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IIT Bombay has set up a Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) as an independent academic unit of the Institute. An inception workshop was organized on the 19th of August at VMCC, IIT Bombay, to mark the opening of the Centre. Prof. Devang Khakhar, Director IIT Bombay along with Dr. Satish Agnihotri, an IITB alumnus and Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of Centre for Policy Research, a New Delhi based think-tank, inaugurated the new centre.
In his inaugural statement, Prof. Devang Khakhar explained the role of CPS and how it would aim to bring people from different disciplines to work on policy. This would be a centre unique to IIT Bombay. He also mentioned how alumni from various IITs got involved in the process for setting up a new centre and the appropriate time to start and develop such a centre. Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) would be set to promote diversity and would allow people from various department and other disciplines to come together and work on policy making.
Next, Dr. Satish Agnihotri, a hostel 9 alumnus, in his speech mentioned that the idea to develop CPS was born in a meet in Goa where the contours got finalized. Currently, the centre comprises of Dr. Satish Agnihotri and three of his students. He hopes to carry out a developmental course where 5-6 colleges put in their efforts together. He also plans to have an Annual Policy Dialogue in the centre first meet next January to promote conversation between technologists and sociologists. Centre for Policy Studies(CPS) would be nurtured by IITB centres like SOM, CTARA, Humanities and Social Science(HSS), CSRE etc.. He also plans to form an advisory committee (supposedly all from Hostel 9 of IITB) consisting of 6 members to ensure the well-working of CPS in initial times. He signed off by quoting, ‘A centre well begun is only half done unless you follow it up’.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta stressed that a centre like CPS is important not just for IITs but for other institutions as well. He also mentioned that expectations would be very high and it’s very important for CPS to perform well. He focussed on four foundations of setting up a centre and transitions over time which would form the backdrop of the Centre: Economic, Political, Administrative and Social.
The events that were lined up for post lunch session included numerous panel discussions on the problems that the centre might face and coming up with solutions on how to tackle them.