IIT Guwahati former director TG Sitharam takes charge as AICTE chairman

Former Director of IIT Guwahati Prof. TG Sitharam assumes charge on Wednesday as AICTE Chairman from the UGC Chairman Prof. Jagadesh Kumar.

Prof. Sitharam envisions leading higher education into an era of disruptive innovations in his new role and making India a global educational knowledge super power to achieve the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education to 50 per cent by 2035.

Prof. Sitharam envisions providing transformative education to Indian students to create leaders and innovators, and generate new knowledge for a sustainable society. 

While assuming his charge as the AICTE Chairman, Prof. T.G. Sitharam said, “I will work with every stakeholder in Education domain to transform higher education into a large well resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary providing high quality teaching and learning, innovation, entrepreneurship, research, and community engagement hubs.”

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is a National-level Apex Statutory Body since 1987 with a view to proper planning and coordinated development of a technical education in the country in a coordinated and integrated manner. It is the statutory authority for planning, formulation, and maintenance of norms & standards; Quality assurance through accreditation; Funding in priority areas, monitoring, and evaluation; Maintaining parity of certification & awards, and Management of technical education in the country.

For the same, Prof. Sitharam envisions creating 5 types of pathways for competitive, modern and industrialized India:

  • Technology driven outcome-based education
  • Job-creator (JCR) mode
  • Industry Solutions Provider (ISP)
  • Innovation, Research and Startup mode
  • Education in Indian languages

In addition to this, the new AICTE Chairman has shared his action plan aligning with long term goals of the Government of India underlined in the National Education Policy 2020. These include:

Building capacities of the technical institutions – digital infrastructure, Accreditations and Rankings

Simplifying the approval process as per recommendations of NEP 2020.

Making students Industry ready, increase placements, Increase Internships

Implementing Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan through Higher Education Institutes

Incorporating PM GATI SHAKTI in academic programs

Improving Public and Private partnership in skilling, employment & innovation

Overcoming Language Barriers

Twinning Programmes for collaboration with Foreign Universities

Emphasis on core engineering sectors

In his previous roles, Prof. Sitharam has worked on multidisciplinary problems addressing diversified societal challenges with many administrative positions at institutions such as IISc, IIT, CIT, NERIST and remained an active member in many boards along with more than six years of interaction with AICTE which also includes his term as Chairman, South-Western Regional Committee(SWRC).

He obtained his Ph.D from University  of Waterloo, Canada and worked at University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA,. He has rich international experience in teaching and research in Japan, USA, Australia, Canada, Europe and HongKong.

 As a result, he has a rich leadership and administrative experiences in managing academic units, programs and research centers, startup and entrepreneurial activities.

M Jagadesh Kumar was the interim chairman after former AICTE chairman, Anil D Sahasrabudhe was relieved of his duties in September 2022.

Focusing on multidisciplinary research areas in collaboration with international institutions and research centres while establishing a industry co-innovation network to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is another key focus area highlighted by the new AICTE Chairman.

Speaking about building entrepreneurial ecosystem and creating job opportunities for India’s young population, Prof. T.G. Sitharam said, “With more advanced research at all institutions, AICTE can create many Innovations and new start-ups which can pave way for an excellent job creator.”

This necessitates AICTE to play a role of facilitator to all the stake holders by assessing the sustainable development impact potential with appropriate tools and framework in line with the vision of Government of India. Further, Students and Faculty shall be empowered with incentives and awards by creating an ecosystem for Co-Innovation and Start-ups by building job-oriented capacities. At the same time, Prof. Sitharam propose to move from creation of Towers of Excellence to a Network of Excellence with Collaborative value positions involving other top institutions.

“In exercise of powers conferred under Section 3(a)(a) read with Section a(1) of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Act, 1987, the Central Government hereby appoints, Prof. T.G. Sitharam, Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, as Chairman, AICTE in Level-l7 of the pay Matrix, on deputation basis, for a period of three years we.f. the date of assumption of charge, or till attaining the age of 65 years or until further orders, whichever is earliest,” read the official notification on TG Sitharam’s appointment.

TG Sitharam was the chairman of the board of governors at IIT Guwahati from 2019-2020. In addition to this, he was also a member of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) at the department of science and technology, government of India. He handed over the charge of IITG director to Parmeshwar K Iyer as the officiating director of IIT Guwahati yesterday, December 20, 2022 to join AICTE.

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