Higher education institutions can tie-up with the Ministries of Road Transport and Highways and Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for research in specific areas, Nitin Gadkari, said in a meeting with higher education authorities organised by FICCI.

He added that such institutions could tie-up in the area of road safety, to conduct road safety audits and traffic studies on various stretches of highways.

Indicating the scope for such work, Gadkari said that black-spots – which are design or engineering changes in highways to lower accidents – were identified in Mumbai-Pune expressway (an expressway that was made when he was Minister in Maharashtra).

Highway Ministry has set a target to build highways with ₹15 lakh crore in the next two years, said Gadkari. Road Ministry will soon tie-up with two IITs for developing areas of civil engineering, the Minister said.

He cited the example of a tie-up with IIT Madras for the port sector, when Shipping Ministry funded setting up of a chair after the institute designed a project for Haldia port.

The universities should not try to become “industrialists”. Instead they should strive to achieve excellence while making ‘some’ profit, Gadkari said stressing on the need for universities not to increase fees sharply every year and think of ways to focus on improving quality of education, creating jobs for students while lowering the burden of high fees.