Tech4Bharat

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Prof. V K Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur shares his vision on technology development for common man at the strategic conclave Tech4Bharat organised by PAN IIT Alumni India

PAN IIT Alumni India (PIAI) recently organised Tech4Bharat, a strategic conclave aimed at synergy between policy and technology and review and realignment of the current initiatives and launch fresh ones. The event featured panel discussions bringing Academia, Policy makers and the Industry leaders. The expert panel moderators from PanIIT led the discussions to gather the diverse views and galvanize them into a common pursuit of excellence for the fine institutions of technical education.

The key feature of Tech4Bharat was the launch of a IIT Directors Forum attended by the Directors of majority of the 23 IITs. The forum deliberated the collaboration between the Forum, PanIIT Alumni and the industry to render feedback to the policy makers and provide execution support. It had three breakout groups – Global excellence in research, pedagogy, industry, collaboration; Sustaining momentum in funding, infrastructure, faculty, policy; Need for speed in challenges, status, expertise, handholding. The panel discussions covered areas such as artificial intelligence, IIT & industry effective collaboration, global excellence – creating world class educational institutions.

Talking at the Conclave, Director Prof. V K Tewari reminded of the success of the older IITs and the contribution of the alumni which has led to 23 IITs. The Director spoke about revisiting the teaching-learning domain at IITs to evaluate the contributions and their impact – whether in agriculture and food engineering, in the area of manufacturing, cyber security, architecture and regional planning, naval architecture, mining. The focus for every academic and research units would be now on innovating hardware and software or the system which are result oriented and solution oriented for the common man. The Director confirmed taking initiatives levering the expertise at IIT Kharagpur to develop such products, processes and systems and hoped to deliver by the end of coming three years.

“We have so much infrastructure in different domains, for instance, in Agriculture and Food Engineering, Mining, Naval Architecture, Architecture and Regional Planning, and so many schools such as the School of Medical Science and Technology, the Intellectual Property Law School, the Business Management School and now the upcoming Superspecialty Hospital – with this we can compete with the best in the world based on the world-class work undertaken in each of these units,” he said.

The other IIT Directors who participated in the Forum were Prof. Abhay Karandikar, IIT Kanpur, Prof. T G Sitharam, IIT Guwahati, Prof. Rajat Moona, IIT Bhilai, Prof. Anurag Kumar, IISc, Prof. Rajesh Gopakumar, ICTS-TFR, Prof. Anil Sahasrabuddhe, AICTE. IIT Madras was represented by Prof. Mahesh Panchagulla, Dean, International & Alumni Relations.

The other key speakers and panelists included C. N. Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister, Karnataka, Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka, Dr. K Raghavan Chief PM/Biometric Architect, UIDAI, Arnab Kumar, Niti Ayog, Shashi Bhushan, CTO (Bus & Tech services) at TCS, Dr Venkat Padmanabhan, Dy. Managing Director, Microsoft Research, Kallappa Pattada, Head R&D, Boeing India, Dr Manish Kumar, MD, National Skill Development Corporation.

The Conclave also held Solve4Bharat, a 24-hour hackathon to provide an opportunity to talented teams from all across the country to showcase their skills in applying technology to solve the day-to-day public issues in Healthcare, Education and Mass Transportation.

A review session was held for the PanIIT AI Forum (PAIF) launched at the PIA conclave in Jan 2019 to develop and build the Indian ecosystem to absorb and utilise AI effectively for national, individual and social benefit. The forum aims to develop the Indian ecosystem for absorption of AI in industry, governance, and other domains, and promote interaction with the industry representatives, government, and IIT Alumni.

Tech4Bharat brought together all the stakeholders at one location and to create opportunity for interaction, participation and collaboration – facilitated by IIT Alumni Meet academia, researchers, practitioners, start-ups, industry, and policy makers and also involve other stakeholders in the journey of fulfilling its charter and broad base the Forum. The conclave explored creating a strategy for developing the Indian ecosystem for inducting new technologies for the country’s all-round improvement and collaborating with Industry, Academia and other stakeholders to set objectives and roadmap for fulfilment of its charter.

Prof. Tewari congratulated the PIAI for organising such an initiative such as Tech4Bharat keeping in mind the greater good of the society. Referring to PIAI President and IIT Kharagpur alumnus Mr. Ramnath Mani, the Director remarked, “there is a huge role to be played by all the IITs and realise the dream for which they were originally established. PAN IIT has a great role to play in the IIT ecosystem. IIT Kharagpur happens to have the largest alumni base among IITs close to 70000. The alumni can contribute significantly by bridging the existing gaps in branding and outreach.”

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