Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' chaired the 54th Meeting of the Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) today through online medium. Minister of State for Education Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre; Secretary, Higher Education Amit Khare was also present in the meeting.Union Minister congratulated Heads of all IITs and Chairpersons (BoG) for successfully continuing the academics during the challenging times of COVID-19 and for their remarkable contribution in combating the COVID-19 by way of new scientific research. He exhorted the IITs to become a driving force behind realizing the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, as envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.Shri Pokhriyal asked IITs to develop Institute Development Plan as envisioned in NEP 2020 to improve the mobility of faculty between institution and Industry. The mobility of faculty members and industry experts between technical institutes and industry will promote collaborations between industry and academia, he added. Earlier, a committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Dr K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Standing Committee for IIT Council for suggesting recruitment of faculties in IITs (Industry interaction and mobility of faculty).Union Minister also urged IITs to adopt One IIT - One Thrust Area approach based on local needs.Digital Transformation using Blockchain, AI, ML, and Cloud Computing at IITs also came up for discussion during the meeting. It was recommended to constitute a taskforce to review use of technology at all IITs and also to accelerate deployment of digital tools. It was also recommended to undertake rationalization of staff from current standards to a lower number.On the basis of the recommendation of the Chairman of Standing Committee for IIT Council, four Working Groups were constituted on the following issues related to NEP-2020:
Group-1: Graded Autonomy, Empowered and accountable BoG and Director
Group-2: Grooming distinguished academics for directorship of IITs
Group-3: Reform and restructuring of the Academic Senate
Group-4: Innovative funding mechanisms
The reports of the these groups and also of a new group which will work on faculty development will be presented in a meeting to be chaired Union Education Minister.The Council also put up for consideration a suggestion to arrange Online IIT R&D fair to showcase the quality research work being done by IITs to showcase the R&D work of IITs to the industry. This may be followed by a physical fair in after normalization of present situation.Highlighting several initiatives undertaken by the government, Shri Pokhriyal mentioned about approval of funds to improve the overall infrastructure of the 4 IITs at Madras, Delhi Kharagpur and Bombay. He spoke about making IITs as multi-disciplinary institutions for holistic growth in all disciplines of education, without losing its main focus on Scientific Research and Technology Development. He called upon IITs to make full use of the recently announced scheme National Research Foundation. He hoped IITs will strive to achieve the global rankings by 2022, the 75th Year of India’s Independence. He assured IITs of every possible help and support in terms of finance, administrative guidance, issues relating to various other Ministries and agencies of the Government.