NIT-Warangal to become university with medical, law courses too

By Prashant K. Nanda, IANS,

Warangal (Andhra Pradesh) : After serving as a premier engineering school for 50 years, the National Institute of Technology (NIT)-Warangal is set to become a full-fledged university that will offer a host of courses, including medicine, law as well as postgraduate degrees in humanities and business economics.

Support TwoCircles

“The aim is to become a university the way the human resource development (HRD) ministry has indicated,” Y.V. Rao, the institute’s director, told IANS in an interview.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal has expressed his intention to convert institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) into integrated universities that provide both medical and legal education among other courses.

While the IIMs and IITs have been cautious in their comment towards this proposal, NIT- Warangal is the first to announce its plans of transforming into a university to IANS.

“We will retain our original name (NIT-Warangal) but it will become an integrated university with both medical and legal education among other programmes beyond engineering and technology.

“We will also provide postgraduate courses in humanities, business economics, biotechnology and many others. The focus will gradually shift to from under-graduation to post-graduation and research,” Rao explained.

NIT Warangal is the first among the NITs. It was dedicated to the nation by the first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru way back in 1959. Then it was known a regional engineering college. The institute is older than many IITs, including IIT-Delhi.

Currently, India has 20 NITs and the union cabinet had earlier this month given the go ahead to set up 10 new NITs, including six in the northeastern states.

The director said the institute, which started its journey with a little over 100 students from a temporary campus, now boasts of 4,200 students. In 2006, the institute had 2,000 students of which 1,600 were pursuing B.Tech courses and the rest M.Tech.

“While all the central government institutes are implementing the OBC (Other Backward Classes) quota in three years, we did it at one go. With an increase in the number of seats, we have shifted our focus to post-graduation and research. Out of 4,200 students, currently 1,400 are M.Tech students and 300 are PhD scholars,” Rao added.

Like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, NIT-Warangal will become an integrated university and provide all kinds of courses to students to help the country move forward in the field of higher education, he said.

“The process of becoming a university will start from the coming academic session but it may take a few years to become a full-fledged one. We are targeting 5,000 students by 2011 and 15,000 by 2015,” Rao said, elaborating on his mega plan.

“We are planning to have the school of medical science next year. We are going to give emphasis on biotechnology and microbiology and here the school of medical science will help us grow in both research and innovation.”

Asked about the infrastructure and faculty shortage problems the institute may face while expanding, the director said: “We are getting ready for it and I don’t think we will have much problems.”

The institute is getting ready to celebrate the culmination of its yearlong golden jubilee celebrations late October.