National Conference on Resilient Infrastructure is launched for the first time by Kerala Highway Research Institute, the only research institute of Kerala Public Works Department in association with Indian Institute of Technology Palakkad. NCRI is organised with a vision to bring forward the latest research activities in resilient infrastructure development to meet the realistic need of the hour.
Public Works Department under the government of Kerala traces back its history to the formation of the Maramath Department in the State of Travancore in the year 1823. PWD is vested with designing, planning, construction and maintenance of public infrastructure such as roads, bridges and government buildings. It is also entrusted with the implementation of road safety works. The department is under the Hon’ble Minister for public works and is headed by the Secretary to government at the Secretariat. The department has various wings namely Roads, Bridges, Buildings, National Highways, Design, Projects, Road maintenance and Administration headed by Chief Engineers. Superintending Engineers are in charge of the three circle offices in the state. Under them are Divisions headed by Executive Engineers at the district level, Sub Divisions headed by Assistant Executive Engineers at the taluk level and Sections under Assistant Engineers at the lowest level. Organizations like Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP), Kerala State Construction Corporation Ltd (KSCC), Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB), Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala Ltd (RBDCK) and Road Infrastructure Company Kerala Ltd (RICK) also functions under Public Works Department.
Kerala Highway Research Institute (KHRI), the only research institute under Kerala Public Works Department, was established in 1972 as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways (MSRTH). The three major spheres of activity of KHRI are Research, Training and Material Testing. The institute is involved in various research studies focussing modern technologies and pilot projects catering the needs of the government to attain the sustainability development goals related to public infrastructure. It imparts technical training programmes involving nationally and internationally eminent faculties to improve the quality of PWD works. KHRI facilitates material testing in its three well equipped labs, to serve the preconstruction and post construction requirements of PWD as well as other government and non government bodies.
KHRI functions under the Chief Engineer, PWD Designs with necessary guidance and supervision of Director (Research & PPU) and is headed by the Joint Director. The activities of KHRI are executed through its four divisions namely, Concrete & Structures Division, Flexible Pavement Division, Soil Mechanics & Foundation Division and Traffic Engineering Division.
IIT Palakkad one of the 23 prestigious IITs of national importance imparting higher education in engineering, science and technology started functioning in 2015-16, with the support of its mentor Institute, IIT Madras. The academic program was launched by admitting students to the B. Tech. course in the disciplines of Civil Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. The Institute is located at two campuses, namely, the Ahalia integrated campus (Temporary Campus) and the Nila Campus at Kanjokkode. Within a short span of two years, the Institute could start Masters and Doctoral programs in Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. The Institute has commenced M.Sc courses in Physics and Chemistry, and M.Tech in Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, in the current academic year.