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IIT unveils bouquet of awards

Kharagpur, Aug. 18: The Indian Institute of Technology here, the oldest of its kind in the country, celebrated its 53rd foundation day with the announcement of a slew of new schemes and scholarships for students.

The best woman researcher in space technology at the institute will get the Kalpana Chawla Fellowship from now on.

IIT director Sisir Kumar Dube said the most meritorious space technology researcher among the women students would receive a monthly grant of Rs 15,000 and an annual contingency fund of Rs 20,000 under the fellowship.

“We are beginning an entrepreneurship development programme as well. Two BTech students who want to set up technology-based industry will get a grant of Rs 10 lakh each to form a joint sector company between them and the IIT,” Dube added. The director said most students “join other companies and share their expertise in lieu of salaries”. The new programme will at least enable the institute tap some of their skills.

Ten BTech students in the fourth year who submit the best industry-oriented projects would be given Rs 50,000 each, said the director.

From now on, during their stay here IIT students will also be able to make money by working under various projects funded by outside agencies. “The students can use their spare time to work with the teachers and researchers on the projects funded by domestic and foreign agencies. In fact, they can earn up to Rs 100 an hour,” Dube said.

The IIT is also making an effort to streamline resource mobilisation from its alumni.

The director said over the years, well-established students had been helping the institution with funds and equipment. “We are launching a global alumni network on the Internet, which will help us keep track of the former students who want to help and the ways in which they want to do so,” Dube said.

He said alumni who help the institute would be provided free hospitality when they come here.

Union education secretary S.K. Tripathi, who was the chief guest at today’s programme, said resources were not an impediment for the IIT.

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