Former Director of the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati Prof T G Sitharam assumed the charge as the Chairman of All India Council for Technical Education on 21st December 2022. Prof. Sitharam took over charge from Prof. M Jagadesh Kumar, Chairperson, University Grants Commission, who had the additional charge of AICTE since September 2022. With the approval of the Hon’ble Minister of Education in his capacity as Chairperson of IIT Council, Prof. Parameswar K. Iyer took over charge as Officiating Director of IIT Guwahati from Prof. Sitharam on 20th December 2022.
While assuming his charge as the AICTE Chairman, Prof. T.G. Sitharam said, “I will work with every stakeholder in Education domain to transform Higher education into large, well resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary providing high-quality teaching, innovation, entrepreneurship, research, and community engagement hubs.”
Prof. Sitharam envisions providing transformative education to Indian students to create leaders and innovators, and generate new knowledge for a sustainable society. In his new role, Prof. Sitharam aims to make India a global educational knowledge hub with increase in the Gross enrollment ratio in higher education to 50% by 2035 through interventions of AICTE.
For the same, Prof. Sitharam envisions creating 5 types of pathways for competitive, modern and industrialized India:
Ø Technology driven outcome-based education
Ø Job-creator (JCR) mode
Ø Industry solutions provider (ISP)
Ø Innovation, research and startup mode
Ø Education in Indian languages
In addition to this, the new AICTE Chairman has shared his action plan aligning with long term goals of the Government of India underlined in the National Education Policy 2020. These include:
Ø Building capacities of the technical institutions – digital infrastructure, Accreditations and Rankings
Ø Making students Industry ready, increase placements, Increase Internships
Ø Implementing Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan through Higher Education Institutes
Ø Incorporating PM GATI SHAKTI in academic programs
Ø Improving Public and Private partnership in skilling, employment & innovation
Ø Overcoming Regional/Language Barriers
Ø Twinning Programmes for collaboration with Foreign Universities
In his previous roles, Prof. Sitharam has worked on multidisciplinary problems addressing diversified societal challenges with many administrative positions at institutions such as IISc, IIT, CIT and involving in many boards along with more than six years of Interaction with AICTE. As a result, he has a rich leadership and administrative experience in managing academic units, programs and research centers, startup and entrepreneurial activities.
Focusing on multidisciplinary research areas in collaboration with international institutions and research centres while establishing a industry co-innovation network to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is another key focus area highlighted by the new AICTE Chairman.
Speaking about building entrepreneurial ecosystem and creating job opportunities for India’s young population, Prof. T.G. Sitharam said, “With more advanced research at all institutions, AICTE can create many Innovations and new start-ups as an excellent job creator.”
AICTE transformation framework proposed by Prof. Sitharam involves addressing the research problems relevant to Society through innovation with SDG focus orientation. This necessitates AICTE to play a role of adviser to the Government and all stakeholders through policy advice assessing the sustainable development impact potential with appropriate tools and framework. Further, Students and Faculty shall be empowered with incentives and awards by creating an ecosystem for Co-Innovation and Start-ups by building job-oriented capacities. At the same time, Prof. Sitharam proposes to move from creation of Towers of Excellence to a Network of Excellence with Collaborative value positions involving other top institutions.
ABOUT IIT GUWAHATI
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati established in 1994 has completed 25 years of glorious existence in 2019. At present, the Institute has eleven departments, seven inter-disciplinary academic centres and five schools covering all the major engineering, science, healthcare, management and humanities disciplines, offering BTech, BDes, MA, MDes, MTech, MSc, and PhD programmes. The institute offers a residential campus to 435 faculty members and more than 7,000 students at present.
IIT Guwahati has retained the 7th position among the best engineering institutions of the country and 8th position in ‘Overall’ Category in the ‘India Rankings 2022’ declared by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) of the Union Ministry of Education.
IIT Guwahati is the only academic institution in India that occupied a place among the top 100 world universities – under 50 years of age – ranked by London-based Times Higher Education (THE) in 2014 and continues to maintain its superior position even today in various International Rankings. IIT Guwahati gained rank 37 globally in the ‘Research Citations per Faculty’ category and overall 384 rank in the QS World University Rankings 2023 released recently.
Among other frontier areas of research and innovation, IIT Guwahati is working towards augmenting critical science research initiatives in Genomics, Developmental Biology, Health Care and Bioinformatics and Flexible Electronics, among numerous other areas.