Monday 3rd August 2015 marked the set up of eighteenth Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) as Kerala’s first IIT started to function from its temporary campus near Ahalya Group of Educational Institutions in Palakkad district, Kerala. This had put the state of Kerala in great position in the higher education map of India. Shifting to 500 acre permanent campus at Puthussery would take place afterwards.
117 students admitted to the first batch and their parents were addressed through video conferencing from New Delhi by Union Minister for Human Resources Mrs. Smriti Irani. She said that the students should not confine themselves inside the four walls of the campus. Students must involve in activities and services that would be helpful to the community.
Smriti Irani further said that students, apart from studying higher education, must develop a social outlook. She also reminded the students about Unnat Bharat Abhiyan campaign started for the upliftment of the rural masses. The program in association with the IITs and NITs was started in 2014. Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is coordinated and conducted by IIT Delhi.
Union Minister Mrs Smriti Irani recommended the students to participate in the program in engaging with the communities of each institute and involving in the upliftment activities. Identification of ten villages in the neighbourhood of IIT and finding solution to the major issues of the regions would be the program’s main objective.
Smriti Irani said as she was busy with the Lok Sabha activities, she would find time in future to visit the campus for interacting with the student community. Krish Gopalakrishnan, Infosys executive vice-chairman, strongly urged students to make their contributions towards the neighbouring villages around. The importance of academic excellence was also stressed by him that would help in contribution towards building of nation.
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According to Krish Gopalakrishnan, IITs should be start ups that would ensure large scale transformation. Others who participated and addressed the students were Bhaskar Ramamurthy, IIT Madras Director, PB. Sunil Kumar, IIT Palakkad coordinator and B. Sreenivas, Higher Education Secretary.
IIT Palakkad would have initially four B.Tech courses of Civil engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, with students capacity of 117. Most of the students were from North India and 12 students from Kerala. Ten faculty members were designated by IIT Madras. Students from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan made up the majority of the student community.