IIT-Delhi to put PhD projects on display

NEW DELHI: In a first, will showcase research projects of its scholars at its upcoming on September 22 to woo around 300 potential employers. Due to the nature of the academic cycle, there is no organised placement programme at the IITs for PhDs.
IIT-D — one of the three government institutions to get the Institution of Eminence status last month — also plans to execute major expansion activities, both in terms of research and residential facilities. In the pipeline are creation of a facility for international married students and raising Rs 2,500 crore from alumni and in sponsored research funding.

V Ramgopal Rao, director, IIT-D, in an exclusive interaction with TOI, said industries were now focusing on specialisation and recruiting more scholars than ever before. Rao also spoke about the need for greater autonomy to the IITs, in line with the IIMs, if they had to compete with top institutions globally, especially when it came to drawing foreign students and faculty.

He said that while the first edition of the day saw 150 participants, the number of representatives was expected double this year. “This day offers a glimpse of what’s happening in the institute. We want to establish a process for our PhD students to work with industries and find jobs. We have seen an almost 200% increase in research funding from non-MHRD sources since the first event last year.”

Rao said: “In terms of research, we are at the 39th position in the global university rankings. Of the five parameters, we have got zero in three — foreign faculty, foreign students and faculty-student ratio. The two places where we have got some marks are research output — the quality of research we do — and perception. So, if we need to take the IITs into the top-50s, we need to start doing well on these three parameters too. We need to recruit more faculty and that is again linked to foreign faculty.”

At present, foreign students constitute just 1% of the total intake. The institute aims to take this figure to 10% (1,000 students) in the next three to four years. “The only thing stopping us today from admitting more students from other countries is the lack of hostel facilities. We are starting the construction of two hostels — one for boys (950 students) and another for girls (450 students) — which will ease the accommodation problem to some extent. We are also building a hostel of 100 flats to attract foreign students,” Rao said.

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