- A fresh approach at IIT Jodhpur
|A new institute of technology starting in India in 2010’s should reflect on the way technical education has been conducted in the country since the country’s independence (accentuate the strengths and eliminate the weaknesses therein), and make new beginnings on a number of fronts that remained unaddressed in the Institutes in the past. This is the precise recipe that we followed at IIT Jodhpur over the past year to cast the master plan of the Institute’s academic (and infrastructure) development. Started in 2008-09 with 7 other new IITs, IIT Jodhpur has had the courage to experiment new models of building a technical institute; yes, some worked well and others did not. But, one point is clear, we learnt the courage to think fresh…|
|In keeping with the vision for Indian Institutes of Technology of the 1940s, IIT Jodhpur is being planned and prepared to provide creative technological solutions to meet the technology grand challenges of the nation. Two pronged approach is taken at the Institute to achieve this goal, namely|
|(1)||Technology focus in all activities at the Institute; and|
|(2)||Professionalisation of the Institute for improved efficiency and efficacy in achieving the needed calm in the environment at the
Institute, skills in the personnel, and systems & processes to ensure technology focus.
|IIT Jodhpur’s development plan rides on one bottom line – to establish a top teaching-learning institute doing good quality research addressing the technological challenges of the nation. The key words here are: top, learning, quality, technology and nation. Hence, five pillars were identified to form the framework of IIT Jodhpur’s fresh strategic plan.|
|1.||Sectoral Technology Institute|
|IIT Jodhpur is on a steep development agenda. In the initial years, we are establishing the basics of a Technology Institute with strong teaching and research focus. In the next few years, the institute has set itself the goal of growing in to a Sectoral Technology Institute with strong industrial research, but with limited technology focus areas, like energy and fuels, critical technologies, water, automotives and transport, and healthcare. In the long term, IIT Jodhpur is expected to grow towards providing holistic technology education to its students in association with national institutes in India.|
Figure 1: Targeted Growth of IIT Jodhpur
2. Industry immersion-based Blended Technical Education
IIT Jodhpur has launched its flagship Blended B.Tech. Program – a unique blend of classroom instructions at the Institute and shop floor experience in the Industry. It exploits interconnections between academia and industry, and by providing opportunities to understand the needs of the nation and thereby meaningfully engaging with the Indian society. Students and Faculty Members will immerse inside a leading technology Industry during three successive summers. Other features of this Program include:
(2) Experiential and cooperative learning,
(3) Working on live assignments under the tutelage of industry professionals, and
(4) Engaging in industry-supported projects spanning over 2½ years starting IV semester.
It will prepare Students and Faculty Members to meet eventually the grand challenges of Indian technology industry; the program helps build leadership skills in both of these stakeholders. This model has now been chosen for the Masters and Doctoral Programs also. Already, L&T, TVS, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Tata Power Limited have pledged their partnership in this flagship program by signing agreements with the Institute.
3. Professionally run Institute
During 2014, the Institute consciously chose a path of academic accountability on its journey of development by (a) systematically disinvesting time of Faculty Members in non-academic activities, and (b) embedding performance management processes in its strategic plan. The Balanced Scorecard Method (to watch performance indicators) brings accountability in the working of Faculty and Staff Members of the Institute through this multidimensional framework. Work has begun at the policy and leadership levels to stitch concepts of Balanced Scorecard in to the day-to-day activities of employees with the institute’s long-term strategic objectives: namely (i) Teaching-Learning, (ii) Student-centricity, (iii) Technology focus, (iv) Quality-based institute development, and (v) Technology Human Resources for India.
4. Technology Orientation
In a silent surge towards the Industry, IIT Jodhpur has chosen to engage with industry partners to embark on technology product development – an end-to-end effort on research-oriented product development, especially useful and relevant to India. This focused technology development at the Institute is expected to establish and build collaborations between IIT Jodhpur, Industry and other academic and R&D organizations in India.
5. Alignment with National Technology Missions
IIT Jodhpur is constructing a Technology Park to strengthen its industry interactions, on its permanent campus for harvesting technologies of national importance. This IITJ Technology Park is poised to host the Solar Energy Technology development and Defence Technologies. Discussions are underway with Government and private industries to work on other select national technology missions, like water, healthcare and automotives.
Today, India has to build a competitive edge over other emerging economies with its strategic research outcomes, patented technologies, surge in innovation, high productivity of human resources, reduced cost of products, and high quality products and services, to ensure economic growth of India. Premier institutes of technology have the onus to shoulder responsibilities in this major national crusade. And, at IIT Jodhpur, we have taken seriously this clarion call for re-casting afresh our model of technical education...