Suggest school syllabi to boost innovation: Irani to IITs

New Delhi : The government plans to formulate a national innovation policy that would stress on innovation at the school level, according to Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani.

Apprising directors and chairmen of 16 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) about the policy at a retreat in Goa Sunday, Irani asked them to suggest curriculum changes at the school level that would not only align with higher education institutions but also help set up innovation labs at the district level across India with a view to infusing a culture of research and innovation among students.

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Irani asked the institutes to set up cultures of excellence in central universities, said a ministry statement.

The day-long retreat focused on issues related to deepening research and technological innovation for meeting the national development agenda, enhancing industry-academia collaboration and expanding the massive open online courses (MOOCs).

It also stressed on framing a ranking system that would reflect national concerns and leveraging alumni networks, the statement added.

Irani said the IITs need to come up with at least 10 goals that India should reach, both nationally and internationally, in a time-bound manner.

“A committee consisting of directors and chairmen of IITs has been constituted to map various disciplines with respect to their requirement for meeting national manpower goals,” the statement said.

Irani also asked the IITs to develop a “special programme” for students from the northeast and said they need to be “exposed to the best of the institutions like IITs in different parts of the country”.

She asked the director of IIT Guwahati to coordinate efforts in this direction and submit a report by the middle of August.

She also highlighted the need to develop “quality faculty” not only for the new IITs, Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) but also for other institutions in the country.

Urging the IITs to leverage their alumni network, Irani asked the chairmen and directors to suggest policy constraints and strategies to involve the institutes’ alumni for contributing towards the institutes’ development and also the nation.