IIT Mandi Director wants undergraduate students to be part of research ambience
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi new Director Laxmidhar Behera delivered his first address at the institute recently wherein he discussed his vision and top priorities for the institute in the years to come.
IIT Mandi Director Laxmidhar Behera delivers his first address at the institute. Image Courtesy: IIT Mandi
He said, “It is a pleasure and an honour to be the part of IIT Mandi, an institute of national importance situated in the Himalayan lap. While the natural beauty of Himalayan range attracts the world community to this place, we have to think what we can offer special through IIT Mandi such that best talents – students and teachers are attracted to this place.”
‘Curriculum reflecting Indian value systems can be formulated at masters’ level’
He said there are many Indian value systems in the form of classical music, classical dance form, yoga, meditation, which are not normally treated from a scientific perspective. We, being part of a technological institute, can formulate a course curriculum on these subjects both at masters’ and PhD level.
“Using the brain signals such as EEG, brain imaging data, we should explore various bio-markers by which we can provide a much better holistic way to treat mental health. Can IIT Mandi take a lead on developing a holistic approach to the study of mind, matter and consciousness?”
He said, “Bio-X centre at IIT Mandi is dedicated to interdisciplinary research where biologists and other engineering disciplines come together to solve some of the pressing problems of societal needs. Some of the things I am looking forward from this centre are climate controlled agriculture, biomedicine and bioenergy.”
‘It’s my dream to develop a techno stadium’
Robotics is an excellent tool to teach science. With the help of on-board computers such as Arduino boards, and Raspberry pi, sensors (e.g. camera, sonars) and basic components such as motors, we can teach children basic concepts of science and technology. Tool kits such as LEGO kits can be also used for this purpose. We can start with school-level competitions for Himachal Pradesh. It is my dream to develop a techno stadium where both national an international level competitions can take place. Let IIT Mandi set the standard here, he said.
He went on to add that he would encourage all undergraduate students to be part of research ambience through undergraduate projects, lab interns and techno-entrepreneurial initiatives. “Let’s create an ambience where undergraduate students can participate in both national and international level competitions as well,” he added.
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