Institute’s in-charge director lists expansion plans
The mood is upbeat on the campus of Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) that has been accorded the status of ‘an Institute of National Importance’ through an Act of Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Talking to The Hindu here on Thursday from the institute’s makeshift campus at Andhra University College of Engineering, V.S.R.K. Prasad, advisor (academics) and director (in-charge) of IIPE, said, “The status was given as per the commitment under the 13 Schedule of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. Even before being accorded the status we are functioning as one such institute and now we are officially declared to be on par with other IITs in the country.”
On the advantages of being called ‘an Institute of National Importance’, he said, “The admissions will be through IIT-JEE advance and we can expect the cream to join the institute, tie up with international and national top-ranked research institutes, industry back-up and internship for students from second year onwards in reputed related industries.”
According to Prof. Prasad, the institute has already been approached by Texas A &M University, USA, Robert Gordon University, UK, and Oxford University, UK. The tie-ups would range from faculty and student exchange to delivering certificate courses and exchange of research ideas, said Prof. Prasad. “The French and the Norwegian embassies have also approached us for possible research tie-ups. Though our flagship programmes will be B.Tech, our focus will be on research, especially in the energy sector with special emphasis on nuclear and alternate non-conventional energy sources. Five to ten years down the line we visualise that IIPE will become the global consultant and research hub for energy,” said Prof. Prasad. IIPE has been allotted 201. 8 acres of land in Sabbavaram in Visakhapatnam district and a sprawling campus is expected to come up by 2019-20.
According to the Director, the institute will not face any fund crunch, as cabinet has approved ₹655.46 crore as capital expenditure, ₹200 crore towards its endowment fund, which are in addition to the contribution of ₹200 crore from oil companies towards the endowment fund.
The institute is backed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and by oil majors such as HPCL, IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OIL, OIDB, BPCL and Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
“Since there is no fund crunch, we have plans to set up state-of-the-art laboratories catering to all students from B. Tech to research scholars and the labs will be started with expert advice and contribution from the industry, mentor institute IIT-Kharagpur, and international collaboration,” he said. As of now there are two B. Tech programmes in petroleum engineering and chemical engineering, with intake of 50 students for each course. But there are plans to start a mechanical engineering course in the near future.
This apart, M. Tech programmes will begin from 2018-19, addressing various PG subjects such as exploration, pollution and environment, energy and geo-engineering.