| Himanta Biswa Sarma at the NICT function. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, Oct. 4: The Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) coming up here will be operational by 2014.
This was one of the two announcements made by Assam education and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at the inaugural function of NICT, 2012 here this afternoon.
The other was the introduction of teleradiology (the transmission of radiological patient images, such as x-rays from one location to another for sharing with other radiologists and physicians) in all 27 districts of the state by 2013.
“We are working hard towards making IIIT operational by 2013. In case we miss the deadline, we are 100 per cent sure of starting classes by 2014,” Sarma said.
Initially, IIIT was scheduled to start classes in August. Students who have cleared plus II can apply for admission to the medical and engineering courses.
According to Sarma, fifty per cent of the seats will be reserved for students from Assam while students from outside can apply for the remaining seats.
“It will be a centre of excellence not only in India but also in Southeast Asia and also have a pan-Southeast Asia feel,” he said.
The government is hoping that IIIT and the IT park, which are coming up close to each other, will serve as the right advertisement of Assam’s coming of age in the IT sector.
“We are bullish about IIIT, but treading carefully on the IT park issue because selection of a private party is a tricky business in today’s time. But we are confident that the two organisations, being set up in the PPP mode, will also help position Guwahati as the IT gateway of the Northeast,” Sarma said.
Both the projects are coming up near the airport. Guwahati IIIT is among the 20 new IIITs being set up across the country. Hyderabad, Bangalore, Gandhinagar and Delhi already have IIITs.
The Centre has a 57.5 per cent stake in IIIT, the Assam government has a 35 per cent stake and private parties together hold the remaining 7.5 per cent.
Sarma further said that Assam was the only state in the country selected for the implementation of the teleradiology scheme.
“We have launched the scheme in Haflong. Under the programme, images of patients who undergo CT scan/MRI is being sent to MMC Hospital in Guwahati through IT. The report is then sent within hours. This way we are not only coping with lack of radiologists but also helping save time and money of patients who now don’t have to come to the district headquarters or Guwahati,” Sarma said.
The scheme is benefiting around 10 patients a day in Haflong. The government will be spending around Rs 55 crore under the National Rural Health Mission to cover all district headquarters under the programme by 2013.
“In another two years we will have all blocks covered under the teleradiology scheme. This programme will show that IT use can go beyond issuing prompt caste certificate and land pattas,” Sarma said.