Guwahati, Nov 21: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday visited IIT Guwahati and inaugurated the state-of-the-art Centre for Nanotechnology (CNT) and Centre for Indian Knowledge System (CIKS) as well as two hostels at the Institute.

Assam Education Minister Dr Ranoj Pegu and local MP Queen Oja were also present.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Education Minister congratulated IIT Guwahati for achieving excellent rankings in various international and national ranking systems and appreciated the efforts of IIT Guwahati for creating an ecosystem for research and education as well as focusing on the overall development of the northeastern region.

Union Education Minister visits IIT Guwahati
Prof T. G. Sitharam, Director, IIT Guwahati welcoming Shri Dharmendra Pradhan

He said that, in this era of an interconnected world, the centre for nanotechnology at IIT Guwahati will contribute not only to the knowledge and development of India but the whole world. The rich biodiversity of the northeast provides a lot of scope for research that can benefit the entire humanity.

There are a number of policy directions in the National Education Policy 2020 which can modernize our education system. As provided in the NEP, we should create an education hub in Guwahati by creating a cluster of institutions in the region,” Pradhan said.

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Centre for Nanotechnology (CNT) aims at meeting future challenges and augmenting academic partnerships with industry in Nanotechnology. The major funding for the Centre, which included Rs. 37 crore for the building, apart from equipment, was obtained from the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India.

It will host 25 advanced laboratories that will focus on advancements in multi-disciplinary, scientific and translational research and is equipped with Class-100 cleanroom facilities integrated with state-of-the-art fabrication, characterization and testing laboratories.

The CNT presently hosts two Centres-for-Excellence sponsored by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) along with an Incubator BioNEST sponsored by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.

Union Education Minister visits IIT Guwahati
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of Education with Prof T G Sitharam and other dignitaries

CNT is thus a good example of synergy among various ministries of the Government of India. The key outcomes expected from the Centre for Nanotechnology include nano-enabled healthcare, energy harvesting, and LED prototypes, devices and technologies, start-ups/ incubation ecosystem, high-end R&D outputs, capacity building of highly skilled manpower in the area of nanofabrication and nanoelectronics, etc.

Centre for Indian Knowledge System (CIKS) will focus on preserving, documenting and sustaining the knowledge that is unique to India. The top priorities include Indian classical music, Yoga, Sanskrit, traditional medicines, temple architecture, ceramic tradition and special agricultural practices of North-East India, herbal plants of north-east as health food and metalwork of Assam.

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Scholars from diverse backgrounds will be encouraged to participate in the new CIKS’s interdisciplinary research and education programs, enabling them to evolve practices and technologies in varied areas for sustainable growth and development.

Disang hostel adds another 1000 rooms to the existing hostel capacity of IIT Guwahati. Dikhow hostel is the first hostel on the campus specifically for the accommodation of project staff. Constructed at a total cost of Rs. 132 crore, these hostels will further help in enhancing the capacity of IIT Guwahati.

Assam Education Minister Dr Ranoj Pegu congratulated IIT Guwahati and said that the Institute should focus on entrepreneurship and produce job creators and not only job seekers.

Institutes like IIT Guwahati should also focus on developing new agricultural technologies to help double farmers’ income,” Pegu said.

He further requested IIT Guwahati to mentor other educational institutions in the region and also develop modules for the training of teachers.

Earlier, while welcoming the guests, Director, IIT, Guwahati said that, through these and similar other initiatives, the Institute has been proactively pursuing high-end research and working towards the vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”, while fulfilling the aspirations of the region, aligning with national policies, especially implementing the NEP2020, and competing globally in research and technology development.