The Union Ministry of Education has released a grant of Rs 80 crore to IIT-Kharagpur towards the second phase of the Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) Programme, an IIT Kharagpur statement said. Adrijit Goswami from IIT Kharagpur, who is heading the Pan India coordination of the programme, said the allocation would help in promoting virtual and e-learning.
“Going online is the new normal roadmap at least for programmes like SPARC. While online mode has its drawbacks, on the brighter side it may give rise to opportunities especially for those who otherwise find such collaborative work arduous due to physical visits,” he was quoted as saying in the statement on Monday.
In one SPARC initiative, IIT Kharagpur organised the international conference on ‘Emerging Trends in Healthcare Technology in Post-COVID-19 Era’ with expert participation from USA, UK, Australia, Sweden, South Africa, The Netherlands, India.
Goswami said, “with phase two funding of Rs 80 crore and the structured format of e-workshops, webinars, online classes and even research in virtual mode, the scope for productive academic collaborations at the SPARC-approved collaborating Institutes look promising.”
In 2019-20, more than 300 international experts visited Indian institutions registered under SPARC for various projects and workshops with near about 400 research proposals approved for funding to date, the institute said. Speaking on SPARC which was launched in 2019-20 by the Ministry of Education to promote research based learning, IIT Kharagpur Director Virendra K Tewari said the resultant figures are promising.
In 2019-20 participation from the US, Australia and UK witnessed highest visits covering close to 65 per cent of the international faculty visitors in 2019-20. The slump in 2020 though was expected, work was carried out through online conferences.
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