Kerala govt to set up digital varsity, to moot ordinance

Kerala is set to get a digital university soon as the state government decides to upgrade the present Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala (IIITM-K) here to varsity status. A Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on Wednesday decided to recommend to the Governor Arif Mohammad Khan to issue an ordinance in this regard.

The new digital university would be known as “The Kerala University of Digital Sciences Innovation and Technology,” an official press release said here. The proposed university is part of the LDF government’s various initiatives to promote and develop information technology industry and digital technology.

The core objective behind the setting up of the university is to promote innovative research and entrepreneurship and strengthen industry-educational cooperation in the broad field of digital technology. The university is envisaged to give thrust upon new technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, block chain, cognitive science, the Internet of Things and augmented reality, the release said.

The varsity would also help to develop quality human resource, it said. Five schools – the School of Computing, the School of Electronics Design and Automation, the School of Informatics, the School of Digital BioScience and the School of Digital Humanities – would be set up with the aim of addressing the shortage of high-quality manpower in the digital sector, it said.

The focus of the proposed university would be on research in the areas of digital technology and graduate and undergraduate-level education. The Cabinet also decided to acquire 1,351 acres of land as part of extending the Kochi-Bangalore Industrial Corridor to Kochi via Coimbatore, the release said.

The proposed land would be acquired through Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and Rs 1,038 crore is the estimated expense for the ambitious initiative, it added.

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