Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at IITR

In response to a growing demand for experts in fields relating to artificial intelligence (AI), the Bhupat & Jyoti Mehta Family Foundation (MFF) and the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. The school, to be housed in a new dedicated facility on IITR’s main campus, will offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. This collaboration marks MFF’s fourth global academic collaboration.

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Present at the virtual MoU signing ceremony were Dr. K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India; Professor Sandeep Verma, Secretary of the Science and Engineering Research Board for the Government of India; and B.V.R. Mohan Reddy (photo right), Chairman of the Board of Governors, IITR. MoU signatories were MFF CEO Rahul Mehta; Professor Ajit Kumar Chaturvedi, Director of IITR; Professor Manoranjan Parida (photo far left), Deputy Director of IITR; Professor Manish Shrikhande, Dean and Chair of Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy, IITR; Narayana P. Padhy (photo left), Professor of Electrical Engineering, IITR; Professor Ananth Grama, Purdue University; Professors Shankar Subramaniam and Rajesh K. Gupta from the University of California San Diego; and Bernie Luksich, MFF Executive Director.

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Following the signing event, Dr. K. VijayRaghavan (photo left) noted that Artificial Intelligence research and training is key to our future. AI technologies are critical for India and will have a significant social and economic impact in the coming years. This international academic collaboration between IIT Roorkee and MFF is a commendable effort to ensure that India continues on its innovation trajectory.”

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“Today is a landmark day in the journey of IITR,” said Professor Ajit Chaturvedi (photo right). “We are setting up the first school of the institute, which would not have been possible without the generous support from the Mehta Family Foundation. I would specially like to thank Mr. Rahul Mehta for his keen interest and time over the last six months. without which we would not have reached this day. A large number of faculty of the institute have contributed in conceiving this school. I am sure they will nurture the growth of the Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at IITR.”

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“I am sure this collaboration between IITR and the Mehta Family Foundation will provide a strong theoretical as well as a practical foundation to the students,” said Professor Sandeep Verma (photo left). “IITR is pioneering in the field of AI and data science, and this MoU will provide an additional boost in creating resource centers for knowledge and information.”

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“AI-driven technologies are rapidly transforming our world. Academic collaborations like this one between International faculty and IITR will produce individuals poised to address such ongoing global challenges as climate change, resource sustainability, and security,” said Rahul Mehta (photo right). “The future will be about smart energy, smart food and water systems, smart weather predictions and disaster responses, and so on. We believe that AI-driven technologies will help protect the planet and improve the quality of life. We chose IITR because of its rich history of academic excellence and its location. The new school will address some of the most pressing challenges in the region.”

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“I graduated from IITR (then University of Roorkee) in 1989,” said Professor Ananth Grama (photo left). “We are a proud family of Thomasonians–my brother, Dr. Chethan Grama, also graduated from IITR in 1986, and my father, Dr. G. N. Yoganarasimhan, served on the faculty for many years. It gives me immense pleasure to see the establishment of the Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at my alma mater. Working with the talented and dedicated faculty and students at IITR, and with the support of the Mehta Family Foundation, I am committed to helping build a world-class research, education, and outreach program in this critically important area.”

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Professors Grama, Subramaniam (photo far right), and Gupta (photo near right), all experts in AI and valued members of MFF CARE, will be materially involved in the school’s infrastructure development, curriculum design, and faculty recruitment; they will also provide mentorship to students, suggest ideas for new research projects and papers, and facilitate MFF’s student scholarship and faculty exchange programs. Construction of the new school will begin in 2022 and is expected to be completed by 2024. The school will welcome its first cohort of bachelor’s degree students in September 2022. 

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“Data science and artificial intelligence are really going to be strengthened at IIT Roorkee, and I’m really thankful to Mr. Rahul Mehta and the Mehta Family Foundation for this,” said Professor Manoranjan Parida (photo far left).  

Professor Narayana Padhy (photo near left), the new school’s first director, emphasized the groundbreaking nature of the school’s curriculum. “It is designed to capture the global trends in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, mathematics, and statistics. Also, it is expected to create domain expertise in healthcare, energy, finance, earth sciences, and geometric transportation systems.” ITTR’s other departments, including those for the biosciences, bioengineering, civil architecture and planning, humanities, mechanical and electrical engineering, and physics, will have a collaborative role in shaping the interdisciplinary curriculum.

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