The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are autonomous public institutes of higher education, located in India. They are governed by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 which has declared them as institutions of national importance and lays down their powers, duties, and framework for governance. The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 lists twenty-three institutes (after the last amendment in 2016). Each IIT is autonomous, linked to the others through a common council (IIT Council), which oversees their administration. The Minister of Human Resource Development is the ex officio Chairperson of the IIT Council. As of 2018[update], the total number of seats for undergraduate programs in all IITs is 11,279.