A Delegation from Indian Institutes of Technology Visited Sharif
A meeting was held at Sharif University of Technology with the four leading IIT universities of India. This meeting took place on 27 November and commenced at 11:00 am. After a brief introduction of the participants from each country Dr. Rashtchain offered an introduction regarding Sharif University of Technology. This was followed by an introduction of IIT Bombay by Professor Devang Khakar, Director of IIT Bombay. He stated that due to an act of parliament in 1961, IIT universities have been awarded a great deal of autonomy. He further added that they were strong in a number of areas, and Nano-Electronics, Solar Energy, and Aero-Space components were among these strong areas. He additionally stated that they have a joint degree programme with Monash University in Melbourne and that this programme had successfully been running for 8 years and had so far produced 50 joint PhDs. He informed the SUT participants that IIT Bombay would be willing to collaborate in all possible areas, and that this would require the enactment of two steps: 1. There must be an opportunity for faculty members to collaborate, 2. Collaborating faculty members must be supported by their respective universities.
Subsequently, the Director of IIT Delhi, Dr. Ramgopal Rao gave an introduction regarding IIT Delhi. He stated that 60% of all their students are post graduate students and that this majority was a conscious decision. He also suggested that in order to have further collaboration and dual PhD programmes, the faculty members of both universities should get to know each other. He proposed that in order to achieve this, SUT faculty members would be welcome to take a sabbatical at their university and vice-versa. He also portrayed interest in admitting PhD students from SUT and for SUT to be open to admitting some students from IIT Delhi.
Following this, the Director of IIT Kanpur, Dr. Indranil Manna, presented an introduction of IIT Kanpur. He stated that they have a great deal of collaboration with American universities. He also added that since Iranians and Indians have a similar culture, they are keen to form strong collaborations. Of the areas, which collaboration were suggested to be followed up in, was joint PhD programmes, joint degrees and even short visits or internships held at both IIT Kanpur and SUT for students. He expressed that the students of IIT Kanpur were keen to go on internships abroad. He further added that both universities have a lot of scope for overlapping making it easier to integrate with each other. The SUT participants were informed that some of the areas IIT Kanpur wishes to pursue was, flexible electronics and cyber and net security.
Dr. P. K. Ghosh, Officiating Director of IIT Roorkee, was the final participant to offer an introduction of his university. He informed the participants that IIT Roorkee is not among the primary chain of the top 5 IITs, however it is a 170 year old engineering institute. He added that IIT Roorkee has a Himalayan centre of excellence where intricate and detailed research is done. All research in IIT Roorkee was said to be in applied sciences and as a result they are greatly interested in collaborating with SUT in the field of research. This collaboration can either be individual research concepts or research collaboration in a structured manner where mutual interests are involved. Dr. Ghosh also stated that IIT Roorkee can provide a good platform for research collaboration.
The IIT delegates were then taken on a tour of the Sharif Technology Services Complex, and then were served lunch. During lunch participants of both universities did some networking and discussed how they could initiate areas of collaboration.