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Blueprint for IIT’s 2020 leap

The IIT Kharagpur board of governors will take up on Friday a study report aimed at catapulting India’s oldest IIT to among the top 20 institutes of the world in 20 years.

The study, titled Vision 2020 and conducted by KPMG Advisory Services, has identified six areas the institute needs to focus on to achieve the goal — research excellence, faculty excellence, branding and visibility, governance and structure, industry linkages, and creation of a holistic environment.

The report’s contents were shared with the IIT Kharagpur alumni when they visited the institute on Monday, a day after the PanIIT Global Conference 2012, partnered by The Telegraph, ended in Calcutta.

“The human resource development ministry has suggested that the IITs look at becoming world-class institutes and this study was initiated to see how IIT Kharagpur could achieve that,” said Arjun Malhotra, chairman and CEO, TechSpan, US, and a 1970-batch alumnus of the institute, who is leading the transformation thinktank.

The report, prepared following interaction with students, faculty, researchers, and industry, was submitted to the institute in September.

Research excellence is the first area IIT Kharagpur has to focus on. “We have to work out in what areas we can attract research initially and some budget needs to be worked out,” said Malhotra.

He pointed out that around 35 per cent of the faculty positions had been lying vacant. “If we don’t get that faculty, we are stretching our present faculty and probably their research output and their performance input will suffer.”

Malhotra stressed the need to make the area around the IIT campus economically viable and vibrant to create a holistic environment and draw the best brains from across the country. The study has also called for re-structuring of governance keeping in mind the projected growth of the institute.

The implementation of most of the suggestions is subject to the board’s approval.

“Issues of governance and financial independence will require the Centre’s nod,” said Sankar Kumar Som, the officiating director of the IIT.