Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram is set to become a 'knowledge hub' with the latest elevation of the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Kerala (IIITM-K) as a digital university. The city already boasts of a research institution of potentially global standards in the Institute of Advanced Virology and also the country's first Space Park that can host research in the space sciences.
IIITM-K is set to renamed as the Kerala University of Digital Sciences Innovation and Technology with the upgrade. It is the only government institution in Kerala offering advanced studies and research in Information Technology. It also has expertise in management.
IIITM-K offers an incubation facility for budding enterprises and internship opportunities to students. When it comes to research and academic–industry linkages, the institute has formed tie-ups with multinational companies such as IBM, TCS, Oracle and GE.
Kerala's only hardware incubator, Kochi Maker Village functions under the IIITM-K. The university status will give a boost to Maker Village too. Presently, the courses offered are recognised by the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT). As a university, IIITM-K can conduct its own courses and award degrees from now on. This opens a better avenues for students from Kerala wishing to pursue higher studies in the field of IT.
IIITM-K is currently functioning out of the Technopark. Having now attained the status of a digital university, it will now move to its own sprawling campus in the Technocity. The fully green new campus, nearing completion, will include hostel blocks for students, open air auditoriums, and advanced labs. It conforms to the norms of the UGC and AICTE.
Classes from June
The Kerala government wants IIITM-K to start UGC-recognised courses from the next academic year in June itself. The institute will offer only postgraduate and research programmes on the lines of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). There will be academic exchange programmes with renowned foreign universities. The institute will collaborate closely with the IT industry.
No other campuses will operate under the new IIITM-K.
IIITM-K had recently developed a web-based application called Coffee Soil Health Management and Monitoring App to help coffee farmers gather data and apply those to fetch higher yields. It also came up with an app by the name of 'Swachchpani' to measure water quality and get instantaneous results and another mobile app called 'Mannu' (Malayalam term for soil) to help farmers identity the crops best suited for their farm and to assess the amount of fertilizers to be added.
Other contributions made by the IIITM-K include a study to unearth and document the traditional knowledge possessed by Kerala tribals; and India's first block-chain academy. The IIITM-K also conducted adalats across Kerala in order to recover via digital locker facility those certificates which people had lost during the massive floods in the state.
The IIITM-K won the award of excellence for the Block Chain Academy at the Open Innovation Block Chain Hackathon conducted by the IITs. It also secured the prestigious membership for the Block Chain Academy (KBA) in the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger project.
The institute is also the first Indian venture to attain membership in the Hyperledger project, US-based Linux Foundation's recognition that imparts training on Hyperledger frameworks and tools of block chain technology.