Message from the Director 2013

The Institute has to develop the Mission, Vision, Goal and Values that would be instrumental in placing IITG among the top 200 academic institutions of the world. The strategies that we develop must create new opportunities for the faculty and the students for enhancement of knowledge, performing cutting edge research and development of professional skills. The ultimate aim is to provide the students with an educational training that emphasizes innovation and social awareness. Also there is a serious need to promote the spirit of creativity amongst our researchers.

The challenge to the Institute is to create the optimum research ambiance. Each individual should be encouraged for performing. In particular, to promote quality research, the Institute must identify and reward excellence in research. The system must ensure active participation of majority of the faculty members in order to improve research accomplishments. The patens and publications in the top tier journals should be valued most while taking a stock of the human inventory.

Today, the yearly publication in the top tier journals in the best performing IIT is around two (2) per faculty. This number at IITG has to be doubled in coming three years. The faculty members have to be guided, motivated and encouraged in order to accomplish this feat.

lITG needs improved student care system for the research scholars. When we select a student for a PhD programme, we actually select a future faculty member. The PhD programme should train them in such a way that they should develop a mind-set of world leaders in their field.

We require setting up a strong link with the Industry. An expansion of industrial problem-based research is essential. In a renewed drive towards Industrial impact, successful and timely execution of small and medium size Industrial problems should be attempted. As such the need of MSME clusters can be the excellent basis of collaboration.

lITG needs to focus on creating world class research infrastructure. Close collaborations with the WELL KNOWN FOREIGN UNIVERSITIES and the NATIONAL LABORATORIES are needed.

A synergy between teaching and research is the real need. Postgraduate and PhD level courses may be given strong research orientation. The method of evaluation should be shifted FROM FORMAL EXAMINATION TO FINDING OUT SOLUTION OF OPEN ENDED PROBLEMS.

Also IITG must initiate special drive with Industry and National Laboratories for interdisciplinary research in some of the following areas: Roads and Infrastructure; Electric Power from Gas; Petroleum Engineering; Modern Manufacturing (including Fabrionics) and Underwater Robotics. CSIR- Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), CSIR- Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI), CSIR- Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI) and many other CSIR Laboratories can be the partners in this initiative.

IITG has immense potential to become a centre of excellence in quite a few areas. Readily collaborations are possible with other IITs, IISc and some CSIR Laboratories, such as, CSIR- National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), CSIR- Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), CSIR- National Physical Laboratory (NPL), CSIR- Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and CSIR- North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) in the areas of Computational Fluid Dynamics, Communication and Networking, Control Engineering, Nanotechnology, Condensed Matter Physicis, Green Chemistry, Bioengineering and Biotechnology.

Keeping in view recent disaster in Uttarakhand, the faculty members can take the lead for programmes such as Developing Early Warning System, Disaster Mitigation, Structural Health Monitoring etc. CSIR-Structural Engineering Research Centre (SERC), CSIR- Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) and CSIR- Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) can be made partners in this initiative.

With proper team work, mission mode projects, Industry-Institute partnership and encouraging mentorship, lITG has potential to find a place among the Global Leaders in many other areas that I have not been able to mention in this text. Every faculty member will be supported if he/ she is proactive with research initiative. Faculty members will be strongly encouraged and supported for their aspirations for winning national and international awards and honors.

Undergraduate programmes can be revised following recent developments across the top ranking Universities in the world. Concept of one Major with two Minors is to be considered seriously. Usage of open source portals, like COURSERA have to be experimented in order to internationalize the system.

An effective and Vibrant Counseling Service is to be introduced. The service will try to make the stay of the new students in the Institute as comfortable and as memorable as possible. This will help the new entrants adjust to the system at the earliest so that they strive to achieve academic excellence in addition to the overall growth of their personality. The counseling service will effectively eradicate the menace of ragging.

The Counseling Service should have several teams comprising of faculty counselors and the student guides. The role of the faculty counselor is to establish a vibrating rapport with the students that will last during their stay in the Institute and beyond.

The student guides will help in removing difficulties at all levels, giving the new entrants mental stability and helping them in academic matters.

Both undergraduate and post-graduate students should be formally encouraged to enhance reasoning skills through some method of interaction. The academic interaction will create an environment of care and concern in the hostels.

For the undergraduates the aspect of reasoning skills has to be included in the curriculum of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and the core level engineering courses (Thermodynamics, Basic Electronics, Computing, Solid and Fluid Mechanics etc).

LEARNING MUST BE A FUN FOR THE STUDENTS. THE INITIATIVES FOR LEARNING MUST COME FROM WITHIN. THE ACADEMIC ECHO SYSTEM HAS TO BE DEVELOPED IN THAT DIRECTION. IITG HAS TO MAKE A MARK AMONGST THE UNDERGADUATE COMMUNITY FOR ITS LEARNING-CENTRIC ACADEMIC ORIENTATION. INSTRUCTORS AND STUDENTS HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER FOR THIS NOVEL TEACHING-LEARNING PARADIGM. THE STUDENTS SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED FOR CREATIVE ACTIVITIES, BE IT IN THE REALM OF ESOTERIC WORLD, OR IN THE AREA OF HANDS-ON EXERCISES. THE COMPONENT OF CREATION SHOULD BE A PART OF THE COURSES IN CURRICULUM.

The academic departments should offer research professionals in national laboratories and Industries opportunity to serve as the faculty members over a specified duration and to interact with faculty and graduate students in research. Such interactions are possible through introducing visiting professorships or adjunct professorships. There is a lot to be gained by such interaction in the future. Some of the potential benefits are:

  • Enhanced competitive base for pursuing external research awards.
  • Enhanced ability to undertake interdisciplinary research efforts.
  • National Research Centers can be benefited by the expertise and services of faculty, staff and the post-graduate students for research without having to make permanent commitments for employment.
  • Academic departments can obtain the expertise and services of research professionals or staff without having to make permanent commitments for employment.
  • National laboratories, Industries and academic departments can share the expensive equipment or research facilities.

There are two other major reasons for better interaction between the academic departments and the research centers. First, academic departments need to learn to be more responsive to the timeliness of research. The delivery of the project outcomes in time, particularly in the shorter time frame projects, plays an important role in confidence building. And second, the research professionals, and industry-champions many of whom are excellent at developing practical solutions, often neglect the potential for extending the basic body of knowledge in their research. More interaction between academic departments and the research professionals could provide the balance between the complementary components

Indian engineers and technologists have done miracles in Information Technology. Such miracles are indeed needed in other areas, involving Design and Manufacturing. The miracles in the areas of Power Generation and Distribution, Construction Technology, Affordable Health Care, Materials Science and Biotechnology are essential.

The role of humanities and social sciences in Engineering Education is to be revisited. A perfect blend of humanities would imbibe intellectual honesty, professional ethics and capacity for teamwork in the face of new challenges. A rejuvenated humanities education will develop a paradigm where there will be no space for disharmony, hatred or enmity.

The courses in social science would contribute in the following way

  • developing inner and outer strength of the individuals
  • nurturing higher level of cognition up to creativity
  • development of emotional intelligence

Liberal Arts must find a place in curriculum. This will be a good starting point of learning through creativity.

All the issues enumerated above can be successfully steered towards success if the Institute becomes repository of excellent human resources. Faculty members, students, staff members at all levels have to maintain this special quality.

The Institute has to be proactive in attracting good faculty from world over.

Many of the bright students who are on the verge of completing their PhD in several good schools all over the world (including India) are willing to dedicate themselves to the service of the nation.

The Institute must try to develop a data base of such brilliant scholars (Web of Science is of great help in this endeavor). Proper encouragement, career counseling and creation of new facilities are the key components to attract such youngsters.

IITG has already been able to get success in such initiatives. However, in the recent past all IITs have become extremely competitive in this drive. Once a group of such young mind responds to this initiative, the Institute has to be extremely concerned in attracting them and mentoring them.

Important thing here is to evolve a strong and healthy tradition for recognition and encouragement of talent and a good yardstick for calibrating performance.

The Institute should earn the reputation of “a place to grow”. If the trend can be maintained over a period of five years, the tradition will continue.

A non-trivial issue instrumental in attracting good faculty, is “diversity”. The diversity in language, religion and in cultural heritage is the strength of Indian society. The campus will be far more attractive to people of any region, if there is diversity in population in the Institute. The campus should grow into a culturally vibrant place. Student body has to take a lead for establishing closer links with organizations like Spic-Macay.

IITG has to take a lead in showcasing a Green Campus too. Optimum utilization of electric power, proper utilization of solar energy, rain water harvesting, special treatment for harmful chemical wastes etc have to be the integrated with the campus.

FINALLY IITG HAS TO DO SOMETHING SUBSTANTIAL TO MAKE THE LIFE OF MILLIONS IN THE NORTH-EAST COMFORTABLE. IITG HAS TO SPREAD THE BREDTH OF HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION IN ALL THE PROVINCES OF NORTH EAST. THE OUTREACH PROGRAME HAS TO BE MUCH MORE FORTHCOMING. THE FACULTY MEMBERS HAVE TO BE PASSIONATE TO TAKE THE OUTREACH PROGRAME TO NEXT LEVEL SO THAT THE BENEFIT IS FELT AND APPRECAITED BY THE PEOPLE OF NORTH EAST.