IIT Kharagpur is a trend-setter in multidisciplinary research. It has a golden track record of evolving new courses in frontier areas. It has produced the first BTechs in Electronics, Computer Science and Engineering and Biotechnology. It was the first to start the Postgraduate Diploma in Information Technology. It was the first to implement a large state-of-the-art Gigabit Ethernet network in India.
It is expected that the medical practice will undergo a sea change with the recent advances in biomedical instrumentation in diagnosis, communication and information technology, genetic engineering/medical biotechnology immuno-technology, bio-compatible materials/implant materials, material for prosthesis, biophysics, biomechanics, biomedical simulation, cryobiology and various other areas. The human genome project has opened up new vistas in prevention, detection and cure of human diseases with molecular precision. To meet these challenges, a new breed of medical professionals is required for further advances in medical research and more effective health care. Accordingly, in the year of its Golden Jubilee 2001, IIT Kharagpur has introduced another first, an interdisciplinary Masters Programme in Medical Science and Technology under the School of Medical Science and Technology.
The institute is in a very advantageous position to venture in this new direction as it has well established departments like: Agricultural and Food Engineering, Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer and Informatics Centre, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering/Instrumentation Engineering, Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering, GSS School of Information Technology, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, Material Science Centre, Physics and Rubber Technology centre. In addition, research in the various fields of Biotechnology is already being carried out in the departments of Biotechnology and Agricultural & Food Engineering and in IIT-BREF-Biotech. The institute has well equipped state-of-the-art laboratories of Cell and Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Downstream Processing, Fermentation Technology, Proteomics, Bioinformatics, Cryobiology, Plant Biotechnology, Plant Tissue Culture and Ergonomics. The research is being carried out in the areas of cloning, expression of eukaryotic, prokaryotic and viral proteins and monoclonal antibody production, immunodiagnostics, mass propagation of plants and drug related secondary metabolite production. The enzyme for solubilization of coal and unhairing of hides and skins have been identified and genetic engineering techniques are being used to improve them. Insect resistant transgenic cotton cultivars have been developed and research is being carried out in transgenic developments for commercial utilization.
Appreciating the needs of the country and keeping the strength of IIT Kharagpur in mind, this programe was started last year. The faculty and the facilities available in various departments will be of great help in this programme. The largest number of world class graduates and post-graduates from this IIT are accepted throughout the globe every year, hence it is felt that it is the model institute for undertaking such a programme.
In view of the interdisciplinary nature of the programme, two workshops were held in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) so as to develop an effective state-of-the-art curriculum for the Master’s programme. Eminent doctors from educational field, leading medical hospitals and from Government sector took part in the deliberations of these workshops. It was recognized in these workshops that there was an urgent and compelling need to bring together the two important segments of professionals, the doctors and the engineers/technologists, to address the need for modernization of medical research particularly in the areas of:
Implant materials and Prosthesis
It was recommended that these and other subjects should form the course content of this postgraduate programme. The opinion of experts from all over India and abroad was sought in framing the curriculum and syllabi of this course which has been approved by the Senate of the Institute.
The standard of instruction and evaluation in this programme will be the same as that maintained in any other course of IIT Kharagpur, evolved by healthy traditions of the last five decades. It may be emphasized that all academic programmes of this Institute run with clock-work precision, the classes, examinations and all activities are held as planned.
It is expected that the students thus trained will act as an interface between medical and technology groups who will be in a better position to appreciate the interdisciplinary medico-techno nature of the problems and develop products through innovative research and at the same time carry out quality research in the frontier areas.