Rourkela, Oct. 12: Animesh Biswas, who took over as the new director of National Institute of Technology here yesterday, said that his main objective would be to make sure that the tech school featured among the best such institutes in the world.
"The NIT now ranks somewhere between 600 and 700 among all the tech schools in the world. I want to ensure that it features among the 200 best tech institutes in the next five years," he said.
Biswas, who was earlier with IIT Kharagpur, took over the office yesterday from director in charge Ranjit Kumar Sahu.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Biswas said: "As an academician, my priority will be academics. For an institute of this nature, research and development and faculties expertise are also important things and I will also focus on these."
"This is an institute which has earned its name in the country for its academic rigour and there will be no compromise on that. But certainly, research will be the key area," he said.
There would be more thrust on getting research projects and getting students involved in those.
Biswas said: "The role of the director is that of a facilitator and it is the students and the faculties, who are the backbone. So, I will be simply coordinating with the two important stakeholders."
Talking about synchronisation between the cultures of IITs and NITs, he said: "I will try to bring in the positive things of IIT here without disturbing the existing culture. But, wherever necessary, I will definitely implement new things."
NIT, Rourkela. Telegraph picture
He said that his focus would be to strengthen the existing academic structure of the institute instead of adding more subjects or departments. "We already have 21 departments and now I will like to strengthen them academically so that it benefits the institute," he said.
Biswas is an electrical engineering graduate of Bengal Engineering College, 1980, and was in Industrial Training Institute, Bangalore, for ten years before coming back to studies. He did his MTech from IIT Kharagpur, PhD from IIT Delhi and post-doctoral work from Oregon University in the US. "Research has remained my passion as I have enjoyed it always," he said.
He said: "I have heard about the rich and strong research activities of the NIT Rourkela and I will add to those."
NIT Rourkela has a cryogenic programme under the mechanical engineering department. Biswas said: "Though I am from electrical engineering, I understand the importance of cryogenic programme and I will see to it that the country reaps the best out of this unique department. I will also search for good faculty and other helping hands for subjects such as cryogenics and big data analysis, which is again a very emerging field."
Biswas is a football lover and loves the two Argentine greats - Diego Armando Maradona and Lionel Messi. "I am a fan of Brazil and its football. The game has taught me a lot things, and the most important is how to remain focused on the job in hand," he said.
For him, the game has so many intricacies that "one will learn many lessons of life for which I found I am able to solve real problems from the game only." He relaxes listening to songs of Rabindranath Tagore and old Bengali and Hindi songs.
And like football, music also helps him find solutions to problems. His wife, Sharmistha is a homemaker. She has a master's in botany. "But, I never had the opportunity to pursue a full-time career as the demand of the home was more," she said.