Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, our incumbent Director, was officially reappointed last Friday to serve a second term of five years as the Director of IIT Madras. We were able to catch up with him briefly on this happy news.
Could you tell us what issues you plan to be focusing on this term?
We already have our Strategic Plan 2020 which lays down our objectives along several pillars (as captured in the graphic below). The Plan has quantified goals for each of the pillars, and we are on track to meeting all of them. While the specific objectives of the Plan keep us focused, I have also articulated that we want to be the go-to place for students and faculty members who wish to challenge themselves to address national and global technological problems, and for industry who are desirous of developing innovative products and processes for Industry 4,0.
What is your vision for IIT Madras in the next 5-10 years?
I would like the campus to be a place that is vibrant with ideas, activities and the joys of discovery. In particular, I want students to be able to discover their true selves and take to their chosen pathways with great energy and daring, whether it is academics, entrepreneurship, or any of the co- and extra-curricular activities. I would like our faculty members to immerse themselves in high-quality teaching, mentoring and guiding, and in world-class research that is blue-sky and / or translational. I would like our staff members to dedicate everything they do towards making our Institute a magnet for the good and noble. I want the people of our country to feel that our Institute is a precious asset to be nurtured and treasured.
What would you say were your greatest learnings from the past five years?
A key learning has been that many amongst us have some positive aspect/capability that has not been generally noticed, which speaks to their creativity, compassion, and concern for the common good. It is important to be alive to these when they reveal themselves, so that the inner strength of these people can be recognized and channeled towards the overall progress of the Institute. The biggest challenge we face is to enable the positive aspects of all stake-holders to cohere so that negative thinking can be superseded by positive action. If we succeed in this to a reasonable degree, there is no goal or objective that is too difficult to achieve.