GUWAHATI, : On 29th July 2023, the country will be celebrating the 3rd anniversary of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the historic declaration of the vision for a new education system for India. With an aim to provide ample opportunities for its students for a holistic development, the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati has been actively working to achieve the rational targets it had set under the framework of NEP2020.
Speaking about implementation of NEP2020, Prof. Paramesar K. Iyer, Officiating Director, IIT Guwahati, said, “NEP 2020 has set up the base for streamlining an array of progressive objectives, which is expected to catalyze the furtherance of academic and research excellence in the institutes of higher education. NEP2020 envisions to setup a workforce to fulfill the needs of an enlightened, conscious, knowledgeable, and skilled Nation capable of identifying and solving its own problems for a long-term sustainability. At IIT Guwahati, we are implementing NEP2020 in a phase-wise manner to make sure the best practices can be included in our curriculum in the most efficient way possible.”
On 29th June 2020, NEP2020 was introduced to bring systemic reforms in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) of the country. In this regard, IIT Guwahati has implemented key features of NEP2020 through multiple inter, multi, and trans-disciplinary initiatives.
● Multidisciplinary Academic Centres and Schools
With an aim of institutional restructuring and consolidation to make sure quality education is delivered to all, the Institute has established Multi-Disciplinary Academic Centers & Schools such as:
- Centre for Disaster Management and Research
- Centre for Intelligent Cyber Physical Systems
- Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems
- Centre for Sustainable Polymers
- Centre for Drone Technology
- Centre for Sustainable Water Research
- Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
- School of Energy Science and Engineering
- School of Agro and Rural Technology
- School of Health Science & Technology
- School of Business
These centres and school offer various inter and multidisciplinary programs in line with the objectives of NEP 2020. A few programs include:
- M.Tech programme in Biomedical Science and Engineering with Specialization in Medical Devices and Diagnostics
- B.Tech in Energy Engineering from July 2022 Session
- B.Tech in Data Science and AI
- M.A in Liberal Arts
- Dual Degree [M.Tech + PhD] Programme in the department of Computer Science & Engineering for non-CSE background students
- Dual Degree [M.S. (Engineering) + PhD] Programme in the department of Electronics and electrical Engineering
- Inter-Disciplinary M.TECH Programme in Data Science
- Inter-Disciplinary MS (Research) Programme in E-Mobility
● Academic Enhancements
National Education Policy 2020 emphasizes on training and preparing professionals in cutting-edge areas that have fast gaining prominence. In order to make sure the students are fully equipped with knowledge and skills along with the freedom to pursue their interests, the Institute’s flexible curriculum provides the option for UG students to spend one full semester at Industries and Research laboratories for Internships or undergraduate project work. Similarly, Internships provisions is an option for PG students. On the entrepreneurial front, initiatives related to Introduction of techno-entrepreneurship and small business development programs for the students have been included in the curriculum.
● Enhancing Employability
For enhancing the employability of the youth, IIT Guwahati has established a dedicated unit offering online degree programs including Bachelor’s Degree Prograame, and B. Sc. (Hons) in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. Along with this, multiple PG programs in the areas of Computer Science, Robotics, Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence are in the pipeline that will maximize flexibility and engagement, enabling students to learn at their own pace, while optional campus visits will provide opportunities to engage with faculty and peers.
● Research and Development (R&D) at IIT Guwahati
IIT Guwahati has identified thrust areas of research where it could be a leader, such as Health care, Translational Chemical Engineering Science, Agro-Food Processing, Traditional Foods and Agriculture Practices, Advanced Functional Materials and Chemical Biology, new generation batteries, Bioinformatics, Digital Healthcare and many more. In order to achieve this target, the Institute is progressing towards building a strong workforce of researchers with multi-disciplinary backgrounds to address challenges of research in inter/ multi/ trans-disciplinary areas. Along with this, initiatives aimed at enhancing footprints of 'Skill India' and 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' programs have also been established in School of Agro & Rural Technology, Centre for Nanotechnology, School of Health Science and technology at IIT Guwahati. At present, the institute is working on 470 research and 593 consultancy projects worth over Rs. 673.80 crores.
● Integrated Teacher Education Programme
NEP2020 has a mandate of revitalizing the complete teacher education sector. To achieve this goal the Institute has proposed a Four Years Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP). The proposed Four years BA/B.Ed Programme will have multiple exit option including:
- 1 year – Certificate
- 2 years – Diploma
- 3 years - B.A
- 4 years – BA (Honours)/B.Ed
The proposed program envisage the following layout:
- M.A, in Liberal arts programmes with HSS Courses (viz. Economics, Sociology, English, History, Psychology, Development Studies, Traditional knowledge Systems)
- Plans to devise interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary majors
● Center for Indian Knowledge System - a vision to build capacity for a sustainable knowledge system
During IIT Guwahati’s 22nd Convocation address in 2020, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi motivated the Institute to set up a Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems. As a result the Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems has been established at IIT Guwahati that offers various programs in multi-disciplinary fields of Indian Knowledge for the holistic development of the students. Programs such as ‘Introduction to Indian Knowledge Systems’ for Ph.D. students, Archaeological Studies in Ancient Technology as an elective course, and Short term courses on ‘Spoken Sanskrit’ and ‘Spoken Assamese’, are some of the programs being offered by this centre.
● Centre for Disaster Management and Research at IIT Guwahati
IIT Guwahati has recently signed an MoU with Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) 2022 to collaborate on various projects and activities related to Disaster Risk Reduction. The key objective of this collaboration is Capacity building for mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Case studies, Evaluation studies, Undertaking research projects/innovative activities, Publication of articles & awareness materials, Pilot projects in DRR area, Conducting & supporting consultation, knowledge and experience sharing. Further, the Centre will act as the nodal centre for research collaborations, training programs and projects in this domain.
● IIT Guwahati has also registered in the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) platform (https://www.abc.gov.in/). Academic Bank Account is a unique account operated by the student, where academic credits earned get Accumulated, Recognized, and Redeemed. IIT Guwahati is the first IIT to create its account on ABC and has already uploaded 3004 graduating students’ degree records.
● To bring industry and other professional expertise into the academic institutions IIT Guwahati has engaged 5 “Professor of Practice”. This will help to take real world practices and experience into the classrooms and also augment the faculty resources in higher education institutions. The society will thus benefit from trained graduates equipped with relevant skills.
● Effective Leadership and Governance
In a recent effort to support the state authorities, the institute has collaborated with the Govt of Assam to setup Assam Advanced Healthcare Innovation Institute – AAHII at the Institute’s campus. Apart from leveraging advanced technologies to transform medical science, AAHII will also offer Advanced Medical Degrees in different programs including a Diplomate of National Board (DNB), Doctor of Medicine (MD), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) among others
● Focussing to improve school education
IIT Guwahati collaborated with Samagra Shiksha, Assam, (SSA) under the Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan of the Ministry of Education to develop scientific temper and strengthen students’ ability to handle challenging environments. Under this collaboration, IIT Guwahati is supporting SSA to conduct various state-level activities in a hybrid mode in state-run schools in Assam for secondary students. On the occasion of National Science Day, the Institute launched the Qualifying round of the Quiz competition that took place in online mode and witnessed participation from around 5000 students from 33 districts of the state of Assam.
IIT Guwahati has started multiple activities on internationalization.
- On the academic front, the institute is offering International Joint Masters Degree Programme in Food Science and Technology with Gifu University, Japan. Along with this, IIT Guwahati has over 100 MoUs with foreign Institutions to provide exposure to its students.
- On international expansion front, the Institute is looking forward to setting up an international campus in the future as per guidelines from the Ministry of Education, Govt. of India.
- On the governance and leadership front, the Institute has recently signed an MoU with the Indian Council of World Affairs to build capacity/skills in international affairs and foreign policy.
● Student centric: Welfare Clubs
IIT Guwahati has multiple student centric clubs for their holistic development. Some of these include:
- The Artificial Intelligence Community of IIT
- Robotics Club
- Consulting & Analytics Club
● SDG implementation
IIT Guwahati is #6 among the World's top 10 universities for SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and among the top 200 universities for SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure). The overall rank of the institute has also improved to 401 - 600 in 2023. Along with this, the Institute has also launched first-of-its-kind course on UN-Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in its Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) curriculum
Along with these initiatives, IIT Guwahati is already offering options for multiple exits and movement between programs to further make the quality education accessible to the students. In order to make the options even more flexible, as envisioned in NEP2020, a committee has been constituted at the institute to examine the same and make time-to-time recommendations on the same.
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