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January 22, 1998


Tanitec courses to begin in June

Email this story to a friend. This June, the first batch of BSc (Information Technology) students will enter the classroom of the newly formed Tamil Nadu Institute of Information Technology, a modern training and R&D university.

The number of students to be admitted to this hi-tech institute in Madras is yet to be decided.

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The institute, which aspires to be a centre for excellence for manpower training and development, is ready to take off and awaits formal registration as a joint-sector corporate house.

Its board of directors is to comprise the best talents in the field and will run academic courses and spearhead research and development activities.

Major industrial and business groups are to actively collaborate on the project.

Meanwhile, the worldwide search for a director for Tanitec has nearly come to an end with the authorities identifying a senior person from the information technology industry in the US. A Final announcement regarding the appointment is expected in a couple of weeks.

The government has appointed a three-member search committee to find an appropriate candidate for the director's post. The talent hunt has been extended to all leading institutions in the world. Once the director for academic programme has been appointed, the courses, syllabi and the infrastructure would be finalised.

Official sources say Tanitec will initially function from the Elnet campus at Perungudi on the city's southeastern fringe where about 20,000 square feet of building space is available to run the courses. While trying to establish itself, the hi-tech institute will be linked to the Anna University. This would help lure the best talent and make the courses more attractive. The Anna University has a good reputation in technology education.

Originally, Tanitec was expected to begin, at least short-term IT courses this month but the process of finding a director delayed plans.

Efforts are meanwhile on to get a 25-acre site near the University's Taramani campus, transferred to Tanitec. Corporate houses that are collaborators in the project will use a part of the land.

The state government has sanctioned Rs 100 million for the project, which is expected to cost Rs 700 million. A major portion of the financial backing has to come from corporate collaborators, the official sources say.

For ensuring better autonomy in its functioning, Tanitec is being registered as a Section 25 company, enabling it to plough back profits in the institution. The government will own 49 per cent of the company's holdings and industries and consortia like the Confederation of Indian Industries and the National Association of Software and Service Companies would hold the balance.

Promoting Tanitec is part of the state's efforts at taking advantage of the growth potential the global software market offers. Madras is also emerging as a major centre for the country's software industry. The software technology parks in Madras and a few other centres in the states are attracting many global companies, which are expected to work in tandem with Tanitec.

The report of the working group constituted to formalise Tanitec's structure, visualises three main functions for the institute - educational, R&D and act as a catalyst to upgrade education infrastructure in the state.

If the state were oriented towards greater use of IT, it would ensure that the excellent technical manpower generated by Tanitec would be used in the country. It will also ensure a working, synergetic relationship between the IT industry on the one hand and the academic community and the government on the other.

For the academic courses, the working group has suggested that a third of the faculty could be with Tanitec, while the rest could be drawn from the industry and visiting experts from abroad. A standing search committee is to do the job of "scanning the entire IT scene" to draw the best talent.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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