Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar
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National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF): ranked No. 8
The Times of India, April 14, 2016
The rankings under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) have been carried out in four categories: Engineering, management, pharmacy and university.
There were five key parameters on which an academic institutes were assessed, these include: Teaching, learning and resources; Research, consulting and collaborative performance; Graduation outcome; Outreach and inclusivity; and Perception.
Over 3,500 institutes participated in inaugural edition of these rankings, the process for which started in December 2015.
At No. 8 on the list is Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar with a weightage of 75.21. IIT Gandhinagar too was established in the year 2008.
Year wise developments
As in 2022
August 26, 2022: The Times of India
Imagine slicing a standard A4 paper 1 lakh times across its width. The final cut will produce a nano triumph of the magnitude IIT Gandhinagar is increasingly getting familiar with.
In 2018, a team led by Kabeer Jasuja, associate professor in chemical engineering, created a 1 nanometre material using magnesium diboride. For perspective, consider a strand of human hair, which is about 80,000 times thicker than the nanosheet created by Jasuja’s team. A nanosheet is a two-dimensional nanostructure with thickness on a scale ranging from 1 to 100 nm (one-billionth of a metre). A typical example is graphene – most commonly seen in pencil lead – the thinnest two-dimensional material (0. 3nm) in the world which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms.
“The sheets were made by dissolving boride compounds in water and recrystallising them,” says Jasuja. The resulting nanosheet, with a honeycomb-like structure, is invisible to the naked eye but make no mistake about what it can achieve, he adds. “There are many applications for the sheets, ranging from energy storage to nanocatalysers and the development of UV-absorbent films. ” “Using the emerging principles, we developed a new class of boron-based nano-additives for fuels used in space and defence applications,” says Jasuja. “The energy-efficient fuel can help carry additional payload into orbit. ”
Nanomaterials are also the hottest thing in emerging green-fuel vehicles. The IIT-Gn team says it has made inroads there. The global challenge until recently was the storage of 4% of hydrogen in any given material, while the team has successfully demonstrated 4. 4% storage. The experiments can eventually yield a feasible alternative to existing fuel cells. Better storage capacity and utilisation of hydrogen can pave the way for mass scale, affordable vehicles.
Nanosheets are among the many innovations that IIT-Gn, one of the second-generation IITs, has delivered over the past decade. The 14-year-old institute has already secured five patents, and 45 patent applications have been filed. The institute also boasts 404 sponsored research projects.
Director of the institute prof Amit Prashant says it is a conscious decision to veer from conventional research paths. “We have been able to pursue cutting-edge academic and research practices and benchmark ourselves with the world’s greatest institutions, unrestrained by historical and legacy constraints,” Prashant says. “As a second-generation IIT, we have sought to leverage the best of the IIT system, while also developing a distinctive ethos and identity informed by the best global and contemporary educational practices. ”
Among these is a foundation programme for first-year BTech students that allows them to explore other branches of engineering and hone life skills such as leadership. IITGn has also launched a first-of-its-kind ‘explorer fellowship’ which lets students discover India on a shoestring budget and step out of their comfort zone. The foundation programme has been emulated by several IITs and other engineering colleges across India, say officials.
Prashant says 85% of the institute’s faculty members have either foreign degrees or postdoctoral projects, one of the highest in the country, and more than 40% of students also study abroad during their stint at the institute or pursue higher education overseas later. That exposure is being harnessed for grassroots projects.
“Some of the major breakthroughs in technology recorded over the past few years have been in the fields of affordable water purification system and new tech to extract fainter components of gravitational wave signals,” says Prashant said. “Other examples are the discovery of a new molecule and methods to treat cancer, and fire safety and climate change interventions. ”
The institute also rigorously pushes to convert academic knowledge into real-world applications. The Innovation Park at IIT-Gn has several projects run by alumni, including ground penetrating radar (GPR) technology which was used for the construction of the Metro rail in Ahmedabad and elsewhere. Other projects include those related to 3D concrete printing technology and fibre-optic sensor technology. The institute currently has centres dedicated to archaeological sciences, biomedical engineering, design and innovation, safety engineering, cognitive and brain sciences, sustainable development, and creative learning.
Prof Vimal Mishra, co-coordinator of Dr Kiran C Patel Centre for Sustainable Development, says over the past couple of years, major studies have been carried out related to the state and nationally on water conservation, salination and patterns of rainfall. “The focus of several research projects is to assess and mitigate the impact of climate change,” he said. “We have been working closely with the Gujarat government for net-zero mission by 2070. ”
One of the more offbeat projects is in cognitive sciences: a study led by Prof Krishna Prasad Miyapuram shows how one song can be perceived differently by people. EEGs (electroencephalogram), which maps electrical activity of the brain, showed that the “song picture” is so unique in each brain that even a one-second sample of the picture can detect a specific song with 85% accuracy.
Manish Jain, coordinator of the Centre for Creative Learning, says it provides hands-on learning to students and teachers of government schools from Gujarat and India. “We employ daily-use materials to explain complex scientific principles in a simplified manner. Students not only get interested in STEM subjects, but also grasp concepts easily,” he said. For instance, an everyday drinking straw has been used to elucidate sound frequency while origami clarifies the measurement of area.
Like every other IIT, where studies and research is only part of the deal, at Gandhinagar too, the cultural life is distinct. The vast expanse around Lal Minar, the ochre tower in the middle of the campus, brims with teacher-student discussions, chatting and impromptu song sessions – abetted by snacks and refreshments – as the evening progresses. For those inclined to fitness, the long, winding roads provide a jogging track while the newly constructed recreation complex is designed for more than 15 sports and outdoor activities.
While Covid interrupted campus life, the cultural fest and all-IIT Invention Factory, among other events, are back this year. Manpreet Singh, a second-year BTech student, says he looks forward to meeting fellow coders and developers after two long years. “The campus is again abuzz, which is a great change for students like us who have not experienced college life fully,” he says.