National institutes should’ve students-centric approach: Irani

WARANGAL: Expressing concern over growing depression among students due to non-performance in studies, Union HRD minister Smriti Irani on Friday announced a scheme for some national-level institutes in which weak students would be assisted by a mentor student.

Irani chaired a meeting of the Council of National Institute of Technology, Science Education and Research held at National Institute of Technology here today.

The minister unveiled a slew of measures to support students.

The scheme of ‘hand holding’ of students who are weak in studies will be implemented in institutions, under which a mentor student will be designated to take care of such students.

The mentor students will be provided financial incentives which will be supported by HRD Ministry to the concerned National Institutes of Technology (NITs).

The Council is the apex policy making body for 31 National Institutes of Technology (NITs), five Indian Institute of Science Education and Research(IISER) and Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur, according to the press release issued by the National Institute of Technology, Warangal.

Asking NITs, IISERs, and IIEST to adopt “student centric approach”, Irani emphasised that students’ grievances should be addressed effectively and in a time-bound manner.

She constituted a student grievance redressal cell at the Council level. This cell will monitor the redressal of grievances and coordinate with directors of institutions to address them effectively.

“Common counselling not only reduced stress on students and parents, but also minimised the vacant seats. Less than two per cent seats remained vacant after five rounds of counselling leading to all time high numbers of admission in these prestigious Institutions,” she said.

Irani also took stock of the progress made by NITs under flagship programme of GIAN, Unnat Bharat, MOOCs, and Digital Library. She stressed that these educational institutions should take strong initiatives to gain full benefits of these unique schemes.

The minister also expressed that performance of directors should be monitored critically. The performers will be rewarded while non-performers will be evaluated critically, she said.

In her opening remarks, Irani emphasised that each of these institutions should be an island of excellence in innovation, design, and research in specific areas, but these islands should have synergised strategy to collaborate and grow together.