IIT Madras to offer more joint degree courses, looks at retraining, says director

IIT Madras is currently in an expansion mode with plans to set up an offshore campus in Tanzania along with a push to increase the number of collaborations with various foreign universities.

IIT Madras Director Prof V Kamakoti recently interacted with a group of journalists on some of the ongoing projects of India’s top institute of higher education as per the Centre’s NIRF ranking.

Q. Is IIT Madras planning to expand the number of joint degree programmes?

Prof. Kamakoti: Yes, it is in process. We have been in discussions with many universities in the UK, for example. Look, there are some subjects that we teach well, while there are some that are taught very well elsewhere. The idea is to join so that a student enrolled at IIT Madras takes one set of courses here and another at the partner university.

In addition, we must also take into account that the level of interest in the subjects varies from one country to another. For example, Nepal is very interested in energy systems. They have a lot of hydel energy. They have multiple sources of renewable energy. We have a very strong energy systems group here. We offer a joint M Tech Energy Systems program with Kathmandu University. We are in discussions with multiple, at least eight to nine applications for joint degrees.

Q. What other specializations are you focused on?

Prof. Kamakoti: We now have 10 international M Tech programs within the I2MP (International Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree Programmes) basket. Courses range from additive manufacturing, quantum science and cyber-physical systems to robotics and quantitative finance, among others. We want to have 20 such programs. All these programs can be offered as joint programs depending on the interest of the other universities. This is getting a lot of interest now. Specifically, the hybrid teaching model is useful in this area.

Q. What else do you plan to do?

Prof. Kamakoti: Teaching will be very important here. New skill or retraining is an area we want to tap into. There is a lot of demand for retraining and training from the sector. And this is where we come in. The courses will not be free. We have a very clear business model. Now we have a very clear idea of ​​turning an idea into a startup. There are also systems to turn an idea into a design and later into a prototype in case of innovations.

We are now looking at one patent scheme a day. We are also trying to go to the poor and educate them. As a publicly funded institution, it is also our duty to remain accessible to all. We are launching an initiative in this regard called the democratization of science education. We will provide quality science education to students in grades 9-12 to build a solid foundation. For this, we will have lectures recorded and translated into 21 Indian languages ​​and put them on the Swayam platform.

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