Updated: December 1, 2015 12:58:40 am
AT THE inauguration of the Union HRD ministry’s much-acclaimed project GIAN (Global Initiative on Academic Network) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, its minister Smriti Irani politely but smartly declined Gujarat Education Minister’s Bhupendrasinh Chudasama’s demands for the state. Instead, she backed IIT-Gn students’ demand for an overnight canteen at the newly-constructed campus and said she would recommend other IIT students to have its “anda paratha”.
At the end of her address where IIT Kharagpur had a virtual presence, she said, “Let me tell IIT-Kharagpur that the next time you visit IIT-Gandhinagar please go and have anda paratha at the students’ canteen.”
Responding to the minister’s requests, who had repeatedly addressed her as “sister”, of giving something during her visit to the state and IIT-Gn campus, Irani said, “It is a strange thing when Bhupendrabhai said that I have to give something. Every brother present here knows that a sister only takes and never give anything. This would be a strange trend in Gujarat being a brother and that too an elder brother.”
Chudasama, while addressing the student, said: “When she entered the compound she was very happy with the aura and atmosphere. I feel that through this event she is going to give us something else too… We had a request of IIIT in Surat. Just Before she reached here she called me up and said we have given IIIT to Surat. When the education minister is from Gujarat and the Prime Minister also from Gujarat then we do not lack anything. I request Sudhir ji to inform me about any other request he had.”
Taking IIT-GN director Sudhir Jain too in her response, Irani said he was “very excited and applauding” on Bhupendrasinh’s requests. She said, “Sudhirji, I tell you that if you want anything, I publicly announce that I support students demand for an overnight canteen on the campus.”
What is GIAN?
Under project GIAN or Global Initiative on Academic Network, institutes of higher education will host guest lectures by internationally and nationally renowned experts and evolve a comprehensive Faculty Development Programme.
The project was launched with two 10-day-long courses — 3D Digitization for Cultural Heritage at IIT-Gandhinagar, and Orthopaedic Biomechanics: Implants and Biomaterials at IIT-Kharagpur. These are two of the 201 courses approved under GIAN from 488 courses proposed by different higher education institutes, which include 31 state universities, 94 central universities, 5 management institutes and 7 AICTE engineering colleges.
MHRD has allocated Rs 35 crore for GIAN in the current financial year.
Under the scheme, 500 international faculty will be engaged this academic year and 1,000 in subsequent years. Nearly 200 Indian institutes will host GIAN courses this year. This number will grow to 500 institutes in the following years.
The long term goals of GIAN, include sharing of academic credits, availability of content through a National Digital Library, and forging academic and research collaborations.
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