NIRF India Rankings 2022: ‘IIT-M becoming institute of local relevance, global recognition', says director

Jul 16, 2022 03:38 AM IST

IIT Madras director V Kamakoti spoke with Hindustan Times after the institute retained its top ranking in the ‘Overall’ category for the fourth consecutive year in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) – India Rankings 2022.

Retaining No. 1 rank in the ‘Overall’ category for the fourth consecutive year, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has cemented its position in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) – India Rankings 2022, the results for which were announced on Friday. IIT-M director professor V Kamakoti, spoke to Divya Chandrababu on how the institute is moving to become locally relevant while being globally recognised.

IIT-M director professor V Kamakoti (HT Photo/File)
IIT-M director professor V Kamakoti (HT Photo/File)

How do you think IIT-M has retained the top position?

There are three important reasons. First, is our dedicated set of faculty and students. They have been supportive, especially during the Covid-19 period, so we have been able to perform. Secondly, since our research has been transitioning, we have started addressing local problems. Now, we are becoming an institution which is of local relevance and is globally recognised. For the past 20 years, we have been driving this change, moving from research to research and to product... Thirdly, we are good at outreach. Our rural outreach programmes have helped in keeping our perception high not only among the elites but in rural places also... We have performed under multiple parameters, including entrepreneurship, innovation, research grants, citations, scholarship and social relevance.

What steps are you taking to improve IIT-M’s global ranking?

For the global ranking, there is a perception that we need to handle. Thanks to NIRF, today itself I got over 40 congratulatory messages from across the world – this is a perception improvement about us. NIRF rankings give us good feedback to leverage our strengths and address our weaknesses.

What is IIT-M’s weakness?

We are number two in research, we will work to be number one. To reach 80-90 out of a score of 100 is easy but to jump after 90 is difficult. When you get 40 out of 100, you get a macro picture. When you reach 90-95, you get a micro picture where you see if you could have gone higher. We will aspire to go towards 100. But we are not looking at the mark, we are looking at the implication of the mark. No institute can be perfect. But we will aim towards that.

What do you think is the perception of IIT-M and what do you want to change?

As of now, we have a good perception in terms of outreach. We are becoming an accessible institution. However, in comparison to the Western universities, we need to become more demonstrative. We need to demonstrate our relevance to the world.

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    Divya Chandrababu is an award-winning political and human rights journalist based in Chennai, India. Divya is presently Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times where she covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at NDTV-Hindu where she anchored and wrote prime time news bulletins. Later, she covered politics, development, mental health, child and disability rights for The Times of India. Divya has been a journalism fellow for several programs including the Asia Journalism Fellowship at Singapore and the KAS Media Asia- The Caravan for narrative journalism. Divya has a master's in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, UK. As an independent journalist Divya has written for Indian and foreign publications on domestic and international affairs.

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