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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 24.10.2014

A two day Conference of Directors of National Institutes of Technology convened by Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India in his capacity as Visitor concluded yesterday (October 30, 2014) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

In his concluding remarks, the President said education will be the single biggest transformative factor in catapulting India into the league of developed nations. It is education that will establish us firmly as a knowledge society. These conferences and related meetings are intended to put in place a clearly defined roadmap for attaining our national vision of excellence in education. 23 NITs now have innovation clubs, 24 NITs have industry cells and 8 NITs have set up technology incubators. IPR Fund to support patent filings has been set up by 12 NITs. Concrete steps are being taken in the remaining institutions and positive results are expected within the next few months.

The President asked each NIT to adopt five villages and transform them into model villages by converging various schemes like Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Swachch Bharat Mission and Digital India Programme. He said he has noticed that NIT Jamshedpur has been working with seven villages, NIT Uttarakhand with twenty, and NIT Jaipur with five villages. They may like to broad base their initiative to include the new schemes.

The President announced that the In-Residence Programme of Rashtrapati Bhavan will be now extended to young scholars from NITs. 30 scholars, one from each NIT, will be his guests in Rashtrapati Bhavan for one week. In addition, 6 Doctoral or Post-Doctoral students will be selected from the NITs as team leaders. These scholars and students will stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan for a week each in three batches of 10 scholars and 2 team leaders.

Pointing out that, NIT Surathkal would host an Inter-NIT workshop in November on ‘Learning from Each Other’, and NIT Warangal in December on ‘common guidelines for curriculum’, the President called upon organizers of the workshops to provide NITs from the North East all support needed for rapid development of these institutions.

The President also called upon the Ministry of HRD to take immediate steps for creation of a database of foreign educational experts and Persons of Indian Origin which can be utilized by our institutions for filling up vacant faculty positions.

The agenda of the two day Conference included (a) steps required for deepening research and technological innovation for meeting national development goals; (b) technology enabled learning; (c) building international networks and linkages for quality improvement and (d) initiatives for capacity development of faculty. Detailed recommendations were made on each of the agenda items by the Directors of NITs at the end of the discussions.

The important recommendations include:

·Creation of position of Research Professor with sufficient Research fund;

·Opening an Annual Research Summit with awards for best innovation;

·Increase effectiveness of National Knowledge Network and National Mission on Education through ICT;

·Developing technology based models such as virtual classrooms to widen access to high quality teaching;

·Enabling low-cost access to high quality education on a mass scale through the MOOCs platform;

·NITs will set up an inter-NIT Platform for international cooperation. One faculty member shall be nominated as the International Cooperation Officer in each of the NITs to explore ways and means for increasing international linkages;

·MHRD and MEA should facilitate NITs entering into MOUs with international universities to promote research collaborations, visits of their faculty to NITs and sabbaticals by NIT faculty in universities abroad;

·MHRD may explore possibilities of adoption of specific NITs or its departments by reputed foreign universities for hand-holding and long-term cooperation;

·A comprehensive plan be developed for training of all levels of faculty from Directors of NITs downwards;

The concluding session was also attended by Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister for Human Resource Development.

This release issued at 1400 hrs.