The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 8 , 2014
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IIT dream hinges on panel visit

The new year has begun on an optimistic note for ISM students and teachers, who have been fighting for IIT status for their cradle for a long time.

An expert committee formed by the Union HRD ministry will visit the Dhanbad institute next week to take stock of existing infrastructure and facilities. If the panel submits a favourable report, a bill will be introduced in Parliament to grant IIT tag to ISM.

The six-member team will arrive at the coal town on January 18 and will stay here for three days.

Headed by former director of IIT-Bombay Ashok Mishra, the panel was constituted in July last year and its first meeting was held on September 12. The other members are former IIT-Madras director Bhaskar Ramamurty, his Jodhpur counterpart Prem Kalra, member of board of governors of IIT-Kanpur Niraj Mishra, former professor of IIT-Banglore K. Khemka and ISM director D.C. Panigrahi.

ISM registrar Colonel M.K. Singh said, “We are prepared for the inspection.”

A series of renovations have been carried out on the campus and outside it as well to present the 86-year-old institute in a new light to the visitors. To begin with, the buildings are getting a new coat of paint. The main and the rear gates have been refurbished and the boundary wall, which had developed cracks, has been repaired.

A new layer of pitch will conceal the craters on the roads running across the campus.

Sources at the institute said the team would have a look at the classrooms, check the laboratories, inspect the library and attend workshops. The deans of the institute, will also present a PowerPoint presentation before the team.

The students are brimming with excitement.

Shashank Shekhar, a member of the students’ committee constituted to campaign for IIT status, said: “We are hopeful that the committee members will get to see and experience more than they expected. After all, our institute has better infrastructure when compared to IITs.”

The campaign for the IIT status, which started in September 2009, is in its last leg. It received the first shot-in-the-arm when the executive board of ISM passed a resolution for the conversion of the institute into an IIT on August 18, 2009.

Students, teachers and alumni, later, stepped up the drive. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi also supported their cause during his visit to the institute in October 2009. Three years on, the Planning Commission recommended the conversion of ISM into an IIT on December 14, 2012.

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