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IIT-Madras plans satellite campus in Tiruchi

Special Correspondent

To offer humanities courses


  • The Institute is facing space constraint, says Director
  • Offer for land from BHEL Tiruchi
  • IIT-M talking to HRD Ministry on the proposal to set up satellite campuses

    CHENNAI: The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) may soon have a satellite campus at Tiruchirapalli. The world-renowned technology education provider also proposes to offer five-year integrated courses in humanities from 2006.

    M.S. Ananth, Director, IIT-M, told newspersons here on Wednesday that despite the growing demand for expanding the IIT model of high-class technical education, the Institute was constrained by space. Since 1994, IIT-M had doubled its intake from about 275 to 550.

    "The reality is we are situated in the middle of forestland and we have to maintain our numbers. The constraint we have is that the number of people here cannot cross 5,200, because we are a residential campus. Any addition of students or teachers will threaten the deer population here. At present, even when new courses are introduced, the total intake remains the same," he said.

    That is the reason why the IIT is talking to the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development on the proposal to set up satellite campuses. "We already have an offer for land from BHEL Tiruchi," he said, indicating that the negotiations with the Ministry would include this proposal.

    In this regard, the S.K. Joshi committee had spoken about the need for IITs to create more capacity or intake to meet the demand for high quality technical education.

    M.A. in humanities

    Prof. Ananth said the Institute (which till now has been offering only engineering, technology, pure sciences and management programmes) was also looking to move into the area of humanities.

    Recently, the HRD Ministry had called for a meeting to discuss ways of strengthening humanities subjects, following which the IIT was taking steps towards starting five-year integrated M.A courses.

    "We are preparing the content, and the courses would start in 2006."

    In effect, students with an interest in humanities would also be able to enter the IITs. Initially, three programmes would be offered in English, Economics and Development Studies. Students would get a B.A and an M.A in the integrated programme. Admission would be through a separate entrance test.

    As part of its continuing innovation, the IIT-M was offering an M. Tech programme in engineering design, with specialisation in automotive design. Usha Titus, Registrar, said it was an industry-driven programme. One semester was dedicated to industry experience.

    The participating industries would soon submit a report the IIT-M's Senate on how they proposed to go forward with the programme and use the students' expertise.

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