GUWAHATI: On the sidelines of the North-East Research Conclave at the IIT Guwahati campus on Friday, the Government of Assam and IIT Guwahati (IIT-G) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, in presence of Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, for setting up of a state-of-the-art 'connected' multi-disciplinary super-specialty hospital in the premier technical education institute's premises, to be built at a cost of approximately Rs 546 crore.
Elaborating on the upcoming hospital, the Chief Minister stated that this initiative would provide a platform for cutting-edge research in the field of medical science through use of latest technologies and scientific innovations.
"We shall be supporting IIT Guwahati with a financial grant of Rs 546 crore and would also extend other support for a period of seven years in the first phase. This is for the first time that a State Government has come forward to support a Centrally-funded technical institute in medical research and innovation," the Chief Minister said.
Attending the event as the chief guest, Union Minister of Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan praised Assam's Chief Minister for the enthusiastic steps that the latter has taken for development of science and technology ever since taking over charge as executive head of the State.
Earlier today, Pradhan inaugurated the three-day North-East Research Conclave (NERC) 2022 at IIT Guwahati. The Union Minister said in his address that this conclave will strengthen the linkages between industry, academia and policy makers and further invigorate the research, start-up and entrepreneurship ecosystems in the resource-rich Northeastern region and the country.
Talking about the importance of research, Pradhan said that the objective of research should be to find solutions to chronic problems of the country and to encourage all people to come together, work together and produce together for the welfare of the most vulnerable. NERC 2022 will be a global benchmark for fulfilling research and development priorities of India and the world, he added. Pradhan appealed to the youngsters and students to "walk on the path of duties and responsibilities" to take the country to new heights.
The Union Minister further informed that to strengthen the research ecosystem, encourage innovation at grass-roots and lead India to self-reliance, the Government is in the process of setting up a National Research Foundation with a proposed outlay of Rs 50,000 crore in line with the recommendations of NEP 2020. He also said that Northeastern region has immense potential to promote research and innovation.
Attending the conclave as the guest of honour, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma lauded the role of the IIT Guwahati administration for the initiative, which he said would be a long step forward towards creation of an environment that encourages research and development among the scientific community and technology industry players.
"I am informed that no other academic event of this magnitude related to research has ever been organized in any other location of the country. I would, therefore, like to extend my gratitude to Team IIT for organizing this mega event with such elaborate arrangements. This is a reflection of the commitment and seriousness of IIT Guwahati towards research and development and promoting innovation," the Chief Minister stated.
"All guests and delegates present here today would acknowledge that science and technology is extremely vital for growth and prosperity of a nation. Rational and efficient use of science and technology allow for far greater penetration of services, health and nutrition, education, agriculture, water resources and basic infrastructure for innovative solutions," the Chief Minister stated.
Speaking on the New Education Policy's focus on research and innovation, Sarma said: "Our achievements in the field of science and technology need to be communicated to the society. Science must meet the rising aspirations of our people. Only when we strengthen innovation and research will our country stay competitive and move ahead.
"In recent years, the States in the North-East have come to the limelight for excellent laurels in innovations in the field of science and technology, biodiversity, organic farming, renewable energy, among others. However, to tap the full potential of our region, there is a need for greater focus on research and innovation with greater intensity than ever before," Sarma said, while appealing to the delegates, which included students from numerous educational institutions of the Northeastern States, to help develop a culture that encourages scientific research and development.
Later in the day, the Chief Minister visited the exhibition that had display of various innovations and technologies by various industry players working in the field of science and technology, stated an official communique. (Photo on Page-3)
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