IIIT Naya Raipur: A Living Research Lab for Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development

Raipur: A relatively new, but one of India’s fastest upcoming and leading technical university, IIIT-Naya Raipur, has recently unveiled its “IIIT-NR 2.0” document, covering its next five-year plan. This article briefly highlights the salient features of this document.

IIIT-NR completed five years since its inception with its second batch of B. Tech. students graduating this July. According to the institute authorities, the first five years were primarily utilized to establish the institute from scratch. With a humble beginning of only two B. Tech. programs and an intake of only 80 students per year, the institute quickly ramped up its B. Tech. programs and introduced M. Tech. and Ph. D. programs, increasing its annual intake to 230 students. It created a differential academic culture with several innovative features, established state-of-art lab facilities, created a fully-residential lush green campus with all modern amenities for a highly stimulating academic and research environment and comfortable living, and developed industry linkages for students’ internships, achieving 100% placement for its students in both the batches that graduated till now.

While IIIT-NR was entering into its fifth year, the institute’s authorities started discussing their next five-year plan. A major focus of this discussion was what should be the USP (Unique Selling Point) of the institute. To leverage the advantage of being located in the state of Chhattisgarh with its rich agricultural and forestry heritage, as well as tribal and rural population, the institute authorities unanimously decided that we should make the institute A Living Research Lab for Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development. The idea was to use Chhattisgarh as case studies and align most of the institute’s research projects and activities towards ICET (Information, Communication and Electronics Technologies) for agriculture, forestry and rural development, so that the research outcomes can be beneficial not only for Chhattisgarh, but for the entire rural community of India and the world at large.

According to Dr. Pradeep K. Sinha (Vice-Chancellor & Director), IIIT Naya Raipur, the proposed plan shall help IIIT-NR to emerge as a popular educational institute known in India and abroad, that produces high-quality technical workforce for future requirements of industry and society. Based on the expertise and research interests of the current faculty, the institute has decided to initially focus on the four thrust research areas in the next five years: ICET Applications for Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development; Mobility Technologies for Rural Population; Communication Technologies for Rural Population; and Energy Systems with Smart Energy Management for Rural Areas.

The institute also plans to focus on consolidating, strengthening and enhancing its current academic programs in the next five years. Besides students, the plan also aims at creating various opportunities in the next few years, to enable the faculty and staff members to develop themselves as one of the best professionals in their areas. Additionally, to strengthen its multi-cultural academic environment, IIIT-NR also plans to focus on the various initiatives to strengthen collaborations with foreign academic institutes and industries having global presence. The institute will also focus on developing entrepreneurship culture in its campus to produce good job creators in addition to successful professionals for the industry.

The next five-year plan articulated in its “IIIT-NR 2.0” document is fully aligned with the institute’s long term vision to emerge as a premier academic institute of India for fostering technological innovations for social upliftment, says Dr. Sinha.

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