The National Institutes of Technology Act, 2007

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The National Institutes of Technology Act, 2007 (Act No. 29 of 2007) dated 5th June, 2007 was enacted with object to take certain Institutions concerning with Technology within the purview of Institutions of national importance. Further, this Act was enacted to provide for instructions and research in branches of engineering, technology, management, education, science and arts and also for advancement of learning in such branches. This Act came into the operation on 15th day of August, 2007 being the second law dealing with Technical Education, the first one was Technology Act, 1961.

The purpose of the Act is to declare certain institutions to be of national importance is specifically given under Section 2 of the Act wherein it is given that the Institutions enlisted under the Schedule annexed with the Act should be declared as of national importance. The schedule provides for 20 such Institutions as such in the year 2009 the Government desired to amend Act. The Section 3 defines certain terms used under the provisions of the Act which are also important so far as interpretation of the Statute is concerned.

Moreover, Section 4 farming part of the Chapter II of the Act provides incorporation of the Institutes mentioned under column (3) of the Schedule of the Act consisting of Chairman and Director and also members of the Board. And as per Section 5 of the Act on such incorporation the reference to the society in any law excluding this Act should have corresponding reference as Institute. And all properties and rights liabilities and even employees of such society shall be transferred to such corresponding Institute. Similarly, section 6 of the Act empowers the Institutes in the manner provided under it in respect of the matters provided under various clauses enlisted under this provision including to provide for instructions and research in branches of engineering and technology, management, education, etc as Institute deems necessary. However, the Institute cannot transfer or otherwise dispose of the property without prior approval of Central Government.

The another important provision abolition of discrimination is given under Section 7 of the Act, where it is specifies that, all such Institutes should be open to all persons irrespective of his/her sex, cast, creed, etc. And such Institutes should not impose any test condition relating to religious belief of any persons. Further nothing  as to donation or otherwise should acceptable involving conditions derogatory to the provisions of this Section.

Similarly, section 9(1) of the Act makes provisions as to visit to such Institute by President of India. And under its subsequent sub sections the Hon’ble President is given authority to appoint persons to review working and progress or development of such Institute and also inquiries as to affairs thereof can be done by such persons as per directions of Hon’ble President of India on which Hon’ble President can initiate action and can also direct Institute to which Institute should be bound.

Further, the Act describes the Authorities to take part in administration of Institute which as per Section 10 of the Act include ‘Board of Governors’, ‘Senate’ and ‘Other authorities’. Section 11 explains about Board of Governors, which should comprise of Chairperson (nominated by Hon’ble President of India) and Director and also two persons equal to the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, nominated by Central Government, further two more persons from technologists or industrialists of repute and further two persons out of whom at least one should be women having special knowledge, experience, etc. in the field of education, engineering or science. Moreover, one professor and one assistant thereof from the Institute should also take part in the Board of Governors. Further, Section 12 deals with terms of officer of such persons which varies as per designation of authorities. Section 13 prescribe the powers and functioning of such Board, wherein the Board is made responsible for direction and control over the affairs of Institute. Besides, many other powers and functions of Boards are also given under second sub section to the Section relating to taking decisions on policy matters of administration and working, Institute courses and also as to enactment of statutes, etc.

Moreover, the constitution and functioning of the Senate is described under subsequent provisions of this Act, wherein Section 14 takes Director as Chairman of Senate and similarly, describes about all other authorities of senate. Section 15 speaks of functions to be performed by Senate including control and general regulation as to maintenance of standards of instruction, education and examination in Institute. The Senate is also responsible to perform all functions as required by Statutes.

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Further, Section 18 provides for appointment of Registrar who is to act as Secretary of Board and Committees and such Registrar is further required to be responsible to Director of Institute for his proper discharging of functions.

The next important provision i.e. Section 21, dealing with maintenance of Fund by Institute which should be credited moneys from Central Government, fees or other charges which Institute receives, money received from grants, gifts, donations, etc. and moneys received from other sources. And Section 22 of the Act dealt with maintenance of Account and Audit by Institute.

Again important provision enlisting the matters to be provided under the Statutes is given under Section 25 of the Act. The list of matters given under different clauses of this Section required to be provided under the Statutes. Section 26 declares that the first Statute of every such Institute should be framed by Central Government with the approval of Hon’ble President of India and all other Statutes or amendment to existing Statutes should have prior approval of Hon’ble President of India.

The Section 29 of the Act makes arbitral provision in respect of any dispute arose between Institute and employees thereof. Section specifically provides that such dispute to be referred to Tribunal of Arbitration which consists of members, each appointed by parties and one more member to be appointed by Hon’ble President of India.

The Chapter III of the Act deals with most important provision relating to establishment of Council being the Central body for all Institutes, the terms of office of member of such council and also the functions which are to be performed by such Council.

Section 34 of the Act empowers the Central Government to make rules for the purpose of this Act on the matters enlisted under this Section. The next Chapter dealt with miscellaneous provisions wherein certain relevant provisions to clarify the intention and purpose of this Act, are given.

The Act was Amended by National Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Act, 2012 (Act No. 28 of 2012) dated 7nd June, 2012. The most important part played by amending Act is to add five more Institutions to the existing twenty institutes. Besides, several other changes and additional provisions are also brought in the original Act.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan