29 Apr 2021 16:02 IST

IIT Guwahati to set up Mehta Family School of Data Science and AI

The institute signed an MoU with MFF with the objective of promoting UG and PG courses

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Mehta Family Foundation (MFF), US, to set up the Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at IIT Guwahati with the objective to promote data science and AI courses at a undergraduate and postgraduate level. The first batch of BTech students for this school will be admitted through JEE in the academic year 2021- 22.

Through this MoU, MFF will provide support for the development of the school’s infrastructure and programmes at IIT Guwahati campus. The school will offer programmes for visiting students and faculty between the school and US institutions, and host conferences and establish chairs attracting talent. The school also has access to strategic advisors. These are distinguished professors from top US universities providing time and expertise for academic and research activities in this new school.

Reinventing curriculum

The MoU was signed virtually by Prof T G Sitharam, Director, IIT Guwahati, and Rahul Mehta, Chief Executive Officer, Mehta Family Foundation, USA, in the presence of Dr Rajiv I Modi, Chairman Board of Governors, IIT Guwahati, and Prof Krishnaswamy Vijayraghavan, FRS, Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India, as the chief guests, and Prof Sandeep Verma, Secretary, SERB as the special guest.

Prof T G Sitharam, Director, IIT Guwahati, said, “Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence is another important initiative at IIT Guwahati that will bridge the gap of highly skilled personnel that exists in these emerging fields.”

Highlighting the collaboration between IIT Guwahati and the Mehta Family Foundation, Rahul Mehta, Chief Executive said, “Global interdisciplinary collaborations as envisioned in this new school will lift our understanding of society and nature. Bringing together global talents such as Prof Shankar Subramaniam , Prof Rajesh Gupta (both University of California, San Diego), and Prof Ananth Grama (Purdue University) can accelerate the expansion in these fields. IIT Guwahati has the vision of the new talent India needs.”

International flavour

While addressing the gathering, Prof K Vijayraghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India, mentioned, “With the available expertise, I believe, IIT Guwahati will take up this school as a foundation to set-up data collection sites in the eastern region of the country for various sectors such as healthcare, climate, transportation, security and other areas and convert the huge data into effective knowledge and understanding to serve the society in a better way.”

Sharing his vision at the event, Prof R. Bhattacharjee, Head, Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, IIT Guwahati said, “This new School will be an abode of academic excellence imparting state-of-the-art teaching, supported by research and technology development in frontier areas of data science and artificial intelligence. The curriculum has been developed to provide a strong theoretical foundation as well as emphasis on different interdisciplinary application areas. One of the objectives of the school is also to take up targeted multi-year interdisciplinary research projects and solve the problems which benefits society at large, a deep rooted vision of IIT Guwahati.”