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The Golden Jubilee Year: IIT Madras - 2008-09

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The Golden Jubilee Year: IIT Madras - 2008-09

1959 to 2009 - in a Nutshell

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras -- 50 Glorious Years

Prof. L.S. Ganesh,
Department of Management Studies

Department of Engineering Design (built with a grant from M/s Ashok Leyland and M/s Bosch)

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) was established in 1959 as an Institute of National Importance by the Government of India, with the primary objective of promoting higher technical education, research and extension services through consultancy and continuing education for national development. The Institute comprises sixteen Departments and a few academic Centers, which are supported by Central Facilities and the Administration.

The Institute has passed through various stages of development and growth in its fifty years of existence. It has served the nation well through its many contributions in terms of:

a) producing excellent human resources through its rigorous and advanced education programmes,

b) knowledge creation and technology development through academic and sponsored research,

c) capability enhancement in industry and business through consultancy services,

d) post-qualification enrichment and development of professionals and academicians through continuing education programmes, and

e) entrepreneurship development through its incubation services.

The undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes in various disciplines lead to the BTech, MA, MSc, MTech, MBA, MS (by Research), MS (Entrepreneurship) and PhD degrees. For the first time in India, three national Institutions – IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur and IIM Calcutta – have become partners to promote a pioneering joint PG Programme for Executives, “Visionary Leaders in Manufacturing”. IIT Madras has also partnered with the Christian Medical College Vellore and the Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology Trivandrum to offer pioneering Masters and Doctoral programmes in Clinical Engineering with a focus on Biomedical Devices and Technologies.

Sarsavati Hostel for women (Built with a grant from Mrs. Jayashree and Dr. Gururaj Deshpande, Distinguishee Alumnus)

The various Departments and Centers of the Institute are dedicated to innovation, technology development and diffusion for a wide range of applications. There are innumerable examples of the Institute’s successes in the following areas:

1. HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT – formal and non-formal education and literacy, health care, and disability mitigation.

2. NATIONAL SECURITY (External and Internal) – national defence, and disaster mitigation and management.

3. SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – agriculture, infrastructure, conventional and non-conventional energy, terrestrial and space-based communications, land, water and air transportation, industrial and consumer technologies, and business systems.

4. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – preservation, restoration and enrichment of the natural environment, conservation and utilization of non-renewable natural resources, solid and liquid waste management.

Working in close collaboration with industry, business, national and international agencies, and government departments that have supported many projects including the National Technology Development Missions, the Institute has invented, developed and patented strategic, value-laden technologies. These have resulted in engineering systems, machines, equipment, devices, instruments, tools, etc., having new functional capabilities and improved operational efficiencies. These collaborations have led to effective import substitution, indigenization, technology transfer and diffusion, and in several instances have contributed to superior technological functional capabilities accompanied by massive cost reduction.

A Diagnostic Overview of IIT Madras

IIT Madras is endowed with several admirable strengths which form the base of its global reputation as a leader in the world of research, education and intellectual services, and its image as one of the shining examples of India’s technological creativity and brilliance.

(a) Faculty have consistently demonstrated excellence through their research publications, projects, and patents. Their exceptional intellectual creativity and acumen, research and teaching skills, domain knowledge and, most importantly, their unquestioning commitment to the cause of excellence in academics form the very foundation of the glorious global reputation and respect enjoyed by the Institute. The Institute’s faculty members are the enduring source of its strength.

(b) Research Scholars have been one of the pillars of strength of the Institute. Many of them have had their research published in reputed international and national journals. They have also represented the Institute admirably in prestigious conferences and symposia. Often “Best Paper” awards have been conferred on their work. A few have even won international “Best Thesis” awards in the wake of competition from their peers belonging to globally most reputed institutions. The research theses submitted by the scholars are almost always highly commended for the valuable analyses and insights provided.

(c) Students have contributed immensely to the prevailing academic atmosphere in campus. They continue to earn all round appreciation for their roles in pedagogic processes, and their active participation in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The innumerable awards, honours and prizes they have received are evidence enough of their intellectual competence.

(d) Alumni of the Institute have spread their value deep and strong all over the world. In line with the academic leadership role of the Institute, many alumni are leading reputed organizations and institutions, within and outside India, to the highest levels of competitive performance. In recognition of their work and contributions, they have earned prestigious national and international awards and honours. They are a never ending source of great pride to the Institute.

(e) Support Staff have played a significant role in the Institute’s growth and development through their sheer dedication and hard work. Many among them have earned advanced qualifications and have demonstrated their professional versatility and capabilities.

(f) Institutional Relationships with government departments, international and national industrial and business organizations, research and educational institutions, professional bodies, foundations, and NGOs are a unique source of strength for the Institute. A significant part of the Institute’s global credibility and stature is due to these relationships which have grown in number and strength over the years.

(g) Academic + Campus Infrastructure have for long been the envy of educational institutions all over. The Institute’s academic infrastructure in the form of state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, workshops, library, technical support, computing and network facilities are a benchmark for educational institutions. Its campus-in-a-forest provides a perfect setting for serious academic pursuits. Its hostels and residential quarters, and general campus amenities and services fulfill the necessary conditions for a healthy and holistic lifestyle.

(h) Leadership and Values have been a distinguishing feature of the Institute’s history. The Institute leadership’s continued total commitment to the cause of excellence in all its pursuits has perhaps been the most significant factor behind its steady, balanced and successful growth. The Institute has earned the respect of its peers for the high priority it has given to Indian traditions and values in a world of dynamic contrasts. The palpable forgiving atmosphere that pervades the campus serves as the cultural bedrock for intellectual curiosity and experimentation.

(i) Location is a strategic strength. Chennai has clearly emerged among the most preferred locations for hi tech industrial ventures in the automotive, electronics, IT and ITES, BPO, healthcare and technology R&D sectors. IIT Madras is located most conveniently in terms of easy physical and virtual access to organizations in all these sectors.

(j) Institutional Systems and Processes have evolved in a synergistic manner with the growth of the Institute. IIT Madras was the first research and education institution in India to implement the globally recognized ISO 9000 system for quality. Most of the Institute’s administrative and academic support systems have successfully implemented and followed the ISO 9000 system. In a rare instance, one of the academic programmes has also followed suit successfully. The institutional systems and processes have been designed and developed with continuity, stability, responsiveness and fairness in mind.

With such strengths, the Institute now looks forward to fresh opportunities and newer challenges, expand human knowledge and break new ground staying rooted to its core values and following its quality policy while pursuing its mission for the realization of its vision. The Institute’s main challenges would be the recruitment of excellent faculty, the encouragement of cultural diversity, the enhancement of institutional interdisciplinary spirit, mutually constructive intellectual debates and academic synergy, and keeping human dignity, nobility and character at the core of all concerns. IIT Madras should believe that if it pushes its excellence agenda further, the economics would follow automatically.

The Golden Jubilee Year: IIT Madras - 2008-09
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