Union Minister of Education, Skill Development, and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday inaugurated a state-of-the-art Centre for Nano Technology and Centre for Indian Knowledge System at IIT Guwahati, Assam.
Speaking on the occasion, Dharmendra Pradhan exhorts IIT-G to leverage innovation and bio-diversity-based research for making North East a hub of green energy development.
Pradhan also inaugurated two hostels at the Institute. He later released a book on NEP 2020 implementation at the institute. Dr. Ranoj Education Minister of Assam and Queen Oja, MP, were also present.
Pradhan congratulated IIT Guwahati for achieving excellent rankings in various international and national ranking systems and appreciated the efforts of IIT Guwahati for creating an ecosystem for research and education as well as focusing on the overall development of the northeastern region.
He said that IIT Guwahati had to play an important role in areas like, disaster management, biodiversity-based research, green energy development, strengthening knowledge-based economy, and driving entrepreneurship among the students. He called upon the students and faculty associated with the institute to synergize technology and knowledge to create a vibrant ecosystem of solution-centric innovation.
“In this era of an interconnected world, the centre for nanotechnology at IIT Guwahati will host a number of CoEs, incubators, and state-of-the-art research laboratories for advancements in multi-disciplinary research and education in the areas of healthcare, nano-bio-materials, micro/nanoelectronics, and energy,” the Minister said.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modl’s convocation speech in 2020, Pradhan said the PM had then suggested IIT Guwahati set up a Centre for Indian Knowledge System. He expressed happiness that the same had been established in quick time for preserving, documenting, and sharing ancient & traditional Indian knowledge.
Pradhan further said that Srimant Sankardev was a great scholar who gave new thought and shape to civilisation and humanity. The glorious Ahom culture, the mighty Brahmaputra, the blessed land of Ma Kamakhya, and greats like Lachit Borphukan should serve as an inspiration for students at IIT Guwahati, he added.
The Minister highlighted that during the COVID-19, innovation and technology aided us with PPT kits helped us with the development and production of vaccines, and represented the resilience of this country. Institutes like IIT Guwahati have to play an important role in leveraging innovation for societal good, he added.
He said that during COP 26, Prime Minister Modi outlined the Panchamrit vision to fight climate change. Our northeastern states can become the hub of green energy development with IIT Guwahati playing an important role, he added.
Dr. Ranoj Pegu, Education Minister of Assam who congratulated IIT Guwahati said that the Institute should focus on entrepreneurship and produce job creators and not only job seekers. Institutes like IIT Guwahati should also focus on developing new agricultural technologies to help double farmers’ income. He further requested IIT Guwahati to mentor other educational institutions in the region and also develop modules for the training of teachers.
Queen Oja, MP expressed happiness over getting such advanced research facilities in the northeast and expected IIT Guwahati to contribute to the overall development of the northeast.
Earlier, welcoming the guests, Director, IIT, Guwahati said that, through these and similar other initiatives, the Institute has been proactively pursuing high-end research and working towards the vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”, while fulfilling the aspirations of the region, aligning with national policies, especially implementing the NEP2020, and competing globally in research and technology development. Center for Nanotechnology (CNT) aims at meeting future challenges and augmenting academic partnerships with industry in Nanotechnology.
The major funding for the Centre, which included Rs 37 cr for the building, apart from equipment, was obtained from the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India. It will host 25 advanced laboratories that will focus on advancements in multi-disciplinary, scientific, and translational research and is equipped with Class-100 cleanroom facilities integrated with state-of-the-art fabrication, characterization, and testing laboratories, according to an education ministry note.
The CNT presently hosts two Centres-for-Excellence sponsored by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) along with an Incubator BioNEST sponsored by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. CNT is thus a good example of synergy among various ministries of the Government of India. The key outcomes expected from the Centre for Nanotechnology include nano-enabled healthcare, energy harvesting, and LED prototypes, devices, and technologies, start-ups/ incubation ecosystem, high-end R&D outputs, capacity building of highly skilled manpower in the area of nanofabrication and nanoelectronics, etc.
Centre for Indian Knowledge System (CIKS) will focus on preserving, documenting, and sustaining the knowledge that is unique to India. The top priorities include Indian classical music, Yoga, Sanskrit, traditional medicines, temple architecture, ceramic tradition and special agricultural practices of North-East India, herbal plants of north-east as a health food, and metalwork of Assam. Scholars from diverse backgrounds will be encouraged to participate in the new CIKS’s interdisciplinary research and education programs, enabling them to evolve practices and technologies in varied areas for sustainable growth and development, the government note added.
Disang hostel adds another 1000 rooms to the existing hostel capacity of IIT Guwahati. Dikhow hostel is the first hostel on the campus specifically for the accommodation of project staff. Constructed at a total cost of Rs. 132 cr, these hostels will further help in enhancing the capacity of IIT Guwahati.