Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Chief Minister of Kerala, PinarayiVijayan today laid the Foundation Stone for the Main Campus and inaugurated the transit campus named Nila Campus of IIT Palakkad in an online event. The felicitation address was delivered by the Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs Shri. V. Muraleedharan; Kerala State Minister of Higher Education, Dr K. T. Jaleel, Kerala State Minister for SCs, STs, Backward classes, Law, Culture and Parliamentary Affairs – A. K. Balan, Kerala State Minister for Water Resources – K. Krishnankutty and the Member of Parliament, Palakkad – V. Sreekantan also graced the occasion. The online ceremony also witnessed the presence of Shri. Ramesh Venkateswaran, Chairman, Board of Governors of IIT Palakkad, Prof. P. B. Sunil Kumar, Director, IIT Palakkad and faculty, staff and students of IIT Palakkad.
Speaking on the occasion the Minister said that Indian Institute of Technology Palakkad had made rapid progress since the institute began its tryst with Higher Education in the year 2015. The institute has grown immensely in the past half a decade and is now home to 640 students pursuing Graduate-level courses, 225 students enrolled for Post-Graduate programmes and 132 Doctoral students who are facilitated by a promising learning environment, he added. It has contributed greatly in the academic and research fields and has actively participated in building a ‘New India’ as envisioned by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Minister added that the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) has been allocated 2200 crores in the 2020 budget to oversee and administer research and education infrastructure in HEI. This focus is also reflected in the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 recently introduced by our government, replacing the thirty-four year old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986. The Minister hoped that the completion of the infrastructure facilities like this would transform the education system of the country and assist in the effective implementation of the New Education Policy.
Pokhriyal highlighted that NEP outlines an unprecedentedly comprehensive framework for both school and higher education to become more holistic, multidisciplinary and flexible. It underscores the need for a rationalised institutional architecture for higher education allowing for a broader meaning of university to take effect through the creation of HEI clusters/Knowledge Hubs. The Minister highlighted that an overarching umbrella body, the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), will promote and ‘lightly but tightly’ regulate higher education in the country, with independent bodies for standard setting, funding, accreditation and regulation. He added that the appropriate use of technology will be integrated into all levels of education through the establishment of an autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF). A dedicated unit to handle the e-education needs of both school and higher education in terms of building digital infrastructure, digital content and capacity building will be created, he said.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Vijayanpraised the institute for proactively addressing the needs of the region through its whole hearted support and participation in various Central and State sponsored schemes. He said that the establishment of the permanent campus on a picturesque 500-acre plot at the foot of the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site will go a long way in promoting education and benefit the society with its contributions in the field of research.
Currently, IIT Palakkad offers B Tech programmes in four disciplines of Engineering viz Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Computer Science. Additionally, the institute has also commenced the Masters programmes inclusive of MS (by Research), MTech, and MSc. The MS programmes were added into the fold in the year 2017 whereas the MTech and MSc programmes in 2019. The MTechprogrammes delve deep into the thematic areas like Geotechnical Engineering, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, Data Science, Power Electronics and Power Systems and System-on-Chip Design. The MS programmes are available in all the four branches of Engineering while the MSc programmes are offered in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. The Doctoral Programmes commenced in the year 2017 and is available in all the eight disciplines of the institute ranging from Engineering to Sciences to Humanities.