Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani asked the Directors and Chairmen of IITs to come up with strategies for making the country both manpower ready and teacher ready. Smt. Irani held a Retreat with Directors and Chairmen of 16 IITs in Goa. The interaction focused on issues related to deepening Research & Technological Innovation for meeting national development agenda, enhancing Industry-Academia collaborations, expanding Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), framework on Ranking System that would reflect national concerns and leveraging alumni networks. She said that IITs needed to come up with at least 10 goalposts that India should reach both nationally and internationally in a time-bound manner. A committee consisting of Directors and Chairmen of IITs has been constituted to map various disciplines with respect to their requirement for meeting national manpower goals.
The Union Minister also highlighted the need to develop quality faculty not only for new IITs, IIMs, IISERs but also other institutions in the country. She asked Director IIT Kharagpur and IIT Kanpur to come up with a National Initiative on summer/winter lectures by best of the foreign and the national faculty.Smriti Irani asked IITs to develop a special programme for students of north-eastern states and emphasized that the students in the north-eastern states need to be exposed to the best of the institutions like IITs in different parts of the country. IIT Guwahati Director will coordinate efforts in this direction and submit a report by the middle of August. Irani informed IITs Directors and Chairmen that the Government planned to come up with a National Innovation Policy. She asked IITs to suggest curriculum changes at the school level so as not only to align with higher education institutions but also to help in setting up innovation labs at district level throughout the country with a view to infuse a culture of research and innovation among students. She asked the IITs to help set up Centers of Excellence in Central Universities.
The HRD Minister also asked IITs to develop a framework on ranking with a view to rank institutions world over as per the thrust areas for developing countries. Ms Irani said that there was a need to redefine the discourse on ranking so as to serve developmental needs of the nation.IITs were urged to leverage upon their alumni network. A group of Chairmen and Directors have been asked to come up with suggestions on various policy constraints and strategies to involve IIT alumni for contributing towards development of IITs and the nation.