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New Delhi, August 18, 2020
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu emphasized here on Monday that research at Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and other higher education institutes must be relevant to society and focus on finding solutions to various problems faced by mankind from climate change to health issues.
Inaugurating the year-old diamond jubilee celebrations of IIT Delhi via video-conferencing, he said Indian institutions would be counted among the world's best only when they start impacting the societies around them by developing optimal and sustainable solutions to the problems faced by the nation.
Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal "Nishank" was also present on the occasion.
Naidu also released the Diamond Jubilee logo and the institute’s strategy document -- "IIT Delhi -- Setting the Vision and Direction for 2030".
Calling for greater investment in R & D projects which focus on finding solutions to societal problems, he urged the private sector to collaborate with academia in identifying such projects and fund them liberally.
He also emphasised that research should focus on making the lives of the people comfortable, quicken the progress and ensure more equitable world order.
Calling upon the IITians to pay attention to the problems faced by the farmers and rural India, he asked them to work not only for enhancing agri-production but also to especially focus on the production of nutritious and protein-rich food.
Asking the higher education institutions not to work in silos and to form a symbiotic relationship with the industry to develop cutting-edge technology, he said the industry experts in various areas should act as mentors in guiding researchers. This type of collaboration will help in fast-tracking projects and produce quicker results, he added.
Expressing his happiness that the New Education Policy seeks to promote India as a global study destination, Naidu pointed out that only eight Indian institutions figured in the top 500 globally. He said this situation has to change and there has to be a concerted and collective action from all the stakeholders—governments, universities, educationists and the private sector to bring about a radical improvement in the standards and quality of education in the institutes of higher learning.
Observing that there was a huge potential for India to become a world leader in various technological domains given the demographic advantage and the presence of highly talented youth, the Vice President said, “the need of the hour is to impart quality education.”
Lauding IIT Delhi for emerging as a leader in the entrepreneurship space, he said he was happy to note that Institutions such as IIT Delhi were producing job providers rather than job seekers and becoming trendsetters for other institutions in the country.
He also praised IIT Delhi, the national coordinating institute for the Ministry's flagship programme Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA), for playing a strong catalytic role. The UBA already has more than 2000 Participating Institutions (PIs) and these institutions have adopted more than 10,000 villages.
Speaking on the occasion, Pokhriyal said that the National Education Policy -2020 focuses on the quality of education in India and intends to make the education system the most advanced and modern for students. New opportunities in higher education have now emerged as a result of this New Education Policy and India will become a global study destination with the effective implementation of NEP-2020.
While congratulating IIT Delhi on its Diamond Jubilee the Minister said that the institute’s journey of glorious 60 years was of great pride and inspiration for the entire country. The contributions of IIT Delhi in meeting the national challenge of fighting COVID-19 through technological support were praiseworthy.
From developing the world’s cheapest RT-PCR-based COVID-19 diagnostic kit to supplying over 40 lakh PPEs to India and the world, the institute’s researchers have done a remarkable job.
The Minister was happy to note that over 500 patents have been filed by IIT Delhi faculty and students in the last 5 years in addition to publishing over 10000 research papers in peer-reviewed international journals in the same period. “IIT Delhi Research Project funding from competitive research grants has also grown four times in the last 5 years, from 100 crores per year in 2016 to over Rs. 400 crores in 2019,” he added.
"IIT Delhi has by far the best ecosystem for start-ups in the country. I feel proud that IIT Delhi alumni have created close to 800 start-ups, the highest in the country as compared to alumni of any other institute. Of the close to 30 unicorns created by Indians, 15 of them are by IIT Delhi alumni alone.
"IIT Delhi alumni-led start-ups have created over 30 million jobs and raised $ 19 billion in investments and have been the trendsetters in the country as well as in the world," he said.
Director, IIT Delhi, Prof V. Ramgopal Rao said that, with the vision for 2030 in place, IIT Delhi was on the road to its next phase of growth. The achievement of its vision will positively impact the lives of students, alumni, faculty and the staff while shaping the progress of the nation for decades to come.
The second session of the Diamond Jubilee inaugural ceremony witnessed Inaugural Talks by Prof Devangkhakhar, Distinguished Alumnus & former Director, IIT Bombay and by Prof M Balakrishnan, Vice-Chancellor, Satya Bharti Institute of Technology & Professor (On Leave), CSE, IIT Delhi.
A panel discussion was also organised on "IIT Delhi: Reminiscing 60 Years of Excellence and Way Forward" in which former Directors of IIT Delhi Prof V S Raju, Prof R S Sirohi, Prof Surendra Prasad and Prof RK Shevgaonkar participated.