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‘Panel to be formed to review progress’

‘Panel to be formed to review progress’
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The HRD Ministry has decided to form a panel to review the progress of research parks at IITs across the country, Union minister Prakash Javadekar...

Chennai: The HRD Ministry has decided to form a panel to review the progress of research parks at IITs across the country, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said here on Thursday. The government has funded research parks at Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, Gandhinagar, Kharagpur, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Guwahati and Delhi and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

While the research park at IIT Madras is fully operational since 2010, the other are at different stages of completion. Javadekar said that it is important that socially relevant research is carried out by the premier institutes across the country.
The HRD minister made the announcement about the panel's formation during his visit to IIT Madras Research Park where he inaugurated new facilities.

"Once I am back in Delhi, I will review the progress of all IIT research parks. A committee will be formed for the purpose. We need to find out whether socially relevant research is being done. I want that the IIT Madras Research Park model, which is working successfully, is replicated across the country," he said. "The IIT Madras experiment has prompted many Indian companies and universities to fund research in India rather than abroad," he told reporters.

The minister expressed disappointment over the country's premier educational institutions, including the IIMs, not "bothering" to carry out research on "what people felt about demonetisation when they stood in queues for over 50 days but supported it wholeheartedly”.

"Google, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook are not Indian innovations but many of the brains associated with them are Indians. So we want people to come to India and innovate, an area where we are lagging behind," he said. Javadekar also announced launch of "Smart Campus" campaign which will have various components including saving, conserving and recycling of water.
"It is better to carry out research aimed at solving problems of the people. We have to save electricity," he said.

The minister is also planning to write to various ministries and companies asking them to compulsorily set the temperature of air conditioners at 24 degrees Celsius to save power. "I am environmentalist at heart. I have been an environment minister too. I believe energy conservation is need of the hour and a lot of energy is wasted as people set AC temperature at as low as 18 degrees Celsius.

I am going to write to companies and ministries to issue guidelines to keep the AC temperature at 24 degrees Celsius," he said. The IIT at Madras is home to India's first university- driven research park which was set up on lines of research park at the Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

It houses the research, development and innovation wings of industry majors engaged in collaborative research and technology transfer. The government had provided Rs 100 crore for setting up the research park spread over five blocks catering to information technology, mechanical, bio-sciences and other sectors.

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