IIT Delhi’s School of Interdisciplinary Research working to solve social issues
The main focus of IIT Delhi is 'knowledge generation' through research, technology, Intellectual Propriety development and initiating start-up activities. Towards this end, there was a need for enlisting doctoral students from all disciplines adept in tackling problems that cross traditional boundaries.
The School of Interdisciplinary Research (SIRe) was thus founded in October 2017 as a virtual school at IIT Delhi to strengthen strategic interdisciplinary areas on fundamental and societal issues. The small strides taken so far have gathered momentum setting an optimistic vision for SIRe.
Speaking on the occasion of launching an all-new website of the school, Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi said, "The future of research and innovation will be at the intersection of different disciplines. Institutions need to create mechanisms for faculty and students to interact with researchers who are working outside of their domains of expertise. This will help open up new fields of research and boost the innovation ecosystem. SIRe at IIT Delhi is doing this effectively." He also added that the institute would largely benefit by increasing the present student strength at SIRe to a few hundred and ensure that they do cutting edge research in Interdisciplinary areas and also take up research problems that have a societal relevance. Institute hopes to see many of them turn into entrepreneurs.
Prof A. Ramanan, Head, SIRe said, "The school serves as an ideal platform for the growing numbers of the Centres of Excellence, MoUs and other joint degree programs with external Indian and international institutions for research into problems requiring multidisciplinary approaches. SIRe offers an opportunity to pool knowledge and skills from core disciplines and different institutions to solve intractable research and societal problems."
In the last two years, SIRe has enrolled 20 research scholars from diverse academic backgrounds. Most of them have sponsored projects and others have their own fellowship earned through all India tests. For supervision of their research work, SIRe has 36 faculty members from different fields and institutions.
All the research scholars at SIRe are engaged in solving problems that cut across traditional domains. Here's a glimpse of research works being done by the students at SIRe:
- Two projects have started under the umbrella of IITD and neighbouring institutions like AIIMS and JNU.
- Investigating the effects of generalized anxiety on valence processing and decision making in long-term gains and losses, specifically to understand how these affect decision-making deficits in anxiety disorder.
- Investigating equilibrium and non-equilibrium studies of liquid crystals to provide fundamental inputs to the multibillion LCD industry.
- Emerging health-related and other projects such as: Combating antimicrobial resistance, process development for production of therapeutic proteins, developing nanocomposite based treatment technologies for removing antibiotic-resistant genes from wastewater, developing a revenue model for bio-informatics, managing risks from emerging pollutants in urban environments, cloud processes for predicting accuracy of monsoon and deciding the rainfall over different regions. More research projects are in the pipeline.
(With inputs from IIT Delhi)