New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee has called upon IITs to play a pivotal role in India`s endeavour to develop newer, cutting edge technologies and utilise them to create in-house technology solutions for domestic requirements.
Speaking at the concluding session of the conference of chairmen, board of governors and directors of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) at Rashtrapati Bhavan Friday, Mukherjee said the new technologies can also be exported to other developing countries.
The president said some excellent suggestions that have emanated from the IITs include sharing of best practices, efforts to increase the number of published papers to 3-5 per year, promotion of a post-doctoral culture in order to develop and retain quality faculty, continuous revamping and upgrading of curricula and striving to spin-off a number of companies per IIT each year.
Mukherjee said he was happy to know the concept of "Ishan Vikas" - a comprehensive plan to bring school children from the northeastern states in close contact with the IITs and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research during their vacation periods.
The human resource development ministry and the council of IITs need to coordinate and ensure early implementation of this initiative, he said.
The president said he was happy to see the presentation made by the director of IIT-Delhi on technology-enabled learning and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
"These courses are the way forward and must be used to supplement conventional methods of teaching in India, particularly in the field of higher education.
"It is imperative that a well-defined timeline is put in place for their rollout and content development with the focus being on making these courses more India-centric," he said.
The agenda of the one-day conference included steps required to improve global ranking of IITs, giving impetus to research and innovation, use of technology in pedagogy and online learning, deepening of the engagement of IITs with the community and resource mobilisation as well as alumni participation.