New IIT opens at Dharwad in Karnataka

School students
A new Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-D), among the six new launched, opened at Dharwad in north Karnataka, a senior official said on Tuesday.

“We have started the new academic year with classes from Tuesday as scheduled. The first batch of 120 students has joined the institute,” IIT-Dharwad Dean (administration) Narayan Punekar told IANS in Dharwad, 420 km from Bengaluru.

Located at Walmi centre on the city’s outskirts till its permanent campus is built in the sprawling 470 acres allocated by the government at nearby Kelgeri town, the institute will be mentored by IIT-Bombay over the next three years, with its faculty on deputation till new faculty is recruited.

“We are teaching three courses – mechanical, electrical and computer science in the first year, with 40 students in each section. We will offer more courses from next year as we add a fresh batch of 120 students every year,” Punekar said.

Though the institute could not be formally inaugurated on July 31 in view of the ongoing agitation in the region over a drinking water project from the Mahadayi river, the faculty went ahead with the orientation programme on Monday.

“Like all IITs began on a modest scale over five-six decades ago, this institute is no exception. But it will be no different from them in terms of quality, faculty, teaching standards and required facilities,” Punekar said.

Theory classes are conducted till noon and practicals in the post-noon session from Monday to Friday. IIT-Bommbay has deputed seven faculty members to teach here.

Of the 120 students in the first batch, including seven women, 10 are from Karnataka, who all opted to join the new institute despite lack of facilities and the infrastructure so far.

“As all IITs are residential institutes, we have built hostels in Walmi campus with a full-fledged mess for the students,” Punekar added.