THE HUMAN TOUCH
IIT KHARAGPUR, IIM AHMEDABAD, INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE, TIFR, NID, TISS, FTII, NSD, JNU, NIFT, NDA, PUNJAB AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY, CSIR
The IIT system was conceived in 1946 when Sir Jogendra Singh, member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, set up a 22-member committee under N.R. Sarkar to consider setting up higher technical institutes for India’s post-war industrial development. The committee recommended establishing four institutes in the east, west, north and south, possibly on the lines of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Such institutes, the committee thought, would not only produce undergraduates but also research workers and technical teachers. Following these recommendations, the first IIT was set up in May 1950 in Hijli, Kharagpur. The present name, Indian Institute of Technology, was adopted before the formal inauguration of the institute on August 18, 1951, by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. There were 224 freshers and 42 teachers when the first session began. Eminent scientist Sir J.C. Ghosh was its first director. On September 15, 1956, Parliament passed the Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) Act declaring it as an institute of national importance and accorded it autonomous university status. The 2,100-acre campus has 18 departments, 550 faculty, 1,700 employees and 9,000 students.
LEADING THE CHARGE
As part of its International Summer Winter Program, international faculty members come to the institute, enabling not just an exchange of ideas in teaching and research but also fostering collaborations with institutes of the highest repute. IIT-KGP has also played a leading role in several national educational initiatives, such as the National Digital Library (NDL) and the National Initiative for Design and Innovation. By incorporating video lectures and embedding interactive learning software as well as online books and journals, the NDL digital platform it hosts acts as a single-window search portal as well as an interactive forum for knowledge dissemination.
“The IITs are now mandated to spread their educational excellence beyond the boundaries of the institutions and reach out to a much larger number of people requiring quality education and assuring good quality of life and living,” says director Partha Pratim Das. “In the last year, we have responded to this challenge by taking up major projects related to the future of cities, food and nutritional sustainability, signals and systems in life sciences, science and heritage initiatives and other major research projects related to clean water, bio-energy, environment and the like.”
ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE IIT Kharagpur director Partha Pratim Das with students