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IIT-Bombay to set up campus in NY, study infra issues

Posted on: April 24, 2012

IIT-Bombay to set up campus in NY, study infra issues
Source: Times of India, 24.04.2012

MUMBAI: The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), along with five other universities, will establish a centre for urban science and progress (CUSP) in the borough of Brooklyn, New York (NY). New York will be the laboratory as the six institutes develop solutions for ‘regenerating’ the city’s infrastructure – the buildings and services dating back to the 17th century.

The consortium, comprising IIT-B, New York University (NYU), City University, NY, Warwick University, UK, Toronto University and Carnegie Mellon, will set up an applied science institute offering a full-time master’s programme, executive programmes and PhD, all in the area of urban science.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), which had invited universities from around the world to come to NY to fuel research for existing industries, declared CUSP as second runner-up on Monday out of all the entries it received. The Cornell/Technion Consortium was the winner and it will set up a campus on Roosevelt Island.

IIT-B director Devang Khakhar said, “The centre presents a new opportunity to address the challenges of megacities. by the generation of new knowledge using New York City as its laboratory and by imparting education with a focus on the planning, building and managing megacities.

The work of the centre will also benefit New York city directly and will provide a template to address issues of megacities in general. Mumbai’s issues will provide unique new insights and will be a source of ideas for centre.” IIT-B’s initial bid was an ambitious one – for a full campus.

The NYCEDC was earlier planning to award $100 million to the sole winner, but now CUSP will get a part of that as seed capital. CUSP will be housed in a public authority building on 370 J Street opposite Brookly Poly and NYU will contribute $10 million each year towards running costs.

“IIT-B is not into this for the money, but for high-end research. The CUSP will generate the remaining revenue through tuition, research projects and consultancy. We also have some industry partners like IBM and CISCO.

We have to break even by 2020,” said IIT-B dean (international relations) Subhasis Chaudhuri. A programmes as this would be different from an urban planing course. As IIT-B professor K V K Rao explained, this course would look at the city’s transport, its infrastructure, housing, sustainable solutions, intelligent living, education facilities, healthcare, sanitation, etc.

Admissions to programmes for 200 students will start in 2014 and selections will be as per international norms. Most of that is still in the works. “We will jointly develop the course and 50 faculty, though a floating population, will be in-station, an equal number of post-doctorals; there will be some visiting professors and some lectures will be conducted through the distance mode. The degree may be awarded by NY University or a joint degree by CUSP,” said IIT-B professor.With the CUSP coming up in NY, IIT-B will also start a similar school on its Powai campus to examine the problems plaguing Indian mega-cities, most of which are unplanned.

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