IIT Madras is 'Top Innovative Educational Institution' second year in row

IIT Madras. Photo: www.iitm.ac.in
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has been adjudged the Top Innovative Educational Institute in India for the second consecutive year by the Government of India.

The Institute has been ranked No.1 in the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) launched last year by the Innovation Cell of Ministry of Education (formerly Ministry of Human Resource Development) under the ‘Institutions of National Importance, Central Universities and Centrally Funded Technical Institutions’ category. 

Following IIT Madras in the category for the second, third, fourth and fifth places are IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru and IIT Kharagpur, respectively.

Around 674 Institutions participated in the ARIIA Rankings this year compared with 496 last year.

M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India, announced the results today in a virtual event in the presence of Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Union Minister for Education, Government of India and other officials.

ARIIA endeavours to systematically rank education institutions and universities primarily on innovation-related indicators. It aims to inspire Indian institutions to reorient their mindset and build ecosystems to encourage high quality research, innovation and entrepreneurship. More than quantity, ARIIA focuses on quality of innovations and measures the real impact created by these innovations nationally and internationally.

IIT Madras excelled in ARIIA owing to its strong entrepreneurial eco-system that encourages students to become job-generators. The IIT Madras Incubation Cell (IITMIC) in the IITM Research Park is India’s leading deep-technology start-up hub with Innovation and Impact as key differentiators/drivers.

While IITMIC handles the start-ups, there are other innovation platforms for students even before they graduate. They include Nirmaan, a pre-incubator, Centre for Innovation (CFI), which provides a platform to the students to ‘walk in with an idea and walk out with a product’, and the Gopalakrishnan Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship that grooms wannabe entrepreneurs.

Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras is known for its world-class innovation ecosystem consisting of a research park and several other centres that have already produced world-class companies and disruptive technologies in India. We are proud to be recognised for the second time in succession as India’s top innovative educational institution under ARIIA.”

IITMIC houses incubators such as Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC), Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) and Bio-Tech incubators. IITMIC has incubated over 200 deep-tech start-ups till June 2020. These enterprises have attracted VC/Angel Investor funding to the extent of $235 Million and have a combined valuation of $948 million. 

They had a cumulative revenue of $61 million in 2019-20, creating over 4,000 jobs and generating over 100 patents. The start-ups are in sectors such as manufacturing, IoT, energy/renewables, healthcare/ medical devices, water, edu-tech/skill development, agri-tech, robotics, AI, ML and data analytics.

Commenting on the ranking, IIT Bombay director Subhasis Chaudhuri said, "IIT Bombay places a great emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship and strives hard to ensure that the fruits of research get translated to products, benefitting the country."

The institute's dean for research and development, Milind Atrey, on the other hand, said, "IIT Bombay strives to cultivate a vibrant industry-academia symbiosis to ensure innovations and technologies developed in the laboratories reach the society at large."

The rankings

The rankings contain the list of top innovative higher education institutions (HEIs) and universities in six categories. Apart from institutes of national importance/central universities/CFTIs, the other five categories include government or government-aided colleges, government or government aided universities, private or self-financed colleges, private or self-financed universities and HEIs exclusively for women.

The top three in the government or government aided universities included Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Panjab University and Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University. Whereas, the top three private or self-financed universities ranked for innovation include Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Odisha at the top spot, followed by SRM Institute of Science and Technology and Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu.

In the government or government aided colleges/institutions, Pune-based College of Engineering took the top spot, followed by Karnataka's PES College of Engineering and Coimbatore Institute of Technology at second and third spots, respectively. The private or self financed colleges/institutions category was led by S R Engineering College, Telangana, followed by G H Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur and Shri Krishna College of Engineering and Technology, Tamil Nadu.

The sixth category of HEIs exclusively for women saw Tamil Nadu based Avinashilingam Institute of Home Science and Higher Education for Women bag the top rank for innovation, followed by Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women.

The rankings are based weightage out of 100 accorded to six parameters including successful innovation and start-ups & funding innovation & start-ups carrying the maximum weightage of 35. 

Other main parameters include intellectual property (IP), technology transfer & commercialization carrying weightage of 32, followed by annual budget spent on promoting and supporting I&E activities with a weightage of 13. Programs and activities on IPR, innovation, start-up and entrepreneurship as well as Pre-incubation & incubation infrastructure & facilities to support I&E each carry a weightage of 7.5. The rest five weightage goes for courses on innovation, IPR and entrepreneurship development.

In all, 674 HEIs under different categories participated in ARIIA 2020 including 373 private or self-financed colleges, 121 government or government aided colleges, 80 private or self-financed universities, 62 institutes of national importance/central universities/CFTIs, and 38 government or government aided universities.


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