Why IIT Kharagpur's new residential pad for foreign profs will go a long way in bolstering international collaborations

Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal will also lay the foundation stone for two new hostels for girls and boys housing 500 students each
IIT Kharagpur
IIT Kharagpur

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, in a bid to attract world-class foreign faculty as visiting professors, has invested heavily and built a 100-bed on-campus residence for them. Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal will inaugurate the APJ Abdul Kalam International Visitors’ Residential Complex for foreign visitors, an on-campus residence for international faculty at a virtual function on Thursday. This is being done amid the COVID-19 pandemic when travel to and from foreign nations, for education or otherwise, remains largely uncertain.

IIT Kharagpur had been declared as an Institute of Eminence in 2019. One of the characteristic features of such institutes is that it has the opportunity to collaborate with foreign universities for the courses it offers. There is also an impetus to globalise learning at such institutes by inviting more foreign faculty and attracting students from foreign countries. As such, this move from IIT Kharagpur to inaugurate a residential complex for long-term visiting faculty is seen as anticipatory. The institute is gearing up to enhance its international presence for both inbound and outbound students.

Two new halls of residence — Savitribai Phule Hall of Residence and Atal Bihari Vajpayee Hall of Residence for girls and boys respectively will also have their foundation stones virtually laid on October 15. While the residential unit for the foreign faculty has been designed to host 100 people, the new hostels will facilitate 500 students each.

Prof V K Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur said, “Our students’ strength has been increasing exponentially over the years and there is a need to add to the current facilities as larger batches are expected to join in the coming years. We also have plans to increase the strength of our doctoral students which would require a significant expansion in the existing setup.”

Further, Prof S K Bhattacharyya, Deputy Director, IIT Kharagpur, said that the new hostels are being built near the Nalanda Academic Complex to ensure minimum transition time for the students. He also confirmed the massive overhaul the institute would undergo in the coming years to cater to the student experience.

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