NIT Students Can Now do 2-year Online Course at ISB
By R Prithvi Raj | Published: 16th January 2014 12:45 PM |
NIT-Warangal students, who have an aptitude for entrepreneurship, will have a double bonanza.
Those who will enter third year of engineering will have an option to do a two-year course at ISB online simultaneously and after they complete their B Tech at NIT, they could walk out with an ISB certificate, as well.
This is the latest development at NIT Warangal and when director Prof T Srinvasa Rao talks about it, he is very much excited. “We are partnering with Jawahar Knowledge Centres of AP government which has roped in other institutes like IIT Hyderabad, BITS Hyderabad and a couple of private institutions like CBIT. The idea is to have a two-year entrepreneurship programme with ISB. Those who have aptitude for entrepreneurship would be identified.
“They would do the course offered by the ISB online. They may be required to be on ISB campus once in a while, maybe once in six weeks or two months. The ISB conducts tests and then issues certificates to the students at the end of the two-year programme,” Srinivasa Rao says.
After taking over as director of NIT in May 2011 which in fact was his alma mater, Prof Srinivasa Rao’s first achievement was bringing a sense of discipline in the institute which used to be in the news for wrong reasons and later on began focusing on research area of the institution.
The result: The campus is quiet and students think of nothing else but studies and research. “There was some trouble earlier. But, after I took over, with the help of counsellors and police officers, the situation has come under control. If you care for students, they will listen to you. There was change in their attitude and today I am happy that NIT Warangal is considered one of the best in the country,” he says.
NIT was once a Regional Engineering College founded in 1959, and in September 2002, it was upgraded into National Institute of Technology. It offers, undergraduate, post graduate and doctoral degrees in engineering, technology and basic sciences.
Srinivasa Rao, after taking over the reins of the NIT, has succeeded in signing an MoU with 12 European higher education institutes and seven other Indian institutes (IISC, NIT-Rourkela, Anna University and IITs of Bombay, Madras, Kanpur and Guwahati) and became a partner institute of HERITAGE programme. As many as 41 of the 140 students and faculty members selected for research abroad were from NIT Warangal. They work there for one month to two years. The coordinating country for HERITAGE programme is France.
“We are opening doors for our students to grab international opportunities. We are encouraging students to apply for Euphratus, a project similar to Heritage but the coordinating country is Spain. The last date for the project is January 31. Entire expenditure is borne by European Commission. Travel to country and back, local hospitality and other expenses would be borne by the European Commission,” he said.
The scenario at the NIT has been changing very fast. “We see a lot of projects coming in. Almost every week we get letters offering projects. We have as many as 250 faculty members and I want to have as many projects. At present we have a good number of projects. My idea is that each faculty member should have one project and each one should guide one student. I want one research publication per year,” Srinivasa Rao said.
NIT’s focus on research has made it possible for the birth of the Centre for Innovation and Incubation to provide laboratory space for industries being set up for the first time by entrepreneurs.
“The President of India, through a recent video conference with faculty and students of centrally-funded institutes wanted them to ensure that their institutions would be among the top 200 in the world,” he said adding: “Previously, there used to be no funds or infrastructure for research. I had to buy research equipment costing Rs. 2 crore, I did not have funds. Now funding is liberal for higher technical education. The Cenre for Innovation and Incubation Centre is one initiative which became possible after funding for research became liberal. When some students after post graduation and graduation abroad come back and want to start a company with some ideas, we provide the laboratory space here.”
The preoccupation with research is yielding results. For instance, Hovomarine. You may not have heard of it. It works both as a ship and submarine. “We have an IPR cell. One of our M Tech students (Mechanical Engineering) has patented Hovomarine. NIT Warangal has financed the entire patent. No one can use it without our permission. Engineering mechanics for ships is different from submarine. The student incorporated engineering concepts of both in the prototype and depending upon the requirement it could be used either way.”
NIT Warangal has also got World Bank project - TEQUIP. Technical Education for Quality Improvement Phase II. “We have different components. Our faculty is organising workshops, conferences and seminars to outside participants on cutting edge technologies,” he said.
Secondly, it is about improving research facilities in the campus. “If we send our faculty abroad, they would get exposure in the state of the art facilities and they would be inspired by the ambience and create a similar facility on the campus,” he said. About 40 to 50 faculty members are to be sent to various universities for a period of one month during the project period. Already 22 faculty members went abroad under the project which started in 2011 and it will come to an end by this year. Srinivasa Rao has a high regard for chairman of the Board of Governors of NIT Warangal, Krishna M Ella who is CEO of Bharat Biotech for his vision for innovation.