Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi has had a successful run in 2021 despite the pandemic scourge, sanctioning a total of 32 projects worth Rs 14.41 crore for research, academics, entrepreneurship and innovation.
In a recent press communique, IIT Mandi stated that at least 45 research scholars have graduated from the institute in 2021. The year also saw a significant increase in the number of sponsored research projects and funding for the institute, the communique read.
IIT Mandi director Ajit K Chaturvedi said, “Despite the challenging times, IIT Mandi has shown remarkable growth in terms of infrastructure as well as developing new academic programmes.”
The institute, he said, has a fully-functional residential campus with good infrastructure in terms of academic buildings, functional research laboratories and faculty housings. This year, IIT Mandi has also received 308 acres of land for expansion after clearance from the forest department, added Chaturvedi.
“We have reached a faculty strength of 134. Two new academic programmes – M Tech in Computer Science and Engineering and M Tech in Fluid and Thermal Science – have also been launched. With this growth trajectory, we welcome the new year with renewed energy and enthusiasm to contribute to the development of the Himalayan region and India as a whole,” the institute’s director said.
Many research projects, ranging from tracking the COVID-19 spread in India via social networks to the development of catalysts to generate hydrogen using sunlight were taken up by the institute in 2021. The institute also carried out research and experiments for enhancing the power output of piezoelectric materials and development of algorithms to predict the functioning of vehicular Internal Combustion Engines.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the Landslide Monitoring and Early Warning System developed by IIT Mandi during his visit to Mandi, Himachal Pradesh in December 2021. The device reduces landslides by predicting the soil movement in advance and is a one-of-a-kind system in the world, the institute has claimed.
IIT Mandi also witnessed some of the top MNCs in the world participating in the placement drive this year. These include Google, Microsoft, Samsung Bangalore, Adobe, Walmart, Sprinklr, Paytm, Amazon, Indeed, Cashfree, Nference, Flipkart, Mindtickle, Texas Instruments, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Ceremorphic, Addverb, L&T, ZS, Deloitte, Viscadia, Capgemini, KPMG, TCS, Reliance Jio and LTI.
Tushar Jain, advisor, Career and Placement Cell of IIT Mandi, said that IIT Mandi has set a benchmark with its placement drive in 2021. In this drive, the institute has noticed a significant growth in terms of the number of offers and an increase in participation from companies, he added.
“This has become possible due to practicum-based and industry-oriented curriculum. The pandemic has also changed the recruitment process entirely from in-person to virtual mode, which offered new ways and means of interacting with recruiters,” said Jain.
IIT Mandi’s Technology Business Incubator, Catalyst, hosted ‘HST Startup Grand Challenge’ – a startup pitch competition with a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh and an up to Rs 50 lakh funding opportunity.
The institute also collaborated with the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Bilaspur on research and academic activities. The two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at conducting joint research activities and academic exchange activities.
Key initiatives of this collaboration include conducting joint international conferences, workshops and seminars on medical and public health and exchange of information on teaching and other literature relevant to educational and research programmes
Catalyst, till date, has committed over Rs 6 crore for prototyping and commercialisation purposes to the startups.