Considering the importance of agriculture in ensuring food and nutritional security, Agricultural Engineering department had been incepted at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 1952 according to the recommendation of the Dhar committee appointed by the Board of Governors. Subsequently, with upgradation of its academic programmes, the department was re-christened as Agricultural & Food Engineering department in 1994. Among 23 IIT institutes, IIT Kharagpur has the sole distinction of having an Agricultural & Food Engineering department, which comprises of six disciplines such as Farm Machinery and Power, Land and Water Resources Engineering, Agricultural Biotechnology, Food Process Engineering, Agricultural Systems Management and Aquacultural Engineering, respectively. Sponsored research projects and development activities deal with Integrated Rainwater Management, Soil Tillage, Utilisation of Fly ash, Ergonomic Database for Agricultural Equipment, Integrating Remote Sensing Data with Distributed Hydrological Models, Model Pilot Plant and koji room facilities for production of industrial enzymes etc. The department has filed several patent applications and transferred many technologies to the industries and various stake-holders based on its innovative research.
Everything else can wait, agriculture can't
- Norman Borlaug
Agriculture is the numero uno for Indian economy. The Agricultural and Food Engineering Department is unique of its kind in the IIT system. The department has dedicated and talented faculty, which offers UG/PG/MS/Ph.D programmes in varied disciplines of Agricultural Engineering and Sciences.
To strengthen the National Education Policy (NEP), students are encouraged to pursue internships in different industries, corporate houses. The department also encourages multi-disciplinary research and facilities financial support for presentation of research outcome in international fora that ultimately helps in inter-disciplinary and international collaborations. The major domain of research and development includes Precision agriculture, biofuel and bionergy, modern food processing, plasticulture and micro-irrigation, Climate Change, hydrological modeling, ground water management, water management, agricultural biotechnology, pollution abatement, extrusion technology, intelligent and high pressure packaging, soil mapping and image analysis for plant phenotyping.
The department has high-throughput equipments, NABL accreditated Analytical Food Testing laboratory, Advanced Laboratories in varied domains, Filed/Granted several patents and published research-cum-review papers in peer-reviewed international journals.
With the objectives of Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self reliant Nation), the department would emulate excellent Scientific and Academic ambience in the area of teaching and research for the edification of society and mankind.
Faculty has published more than 2200 research findings with an h-index of 60 and i10-index of 505. In addition, 34 books, 64 patents and 16 copyrights related to agricultural production, processing and management technologies are credited as faculty academic contributions.
Faculty and students have received several awards like Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Jawahar Lal Nehru Award to name a few.