We are practiced to see IIT as an elite institution whose privileged students always look for greener pastures once graduated. This has been the story for a long time, but in recent times the picture is changing. It is heartening to see IIT-Kgp’s recent forays into teaching specialized full-fledged law courses, notably Intellectual Property Law, which is a first in India. For this course, it’ll have collaboration with none other than George Washington University of US. On the anvil is introduction of 6-year, dual-degree B.Tech-LL.B program, once again a first in India. IIT, Kharagpur is also in the news for lending its expertise in drawing out a Rs.1000 crore master-plan for the development of 400-year old Burdwan town.
IIT, Kharagpur’s main building at night.
Picture source : http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~mpvenkat/insti.jpg.
In India, there isn’t much of a tradition of bonhomie between institutes of higher learning on one hand and the government or industry on the other. Presumably this was because ‘development’ in true sense was yet to be the buzzword. The refrain “of what use is our/their intelligence if it’s not put to practice?” seemed to have been the thin line separating the space between them. Yet, what a magnificent opportunity it has been to have a world-class institute at your doorstep!
The government is at last waking up to that advantage.