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IT dept to provide 'rent-free space', scholarships to student innovators

Kolkata: The state Information Technology and Electronics department has decided to give fresh graduates "rent-free space" for churning out ideas and designing innovative models at a proposed Centre of Innovation at the IT Park being built at Bantala in the city.
"We have prepared a blueprint for the Centre from the state IT department under the leadership of our minister Bratya Basu. It will soon be put forward for approval before the state Cabinet," state additional Chief Secretary for IT and Electronics department Debashis Sen said while addressing the symposium "Innovation 2017" organised by CII on Saturday.
The IT department is optimistic that the Centre of Innovation will be functional from the financial year 2018-19. He maintained that the screening process for the would-be innovators will be done by a team of experts at Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Kalyani, which is headed by IIT Kharagpur director Partha Pratim Chakraborty.
"Interested graduates will have to submit a short project report and its merit and quality will determine the candidate's selection. As per the government policy, we will encourage projects that are good for commoners. The government's vision is to improve the living standard of the masses," Sen said. The IT department will evaluate the performance of a student innovator every six months and decide whether he/she can continue. "The government will also consider offering scholarships to the best and the brightest," Sen said, adding that the upcoming Centre of Innovation will involve top academicians, scientists and industry members as its mentors.
David Gann, CBE, vice-president of Innovation, Imperial College in London, said innovation is the driving force of any economy and society. For any country to progress, prosper and make an impact on the world stage, it is important that all stakeholders come together and create a strong platform. "In the corporate sector, large and small firms need to form an alliance to create a strong and enduring eco-system of innovation," Gann, who is widely known for his ability to build global relationships, to connect ideas, research and find solutions with substantial funding for academia, businesses and governments, said.
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