Education Ministry Report On IIT Programmes in Data Science, AI and Robotics

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Offshore IIT campuses should offer undergraduate degree programs in data science, Artificial Intelligence, robotics, mining, and energy, the Education ministry has recommended.

The report, which is being considered by the Centre, has outlined a few prospective courses that have been decided based on feedback from Indian embassies abroad. These embassies reached out to the authorities of the host nations in order to gauge the demand for various disciplines in their respective countries. By considering this feedback, the Centre has been able to get a better understanding of which courses would be in higher demand internationally.

The survey conducted showed that a majority of the universities located in the nations initially targeted have undergraduate programs in more traditional disciplines. However, from the feedback given by ambassadors of the identified host nations, the most popular disciplines now are related to computer science or Information Technology, data sciences, AI, machine learning or robotics, electrical, electronics, mining, metallurgy,

The committee recommended varied modes of admission, including JEE, GATE, JAM, SAT, and GRE for offshore campuses. It also prescribed a minimum intake to start the programs: three to 40 per year for UG courses, and 15-20 in the case of PG courses. The faculty-student ratio should be 1:10 in line.

The style of faculty recruitment in India, which involves life-long appointments, is different from the model advocated in the report. The report says that flexibility should be given to institutions to negotiate salary and terms with candidates.

The committee also identified provisions for deputing faculty members from the existing IITs to the proposed institutes abroad, particularly in their formative years, along with a suggestion that joint recruitment of faculty could be explored.

A Board of Governors (BoG) model, which is currently in place at domestic Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), is likely to be replicated for the offshore campuses. The BoG should comprise individuals from both the host country and India, representing diverse fields such as academics, industry, and public service, the government said.