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IITs are the holy grail of tech education in India: ISRO chief

Nov 02, 2019

ISRO chief was speaking at the 50th convocation ceremony of IIT Delhi where more than 2000 graduating students were awarded degrees.

New Delhi: Dr K Sivan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO), said that that Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are the holy grail of technical education in India. “I am an alumni of IIT-Bombay and from my own personal experience, I can say that IITs are the holy grail of technical education in India. And I am sure that you all will continue the glorious tradition of Delhi as well as that of IIT-ians who have excelled in every field they have worked.”

Sivan was speaking at the 50th annual convocation ceremony of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. To mark the 50th convocation ceremony of IIT Delhi, a commemorative postage stamp and a special cover was also released on the occasion.

Addressing the graduating students on the occasion, Dr Sivans said that for success in any field, passion alone was not enough, but talent and skill set were equally important. “When I graduated, more than 3 decades back, the job scenario was not as vibrant as today. Area of specialization limited the career options. Today, the options are many. There is an added volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity about the global economy. Remember, you are unlikely to fall into your dream career or create a successful business simply by wishing for it. Here you have to be pragmatic in your approach and learn from the experience of the older generation,” he said.

Sivan added, “Keep in mind that, there is only one life and there are many career options. You all need to identify your passion & natural talent and align your career. Choose an industry that reflects your passion and interests. Rather than choosing a job for money, choose it for your happiness.”

On the occasion of the 50th Convocation of the Institute, IIT Delhi and ISRO have signed an MoU to jointly set up ISRO Space Technology Cell at IIT Delhi. The MoU was signed Dr K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO and Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi.

Dr Sivan said, “I am very happy to be here in IIT Delhi to sign the MoU for establishing a new Space Technology Cell. I appreciate the interest taken by IIT Delhi for establishing the Cell here.”

The Cell will work for carrying out focused research projects in the space technology domain with specific deliverables. It is also proposed that IIT Delhi as an Institute becomes academic partner of ISRO in research areas for example AI, nanotechnology, functional textiles, smart manufacturing or any area of joint interest.

Prof V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, said IIT Delhi and ISRO have signed an MoU for the creation of a Space Technology Centre at IIT Delhi for strengthening research collaborations between the two organisations. “With this collaboration IIT Delhi would like to be part of some of the key initiatives by the ISRO. We would like to work with ISRO closely. All of us working together will only put our nation ahead of others in space technologies,” he said.

Prof Rao while presenting the Director’s report said, “On the inter-disciplinary research front, IIT Delhi has entered into MoUs with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), National Institute of Immunology (NII), Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR), five CSIR labs and the All India Institute of Ayurveda. 95 new funded projects under the faculty interdisciplinary research programme have been sanctioned between faculty within the Institute and with the faculty from AIIMS, ICAR, and NII etc. IIT Delhi is also taking major steps to connect with the Industry.”

Prof Rao added that the research output of the Institute had shown significant enhancement due to different initiatives fostering interdisciplinary collaborations within the Institute as well as with other institutions. “In comparison to the average research funding of about Rs 100 Cr per year in the period from 2014-16, the research funding has shown four times increase to about Rs 380 Cr per year in the period 2017-18 and 2018-19. About 300 new research projects and 290 industry consultancy projects have been undertaken in the year 2018-19 alone. The number of new research projects initiated per year has increased two times. We are expecting our sponsored R&D funding per year to cross Rs 500 cr in the next one or two years,” he said.

On the occasion of the convocation ceremony 2019, President’s gold medal was awarded to Kacham Praneeth (B. Tech in Computer Science & Engineering).

This year’s Director’s gold medal was awarded to Mallika Singla (B. Tech in Biochemical Engineering & Biotechnology) and Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma Gold Medal to Himakshi Barsiwal (M. Tech in Chemical Engineering).

Talking to OneWorld South Asia, Mallika Singla, said that the Gold Medal will inspire her for bigger challenges. “I do not have a consolidated plan yet, but eventually I want to start something of my own so that I am able to make a strong impact on the society with my work. My aspiration is to make myself capable enough to be a job creator and touch lives that way,” she said.

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