Citizens' Issues
Autonomy of IITs will remain intact assures Prime Minister


According to the IIT Faculty Federation, the Prime Minister has assured them that the autonomy of the IITs will remain intact

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday gave an assurance that the autonomy of Indian Institute of Technologies (IIT) will remain "intact", the IIT faculty federation, opposing the proposed common entrance to these institutes, said after meeting him, reports PTI.
"We explained each of our points to him (PM). He has told us he will talk to HRD Minister and assured that the autonomy of the IITs will remain intact," AK Mittal, secretary of All India IIT Faculty Federation (AIIITFF) told reporters after the federation met Singh.
The federation has contended that the common entrance test for admission to the undergraduate programme to the IITs and other Centrally-funded institutes will undermine the autonomous status enjoyed by the IITs.
The meeting came in the backdrop of HRD Minister Kapil Sibal cutting short his US visit and returning to India late last night.
During the meeting, the federation raised the issue of autonomy and said the decision taken by the IIT council about holding the one nation one examination should be ratified by all the IIT senates.
"We also insisted that any change in the entrance test should be effected only after 2013," Mittal said.
The federation also raised the issue of giving weightage to board marks after the process of normalisation for preparing the merit list, saying "normalisation of board marks needs more studies", he said.
Mittal felt all the IITs are free to emulate IIT Kanpur's move to hold its own entrance test following the government's decision to hold the nation-wide common entrance test under a new format.
The federation, which is of the view that the new format will increase stress of students instead of decreasing it, has said that students aspiring to join institutes other than the IITs need not sit for two test -- main and advance --as proposed.
It said that only the main be used for all institutes except the IITs to select students. It said the advance test should be required only for the IITs.
"The IITs advance test should be subjective type, just for the candidates aspiring to join the IITs. This advance test will be held on a day different from the main test and will be administered to only shortlisted candidates from the main test (50,000-70,000) by IITs only," the federation has said in a statement yesterday after meeting PMO officials.
Mittal had said the meeting with PM's advisor TKA Nair was "productive and encouraging".


Retail inflation inches up to 10.36% in May

During May, vegetable prices recorded the maximum spurt in prices up by 26.59%, followed by edible oils - 18.21% and milk products - 13.74%


New Delhi: Retail inflation moved up marginally to 10.36% in May on account of increase in prices of vegetables, edible oils and milk, reports PTI.

Based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the inflation for April was revised to 10.26% from the provisional estimate of 10.32%, as per the Indian government data release on Monday.

Vegetable prices recorded the maximum spurt in prices, up 26.59%, followed by edible oils - 18.21% and milk products - 13.74% in May, year-on-year basis.

Prices of egg, fish and meat shot up 10.50%, while non-alcoholic beverages became costlier 9.44%.

Among other items, prices of cereal and its products saw a rise of 4.79% over the May 2011 level.

While sugar saw a marginal rise of 5.38% in May, 'pulses and products' were up by 7.89%, over the same month last year.

Prices of fuel and light, and clothing, bedding and footwear segments remained in the double-digit.

Inflation rates for rural and urban areas were 9.57% and 11.52% respectively in May.

According to the revised data, the inflation rates for rural and urban areas were 9.67% and 11.10% respectively in April.

The All-India CPI is in addition to the three retail price indices -- for agricultural labourers, rural labourers and industrial workers -- prepared by the Ministry of Labour.

Meanwhile, inflation based on Wholesale Price Index data released last week, also rose to 7.55% in May due to spurt in prices of potato, pulses and wheat.

Potatoes had turned costlier by 68.10% during May on annual basis. Besides, pulses and wheat turned expensive by 16.61% and 6.81% respectively.


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