The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi is among the six institutions recently selected for the coveted Institutions of Eminence (IoE) status by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. In an exclusive interview with Careers360, Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, discusses benefits of the IoE tag for the institute and his plans to utilise the Rs 1000 Crore Government funding...
Q. As IIT Delhi has been awarded the coveted IoE status, how is it going to benefit the institution?
A. We are trying to do many things, basically, I call it the ‘three I’s, one each for Internationalization, Interdisciplinary and Industry. Presently, our campuses are India centric in terms of faculty recruitment and students. We are trying to become more global, recruit international faculty, admit international students, all at the PhD level because at the undergraduate level it is very difficult to break anything.
We are also aiming to introduce ‘Inter-disciplinary’ research, bring together people from multiple disciplines to solve a problem. Currently, there are too many silos and the problem is that they can address with a very individual kind of discipline.
The final ‘I’ stands for ‘Industry connect’, for us to be impactful in the society, we need to connect with the industries. We have recently launched 10 initiatives to connect more with the industry. We have industry day coming up in September and have a functional industry park at the Sonepat campus.
These are the three ‘I’s which I believe will help us a lot in growing as an institution.
Q. How do you plan to utilise the 1000 Crore funding which the institute will receive?
A. This fund will be disbursed to us in phases and not in one go. The funds will be used for international faculty recruitment and creation of facilities. We are also identifying the key areas in which we want to bring-up our facilities to the world-class level. The international faculty not only look for remuneration, they also look for the facilities.
The funds will be used in creating high-end facilities as well as infrastructure for the faculties such as offices, accommodation etc.
This year we are using some money to build the Industry Park at our Sonepat campus, spread over some 40 acres area.
Q. IIT Delhi is already in the top 200 in global Rankings, when will we see it in the top 100?
A. Of the five parameters used in the international rankings, we score ‘zero’ in three of them. They are the faculty-student ratio, international faculty and international students. So, if we improve on these three parameters we can easily get into the top 100.
Currently, in research we are at 39, so to get into 100, we need to score well in the low scoring areas. We are hopeful we will be there soon.
Q. What are other areas you are looking to improve at IIT Delhi?
A. We are also strengthening our capabilities to translate our knowledge into societal impact and that is where a lot of international linkages and inter-disciplinary research work is being done. We are soon going to announce two joint degree programmes with leading international universities which are faring better than us.
The IIT Delhi has a very strong start-up ecosystem, out of the 13 Unicorns created by IIT alumni, 7 are from IIT Delhi and it is one ecosystem we are trying to strengthen.
We have touched Rs 415 Crores in sponsored research funding during the last financial year and this year we will be crossing Rs 500 Crore.
We are filing 100 patents every year as we have simplified the process for IP production across the institute which has made a huge difference.