MFF and IIT Guwahati Sign MoU
The Mehta Family Foundation (MFF) and the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati) have collaborated to establish the Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence to promote undergraduate and postgraduate studies in both of technical fields. The school’s first cohort will be admitted in the 2021–22 academic year.
A memorandum of understanding outlining the collaboration was signed virtually in the presence of Dr. Rajiv I. Modi, IIT Guwahati Board of Governors Chairman, and Professor Sandeep Verma, Secretary of India’s Science and Engineering Research Board. The MOU signatories were MFF CEO Rahul Mehta; Professor Krishnaswamy Vijayraghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India; T. G. Sitharam, IIT Guwahati director; Professors Shankar Subramaniam and Rajesh Gupta, University of California at San Diego; Professor Ananth Grama, Purdue University; and Professors Ratnajit Bhattacharjee and Chitralekha Mahanta, IIT Guwahati.
MFF supports the new school’s infrastructure and programs, which will attract some of the best rising student talent from India and abroad, as well as some of the world’s leading technical faculty members. “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,” says Professor Vijayraghavan.
“IIT Guwahati has always endeavored to play a leadership role by diversifying the flavor of its academic programs,” says IIT Guwahati Director T.G. Sitharam. “The Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence is another important initiative . . . and will bridge the gap of highly skilled personnel that exists in these emerging fields.”
Professor R. Bhattacharjee will lead the school, which will offer state-of-the-art teaching, research, and technology development in frontier areas of data science and artificial intelligence. The school’s curriculum will provide students a strong theoretical foundation and emphasize interdisciplinary application areas.
“One of the objectives of the school is to take up targeted multi-year interdisciplinary research projects and solve problems to benefit society at large, a deep-rooted vision of IIT Guwahati,” Professor Bhattacharjee says. “The close association and support from the Mehta Family Foundation has added an international flavor to this school from its very inception.”
This global interdisciplinary collaboration ushers in new opportunities for Indian students in these emerging areas of study. “The explosion of data across all fields of knowledge continues unabated.” says Rahul Mehta. “Computer science changed the world and now data science and artificial intelligence are posed to do the same. These fields will shape the methods used in education and research across the spectrum of human knowledge.”