10th Academic Advisory Council at IITGN gathered global views for academic advancement

10th Academic Advisory Council at IITGN gathered global views for academic advancement

The 10th Academic Advisory Council (AAC) meeting of the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) held on January 06, 2023, at the Institute saw distinguished academicians from India and overseas as well as faculty members from IITGN deliberate over various topics and ideas for the advancement of academic excellence.

The AAC of IITGN is organised annually to brainstorm academic priority areas for IITGN. This year’s AAC was attended by nearly 15 leading academicians from the University of Miami; Clemson University; University of Colorado; University Institute of Lisbon, (ISCTE-IUL); Johns Hopkins University; IIT Kanpur; IIT Bombay; IIPHG, Gandhinagar; among others.

Welcoming the council participants, Prof Rajat Moona, Director, IITGN, gave context for the meeting with future aspirations of the Institute in various domains and possible mechanisms to achieve them, and said, “IITGN has been taking pioneering initiatives since its inception, which have been emulated by other organisations. As the Institute expands, we want to grow the Institute as a globally preferred destination for education as well as Research and Development. This can be attained by setting goals and finding mechanisms to achieve them. The expert ideas received in the Academic Advisory Council meeting will help us gain significant clarity for our next endeavours.”

The day-long dialogues garnered several strategic and expert inputs to pave the way for the Institute. During the discussion on effective ways to recruit the best faculty members, the council members suggested highlighting the research facilities, industry collaboration opportunities, support systems, and quality of life available here to attract good faculty members from around the world to meet the future vision of the Institute. 

Regarding attracting more international students to IITGN, it was recommended by council members that the Institute should explore various ways to reach out to aspiring students from countries of South-East Asia, SAARC, Africa, Europe etc. and build a whole ecosystem to encourage them to come and study at IITGN. This includes creating short-term as well as long-term courses, research opportunities, offering more scholarships, and even adding continental food in its mess menu, and so on. As students are attracted not only by academic experience but also by other cultural and extra-curricular activities, it is important to enhance the overall experience and cross-cultural exposure for students.

With changing times, the Institute aspires to expand and introduce new academic programmes to keep up with the changing landscape of industry and academia. In this direction, the council debated various ideas to augment current courses in core disciplines and introduce new interdisciplinary courses/degrees that prepare students to contribute in solving some of the major societal challenges such as climate change, public health, and so on. The significance and challenges of fusion degrees and project-based learning at the postgraduate level were also discussed at length.

Though IITGN’s entrepreneurship culture has witnessed positive growth over the years, the Institute wants to boost the startup culture on campus and emphasise commercialisation of technologies among its students and faculty. The panel discussed the need for a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem at IITGN. They highlighted the need for a strong support structure and mentorship of students for their startup journey. Additionally, the panel also suggested facilitating innovative and sustainable ideas, bolstering diverse types of startups, conducting Venture Capital fairs on campus, and more. They underlined the idea that once people get over the fear of failure, there will be many more success stories.