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IIT-B in Big Apple!

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MUMBAI: The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay could soon have a second address — in New York.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has invited IIT-B to submit a proposal to set up a campus in the Big Apple for applied science courses. The institute will fill a lacuna that the city’s five boroughs have had all these years — a world-class facility for applied science teaching and research with a strong bent towards applied engineering. A committee at IIT-B is firming up the institute’s pitch, which will be sent to NYCEDC by April. The host city will make a capital contribution, in addition to possibly providing land and other considerations.

Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, director Devang Khakhar, who was invited by The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to consider setting up a campus there, has said the concept is being explored. “Yes, we may start with something small there. My team is working on a feasibility plan of going to New York.”

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the city must optimize its business strengths. “The city is committed to finding the right partner and providing the support needed to establish such a facility because research in the fields of engineering, science and technology is creating the next generation of global business innovations that will propel our economy forward,” Bloomberg said. “New York City has all the ingredients to complement an applied science and engineering hub—a highly educated global population, an unparalleled financial and business community to provide capital and support for new ventures and existing top-notch institutions performing cutting-edge research. We want to capitalize on those strengths.”

Apart from inviting top institutes around the world to send in their offers, NYCEDC has also broadened its hunt by allowing institutes wanting a presence in NY to apply under this scheme. IIT-B’s dean (international relations) Subhasis Chaudhuri, said, “The proposal is at a rather nascent stage. But we are considering it very seriously.”

NYCEDC, which has received responses from a select group of top schools from around the world bidding for the same project, is likely to assess all the expressions of interest in April and later work toward setting up the school in a year. Terming this as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity”, Bloomberg said, “The impact of this initiative will be extraordinary.”

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