Dharmendra chairs 55th IIT Council meeting in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan chaired the 55th IIT Council meeting in Bhubaneswar today.

Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan said that IITs are aspirations hub for the youth of the country, and their students must aspire to become job creators rather than job seekers.

The Minister further emphasized that IITs shall primarily be a vehicle for public welfare (lok kalyan).

He said that time has come to ensure that IITs become primary catalysts in multi-fold development of the country. IITs should resolve societal problems at a scaleable and replicate commercially viable solutions.

He further said that IITs should provide all support system for students and should have zero tolerance for all kinds of discrimination. Students in IITs should be face of new India with no discrimination and ready to be global citizens.

In the context of the changing global scenario and the Prime Minister’s vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat as a developed country by 2047, the council discussed the need for the development of next 25 year vision for the IITs. The Council decided that each IIT shall deliberate with faculty, students and other stakeholders and finalize their long term vision by next year. The council will also create a short term strategy plan for immediate needs of the country.

Pradhan said R&D fair should be an annual recurring affair, done on fixed dates and should become a globally recognizable event and IP. R&D fair should be open to all students from the country and where everyone can participate in challenges and competitions, bringing out the best among students.

The council discussed on the ways that vacancies are filled at the earliest as per The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation In Teachers’ Cadre) Act, 2019.

They also discussed the positive impact of PM Research Fellowship and the proposal of extension of the program.

With a view to have collaboration, research translation, the council discussed that it would be useful for IITs to have a closer engagement with public/private entities.

Union Minister said we should ensure new young faculty get adequate support to spearhead research in the country.

Director, IIT Gandhinagar presented the possible underlying societal, psychological and other health issues behind depression among students. The council discussed several steps needed to ensure mental health and wellness of students at IITs. The council focussed on the need of robust grievance redressal system, increasing psychological counselling services, reducing pressure and highlighting the importance of reducing fear of failure/rejection among students.

The Minister expressed his pain regarding recent cases of suicides and called the directors to be proactive in providing all kind of support to students including developing a robust mechanism of zero tolerance for discrimination in institutes.

The reasons for student drop outs were discussed in the council.

The Minister asked for ensuring that the students should be allowed multiple options as per NEP2020. He further directed the Higher Education department for further detailed report and scheduling discussion on the matter.

The council discussed the proposals to introduce 4 year BEd (ITEP) programme in IITs.

The Minister emphasized that IITs can be torch bearers for bringing quality upgradation in teachers.

The council discussed the measures to overcome language barriers to reach out to students of rural India and making teaching learning available in regional languages including technological tools. Dr. T. G. Sitharam, AICTE Chairperson also highlighted the progress in translation of technical books by the AICTE and the tools developed for the efforts. As envisaged in NEP 2020 , engineering institutions, such as IITs, will move towards more holistic and multidisciplinary education with more arts and humanities. The Council discussed and appreciated the efforts by several IITs to start multidisciplinary programmes.

The Minister highlighted the importance of developing a Digital library giving access to the knowledge resources including our ancestral Indian scientific knowledge System to all the students and youth of the country.