Saturday, July 31, 2010

IIT-Bhubaneswar seeks industry link

The Indian Institute of Technology-Bhubaneswar (IIT-BBS), currently operating out of a makeshift campus in the city, is banking on partnerships with industry houses to set up four specialised schools which would act as centres of excellence.

The schools proposed to be set up by the fledgling IIT include the School of Metallurgical and Minerals Engineering; School of Ocean and Environmental Sciences & Climate Change; School of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and the School of Design and Creative Arts. An academic advisory committee has already been constituted and it will soon submit a detailed project report to the Union ministry of human resource development on the establishment of such schools.
“These specialised schools, which will run with corporate partnerships with our strong focus on climate change research, are what we feel will differentiate IIT-Bhubaneswar from the other IITs in the country,” says Madhusudhan Chakraborty, director of IIT-BBS. He adds that the time-frame for setting up these schools and the expenditure involved would be known only after the submission of the detailed project report.

IIT-BBS is in talks with some corporate houses with the objective of running the proposed schools in sync with industry requirements. It has already entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the MGM Group for the establishment of a Chair Professor of eminence at the School of Metallurgical and Minerals Engineering. MGM Group is operating iron ore mines in Sundergarh district and plans to come up with an integrated steel plant in Dhenkanal district. The group will sponsor Rs 1.5 crore for the Chair Professorship and allied research activities over a duration of five years.

Meanwhile, IIT-BBS has started PhD programmes from the academic session 2009-10 with the focus areas for research being climate change, alternative energy, manufacturing and mineral development.

It is offering a seed funding of Rs 5 lakh to each of the faculty members to boost research. “The seed funding is expected to give a big boost to research at IIT-Bhubaneswar. The institute has also started consultancy in a small way”, says Chakraborty.

IIT-BBS, mentored by IIT-Kharagpur, has a student intake of 138 in three undergraduate engineering disciplines — mechanical, civil and electrical engineering. It has 45 full-time faculty members besides visiting faculty. The campus, which is being set up on 936 acres of land at Jatni, is expected to be operational in the next three-four years.

Chakraborty hopes to have a pool of 2,500 students and 250 faculty members. In the next 15 years, he expects a student intake of 10,000 and faculty strength of 1,000. IIT-BBS also expects to receive a funding of Rs 60 crore from the Government in the current financial year


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