The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Evolution mantra on university lips

Mission IIT for Jadavpur University.

In its 50th year, Jadavpur University (JU) is stretching itself to fulfil a string of administrative, academic and infrastructural requirements to be considered on a par with an Indian Institute of Technology.

Already a national centre of excellence, JU has set off on its current drive following a letter from the Union human resources development ministry, which has sought the university's opinion on how best it can upgrade itself to the IIT level.

'To achieve the IIT status, we have initiated a number of schemes to fulfil certain criteria relating to infrastructural, academic and administrative matters,' Partha Sarathi Biswas, a senior teacher and member of the university's planning and development committee said on Sunday.

If things move in the right direction, sources said, the status is likely to be achieved in a year, though it is not clear whether the tag will bring in more funds.

'The Centre's directive has stated that an institution must have sophisticated infrastructure to be eligible for the IIT status. Classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories, libraries, every aspect of infrastructure is important,' an education department official said.

Besides, the syllabi and the examination system must be on the lines of the IITs. JU has already drawn up a proposal to revamp its exam system, including the question pattern, and it is likely to be placed before the executive council this week.

Conforming to another condition, the university's planning and development committee last week had allotted Rs 50 lakh to preserve whatever green is left on the campus, spread over 52 acres.

To preserve the remaining greenery, the authorities have decided to construct no more buildings on the main campus. And if a building is absolutely necessary, it will come up in place of an old one, which will be demolished. 'Fifty-one per cent of the total area on the main campus has been eaten up by concrete structures,' said planning and development committee member Biswas.

The university has also directed each department in the engineering and technology faculty to submit a report on the facilities they need to upgrade themselves to the IIT level. In the report to be submitted to the ministry, the authorities will have to mention the departments' student intake and the number of doctorates they are producing.

Apart from JU, Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur, and at least six other universities outside the state have been identified by the Centre as potential candidates for the IIT tag.

According to education department sources, JU has a fair chance, as it has already been rated one of the best five institutions in the country.

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