IIT Kharagpur, an Institute of national importance was established in 1951 as a dream of independent India, to offer the country’s young talents a globalized future. The place which was used as a detention camp for the freedom fighters, many of whom were students themselves, was thus transformed into the topmost citadel of India’s higher education in the domain of science and technology. Over these years, the Institute has contributed to India’s technological, scientific and economic progress, such as venturing into agriculture and food technology during the green revolution, aligning with the modernization policies of Indian Railways etc.
Now, IIT Kharagpur is on a mission mode to become a globally leading institution in academics, research and be a focal point of international faculty and student interactions. Under the five-year programme Vishwajeet, launched by MHRD, the Institute is engaged in wide ranging technological interventions, blending some of its recent high impact schemes with new transformational projects to contribute further towards rising India and also to improve its World University status substantially.
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The Institute is extensively engaged in mega projects of national importance viz. Future of Cities, Sustainable Food Security, Signals and Systems for Life Sciences, and Science and Heritage Interface (SandHI).
Deriving from its core strength under Vishwajeet, the Institute has envisaged establishing six World Class Technology Centers of Excellence in (1) Intelligent and Green Transportation Technologies such as Electric Vehicles or Digital Trains; (2) Digital Convergence Technologies for transformational change in education, healthcare, governance, and complex engineered systems through use of digital twins; (3) Affordable Next Generation Healthcare Technologies through bioengineering, telemedicine, medical imaging etc. for providing affordable healthcare to a billion people; (4) Geosciences - Innovation for the Future of Earth for the sustenance of Critical Earth Processes such as riverine deltas or the Himalayan region; (5) Advanced Manufacturing Technologies for key technological interventions for modern manufacturing and Industry 4.0 such as Internet of Things, Industrial Analytics etc.; and (6) Innovative Smart Infrastructure Design in various ways such as pervious concrete or web-based traffic management.
These Centers of strategic importance in academics and research will address important technology gaps of national significance with a high degree of outreach, towards international visibility and industrial participation.
The Centers will promote increased intake of interdisciplinary PhD and Post-Doctoral Fellows, increased IP creation and monetization possibilities through licensing, increased quality publications in top journals, raising funds and generate sustained funding and resources to support activities beyond Vishwajeet. They would also propel greater industry and academic collaboration with both national and international institutions improving the reputation of the Institute worldwide.
The R&D is expected to be driven by a large number of of PhD as well the collaborations with reputed universities of the world through projects, academic programmes and mobility schemes. Internationalization will be a key target including multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional degrees, post-PhD degrees, outreach micro-specializations and non-resident researchers.
To support the above, the Institute is actively engaged in increasing the strength of regular and visiting faculty members including foreign faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows significantly in the next 5 years. The Institute recently reached out to brilliant young scientific minds in UK and USA to enthuse to take up academic career in India. Similar exercises are also envisaged to attract talent from South Asia, Eastern Europe and BRICS.
These activities need significant resource mobilization to build infrastructure and deploy high quality human resources. For this Institute would seek support from its alumni, through industry sponsored projects, PPP projects at the Kolkata Research Park, Extension Centers at Kolkata and Bhubaneswar, IP licensing and others.