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Maiden marine campus awaits IIT

Bhubaneswar, March 19: IIT, Bhubaneswar, is planning a marine campus as part of its upcoming School of Earth, Ocean and Environment Science.

The campus, probably be the first marine campus in the country, will study climate, sea level rise, extreme weather events, changing ecosystem, fishery development and wildlife, air quality and pollution, water shortage, human health and hydrological cycles.

Such a campus exists for schools in the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and University of California, Santa Cruz, said IIT, Bhubaneswar, director M. Chakraborty.

Expected to come up by 2011, the school will be “interdisciplinary”, conducting research focusing on geology, geophysics, marine sciences, ocean science, atmospheric science, atmospheric change, disaster mitigation and management, he said.

A proposal in this regard has already been discussed by the state government. IIT, Bhubaneswar, has set up an academic advisory committee to work out a detailed project report of the schools. “However, it will take some more time before it is formally discussed,” said Chakraborty.

“The school will collaborate with faculties of reputable institutes in the country and abroad,” he added. The marine campus may also be known as a centre of climate change, he said, adding that it would be set up somewhere near the coast. Such a school assumes significance, as Orissa continues to be prone to disasters like the supercyclone and erratic weather conditions.

“Besides studies on disasters, the school will also study the marine life in Chilika and the rise of sea level. To begin with, it will have 30 to 40 students. The IIT also plans to open three other schools — school of mineral, metallurgy and material engineering, school of chemical sciences and school of design and creative art,” he said.

IIT, Bhubaneswar, has 234 students.

“IIT, Bhubaneswar, believes in a border-less academic environment. We do not have departments like other IITs. We are trying to break the barrier so that people from various disciplines come together and work in tandem,” Chakraborty said.

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