Raipur, Aug 8: Stressing the need for research and innovation, Union Education Minister Prakash Javadekar called upon students to strive for excellence and innovate while inaugurating Chhattisgarh's first IIT campus.
"We did not invent Google, Facebook, Twitter, Windows and WhatsApp but many Indian youths were part of the teams which created these social media applications.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision is to promote research and innovation, therefore our Government has contemplated various programmes to give impetus to the research in various fields," Mr Javadekar said.
The minister inaugurated the Indian Institute of Technology, Bhilai, at its temporary campus at the Government Engineering College at Sejbahar.
IIT students can undertake research projects right from their hostel room, he said, adding "just come up with innovative idea, the Government will promote it".
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said the state was ready to take a giant leap in the field of higher education with the opening of IIT.
"The state has IIM, AIIMS, IIIT, Central University in Bilaspur and now IIT. It is a giant step towards success in the field of higher education," the chief minister said.
The IIT Bhilai is the first IIT in Chhattisgarh and 23rd in the country. Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering classes will commence at the outset, Javadekar said Mine Engineering course will also be launched from 2018-2019 at IIT Bhilai.
IIT at Bhilai was planned in 2007. Steel Authority of India Limited has provided 325 acres of land from its Bhilai Steel Plant for the institute.
In the current academic year, there are 118 students (105 boys and 13 girls). IIT Bhilai is being 'mentored' by IIT Hyderabad.