Prof. Ranjan Bose, Director, IIIT-Delhi talks about the need to shift to from teaching to learning based education system in the country to remain updated and connected in academics and industry with Brainfeed Higher Education Plus
What changes are needed in the Indian education system?
Education is all about holistic development of an individual, a development that enables one to bring about positive changes in oneself and in the society. Today, colleges, as well as students, are more focused on the immediate benefits of education rather than its comprehensive implications. The transformational role that education can possibly play for the whole society is often overlooked.
When we talk about the Indian education system, we should look at the entire ecosystem – the interaction between the academia, the government, the industry, the corporate world and the society. In order to bring about any effective change in the education system we need to ask the right questions. Clearly, we need to make the education system more project-based and student-centric. There has to be a paradigm shift in our approach – from ‘teaching’ to ‘learning’. Also, we need to equip our students with the relevant soft-skills including effective communications and the spirit of team-work.
Any specialized degree that you are planning to offer?
Recently, we have started interdisciplinary programs:
- Tech. in Computer Science and Design (CSD)
- Computer Science and Social Sciences (CSSS)
- Computer Science and Biosciences (CSB)
- Computational Biology
- Tech. in Computer Science with specialization in AI
Where do you think most students lack when it comes to campus recruitment?
Today, employers demand initiate-takers, decision-makers and growth-catalysts, not just qualified candidates. Beyond having degrees in professional courses, the candidates must be technically sound. That’s why at IIIT-D, students do not just acquire substantial knowledge of their subjects but they also get immense industry exposure through active involvements in seminars, conferences, workshops, and live-projects. Experiential learning is emphasized upon.
The extracurricular activities help in developing team-spirit in students and make them both proactive and dynamic. We offer courses on entrepreneurship, starting entrepreneurial ventures and managing ventures. With its Innovation & Incubation Centre, IIIT-Delhi has emerged as the birthplace of many path-breaking startups.
How is IIIT Delhi different from other research institutes in India?
Although content and curricula are important to impart quality-education, our approach is more pragmatic, futuristic, and result-oriented. Not just our Masters and PhD students, but the B.Tech. students are also encouraged to engage in research through options like independent-study, undergraduate-research, as well as, by doing research-based internships. They are also encouraged to publish in international forums. We also have research-centers focused on AI, Technology & Policing, Cyber Security, Computational Biology and Design and New Media. By making community work a compulsory course for all, we are making every effort to produce best professional candidates that are not only technologically sound but are also socially responsible beings.
Is there any scholarship or few waiver schemes adopted by the university?
IIIT-D has always tried to promote education among the less privileged students. Currently, there are numerous opportunities like Chairman’s Merit Scholarship, Income-Linked fee Waiver and many more. Recently, Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL), in collaboration with IIIT-Delhi, has set-up a corpus, the interest from which supports seven Merit-cum-Means scholarships for the meritorious B.Tech students every year.
Please elucidate your future plans for the institute
As our vision statement puts it succinctly, we aim to be a world-class research-led institution of higher education which is ‘socially relevant, industry facing, and globally connected’. We further plan to make our education more industry-relevant, responsive to the current needs of the society and student-centric. We are trying to augment industry-sponsored research. We have created several research centers and are planning to open more centers of excellence as the need arises. We are planning to augment our international collaborations in order to truly give impetus to our research. Our defence sector and our police-force are looking for solutions that we are in a position to provide. The Delhi government is looking for technology-enabled solutions for day-to-day problems.