North East’s first Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), coming up in Guwahati, will be operational by 2014, said Assam’s education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Speaking at an IT conference – North-East Information and Communication Technology (NICT)-2012 – Sarma said the government was working towards a 2013 deadline for making the IIIT operational, “but in the event it failed then it would become operational by 2014.”
He also announced introduction of tele-radiology in all the 27 districts of Assam by 2013. Sarma informed that Assam was the only state in the country selected for the implementation of the tele-radiology scheme, which has already been launched in Haflong, in Dima Hasao district in south central Assam. He said images of patients who undergo Computerised Tomography (CT scan) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) were being sent to Mohendra Mohan Choudhury (MMC) hospital in Guwahati through internet. The report is then readied and sent back within hours from MMC. “The twin advantage of the scheme is that it takes care of the shortage of radiologists while also saving time and money of patients who don't have to travel,” said Sarma. He further said that the government would be spending around Rs 55 crore under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to cover all the district headquarters under the tele-radiology programme by 2013 and in another two years all blocks would be covered under the scheme. The minister said 50 per cent seats will be reserved for students from the state and the remaining from outside and also South East Asia in the upcoming IIIT in Guwahati.
He said the IIIT would be a centre of excellence not only in the country but in South East Asia. Students who have passed class 12 will be eligible for admission at IIIT. Established by the central government, IIITS are centrally funded and managed by the Union ministry of human resource development. Presently, there are four IIITS situated in Allahabad, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Kancheepuram, and are categorised as deemed universities. In 2010, the centre had proposed to set up 20 IIITs across the country under Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode with an outlay of Rs 2,808.71 crore. IIITS are expected to develop professional expertise and skilled manpower in IT and its applications to certain domain areas. On the upcoming IT Park, the minister said the government was being cautious because selection of private party has to be done with extreme care.