Eyeing an improved international ranking, premier technology institute IIT-Kharagpur has started inviting foreign students, faculties and even Nobel laureates every year to its campus. The first International Summer and Winter Term (ISWT) at the IIT, which ended this month, had around 10 students from Australia and at least one international faculty in each of the 19 short-term courses. "In the winter season we are expecting around five students from a university in Tokyo. There will be at least 10 foreign teachers as well during that time," Siddhartha Mukhopadhyay, dean of alumni and international relations at IIT-Kharagpur, told. There would be now a regular two-way traffic between the institute and other foreign universities, he said. "It is important for us to improve our international ranking and so now we are encouraging our students and faculties to go out to foreign universities and are also getting their ones to come here for visits". By bringing together participants and faculty from India and abroad, the ISWT programme has subjects designed around current and multi-disciplinary themes of science, engineering,management and law. The duration of each course is of two weeks or ten working days with a judicious blend of lectures and tutorials per day.
After participating in the last summer term, Professor Rolf Drechsler from the University of Bremen in Germany has already agreed to become an international visiting faculty at the IIT.
IIT-Kharagpur director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said they were using government funds as well as generous donations from the alumni for this exchange programme.
One such alumni family which includes an Indian-American entrepreneur, his wife and brother have promised to fund and arrange the visit of two Nobel laureates from different fields each year to the Kharagpur campus in West Bengal.
Chakrabarti said their initiative had been a success as Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani told him to prepare a similar blueprint of a national-level initiative for summer/winter lectures by best of the foreign and national faculty.
"Since we already have experience in this, we have been asked to chalk out a plan which can be adopted for other institutes as well. We will present the blueprint to President Pranab Mukherjee next month," the director said.