Keonjhar college to be turned into research hub
The Odisha government will develop the Government College of Engineering (GCE) in Keonjhar into a centre of excellence for research in earth science and technology.
The college will be developed into an institute of international eminence on the lines of the Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad.
Considering the state’s potential as the mineral hub of India, chief secretary S.C. Mohapatra directed the skill development and technical education department to “create the high-class research and academic eco-system with smart human resource strategies for attracting the talents from different parts of the globe, especially the Odia talents who have achieved high acclaim in the fields of mining, engineering and geophysics in different countries”.
Additional chief secretary and development commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena said: “We will have a specialised geology division with a five-year integrated course in applied geology, geo-physics and geo-engineering. We will develop a strong corpus fund for the institute to back the innovative R&D (research and development) activities. A detailed proposal to this effect will be placed for approval.”
It was decided in a meeting on Thursday that the institute would have advanced divisions in rock mechanics, rock excavation, mineral processing, extractive metallurgy, material testing, characterisation, geology, environmental engineering, mining planning and design.
“It would have all the similar research facilities like those in ISM, Dhanbad,” an official said.
“The chief secretary has directed to prepare the detailed proposal with architectural design of the CoE (Centre of Excellence) building, required equipment and instruments, demonstration for faculty members, students, mining executives and industries,” an official said.
The entire ground-level work from the construction of the building to installation and testing of equipment could be completed within a period of 36 months
The budget for the project was estimated to be around Rs 42.5 crore.
Principal secretary, skill development and technical education, Hemant Kumar Sharma, said: “Government College of Engineering, Keonjar, has all potential to be upgraded to an institute of national importance with quality enhancement in academics, research and industry-institute interface.”
“The college has a permanent campus spread over 37 acres and is now providing consultancy support to the mineral-based industries even with its limited resources. With upgradation, the institute would be able to provide all services to the mining industries in Odisha,” he said.