Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 2: The Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G) has welcomed the announcements on higher education, international collaboration, clean energy, healthcare sector and start-up initiatives made in the Union Budget 2021-22 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday.

“The Budget announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman include some good news for the higher education sector. The setting up of Higher Education Commission for the accreditation and regular funding of the colleges and universities for having better synergy is a great initiative to enhance cooperation among the academic institutes and provide access to every deserving student to have the best possible education tools,” IIT Guwahati Director Prof TG Sitharam said today.

He said that the outlay of Rs 50,000 crore over five years announced for the National Research Foundation would provide a great boost to research and development across all areas of the country.

“Along with that, the announcement of research and development initiatives to maintain the research ecosystem by international collaborations, especially the tie-up with Japan for the sharing of technology and knowledge, will allow India to progress in multidisciplinary areas rapidly,” Prof Sitharam said.

He said that the core strength of IIT Guwahati lies in quality higher education and research and development.

“The faculty members of the institute have risen to the occasion during the pandemic when the country needed maximum support from the scientists. The institute delivered several COVID-19-related products in a very short time giving a major boost to Atmanirbhar Bharat as announced by the Prime Minister. IIT Guwahati has also initiated close engagement with the institutes in the north-eastern region as well as few IITs and CSIR laboratories across the country and has been taking major strides in healthcare research, which is well aligning with the theme of the institute,” said Prof Sitharam.

Referring further to the Union Budget, he said, “The Finance Minister has also announced a Hydrogen Energy Mission in the Budget for generating hydrogen out of green powered sources to give a further boost to the non-conventional energy sector and has proposed to provide additional capital infusion of Rs 1,000 crore to the Solar Energy Corporation of India and Rs 1,500 crore to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency.”

Prof Sitharam said that several faculty members of IIT Guwahati have been making valuable contributions to these areas and these announcements would provide thrust to the national drive for clean and renewable energy devices and technology.

“Further, the investment promise of over Rs 3,000 crore for re-aligning the existing scheme of National Apprenticeship Training Scheme for providing post-education apprenticeship training for graduates and diploma holders in engineering and the initiatives of the government to collaborate with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for skill development and deployment on successful completion of courses will help in providing trained manpower to the industry sector,” he said.

Prof Sitharam added that efforts of IIT-G are also likely to benefit by the announcement on start-ups and innovation initiatives allowing one-person companies to grow without restrictions on paid-up capital and turnover. He said the Research Park at IIT-G has been actively pursuing and promoting start-ups from alumni, students, faculty and entrepreneurs and this initiative would boost the institute’s efforts.