PM may unveil new IIT-Patna campus within a fortnight

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may inaugurate the new campus of IIT-Patna located in Bihta, about 30 kilometres from the city, where it would begin functioning from next month.

Though his itinerary has not been finalised, sources said the PMO has asked the HRD Ministry to work out a programme for Modi to inaugurate the premier institute’s new campus by the end of this month.

The IIT began its academic activities in August 6, 2008 at a makeshift campus in Patna’s posh Pataliputra Colony. The Nitish government allowed the IIT to function from the Government Polytechnic building sprawled over ten acres until its permanent campus at Bihta was ready.  The new campus has to be inaugurated before the model code of conduct comes into effect ahead of the Bihar elections. Though the BJP would like to boast about gifting Bihar a new IIT, the premier institution was originally the gift of the previous UPA government.

Meanwhile, the IIT is considering making its new campus a solar hub. It is planning to use its sprawling campus to capture solar energy and distribute it to adjoining villages.

Brainchild of IIT-Patna Director Prof Pushpak Bhattacharya, the plan would allow the institute to use solar energy for all its internal power needs and distribute the surplus to the surrounding area.  Prof Bhattacharya, an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur (from where he has done his B Tech), IIT Kanpur (M Tech) and IIT Bombay (PhD), has also worked out plans to ease Patna’s traffic chaos.

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