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Despite of the fact that Bengal is facing a large scale exodus of students to other states for higher education, two of its campuses have figured in the Department of Science and Technology’s top ten institutes for research and innovation.
While IIT-Kharagpur has appeared at the second spot behind IISc Bangalore in the list, the Jadavpur University has appeared at the eighth position. Four other IITs have figured in the list besides Delhi University, Anna University and Banaras Hindu University. It is important to mention here that IIT Kharagpur not only scored in the number of research publications but also its foray into advanced research left the other institutes far behind.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is a wing of the Union Ministry of science and technology and is the biggest sponsor of research projects in Science and tech institutions. This is the first time that it has come out with a list of its beneficiary institutes by considering their work over a period of 12 years from 2002-2014. This initiative of DST is a direct consequence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instruction to the ministry to encourage research in top science and technology institutes with added incentives and funding so as to avoid brain drain to the corporate sector. This specifically holds true for the IITs.
IIT Kharagpur received a funding of Rs 174 crore in the last year from the DST. In the words of IIT-Kgp director Partha Pratim Chakraborty, "It is not superb placements, but such national ranking for research that makes us happy as it shows we are on a path towards sustainable growth."
The ranking reports are based on the findings by the Elsevier Scopus data, also globally accepted while considering achievement of Indian Institutions for global rankings. Faculty members such as Anil Bhowmick of rubber technology, Amit Patra of electrical engineering and Pallab Dasgupta of computer science and engineering were named as the top researchers of the country. Patra, working on power management of integrated circuits has carried out path-breaking research on developing a design for efficient power supply circuits. He said, "We are trying to develop tomorrow's solutions to consume less energy." Also Dasgupta’s work on safety critical systems is considered to be a lot pioneering.
According to JU vice-chancellor Suranjan Das, "Despite the fact that we are a state university with considerable less funding compared to Centre-backed institutions, we have managed to compete and excel."