Research scholars of IITs across the nation have reason to smile. On account of an activity by the IIT Alumni Center (IITAC), cross-border coordinated efforts and funding of research now have an immediate extension.
Launched in Chennai on October 11, 2016, the platform called "Touchstone" is under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development. With attention on accelerating research alliances, volunteers assembled by IITAC will give an impetus to interface researchers with like-minded scholars abroad and additionally help to finance such activities.
To get this going, Ravi Santhanam, Co-ordinator of Touchstone said that their most prominent asset is the three lakh-odd alumni class they have across academia and industries. He mentioned that they would shape a 'virtual neutral network' that can be advantageous for the benefit of the academia in our nation.
Apart from IIT scholars, this initiative also reaches out to BITs, NITs and IISERs, an aggregate of 79 foundations on the whole. The platform will keep running across 20 research verticals such as nanotechnology, ocean engineering and aeronautics.
With these cross-border coordinated efforts, it could incorporate joint research ventures, exchange of research fellows or visiting faculty.
It is also planned that business pioneers of respective domains or 'volunteer champions' picked by IITAC will bolster the initiative by contributing four to six hours a week.
A short video of HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar appreciating the project was played as a part of the event.