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IIT Bhubaneshwar submits proposal to set up AI robotics centre

The higher education department is planning to set up a centre of excellence on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics at a state public university. The department on Friday sought views of Rama Devi Women’s University here on the centre.

IIT Bhubaneswar has submitted the proposal to the state government to set up the centre at an estimated cost of around Rs 8.7 crore. Students from state universities and colleges can learn and get training on newer technologies like AI and robotics.

Subhransu Ranjan Samantaray, OPTCL chair professor and head of the School of Electrical Sciences, IIT Bhubaneswar, said many organisations across the country are facing a skill gap in sectors like AI and robotics, with some facing an extreme shortage of niche skill sets such as data scientists. “Organisations are simultaneously investing in acquisition of fresh talent and skilling their existing workforce in AI,” he added.

He proposed the government to set up this centre to create talent in the field of AI and robotics keeping the industry need in mind. “Even the students will get better pay in these sectors compared to the conventional IT jobs and they can create their own enterprises or startups,” he added.

Samanataray said the centre of excellence will help to increase the employability of university students from hundreds initially to thousands in two-three years. The current salary level will increase by 30% to 50%, he claimed. “It will become one of the innovation hubs around AI after two-three years,” he added.

Official sources said the centre will have a combination of different AI accelerators and robotics setup.

University will become a powerhouse for a talented workforce skilled with the latest technologies and it will attract more talented students who wish to learn these technologies. Faculties of the university will have exposure to industry partners who can expose them to industry best practices which can be incorporated in their classrooms, the proposal stated.

It further said that students of the university will be exposed to application-based learning and multiple tools and technologies that are used in the industry with multiple platforms.

IIT Bhubaneswar will undertake financial and other management responsibilities of the project. Rama Devi Women’s University vice-chancellor Aparajita Chowdhury said, “We are in the process of taking a final decision in this matter.” ToI

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