Message from the Director
Greetings from the desk of the Director on the occasion of Silver Jubilee year of IIT Guwahati and Happy New Year 2020. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati was established in the year 1994 and has completed 25 years of glorious existence. Within this short span, IIT Guwahati has been the only academic institution from India that occupied a place among the top 100 world universities – under 50 years of age – published by London based Times Higher Education (THE) in the year 2014 and continues to do this even today in various International Rankings. Along with older IITs and Delhi University, IIT Guwahati has also been ranked below 500 in the QS World ranking released recently. IIT Guwahati ranks 7th among the leading science and research institutions in India in terms of research citation and 20th in the world in Chemistry as evaluated by the Nature, the most reputed scientific research magazine and one of the highest faculty to publication ration of ~4.5. IIT Guwahati has been ranked 7th (Engineering) and 9th (Overall) in the national institutional ranking framework conducted by MHRD in the year 2018. IIT Guwahati has also been ranked 3rd in the “Swachhata Ranking” conducted by the GoI and is the only centrally funded technical institute to be among the top 5 consistently for the past three years ever since these rankings were launched. IIT Guwahati has one of the most beautiful educational campuses in the country that provides an ideal setting for learning and research and we believe that “Learning in tandem with the tides of the mighty Brahmaputra at the vibrant campus of IIT Guwahati” is an experience we as a community have been blessed with. It is strongly believed that IIT Guwahati has been able to fulfill the aspirations of people of the North East region to a large extent, since its inception was through Assam Accord signed in 1985. The institute is fully residential for the students, enriched with world-class facilities and is empowered with a young and dynamic faculty and staff. The vision of IITG is to become a preferred destination of seeking best science, engineering and technology education and to be recognized internationally for excellence in research, pursuit for developmental activities and deep concern for students’ care. An important feature of academic excellence is the continuous replenishment of ideas and creation of new areas of research and innovation, attracting organizations seeking collaboration in education, research and development as well as product development. In a fast changing world, keeping pace with the ever-increasing number of areas of research and application poses a major challenge to this Institute. IIT Guwahati is trying to augment the research initiatives in all the areas of Sciences and Technology in general and in Nano-science & technology, Bioengineering and Data sciences in particular. Initiation of research in some of the cutting edge areas of Biological sciences namely Genomics, Developmental Biology, Health Care and Bioinformatics, Flexible Electronics, Advanced Functional Materials, Sustainable Polymers, Water Resources and Management is a testament to the aspiration of IIT Guwahati to excel in research. The Scope of Environmental Science and Data science is inherently interdisciplinary and expanding rapidly. Recognizing the challenges for environmentally sustainable development, IIT Guwahati emphasizes an interdisciplinary research paradigm in Energy and Environment to solve problems that have important societal impact. It is indeed a challenging task to match the ever-increasing need for funds and providing infrastructure for these emerging and futuristic research areas, and IIT Guwahati has resolutely taken this challenge in its stride.
Further, IIT Guwahati has set goals to be recognized as one of the world’s top 150 Institutes/Universities within the next five years. This will include attracting external grants and research funding at the level of internationally well ranked Institutes, to furnish state-of-the-art facilities for all programs, attract International faculty and students to spend time at IIT Guwahati, enhance the perception globally, fostering academic excellence and freedom while maintaining rigorous academic standards and to become a preferred destination for transformative educational experience.
The strategic commitment provides the road map of the long journey. The strategies include the Mission, Vision, Goal and Values that would be instrumental in placing IIT Guwahati among the top academic institutions of the world. These strategies will create new opportunities for the faculty and the students for enhancement of knowledge, performing cutting edge research and development of professional skills. The ultimate aim is to provide the students with an educational training that emphasizes innovation, social awareness and professional ethics while promoting the spirit of creativity amongst our researchers.
An important feature of academic excellence is the continuous replenishment of ideas and creation of new areas of research, innovation and incubation. While the world has experienced the miracles brought about by the Indian engineers and technologists in Information Technology, IIT Guwahati is trying to leap forward by embracing the rising demands of newer and interdisciplinary areas of research and technology development by incorporating industry participating in offering courses in futuristic areas of artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning while focusing on other areas, involving Design and Manufacturing, Power Generation and Distribution, Construction Technology, Water resources and management that are essential and in forefront of development in the coming decade.
It is indeed a challenging task to match the ever-increasing need for funds and providing infrastructure for these emerging areas, and IIT Guwahati has resolutely taken this challenge in its stride. Since major technological developments in the future would require expertise from various disciplines, IIT Guwahati has been promoting the concept of virtual research departments. One such group is working on the development of Electrical Vehicles. The endeavors for a High performance-computing center, a research center for Computer Security are the other goals in this direction. IIT Guwahati also plans to retain its excellence and reputation in the area of Sustainable Polymers. The Center of Excellence in Sustainable Polymers integrates sustainability issues that focus on the science and technology of polymeric materials into research, education, and products. High performance computing and Computer Security are also areas under focus. Such initiatives will take IIT Guwahati to greater heights similar to that enjoyed by the top Universities in the world. The new initiatives in the Biological Sciences, Experimental Physics, Environmental Studies, Computational Mechanics, Quantum Computing, Nano-Technology, Theranostics augur well for this spirit of excellence in this Institute. In the years to come, IIT Guwahati, we hope, would become the ultimate destination of scholars and scientists from the world over.
In addition, the institute is also enhancing its curriculum in view of the enhanced demands from industry and academia that would ensure that the students are prepared for the broadened world of engineering and technological trends. Personnel exchange between industry / government and academia through visiting professorships and sabbaticals or summer leaves in industry and government are also being pursued. The industry has also embarked on undertaking research based on social and societal problems while expanding research directed towards solving regional challenges. In a renewed drive towards community impact, developmental activities are essential. Some of these encompass intra-institutional collaborations to bring together the best of resources in the national interest and moving from tower of excellence to network of excellence. As a unique initiative, IIT Guwahati will also host students from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh region to spend few weeks during the summer break beginning 2020.
The challenge for the Institute is to create the optimum research eco system and enhance the ambiance where each individual would be encouraged for performing cutting edge research and development. In particular, to promote quality research, the Institute is planning to identify and reward excellence in research where active participation of majority of the faculty members to attract research funding would improve research accomplishments. The patents and publications, technology transfers, encouraging entrepreneurship would be valued most while taking a stock of the human inventory. While IIT Guwahati embarks on the next phase of its journey, the society has greater expectations from this institute of higher learning. Aligning with its vision and mission, IIT Guwahati would always remain committed to student growth, social upliftment and generate knowledge and resources for the benefit of future generations while instilling a sense of pride and belongingness while fulfilling the aspirations of all stake holders.
As we move forward to transform this vision into reality, we will create endless opportunities to students, researchers, faculty and staff of IIT Guwahati in the coming years. I welcome all of you to join the IIT Guwahati Silver Jubilee celebration and its exciting journey to become a “Network of Excellence”.
T. G. Sitharam
Director, IIT Guwahati