The National Institute of Technology (NIT)-Warangal, which is known as a premier engineering institute, is being converted into a university which will offer a variety of courses, covering medicine, law and postgraduate degrees in humanities and business economics.
"The aim is to become a university the way the human resource development (HRD) ministry has indicated," Y.V. Rao, the institute's director, told.
Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal mentioned that he has a desire for converting premium institutes like Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management to universities so that they can also offer other courses including medical as well legal courses.
While the IIMs and IITs have been cautious in their comment towards this proposal, NIT- Warangal is the first to announce its plans of transforming into a university.
"We will retain our original name (NIT-Warangal) but it will become an integrated university with both medical and legal education among other programmes beyond engineering and technology.
"We will also provide postgraduate courses in humanities, business economics, biotechnology and many others. The focus will gradually shift to from under-graduation to post-graduation and research," Rao explained.
NIT Warangal is the first among the NITs. Currently, India has 20 NITs and the union cabinet had earlier this month given the go ahead to set up 10 new NITs, including six in the north-eastern states.
"While all the central government institutes are implementing the OBC (Other Backward Classes) quota in three years, we did it at one go. With an increase in the number of seats, we have shifted our focus to post-graduation and research. Out of 4,200 students, currently 1,400 are M.Tech students and 300 are PhD scholars," Rao added.
He added that NIT-Warangal will soon become similar to Massachusetts Institute of Technology by offering various courses to students so that they can pursue their field of interest.
"The process of becoming a university will start from the coming academic session but it may take a few years to become a full-fledged one. We are targeting 5,000 students by 2011 and 15,000 by 2015," Rao said, elaborating on his mega plan.
"We are planning to have the school of medical science next year. We are going to give emphasis on biotechnology and microbiology and here the school of medical science will help us grow in both research and innovation."
When asked on the problems faced by WIT-Warangal, in terms of infrastructure and faculty shortage, he said, “We are getting ready for it and I don't think we will have many problems."
The institute is getting ready to celebrate the culmination of its yearlong golden jubilee celebrations late October.