IIT Mandi celebrates 14th Foundation Day; confers awards to faculty members
Indian Institute of Technology Mandi celebrated its 14th Foundation Day on 1st March 2022. Prof. T.G Sitharam, Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Government of India, graced the occasion as Chief Guest with Mr Venkatadri K. R., Chief Commercial Officer, Tata Chemicals, as the Guest of Honor. The event was attended by faculty, staff, students, and other distinguished guests while Prof. Prem Vrat, Chairman, Board of Governor, IIT Mandi, presided over the event.
On Foundation Day, Dr. Garima Agrawal, School of Chemical Sciences, and Dr. Sunny Zafar, School of Mechanical and Material Engineering, received this year’s Young Achievers Awards, while Dr. Hitesh Shrimali, School of Computing and Electrical Engineering; Dr. Atul Dhar, School of Engineering; Dr. Amit Jaiswal, School of Biosciences and Bioengineering; Dr. Nitu Kumari, School of Basic Sciences, and Dr. Shyamasree Dasgupta, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, received Young Faculty Fellow 2023.
Dr. Garima Agrawal has also been awarded NASI-Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Award. This annual scientific award has been given in the ‘Chemical Sciences’ category for faculty’s notable contributions in the field. While Dr. Baskar Bakthavachalu, School of Biosciences and Bioengineering, has been selected as a new member to join the EMBO Global Investigator Network.
Addressing the Institute on this grand occasion, Prof. T.G. Sitharam, Chairman, AICTE, Government of India, said, “IIT Mandi is doing a laudable job in building a culture of research and innovation. We are in a ChatGPT era where artificial intelligence is taking over the technological world. We are in an era of disruptive innovation. In order to be a ‘Vishwa guru’ in technical education, we need to further increase the quality of education in our Institutions. With this, we can bring big change in our country and the world.”
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director, IIT Mandi, said, “In the past year, IIT Mandi has taken multiple initiatives to remain at the cutting edge of research, education, and skill development. We have recently launched a unique two-year MBA degree program in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to meet the growing demands of the industry in terms of big data analytics. In line with the vision of the Government of India, the Institute has established a state-of-the-art Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) to enable the development and translation of research, skill development, and collaborative activities in the broad areas of robotics, drone technology, intelligent systems, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.”
Further, Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, said, “To address the sharp increase in mental health problems, especially among the underprivileged and the poor, the Institute has established the Indian Knowledge System and Mental Health Applications (IKSMHA) Centre, which aims to be a world leader and serve the Indian society via research, skill development, translation, and collaborative activities concerning Indian knowledge systems and mental health.”
IIT Mandi in order to nurture and develop creative, innovative, and managerial skills among students, the Institute has redesigned its Design Practicum and initiated a lab-based course titled Foundations of Design Practicum (FDP) to provide the students with hands-on experience that includes Fusion 360 CAD design software, 3-D printing, PCB fabrication, sensors, programming on-board computers and communications. The Institute has created new B.Tech. programs in Materials Science and Engineering, and General Engineering, in addition to a B.Arch. program. Moreover, BS programs in Chemistry and Economics are in the pipeline. All of this is being done while integrating the Institute’s vision with that of the National Education Policy 2020 in order to provide a holistic learning and research experience to students.
While addressing the students, Guest of Honour, Mr. Venkatadri K. R, Chief Commercial Officer, Tata Chemicals, said, “You are all blessed and privileged to have joined a premier institution. Your Institute is providing world-class labs that will give you the opportunity to learn in this great environment. Culturally sensitive globally connected society is the need of the hour. As I look ahead to the next 5 years, we are going to see huge technological changes. With automation and digital, work and life are going to be transformed. This would need all of us to be on a continuous learning journey.”
During the event, Prof. Prem Vrat, Chairman, Board of Governor, IIT Mandi said, “Looking back at the Institute’s achievements from the past year, I see the journey has been one of steady improvement. IIT Mandi has established a good academic environment even in this remote location. Under the leadership of Prof. Behera, the diversification of Institute as well as establishing MOUs with other institutions, industry.”
On the placement front, IIT Mandi has received 285 job offers from 119 companies this year. Of these, 19 are international offers. The highest salary recorded this year is INR 62.87 lakh and the average salary is INR 27.99 lakh for B.Tech students. With this, the Institute is looking forward to another year of strong placements.
The Institute has been ranked #20 in the ‘engineering’ category; #39 in the ‘research’ category, and #43 in the ‘overall’ category in NIRF 2022.