In a significant development, nearly 200 reputed engineering colleges located across the country have opted for the scheme to adopt stretches of National Highways.
These include the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) approved engineering colleges, have associated with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to adopt nearby stretches of the National Highway voluntarily.
These initiatives are expected to create a bridge between the institutes and the industry as was envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This will also lead to cooperation between the institutes and the NHAI for the dissemination of respective expertise on the field of civil and highway engineering on national highway projects, a Ministry of Education release has said.
The adopted stretches will be used as a field of study for the faculty, researchers and acquaint students of the selected institute with the latest industry trends.
Under this initiative, the partner institutes will study improvement prospects in safety, maintenance, riding comfort, removal of congestion points and usages of new technologies, etc., on the adopted stretches and give suitable suggestions to NHAI for consideration. The institutes will also associate with the NHAI during conceptualisation, design and project preparation of new projects and suggest the relevant parameters and innovations based on experience specific to the site climate, topography and resource potential for the better socio-economic outcome.
This initiative will also help instil a sense of contribution to building local infrastructure among the student fraternity. NHAI will offer an internship to 20 undergraduate and 20 postgraduate students of the institutes per year. The duration of the internship shall be two months per student in a year. The internship will be Rs 8,000 per month for undergraduate students and Rs 15,000 per month for postgraduate students. NHAI will support the creation of lab infrastructure in the institute and may sponsor a relevant research project that helps in using alternative resource material and improving the quality of roads.
NHAI has received an overwhelming response for the initiative from many reputed institutes in a short time. So far 18 IITs, 26 NITs and 190 other reputed engineering colleges have opted for the scheme. Appropriate memorandums of understanding (MOUs) have been inked between the technical institutes and NHAI for the adopted stretches, with nearly 200 institutes having already signed the MOU for implementation of the scheme.
It is expected that more than 300 Institutes offering civil engineering undergraduate and postgraduate courses will adopt National Highway stretches all over the country.