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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 23.08.2014

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee called upon IITs to play a pivotal role in our endeavour to develop newer, cutting edge technologies and utilize them for developing a variety of in-house technology solutions for our domestic requirements and also to export the same to other developing countries similarly placed. He was addressing the Concluding session of the Conference ofChairmen, Board of Governors and Directors of IITs held on August 22, 2014.

The President said the presentations made by the IITs underscore their commitment to, and active engagement with, local communities; their desire to undertake cutting-edge research and their pursuit of synergetic industry-academia collaboration. Some excellent suggestions that have emanated from the IITs include sharing of best practices; efforts to increase the number of published papers to between three to five per year; promotion of a post-doctoral culture in order to develop and retain quality faculty; continuous revamping and up-gradation of curricula and striving to spin-off a number of companies per IIT each year.

The President said that he was happy to know the concept of Ishan Vikas - a comprehensive plan to bring school children from the North Eastern States in close contact with the IITs and IISERs during their vacation periods. Ministry of HRD and the Council of IITs need to coordinate and ensure early implementation of this initiative.

The President said he was happy to see the presentation made by the Director, IIT-Delhi on technology enabled learning and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These courses are the way forward and must be used to supplement conventional methods of teaching in India, particularly in the field of higher education. It is imperative that a well-defined timeline is put in place for their roll-out and content development with the focus being on making these courses more India-centric.

The agenda of the one day conference on which deliberations were made included steps required to improve global ranking of IITs; giving impetus to research and innovation; use of technology in pedagogy and online learning; deepening of the engagement of IITs with community and resource mobilization as well as alumni participation. Twenty-nine Chairmen, Board of Governors and Directors of IITs participated in the conference.

This release issued at 0820 hrs.