Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur announced the launch of two new departments in Design, and Space Science and Astronomy.
With the latest additions, IIT Kanpur will have 20 academic departments. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Board of Governors on January 12 to approve a proposal for transforming the existing Design Programme into a full-fledged department and setting up a new Department of Space Science and Astronomy devoted to the broad field of Space, Planetary, Astronomical Sciences and Engineering.
“IIT Kanpur firmly believes in diversity of education. We have been continuously revamping our curricula periodically to better suit the changing education ecosystem of the country and the setting up of new departments is also part of that process. I believe these two new departments in the fields of Design, and Space Science and Astronomy will facilitate new research and innovation in these crucial sectors and would broaden up the ever-expanding horizon of research and learning practised at IIT Kanpur,” said Abhay Karandikar, director, IIT Kanpur.
With the creation of the Department of Design, IIT Kanpur is planning to launch a Bachelor of Design programme starting from 2023. The new department will also expand its popular Master of Design programme, which in past has attracted recruiters from Microsoft, Nokia, Google, Oracle, Infosys and TCS to even higher levels. The department will also enhance its existing PhD programme.
The Design department will be headed by Nachiketa Tiwari, the current head of the Design Programme. It will have a Design Cell to address needs of the industry in areas of new product conceptualisation and development, product design, engineering design, branding, user-experience, and packaging. The department will also develop strong collaborative relationships with internationally prestigious design schools such as the ones at Stanford University, Alto University, and Georgia Tech.
The Department of Space Science and Astronomy will be devoted to the broad field of Space, Planetary, Astronomical Sciences and Engineering. This will be one of the first-of-its-kind departments in India to bring together engineers, astronomers, astrophysicists, and planetary scientists to meet the growing requirement of education, training and research in some vital areas of research such as Instrumentation for Space Missions and Astronomical Observatories, Spacecraft Design, and Space Mission planning, among others.
The department will allow exploratory efforts in the field of Space Science to answer some pertinent questions such as whether there is life in outer space, whether other planets are inhabitable, the science behind black holes, or whether asteroids can be mined.
The department will offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programmes (master’s and PhD), with students having opportunities to participate in ongoing (Astrosat, Chandrayaan 2) and upcoming (Aditya L1, Gaganyaan) space missions. The students will have career opportunities to work for space organisations such as ISRO and private space companies in India and abroad.