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Plastindia International University to open this year

Satnam Singh | PLASTICS NEWS


Gandhinagar, India -- The long-awaited Plastindia International University, an effort to boost education and training for India's plastics industry, plans to open with short-term courses this year and be fully operational in 2019, according to one of its leaders.

The university, which will be located on a 50-acre campus in the western state of Gujarat, represents an investment of about 5 billion Indian rupees ($77.1 million) in three phases over the next 10 years, said Arvind Mehta, president of the governing body of the school.

The university is being organized under the Plastindia Foundation trade association. On its website it says it is India's first university dedicated to plastics, and is currently accepting applicants for plastics, chemical and mechanical engineering.

"Short-term courses will commence from later this year in September, while longer undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral level courses will begin from September 2019," Mehta said in an interview at Plastindia 2018.

PIU and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell signed a memorandum of understanding in October 2016 for the U.S. university to provide advice on curriculum, infrastructure and accreditation under the Accreditation Board for Industry and Technology.

Plastindia University's governing council met during the Plastindia 2018 show and approved faculty appointments, the starting of the short-term courses and visits by six PIU faculty to U-Mass Lowell.

"We are spending INR 1.25 billion ($19.2 million) in Phase 1 by end September 2019," Mehta said. "Phase 1 is delayed by a year."

He said the group will spend 2.5 billion rupees ($38.4 million) in its second phase and another 1.25 billion rupees ($19.2 million) in its third phase.

The government of the state of Gujarat sold the land, in the city of Vapi, to the Plastindia Foundation at a discount, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister for Gujarat.

The foundation and industry will bear the cost of building the university, with the foundation already pumping in 400 million rupees ($6.2 million). Gujarat is a hub of India's plastics industry.

Beyond courses in engineering, PIU will have a modern lab for research and development. It's also increasing the number of places in its plastics engineering program, he said.

"Earlier, it was planned to offer 60 students in each stream but with the rising application of plastics in auto sector, the seats for engineering plastics raised to 120," Mehta said.

The university will have 127 employees, including 60 in the teaching faculty.

The project has long been in the planning stages.

Foundation leaders held a public ceremony at the 2012 Plastindia trade show, with administrators from U-Mass Lowell and the plastics program at the University of Wisconsin. At the time, they said they were targeting a 2014 or 2015 opening for the school.


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