Kharagpur, (West Bengal) The IIT Kharagpur is setting up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and extending its science-heritage initiative to boost documentation, promotion of classical and folk arts and music, with alumni support, its director said on Friday.
“Two Centres are being planned. One on AI research and one for extension of science and heritage (the Sandhi Science-Culture initiative). Alumni is organising support for developing these two areas,” IIT Kharagpur director PP Chakrabarti said here during the institute’s 67th Foundation Day.
For CoE in AI, the institute requires Rs 20 crore to get started for the core infrastructure.
“But it will also get linked with the supercomputing facility, cloud computing etc. Additionally we want to do some really good projects in climate change and AI, big projects on healthcare and AI so that will require augmented funds,” he said.
Chakrabarti said that research work on the project had begun.
“We are working out the framework and building up the big picture and small aspects of the research have started. So it will consist of research and it will consist of new kind of programmes,” he said.
The institute is also taking forward the Science-Culture (Sandhi) initiative for the documentation, promotion, dissemination and modernisation of classical and folk arts and music at an initial funding of Rs 15 crore.
“Our classical and folk arts initiative requires three to four things. They require documentation, some of the dying ones require promotion. They require a new resurgence with science and technology... how will a new tabla be designed... what are the materials needed?
“For students who study materials science and engineering, simple topic would be why don’t you study the material science of the tabla?
“I have estimated that we will require about Rs 15 crore just to get started,” he added.
The director also said that the institute was promoting the idea where students taking up research on classical and folk music would be required to train in the particular instrument or art.
“We have come to the conclusion that somebody who is doing research in this area first needs to practise it and become a reasonable exponent in the area. We are developing a very unique place where our students will undergo such programmes of training before they do research. We are organising the funding. So hopefully by early next year, we will be up and running,” he added.
Recently, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had said the alumni must play bigger role in development of IITs.