“Quality Of Education Has To Be Looked Into Immediately” Says Dr. CN Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister Karnataka At The Launch Of PanIIT’s IIT Directors Forum

Bengaluru: Dr. CN Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister Karnataka, Minister for Higher Education, IT & BT, Science and Technology Department, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, and Livelihood launched IIT Directors Forum. The first-ever IIT Directors Forum was also launched during Tech4Bharat 2020. It will consist of all present and past directors of all 23 IITs.

Mr. Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka inaugurated PanIIT’s Tech4Bharat 2020 event and makes keynote speech on ‘Policy Meets Technology’.

Dr. CN Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister Karnataka, Minister for Higher Education, IT & BT, Science and Technology Department, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, and Livelihood commented, “The changes that have taken place in society has to be institutional driven rather than industrial driven. Bengaluru has become the foundation and the hub of technology and is responsible for a huge developmental change in the society. Understanding the strength of the city and the state, the government has been focusing on technology which will be beneficial for making lives better.”

PanIIT Alumni India (PIAI) has conceived Tech4Bharat as a strategic event to review and realign the current initiatives and launch fresh ones. The event will feature engaging panel discussions bringing Academia, Policy makers and the Industry leaders. The expert panel moderators from PanIIT will lead the discussions to gather the diverse views and galvanize them into a common pursuit of excellence for our fine institutions of technical education.

Dr. CN Ashwath Narayan further added, “Majority of the institutions in India are unable to deliver a high-quality of education. It’s only after passing out and with some basic experience students gain knowledge, and this quality of education has to be looked into immediately.”

Mr. Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka made a keynote speech on ‘Policy Meets Technology’. During his speech, he emphasised that, “Government policies are driven by the feedback received from the stakeholders, entrepreneurs and society. If enabling policy needs to be driven, then we look forward to feedbacking from the PanIIT under the Tech4Bharat platform. In Karnataka, the Government has taken several initiatives including setting up of several Centre of Excellence on AI, IOT, Cyber Security and others. Karnataka Innovation Authority Bill is being introduced so as to set-up regulatory sandboxes for enabling enterprises in areas where the existing laws and regulations are inhibiting in nature.”

He further added, “It is step in the right direction that PanIIT has launched Tech4Bharat. A lot of unsolved problems in India, particularly rural India. Each of these problems provide opportunities for enterprise. The digital technologies and also the increasing digitisation of services like Aadhaar based validation, digital payment, mobile and broadband services provide opportunities for enterprises to be set-up which can solve problems and yet can be profitable and can scale up quickly.”


The IIT Directors Forum is an independent group that will deliberate and provide long-term roadmap for Technical Education in India. The forum shall be part of all the PanIIT Conclaves and Summits. It will continue to select and propose topics that can be supported by PanIIT and guided for the policy inputs to the government. All Present and Past Directors of all 23 IITs are part of the IIT Directors Forum.

Padma Shri awardee Dr. BVR Mohan Reddy, Founder and Executive Chairman Cyient said, “I’m delighted to have the IIT Directors at a PanIIT initiative called IIT Directors Forum. It was an extremely useful meeting in having a high-quality and beneficial discussion on some of the achievements and challenges of the IITs. It is encouraging and delightful how PanIIT can support the current IIT system.”

Padma Bhushan awardee Mr. B Muthuraman, Former Vice Chairman Tata Steel and Former Chairman Tata International Ltd added, “IITs in India have been around for over 60 years and it is time we think and take actions of making them of world-class quality. I am happy to see the IIT Directors Forum being formed, who can now discuss ideas and various actions that are required to make IITs world-class institutions. There is no economy in the world which has prospered economically and socially without a high-quality technical education system. India, if it has to reach its potential both economically and socially would need to have higher institutes of technical learnings which IITs have to become in the future. I am sure the IIT Directors Forum will work towards that objective.”

Mr. Ramnath S Mani, Chairman, PanIIT Alumni of India (PIAI) said, “As PanIIT Chairman, I am extremely happy to announce that we had a group of IIT Directors participate in the IIT Directors Workshop. We deliberated on various aspect IITs over 3 generations and the role that PanIIT alumni can play in using its alumni network to help the IITs be taken to global excellence.”

Mr. Rajesh Rathi, Chairman Tech4Bharat 2020, PanIIT commented, “We have had 3 generations of IIT being launched in the country over the past 60 years. It is now time to make them into world-class institutions. PanIIT has initiated and launched the IIT Directors Forum to guide them in contributing to this task and has unveiled IIT 4.0 vision.”


Indian Govt. wants to develop India as an “AI Garage” for building solutions for Indi as well as other emerging economies. The Indian AI sector has seen growth in 2018, with more than %150mn invested by startups. The Indian Govt. doubles its budget allocation to $480mn to support AI, ML, IOT and other technologies.

Mr. Ravi Narayan, MD T-hub said, “Indian is the 5th largest economy and growing rapidly. Players from the industry, from India and across the world, should focus on the Indian markets by offering differentiated products and services that are inexpensive and highly scalable. Employing advanced technologies such AI/ML, leveraging the rich digital infrastructure and collaborating closely with deep tech startups in India makes it imminently possible. It is this opportunity that industry, government and startups should seize with both hands.”

“The most important thing is that the use of open source and open data is critical for the success of AI. Companies like google, facebook etc have a huge amount of data. We should take advantage of open source platforms and collaborate amongst enterprises to build world-class AI models else we cannot compete with googles and facebooks of the world.” Added Dr. Vivek Raghavan, iSpirit.

PanIIT AI Forum (PAIF) was launched at the PIA conclave in Jan 2019 to develop and build the Indian ecosystem to absorb and utilise AI effectively for national, individual and social benefit. Members of the panel were Mr. Arnab Kumar, Programme Director Frontier Tech Niti Ayog, Dr. Vivek Raghavan, Chief PM/Biometric Architect UIDAI, Ms. Priya Sharma, Cofounder CFO & COO Zest Money, Mr. Shashi Bhushan CTO, TCS, Dr. Venkat Padmanabhan Deputy MD Microsoft Research, Mr. Kedar Kulkarni, CEO Hyperverge and Mr. Ravi Narayan, MD T-hub as the moderator.


Sponsored research has seen a quantum leap at the top IITs with IIT Madras and IIT Delhi recording a 395% and 300% growth respectively in the past 5 years. IIT Madras became the first ever IIT to cross the Rs 500 crore mark for sponsored research. The rising research-based collaborations with non-academic can benefit private and public sector industries, large infrastructure, welfare schemes and the non-government social sector. IITs are giving thrust to translation research – idea to product.

Ms. Priya Ajmera, CEO AIC N/Core said, “India has one of the largest shares of social problems. Unfortunately, after decades of trying things don’t seem to be improving on the ground as fast as we would like it to. In my opinion what we need is smart people solving these problems. As industry-academia-government, we need to work on increasing the aspirations in the current generations to want to need to understand the problems and build holistic solutions that work at scale.”

“India aims to be the skill capital of the world and IITs could play a key role towards this. Given the brand reputation of IITs, if ITIs and private training institutions are adopted by various IITs, ensuring quality in these institutions and providing its branding to those who graduate from these institutions, there is likely to be huge demand outside India for skilled workers that are certificate holders of IITs. Similarly, IITs could also consider certifying for Recognition of Prior Learning to those who are already skilled but want their quality authenticated by IITs.”, added Dr. Manish Kumar, MD NSDC.

The second panel on ‘IIT & Industry’ discussed how to ensure effective collaboration between Industry-Academia-Government. The eminent panel will include Prof. Abhay Karandikar Director IIT Kanpur, Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, IIT Madras, Mr. Kalyan Mukherjee, Dy. General Manager BPCL, Dr. Manish Kumar MD, NSDC, Mr. Kallappa Pattada Head R&D, Boeing India, Ms. Priya Ajmera, CEO AIC N/Core and Mr. Rajesh Rathi, MD Control Infotech as the moderator.


Over the decades IIT Alumni have fanned out all over the world. In addition to being one of the most coveted technologists and scientists, they have also made great business leaders, often supplementing technical education with management skills. Entry to these fine institutions is more competitive that anywhere else in the world. The current endeavour is to consolidate and raise the quality of education and research to world-class standards and is being called IIT 4.0.

During the panel discussion, Prof. Anil D Sahasrabudhe, Chairman AICTE said, “Global excellence can only be achieved by creating common vision, mission and goal for all the stakeholders. It is important to support innovation through internship, entrepreneurship through government, alumni and industry connect.”

The third panel on ‘IIT Global Excellence’ – creating world-class institutions, had eminent educationists like Prof. Anil D Sahasrabudhe, Chairman AICTE, Prof. Rajat Moona, Director IIT Bhilai, Prof. Virendra Kumar Tewari, Director IIT Khargapur, Prof. Rajesh Gopakumar , Director ICTS-CIFR, Prof. Rishikesh T Krishnan Former Director IIM Indore and Prof. Anurag Kumar, Director IISC as the moderator.

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