Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad has bagged a Rs 30 crore project from Japan in the area of multi-mode transportation as the institute pursues to further nurture its special relationship with that country. “It is a five-year project aimed at reducing carbon footprint. We have a unique relationship with Japan,” IIT-H Director Prof U B Desai said.
Officials of the institute said it is a second SATREPS (Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development) project on ‘Smart Cities for Emerging Countries based on Sensing, Network, and Big Data Analysis of Multimodal Regional Transportation System’.
Terming the relationship as one of its kind in the history of academia, Prof Desai said, “Perhaps the other one which comes closer is the relationship that IIT-Kanpur had with the United States.”
“IITH, which started functioning in August, 2008, has various programmes with Japan like research and development collaborations and friendship programmes, as well as on the infrastructure front,” he said.
“About 25 to 30 faculty members from Japan come to IITH every year, and an equal number of IITH faculty go to that country annually. Practically, we have one Japanese visitor to IITH every week,” Prof Desai said.
The R&D collaboration between IITH and Japan are in areas of sustainable development, smart cities, digital fabrication, energy and environment, nanotechnologies, design and manufacturing, among others. The institute has MoUs with more than a dozen Japanese universities, and about 40 IITH graduates are pursuing higher education in Japan, funded by means of scholarship and fellowship by universities there.
On August 30, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is organising a conference, CONNECT-IITH in Tokyo, exclusively for IITH to interact with Japanese industries. As a cultural collaboration, a coffee shop named ‘Shiru Cafe’ has been established by Japan at IITH. Run by Japanese students, faculty and students of IITH get free coffee here every day.
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