industrial foundations and the other technical institutions should establish consultancy cells to interact with industries and attract consultancy work and sponsored research projects.
- Attempts should be made to quantify the various types of subsidies currently being given to students and staff. These subsidies should be gradually reduced and ultimately eliminated.
- Institutions should systematically introduce educational reforms which have the twin objectives of improving quality, speed and efficiency and reducing expenditure. Such measures include internalisation of evaluation process; introduction of flexible modular credit based programmes; inhouse maintenance of equipment and extended hours of operation.
- Each institution should establish a planning and monitoring cell to research constantly on systemic issues with a view to improving its own process and products, to analysing the cost-effectiveness of various programmes and activities of the institute and to drawing up ways and means to improve the same.