IITians to the aid of their short-staffed alma materOctober 1st, 2009 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS
By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, Oct 1 (IANS) With IITs in India perpetually short of teaching staff, the seventh Pan-IIT Global Conference in Chicago next week will prepare a database of alumni ready to take up teaching assignments at their alma mater.
About 3,000 IITians from around the world will attend the three-day annual conference which will be addressed by former US president Bill Clinton. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Entrepreneurship and Innovation in a Global Economy.’
D Purandeswari, Indian minister of state for human resources, Aneesh Chopra, America’s chief technology officer, and Sam Pitroda will be the keynote speakers at the conference to be held at Schaumburg on the outskirts of Chicago from Oct 9-11.
“During our education session which will be attended by IIT directors, presidents and deans of many American and Canadian universities, we will set about creating a database of people who are willing to go to India to teach at IITs,” conference chairman Ray Mehra told IANS.
“The faculty shortage at IITs concerns us all. We are already helping IIT Mumbai, and now we want to focus on other IITs too,” he said.
Mumbai IIT alumni Rabiz Foda, who was instrumental in creating FAN (or faculty alumni network) to recruit alumni for teaching assignments at Mumbai, said, “Our aim is to help IIT faculty from abroad. In these tough economic times, many IITians might be willing to consider job offers in India.
“At every Pan-IIT conference, we invite applications, hold interviews and offer jobs. But this year, we are taking the initiative to create a database for quick recruitments.”
The initiative follows a white paper presented by the IITians to the Indian government in July on a massive overhaul of the Indian education system.
The white paper titled ‘Pan-IIT Panch Ratnas,’ which was presented to President Pratibha Patil, proposes a five-point action plan to make India the global hub for knowledge creation and talent development by 2022.
The Chicago conference will debate Indian education reforms in detail, according to Mehra.
In fact, even before the conference officially opens next Friday, Pitroda will chair a private session ‘Educational reforms to prepare youth for a changing market.’
The session, which will be attended by the Indian minister, IIT directors and presidents and deans of US universities, will discuss faculty exchanges to benefit IITs, curriculum reforms, and joint research projects between IITs and universities abroad.
“It will be a close-knit meeting to set out the agenda for this year’s gathering,” said Mehra.
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