“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell, renowned inventor, scientist, and engineer
IIT Gandhinagar realizes the significance of efficient strategies to ensure progress and achieve success in any field. Being a Students-First Institute, the excellence of its student community forms the rock-solid framework on which IITGN stands. To seek guidance in strategic issues and academic excellence, the Institute organizes the Leadership Conclave (LC) and Academic Advisory Council (AAC) meetings annually.
While on the one hand, the LC started in 2010, welcomes some of the most eminent academicians, industrialists, and government participants from India and abroad to provide valuable insights on the most progressive ways to handle the top-priority issues of the Institute. On the other, since its initiation in 2011, the AAC houses renowned thinkers to guide IITGN in the course of advancing learning with practical implementations, intending to solve the burning problems of the world. The inputs received during these sessions, promote the Institute to develop and progress to its fullest potential.
The Leadership Conclave majorly focuses on addressing numerous thrust areas of research at the Institute, establishing and strengthening vital connections with academia and industry, and effective fund-raising plans. Through all these years, these meetings have helped IITGN to create and boost detailed preparations for undergraduate and postgraduate studies, infrastructure development, partnerships with NGOs and government, crucial fund-raising initiatives, and engagement with professional bodies and organizations. Every year, the members brainstorm and analyze several key issues, and provide necessary guidance on a vast range of crucial matters. These range from establishment and advancement of a research park, vibrant entrepreneurship culture, active community engagement, frameworks for International partnerships, and engagement with external stakeholders, all the way to grooming the young faculty for leadership roles, active alumni engagement, leadership and communication skills of students, the learning-by-doing paradigm of teaching, policies for the long-term stability and continuity, branding and image building of the Institute, and numerous avant-garde initiatives that set it apart from others in the arena.
The objective of the Academic Advisory Council is to contribute suggestions and inputs on educational issues of significant importance as IITGN progresses from the 1000 student-strength towards a booming 5000! These spheres mainly include faculty recruitment strategies, establishing feedback mechanisms for the Institute, development of an academic master-plan, nurturing young faculty to ensure their fullest professional and personal growth, and strengthening the teaching and learning process in the Institute. Some other domains comprise improving governance systems, identifying focus areas in research, planning future academic facilities, encouraging leadership and communication initiatives in the student community, and institutional rankings. Managing difficult situations with the faculty, feasibility of lateral entry of students into IITGN’s B.Tech programmes, non-degree programme, various student support mechanisms such as counseling and peer-assisted learning, and unique course structure with student-centric innovative elements are some more hot-topics of debate. Supervision in these fields provides room for more flexibility, diversity, broadness, and depth.
The tenth Leadership Conclave and the ninth Academic Advisory Council meetings were held earlier this month on the 3rd and 4th January 2020 at IIT Gandhinagar. The meetings drew 40+ leading thinkers and experts who mentored the Institute on designing inclusive strategies for the upcoming years, plans to maintain and build upon its cutting-edge culture, approaches to deal with unexpected hurdles, crisis-management, and ways to scale up fundraising efforts. They also discussed at length about developing active systems to intensify the faculty services for Institute-building, advancing staff development, encouraging research among non-PhD students, and analyzing the requirement to adopt a General Education segment in the curriculum. Leaders from the University of Colorado, Duke University, Yale University, University Institute of Lisbon, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, contributed their valuable inputs to further academic excellence at the Institute.
According to Prof. Sudhir K Jain (Director, IIT Gandhinagar), “These gatherings have been compelling for the Institute to recalibrate its plans for the future. It serves as the guiding light for us as we march ahead on the path of academic excellence, strong leadership, path-breaking initiatives, student-centric approaches, and world-class infrastructural facilities.”
The Institute will continue to host these events every year to improve and promote its numerous out-of-the-box educational approaches in different disciplines, breakthrough research on several global challenges, giving back, a competitive, successful and healthy academic environment, in the long list of many others. These conferences have in the past and will in the future, pave the way for IIT Gandhinagar to become one of the leading educational institutions across the world.
“Our goals can only be reached through the vehicle of a plan. There is no other route to success.” — Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter, printmaker, sculptor, ceramicist, poet, stage designer, and playwright