Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (IIT-KGP), the oldest IIT in the country is set to create a science hub in Kolkata at a cost of Rs 350 crore.
IIT-KGP established in 1951, is celebrating its 60th anniversary and will focus on the creation of excellence in the four identified areas of science, technology, medicine and management.
“A science park spread over 10 acres will be created at an investment of Rs 300 crore. This park will be focused on two disciplines of energy science and information assurance,” said Damodar Acharya, director, IIT-KGP.
Acharya said that IIT-KGP already has the land in possession. The focus of the science park, will be on cutting edge technology, and on getting scholars from around the world to invest and aid research, Acharya explained further.
“The new institution will not provide undergraduate education but will remain focused on post graduate courses and research along with PhDs. We are also working toward the creation of a new health delivery system,” Acharya said.
IIT-KGP, which is waiting for an amendment to the IIT Act so that it can start work on its medical school has already started work on research in the medicine field focusing on telemedicine, remote diagnosis and tele-surgery.
“The change in the IIT Act will be a big policy change for the government and these things are bound to take time,” said Shiv Nadar, chairman IIT-KGP and founder HCL Infosystems.
Acharya said that the estimated project cost of the medical school was currently being pegged at Rs 775 crore. The medical facility is expected to have 750 beds.
IIT-KGP incidentally had received a Rs 200 crore one time government budgetary allocation earlier this year. Also, the amount has been matched by the alumnae, who have committed a Rs 200 crore donation as well.
Collaboration for Mani Bhowmick Centre for Advanced Research IIT-KGP will collaborate with Indian born American physicists Mani Lal Bhowmick for the creation of the ‘Mani Lal Bhowmick Centre for DVANCED Research’ which will come up at a cost of $300 million at 15 acres near Ruby Park in Rajarhat.
The announcement was made by Bhowmick and the memorandum of understanding was signed on Monday as well. Of the $300 million, Bhowmick will contribute $150 million and IIT-KGP will contribute the rest.
The land, however, is currently stuck in a court case. Bhowmick said that he expected to get full possession soon.
“There were problems with some squatters who have no legal rights. We have successfully defended ourselves and the verdict should be coming anyday. There is absolutely no merit to the case,” Bhowmick said. Bhowmick is the first PhD that IIT-KGP produced.
Acharya said, that the research centre will have affiliations to IIT-KGP and is expected to be completed in 3 years. The research initiative announcements come from IIT-KGP at a time when the IIT system has come under a lot of criticism because of a perception that the institutes have achieved teaching but are far behind in research.
“We have produced over 4,000 PhD students and are doing a lot of good work in research. We have collaborated with various union ministries for the same,” Acharya explained further.