07 Aug

The country’s image of being backward in research got a face-lift on Friday when the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, awarded 179 doctorate degrees, a 100% increase in a span of eight years.

“While we had 771 PhDs on the rolls in 2001-2002, this year the number was 1,681. We are on course to achieving our target of 2,775 PhD students in training among the country’s 9,350 by 2018-19. An interesting aspect of our PhD output is that around 65% of our PhDs are in the engineering disciplines,” said Devang Khakhar, director of IIT Bombay, during the 48th convocation ceremony of the institute.

“We can soon expect a substantial increase in the number of PhDs graduating from convocations like these, but the efforts need to be backed by a more comprehensive research and development infrastructure, which will have to a combination of technology incubation cells, innovation and entrepreneurship cells, and a research park,” said Anil Kakodkar, chairman, board of governors, IIT Bombay.

With severe faculty shortage dogging the education sector, by a conservative estimate, India needs around 8,000 additional faculty members with doctoral degrees.

The first comprehensive review of IIT Bombay’s PhD programme is also scheduled to be completed this year. “The report will have great impact on our research culture and doctoral programmes,” said Khakhar.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairman and managing director of Biocon and the chief guest, asked the passing out students to be job creators and not job seekers. “Look at what we have done today with the Commonwealth Games. Instead of showcasing our talent and technological prowess, there has been complete chaos and failure in trying to deliver a world-class product. That’s where we need to make a difference,” she said.

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