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Pranab nod to Besu upgrade

President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the bill that upgrades the Bengal Engineering and Science University to an Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (IIEST).

The only step left for the Shibpur university to be declared an IIEST is a gazette notification to be issued by the central government. Sources said the notification on the National Institutes of Technology, Science, Education and Research (Amendment) Act, 2014, is expected soon.

The over 150-year-old engineering institution is now poised to take on the role of an Institute of National Importance (INI), like the IITs, AIIMS and the IISc.

IIT Kanpur will mentor the Shibpur institution through the transition.

“We face a huge challenge as we have to justify the new brand of IIEST. Although we will follow the IIT model closely, we have to show innovativeness in our academic and administrative planning,” said vice-chancellor Ajoy Kumar Ray, who will be the director of the institution until “the central government appoints a new director for the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur”.

“Based on the act that bestows the IIEST status on us, we have to prepare the statutes for our institute,” added Ray.

The new tag brings with it the promise of turning the institution into one of India’s best. Some of the areas where the institute is likely to see radical changes are study programmes and collaboration with industry as well as other institutes. Besu as IIEST will offer five-year integrated dual-degree programmes will multi-disciplinary subjects to choose from. “This is one area where even the IITs are lagging behind,” said Ray.