Union Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, on April 24 inaugurated the NTCPWC-Discovery Campus of Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) in the presence of Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, faculty and other officials. ‘Discovery Campus’ is the 163-acre campus of IIT Madras, located at Thaiyur, about 36 km from the main campus at Guindy. It hosts state-of-the-art standalone Research Centres with large dedicated facilities and will have its own support infrastructure such as hostels for the research scholars and fellows, common instrumentation laboratories, and conference facilities, among other amenities.
The NTCPWC-IIT Madras, Discovery Campus has about five state-of-the-art labs. Notable among these is the ‘Sedimentation Management and Test Basin,’ which is a large shallow water facility for ports and waterways and marine information and communication laboratory where iVTMS and e-navigation products are developed.
The National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC), the technology arm of the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India, with a mandate to bring cutting-edge technology to the Port and Waterways sectors is boosting ‘Make in India’ for Port, Coastal and Inland water transport and engineering by developing state-of-the-art technologies and application products besides fast-track innovations to tackle challenges. Given the rapidly expanding research footprint of IIT Madras, and the need to create world-class research facilities quickly over the next decade, the campus at Thaiyur has been planned primarily as a research campus.
Addressing the inaugural function, Sonowal, Union Minister of Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and AYUSHsaid, “This Centre acts as a unique vibrant centre for students, industry and academicians in the area of Sediment transportation, Navigation, Dredging and siltation, port and coastal engineering, autonomous platforms and vehicles, among other areas.”
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “We are committed to the service of the nation. The estimated savings from NTCPWC in the last five years is around Rs. 1,500 Crore of Foreign Exchange by indigenous technology. This is among the only such facility in India where we are looking at real-world deployment of all the naval-related Research and translational development projects where we move away from simulation and come closer to real-world so that we can actually implement these projects. This is also comparable with best facilities in the world including Europe. We are establishing ourselves as leaders and role models.”
Prof. Kamakoti added, “This whole set-up has been done indigenously in India at IIT Madras, which is a vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mentioned in ‘Amrit Kaal’ as we march towards the next 25 years when we reach the 100th year of Independence, India needs to be a completely self-sustaining country – the ‘Atmanirbhar India.’ This is certainly a very important step as we move towards in the maritime sector.”
The Port Centre at Discovery Campus was setup in February 2018. It also provides solutions to an extensive range of problems being faced in the industry through scientific support and carry out education, applied research and technology transfer.