PROF AJOY KUMAR RAY
JIS Group of Institutions has stepped into the, so far, untrodden path of starting their own academic and industry-based research institute. I have been requested to lead this giant effort. With the active support and involvement from my colleagues and help from many experts from around the globe, I aspire to make this new Institution as one of the premier post graduate and research institutes of the country.
After my retirement from IIT Kharagpur two months back, many people have been asking me about my next plan. Over the last 40 years of my career in academics – as teacher, Vice Chancellor and then Director, mainly in IIT Kharagpur and IIEST Shibpur, I have witnessed how the science and Technological education have been evolving in our country and abroad. In particular, the recent advances in information and communication technology on the one hand, and Nano – Bio Technology on the other have ensured their massive deployment in many applications affecting almost all aspects of our lives.
01 I have felt that there is an urgent need for restructuring the science and Technology curriculum in our education system. Unfortunately, such necessities have not yet been given due attention in our current university education system. Although the number of institutions offering undergraduate engineering programs has increased almost exponentially in our country, there are very few institutes in our country which offer post graduate and research programs. In my opinion, the need of the hour is to start more number of quality programs at Masters and PhD levels. The new institute ‘ JIS Institute of Advanced Studies and Research Kolkata’ will offer high quality post-graduate and research programs in some of the most relevant areas of science and Technology in 21st century. I am happy that JIS Group of Education has ensured adequate support for this challenging task ahead. I am also happy that many renowned academicians from IITs and other universities of repute and also many experts from industries have assured me of their help and support in various forms. I hope that with the active support and collaboration with the industries, research institutes and reputed institutes across the globe, this institute will be eminently placed in the technology education map of the country in near future. Initially we have decided to start three centers in this institute – Centre for Data Science, Centre for Health Science and Technology and Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences.
02 The main objective behind starting the Centre for Data Science is to create technically skilled manpower, who will be able to solve complex problems involving Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Image and Video processing, Mobile computing and so on. In collaboration with the industries in India and abroad including several industries in Silicon Valley, the students at the M.Tech and Phd levels will receive exposure on the live problems of the industries. In health science, we are starting with 2 year M.Sc / M. Tech and PhD in Medical Biotechnology / Bioinformatics. As is well known Bio informatics is an emerging area in Medical Science today. The vision of the Centre is to give emphasis on translation based research which will be done in close collaboration with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries across the world.
The eligibility of the students seeking admission in each of the four programs are given in the website of the Institute. For the two courses offered from the Centre for Data Science we need students who have completed B Tech in Computer Science, IT, Electronics & Electrical Engg, and Masters in Computer Science / Statistics/ Physics .
03 For Bio informatics course from the Centre for Health Science we will look for the students with B Tech / M.Sc in Biotechnology, Biological Science, Genetics, Physics, Chemistry or Computer Science. For health science studies we will have close collaboration with a hospital. I am happy that JIS Group will also start a hospital to integrate with the course. We are also trying to start an Intellectual Property cell (patent cell), and an incubation centre so that any research work that is done here may be useful to the society through product / process/ software and so on , which should be marketable. Centre for Interdisciplinary sciences will offer excellent courses and programs – combination of science, Technology and at a later stage even art and architecture. With continuous support from JIS, I think we will be able to make one of the finest institutes in the country. It will be an institution with a difference, which will support the philosophy of integration. At present, the institute will run from the Arch Waterfront building in Sector V, Salt Lake. The Institute will permanently move to another 17 storied building next to TCS building in early 2020. Two very young brilliant architects from IIEST Shibpur are designing the interiors of the building.
Courses that will be offered at the institute :
Initially in this academic session , we are going to offer four courses from the three Centers :
2 year M.Tech in Data Science
2 year M.Tech in Bioinformatics
2 year M.Sc. in Data Science and Machine Learning
Six Month Certificate Course on ‘Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing’
Six Month Certificate Course on ‘Big Data and Cloud computing’
3 year M.Tech in Data Science
3 year M.Tech in Bioinformatics
2 year M.Sc. in Medical Biotechnology & Bioinformatics
Six Month Certificate Course on ‘Machine Intelligence using Python and R’
The institute will also offer PhD fellowship for research in diverse aspects of data science, bioinformatics and Health Science , and Biosensors, Advanced Material and Manufacturing .
National and international collaborations:
Several industries, universities and research organisations including some from India and Silicon Valley in USA will be directly involved with teaching and research programs of this institute. We hope to arrange internship for every M. Tech and Phd scholar at these companies. It is an institute for anyone who would like to work and contribute. We want this to be an institution with a difference.
Who will be the faculty of this institute
We have already selected several faculty members who have completed their Masters and PhD from IIT and Post Doctoral research and teaching experiences from very reputed US , German and Korean universities. The selection process in the area of Data Science and health science are continuing. I am happy to see huge response against our advertisement for faculty recruitment. The institute looks for bright candidates from both academia and from industry who will be able to take up independent Basic and sponsored research projects. We want to recruit faculty with brilliant academic careers, who will relentlessly work on innovative projects. I wish that there will exist true industry- academic partnership here.
The institute we will strive to establish several excellent laboratories , such as, machine learning, Cloud computing, Data Analytics and IoT laboratories on the one hand, and Bio informatics, Bio sensor, Medical imaging and Additive manufacturing laboratories on the other.
The process of selection of students
After short listing, the applicants will be interviewed and selected based on their academics and interview. All the GATE qualified candidates with good GATE score will get scholarship, based on their performances in the interview. We are also going to start other short term and long term training programs for the Industry sponsored candidates.
Future of these students after passing out of this institute
I am optimist that the Students with Post graduate and PhD degrees from these programs will get placements in the industry. The institute will look for a series of challenging problems faced by the government and the relevant industries and the students will be encouraged to work in these areas. Since the institution will work closely with industries both from India and abroad, we hope to arrange internship with the companies. I am sure that in course of time, we will be able to establish as a major centre of education and research in the fields of Data Science, Health Science, Material Science and Manufacturing sciences. The other challenge is to contribute in every small way to develop and work in new areas. this institute we will strive to establish several excellent laboratories , such as, machine learning, Cloud computing, Data Analytics and IoT laboratories on the one hand, and Bio informatics, Bio sensor, Medical imaging and Additive manufacturing laboratories on the other. Since this is a research-centric institute, research here will be done for the betterment of society.