Former Director of IIT Guwahati Prof. T.G. Sitharam assumes charge as AICTE Chairman

 IIT Guwahati

New Delhi December 2022: Former Director of IIT Guwahati Prof. T.G. Sitharam assumes charge on 21st December 2022 as AICTE Chairman from the UGC Chairman Prof. Jagadesh Kumar. Prof. Sitharam envisions leading higher education into an era of disruptive innovations in his new role and making India a global educational knowledge superpower to achieve the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education to 50% by 2035. While assuming his charge as the AICTE Chairman, Prof. T.G. Sitharam said, “I will work with every stakeholder in the Education domain to transform higher education into a large well resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary providing high-quality teaching and learning, innovation, entrepreneurship, research, and community engagement hubs.”Prof. Sitharam envisions providing transformative education to Indian students to create leaders and innovators, and generate new knowledge for a sustainable society.

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is a National-level Apex Statutory Body since 1987 with a view to proper planning and coordinated development of technical education in the country in a coordinated and integrated manner. It is the statutory authority for planning, formulation, and maintenance of norms & standards; Quality assurance through accreditation; Funding in priority areas, monitoring, and evaluation; Maintaining parity of certification & awards, and Management of technical education in the country.

For the same, Prof. Sitharam envisions creating 5 types of pathways for competitive, modern, and industrialized India:

· Technology has driven outcome-based education

· Job-creator (JCR) mode

· Industry Solutions Provider (ISP)

· Innovation, Research, and Startup mode

· Education in Indian languages

In addition to this, the new AICTE Chairman has shared his action plan aligning with the long term goals of the Government of India underlined in the National Education Policy 2020. These include:

Building capacities of the technical institutions – digital infrastructure, Accreditations, and Rankings

Simplifying the approval process as per recommendations of NEP 2020.

Making students Industry ready, increasing placements, Increase Internships

Implementing Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan through Higher Education Institutes

Incorporating PM GATI SHAKTI in academic programs

Improving Public and Private Partnership in skilling, employment & innovation

Overcoming Language Barriers

Twinning Programmes for collaboration with Foreign Universities

Emphasis on core engineering sectors

In his previous roles, Prof. Sitharam has worked on multidisciplinary problems addressing diversified societal challenges with many administrative positions at institutions such as IISc, IIT, CIT, and NERIST and remained an active member in many boards along with more than six years of interaction with AICTE which also includes his term as Chairman, South-Western Regional Committee(SWRC). He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and worked at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, USA, He has rich international experience in teaching and research in Japan, the USA, Australia, Canada, Europe, and Hong Kong. As a result, he has rich leadership and administrative experience in managing academic units, programs and research centers, and startup and entrepreneurial activities.

Focusing on multidisciplinary research areas in collaboration with international institutions and research centers while establishing an industry co-innovation network to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is another key focus area highlighted by the new AICTE Chairman.

Speaking about building the entrepreneurial ecosystem and creating job opportunities for India’s young population, Prof. T.G. Sitharam said, “With more advanced research at all institutions, AICTE can create many Innovations and new start-ups which can pave way for an excellent job creator.”

This necessitates AICTE to play the role of facilitator to all the stakeholders by assessing the sustainable development impact potential with appropriate tools and framework in line with the vision of the Government of India. Further, Students and Faculty shall be empowered with incentives and awards by creating an ecosystem for Co-Innovation and Start-ups by building job-oriented capacities. At the same time, Prof. Sitharam proposes to move from the creation of Towers of Excellence to a Network of Excellence with Collaborative value positions involving other top institutions.

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