The IITs have been enjoying considerable autonomy over the years in most of its functions, especially academic and managerial functions with President of India as the Visitor. The IIT Council is the highest Governing Body with HRD (Human Resources Development) Minister as its Chairman, and Officer of HRD Ministry as its Secretary. The Chairmen and Directors of all the IITs with representatives of the Central Government, Parliament, Indian Institute of Science, UGC and others are the members of IIT Council. The IIT council in 2010, decided that it was time that each BOG (Board of Governors) is well-represented by experts from the field of science, engineering and education, as well as have local industrialists and alumni on the Board. Also, the chairman of each Board will nominate a panel and the IIT council will finally appoint members of each IIT BOG.
IITs have been operated with this Governance model since their inception, and I believe it is time to move from the centralized model to a distributed model with total autonomy to each IIT. Let the BOG of each IIT govern the Institution, keeping in focus the National requirements of equal opportunity to all its citizenry, without compromising on merit. Currently each IIT, by and large operates independently in matters connected with academics and management. It is best to allow them to govern themselves with funding from the Government with transparency in accounting and audit. The selection of Board members would be the responsibility of each IIT through a search committee comprising of, for example, outgoing chairman, two members of Board, three distinguished alumni, director, and two Professors.