MFF and IIT Guwahati Sign MoU
The Bhupat & Jyoti Mehta Family Foundation (MFF) and the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG) 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 (MoU) outlining the collaboration was signed virtually in the presence of Dr. Rajiv I. Modi, Chairman, IITG Board of Governors; and Professor Sandeep Verma, Secretary, India Science and Engineering Research Board. The MoU signatories were MFF CEO Rahul Mehta; Dr. K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India; T. G. Sitharam, Director, IITG; Professors Ratnajit Bhattacharjee and Chitralekha Mahanta, IITG; Professors Shankar Subramaniam and Rajesh Gupta from the University of California at San Diego; and Professor Ananth Grama, Purdue University. Professors Subramaniam, Gupta, and Grama are valued members of MMF CARE, which provides direct guidance to Indian academic institutions to ensure the successful development of new schools and degree programs.
The new school 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 IITG 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 big data into effective knowledge and understanding to serve society in a better way,” said Dr. Vijayraghavan.
“IITG has always endeavored to play a leadership role by diversifying the flavor of its academic programs,” said Director 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 IITG” said Professor Bhattacharjee. “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.” said 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.”