Prof. Sanghi, a former chair of CS department of IIT Kanpur & currently the dean of IIT Kanpur, visited IIT(BHU) Varanasi recently. He shared some of his observations and thoughts in his blog.
The experience was hugely positive. From the intense sessions that we had, it was obvious that they were keenly interested in designing their academic processes with excellence as the only parameter. Not that they were no good earlier, but they were keen to see how the greater academic autonomy could be leveraged to achieve higher quality.
How often do you get a chance to build a new institute without worrying about civil construction, and immediate hiring of faculty, without which you can’t teach in the next semester. How often do you start a new university with a large, distinguished and proud alumni, willing to help every step of the way. IIT BHU gives that opportunity to its leadership.
It is obvious that the leadership there has a historic opportunity. How frequently would you come across instances where we have an organization with a glorious history and contributions, and yet not chained to that past.
But on BHU campus, if one can build the right kind of relationships, and the right kind of incentives, the students can be exposed to courses in not just HSS but also performing arts. One could also have electives in law and biology/medicine.
— Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi, Dean of IIT Kanpur.
Solid foundation + great management –> greater heights for Institute
Till last year, the institute was known as IT-BHU. Historically, every single top institute in India has struggled to entice students to leave IIT brand name in last 3-4 decades. But we were the only non-IIT in India, where more than 90-95% of students could have joined one IIT or another. This independent thinking by so many bright students has helped to form an influential alumni base with a high self belief. Usually, the alumni base is driving force behind placement scenario in any institute. IIT(BHU) Varanasi has the largest alumni association in India. Huge number of companies visit our campus each year and Institute gets fantastic placements each year.
Institute was consistently ranked among top 5-6 colleges in India due to fantastic placement, largest alumni network, rich history of academic excellence, great campus & reputed faculty. IIT(BHU) Varanasi is getting a huge one time funding equivalent of what new IITs are getting. In addition, the annual funding of IIT(BHU) has increased by manifold after the conversion. Institute carried a huge brand name before conversion to IIT. Addition of IIT brand name and boost by extra findings will propel it to newer heights. Lastly, the very important factor is the new top management.
First Director of IIT(BHU) Varanasi has a great track records
Prof. Rajeev Sangal has been appointed as the director of IIT(BHU) Varanasi few months ago. He did his B.Tech from IIT-Kanpur and subsequently MS/PhD in computer Sc. from University of Pennsylvania. He was head of CS department for few years at IIT-Kanpur. He lead a newly established International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad(IIIT-H) as a director and in one decade made it into a world class institute. CS department of IIIT-H is testament of what he did there in one decade.
Now if he was able to do all this for a newly established institute and department then you can imagine what he can do as a director of one of the top IITs. He is in-charge of an IIT with a glorious past and largest alumni base in country. He has full support of proud alumni. Based on his proven track records and ground realities, IIT(BHU) Varanasi should reach even greater heights.