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The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) is investing close to Rs 46 crore (Rs 460 million) in four new centres of excellence -- School of Entrepreneurship, School of Infrastructure Design and Management, Steel Technology Centre, and Centre of Excellence in Telecommunication Engineering, reports the Business Standard.

This is part of the Rs 400-crore (Rs 4 billion) investment that IIT-KGP recently announced for expansion of its infrastructure. Funds have been raised through government grants, alumni and corporate funding.

The new centres of excellence are expected to be functional by the 2009 academic session. The course modules are currently being worked out.

With the School of Entrepreneurship, IIT-KGP will be the first IIT in India to set up a dedicated entrepr0eneurship school. Being set up at an estimated investment of Rs 8 crore (Rs 80 million), the School of Entrepreneurship will provide appropriate knowledge and skills to the aspiring entrepreneurs.

"Initially the school would admit about 50 students for the five-year course. The course will target students from financially secure backgrounds who are not looking for jobs. It was meant for potential employment generators who could accelerate the process of development and not employment seekers," pointed out D Acharya, director of IIT-KGP.

Students desirous of taking admission to the entrepreneurship course will have to clear the regular IIT-JEE. IIT-KGP's entrepreneurship course will be a dual-degree programme -- a bachelor of technology and a master of entrepreneurship -- at the completion of the course.

Half of the cost of introducing the course would be borne by an alumnus of the institute, Vinod Mehta. The students will be individually nurtured under the expert guidance of two mentors -- an alumni and a faculty.

The students will also have to produce a commercially viable idea before the course ends which IIT-KGP claims will be commercialised.The institute has also lined up a Rs 20-crore (Rs 200-million) investment for a Steel Technology Centre, in an attempt to attract students into the Indian iron and steel sector.

M Chakraborty, deputy director of IIT-KGP, says: "India will be required to produce 120 million tonnes of steel per annum by 2020, which means additional manpower strength is required. The Steel Technology Centre will train students in the handling and management of the sector. Quality work would mean better salaries; so, after completion of this course, students can expect a salary of Rs 800,000 to 25 lakhs (Rs 2.5 million) per annum."

Admission to the Steel Technology Centre would be open to graduates of disciplines like mechanical engineering, civil, chemical or metallurgical engineering.

IIT-KGP will set up a third centre of excellence -- Telecommunication Engineering -- with an estimated investment of Rs 14 crore (Rs 140 million).

The centre of excellence in Telecommunication Engineering is expected to address all kinds of next generation telecom network needs and relevant infrastructure development.

The courses will train students on mobile handset designing and bandwidth management so that existing telecom infrastructure could be utilised to the fullest. IIT-KGP is also investing close to Rs 4 crore (Rs 40 million) in setting up a School of Infrastructural Design and Management.

According to Acharya, with an estimated $650 billion investment lined up for the Indian infrastructure sector, it was necessary to introduce a dedicated school to teach students infrastructure design and its management.

The school also aims to train students management skills on timely completion of construction and infrastructure projects.

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