GUWAHATI, July 5 - New Director of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati Prof TG Sitharam today said that he and his team will work to sustain the progress made by the institute in recent years and the target is to ensure that it finds a place among the top 100 universities of the world within the next five years.
Addressing a press conference at the IIT Guwahati campus, Prof Sitharam, who took over charge as Director on July 1, also added that the institute would work closely with the state governments of the region on various fields and that it also plans to open extension centres in all the north-eastern states.
�IIT Guwahati has been ranked 7th in engineering and 9th in the overall university ranking in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) released on April 8 this year. IIT Guwahati has been ranked in QS global world ranking at 491st position... This trend should continue further for the institute to join the elite league of universities in the world. We hope that within next five years we will be among the top 100 universities globally,� he said.
Prof Sitharam said that during the last 25 years IIT Guwahati has been able to build up world class infrastructure for carrying out advanced research and has been equipped with state-of-the-art scientific and engineering facilities.
�The main drawback of IIT Guwahati is that we have so far not been able to attract too many international students and international faculty. This will be addressed through Masters and PhD programmes to attract a large number of students from BIMSTEC and SAARC countries,� he said.
IIT Guwahati will focus on various projects in the north-eastern region with the help of extension programmes. Prof Sitharam said that the institute is looking at having extension centres in all the NE states, provided it receives permission from the Union Human Resources Development Ministry and other agencies.
He said the institute would introduce a new programme for undergraduate students under which 120 students from across the North East will be brought to the IIT Guwahati campus every year for a 20-day all expenses exposure tour to familiarise them with the latest technology and to promote them as future engineers.
The new IITG Director said that the institute is keen to explore the possibility of having joint PhD programmes with other institutes, including in Assam.
He said that IIT Guwahati is keen to work closely with the Assam government on various research projects of relevance to the State, including helping Assam achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), besides on areas of water management and flood control and for starting a centre of excellence for disaster preparedness.
Prof Sitharam added that the startup policy of the institute would be strengthened.
�The transformation which I am planning to discuss with the faculty for implementation will address the �future ready�, relevant and aspirant academic programmes through outcome-based education, examination reforms and with project-based learning,� he said.
Pointing to recent growth in substance abuse noticed across the country, Prof Sitharam said that the institute would help students learn coping and stress management skills.
�Talking with students about alcohol and substance abuse is very much needed. There is a need of yoga and meditation for students and faculty. Yoga and meditation can help us eliminate negative thoughts, worries, anxiety and all factors that prevent us from feeling happy... so all help to pursue a happy living by practice of yoga and meditation will be facilitated through necessary students� and faculty bodies,� he added.