It’s a peaceful haven and IIT Kharagpur’s students consider themselves fortunate that they don’t have much to distract them on campus.
Prof D Acharya, director, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, says, “Students of other IITs find it hard to resist the vibrant culture of the cities. Being a hundred percent residential institute, the learning process continues much beyond class hours over here. Community living and excellent corporate life promotes peer learning, helping create leaders in various fields. Round-the-clock access to laboratories helps them in their studies. It is not surprising that IIT Kharagpur is the most favoured institution amongst recruiting organisations from India and abroad.” There are many reasons for celebrations at this institute. “A special grant of R200 crore and matching support from alumni and well-wishers contributed to improving research infrastructure and starting new academic programmes in energy science and engineering, bioscience, engineering design and manufacturing, nano science and technology etc. A part of the grant is being used to upgrade the 60-year-old infrastructure that was designed for 3000 students and few hundred members of faculty,” adds the director.
The institute is also celebrating its diamond jubilee this year, with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh flagging off the celebrations.
USP: Among all IITs, this institute has the largest campus (2,100 acres), the maximum number of departments (19 in all), and the highest student enrollment.
Faculty: About 600 full time faculty members, supported by more than 1100 teaching assistants teach about 1150 subjects each semester.
Programmes: The institute offers programmes at the undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels. “In order to retain academic supremacy, the institute plans to launch new schools and centres relating to energy science and engineering, bio-sciences, engineering entrepreneurship, environmental engineering and technology, water resources management and more,” informs the director.
IT Quotient: Computer labs and a 24X7 lan facility are available. The institute website is very comprehensive and informative.
Infrastructure: The institute boasts of auditoriums of capacity ranging from 120 to 5000. The new classroom complex, Nalanda, will have 88 classrooms of 120 and 240 capacity, of which 40 will become operational by June 2012. Sporting facilities are both indoor and outdoor and include the oval Jnan Ghosh Stadium for field and track activity, Tata sports Complex for cricket and football, Students Activity Centre for indoor sports and separate fields for all other sporting activities.
Clubs and societies: Festivities continue round the year. Regular among them are inter hall sports and cultural events, the popular illumination and rangoli competitions. There are two major festivals, the cultural festival, Spring fest and the techno-management festival, Kshitij. Both are attended by participants from all over the country. There are societies for literature, eastern and western music, fine arts, photography and filmmaking.
Studentspeak: “Kharagpur gives its students tremendous scope and opportunities to explore and develop themselves as all-rounders. The experience inside the classroom has shaped me into a better engineer whereas attending guest lectures, seminars that are organised often, have been great learning experiences,” says Pranita Padalwar, a third-year undergraduate student from the department of chemical engineering.
With the help of Bidhan Chandra Roy (then chief minister of West Bengal), Indian educationists Humayun Kabir and Jogendra Singh formed a committee in 1946 to consider the creation of higher technical institutions. This was followed by the creation of a 22-member committee headed by Nalini Ranjan Sarkar. In its interim report, the Sarkar Committee recommended the establishment of higher technical institutions in India, along the lines of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“At times, we even manage to get treats from professors! Can we wish for anything else,” asks Pranita Padalwar