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ONGC signs pact with IITs to develop indigenous technology

India's largest oil producer ONGC has signed an agreement with seven IITs for developing indigenous technologies to enhance exploration and production of hydrocarbons and alternate energy sources.

The industry-academia collaboration is aimed at bolstering 'Make in India' campaign in energy sector, ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Dinesh K Sarraf said here.

ONGC signed the Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) with Pan-IIT, a consortium of seven premier Indian Indian Institutes of Technology - IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Madras, IIT-Mumbai, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Guwahati and IIT-Roorkee.

"Under the MoC, ONGC's R&D Institutes and the IITs shall jointly undertake advanced research and development projects for the E&P sector of the country in general and oilfield specific activities of ONGC in particular," he said.

The MoC also ideates promoting internships, visiting and adjunct faculty programs, research oriented career programmes through an ONGC Scholar Programme.

Within the ambit of this collaboration, while ONGC will make its high-tech laboratories available to students and research scholars of IITs, ONGC geoscientists and engineers will also have the opportunity of working with IITs, he said.

Prof Partha P Chakrabarti, Coordinating Director for the Pan-IIT Forum, said seven thematic research areas in the domain of geoscience, reservoir characterization, enhanced production of oil and gas, exploiting unconventional sources of hydrocarbons, software development, engineering solutions and alternate energy resources have been identified.

Sarraf said the collaboration was in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for Make in India and develop indigenous technologies.

The programme will be funded by Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and shall take advantage of the available infrastructure and manpower of the IITs and ONGC.

With this collaboration, while ONGC will use intellectual expertise of the IITs, the actual work will be done at the ONGC's in-house R&D Institutes and oilfields to enable the best talents of the country to supplement each other by applying their mind on cutting-edge technologies to boost oil & gas production in the country.

On the occasion, HRD Minister Smriti Zubin Irani said her ministry will promote similar industry-academia linkages on a large scale and will also facilitate engagement of Adjunct Faculty.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said knowledge of theoretical aspects is available with IITs while the knowledge of practical aspects of energy business resides with ONGC.