Devendra Jalihal: Student wellbeing is our top priority and with this in mind, we have now instructed our professors to come together and talk to each other about the performance of students in their classes. When students enter IIT Guwahati, all their classes are the same and the differentiation starts only in the second year.So, first year onwards, after every exam, say around mid-semester and after the final exam, the teachers come together to exchange notes about students’ attendance, academic performance, the key things they have observed and so on.Through these notes, we try to identify students who might be facing problems or are likely to face issues. We are not doctors, but at least on the basis of such an analysis, we can tell the experts that these students have shown these signs/ symptoms. We are hoping that such inputs will help in early detection of problems and we will be able to help students in a more proactive way.While this is from counsellors and doctors, another thing that we are now starting is a smoother transition from the coaching days to the IIT life. This transition is a big one since they spend almost two years in a stressful environment where in the past two years, they would not have done anything that a normal human being does, including watching TV for some time.They clear their exams in the absence of that normalcy and then suddenly shift to the IIT life, which is very different. Keeping this in mind, there is a consensus among IITs to make this transition smoother. Earlier, we used to have one day of orientation, but now we have started hosting orientation weeks.We call students a week before their classes are scheduled to begin, and make them do things that they would not have done in the past few years such as waking up at 5 am, going out in open fields of the varsity and engaging in games, group activities, talking, sharing stories etc.The objective is to take them away from their screens, and help them make friends. First five to six days will mainly be physical activities, and I am sure students will protest this as students are used to sleeping at 5 am, not waking.Devendra Jalihal: Coaching classes are surely not needed to crack JEE as the experts who set/ draft the question paper also base it on the syllabus taught to the students in Classes 11 and 12. However, we should also remember that the number of IIT seats available is very less as compared to the total number of aspirants.This makes the competition tougher and there is a general thought process/ belief that the students enrolled in coaching classes do better. Coaching classes can drill some things in a student’s head such as strategies, what to do when faced with a question for which you don’t have an answer. However, IITs are aware of this problem and we are coming up with creative solutions. At IIT Guwahati, we are launching more online courses that usually do not require JEE scores.Web courses offered by IIT Guwahati include:Video courses offered by IIT Guwahati include:Further details can be gathered from this link: Jalihal: As a rule, the IIT Guwahati students who get under 6 CGPA cannot appear for the placement process. It is a rule and a way to ensure quality control. As far as I know, all students who appeared for placement have been placed this time, or at least the majority of them. Nearly 40 per cent of students now prefer placements in core companies, and no matter how much we oppose the thought process, FinTech and management companies pay well.If a 22-year-old student is getting an offer of Rs 1 crore CTC then even if I want to oppose the decision morally, I cannot tell the student to not take it by saying “what to do, you will just be in Gurugram etc”. However, the students who are keen to work in the core companies are waiting for those jobs.My experience and gut feeling make me believe that jobs in core sectors will increase in the coming years, especially with the increasing investment in manufacturing and semiconductor areas that is seen all over the country.Semiconductor is a multidisciplinary opportunity, it will help in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering and more. Especially in the post Covid world, since a lot of drug companies are now moving their offices to India, the core and specialisation jobs are set to increase. I am positive that the number of core jobs will increase in the country in the coming years.Devendra Jalihal: This year, we achieved the 344th position globally in QS World University Rankings 2025. With an overall score of 32.9, our institute recorded a remarkable advancement of 20 places in this year’s rankings. This year-on-year improvement in IIT Guwahati’s global ranking is a testament to the relentless dedication and hard work of our faculty, students, and staff. Our commitment to excellence in education, research, and innovation continues to drive us forward. We are proud of this achievement and remain focused on further enhancing our global standing and contributing to the advancement of knowledge and technology.To further improve the rankings, we are also committed to promoting high-quality research by investing in cutting-edge facilities and supporting innovative projects. We are also improving citations by encouraging our researchers to publish in high-impact journals and fostering collaborative research, we aim to increase the visibility and citation of our work.Another main thing that helps improve our rankings is international collaborations. We are developing joint degree programmes, student and faculty exchange initiatives, and research partnerships with leading global institutions.A total of 113 foreign students have taken admission in IIT Guwahati in the past five years. We offer competitive scholarships and robust support services to attract a diverse and talented international student body. Through strategic marketing, participation in international conferences, and leveraging our global alumni network, we aim to build a strong international reputation.Devendra Jalihal: That is something that even we are trying to assess currently. As of now, I think it is mainly because of the general perception that toppers have to choose IIT Bombay. However, this is only a perception and not a reality. A lot of students also take this decision in peer pressure and because of the stories they keep hearing from their seniors. Location also plays an important part in this choice.To attract more students, we will also (like some other IITs such as IIT Madras) start inviting top scorers to visit our campus before they take the final decision on which IIT to choose. This will help them have a realistic idea about the institute and they will also get a chance to visit the campus, meet the faculty and the seniors.Devendra Jalihal: IIT Guwahati is committed to uplifting the quality of education in the North East region through extensive interaction and engagement at various levels. This involves a continuous, year-round process of collaboration with NITs, IIITs, universities, research institutes, and colleges across the North East.Our initiatives are aimed to enhance STEM education and extend well beyond higher education. IIT Guwahati actively works at the primary and pre-primary school levels, focusing on holistic development by:Teachers’ Training Programme: We organise comprehensive training programmes to empower teachers with the latest pedagogical skills and knowledge, ensuring they can provide high-quality education to their students.Student Exposure Programmes: We offer students opportunities to engage with advanced scientific concepts and technologies through various exposure programs, fostering an early interest in STEM fields.Establishment of Tinkering Labs and AI/Robotics Labs: To nurture creativity and innovation, we have set up numerous tinkering labs and AI/robotics labs in schools. These facilities provide students with hands-on experience in cutting-edge technologies.Science and Math Clubs: We facilitate the formation of science and math clubs, which serve as platforms for students to explore and deepen their understanding of these subjects through collaborative activities and projects.Statewide Quiz Competitions and Science Exhibitions: We organise quiz competitions and science exhibitions, particularly emphasizing sustainability. These events not only stimulate intellectual curiosity but also promote awareness about critical global issues. The most recent Science Olympiad organised in collaboration with Samagra Shiksha Assam registered over 1.4 Lakh student participation.Through these and many similar multifaceted initiatives, IIT Guwahati aims to create a robust educational ecosystem in the North East, fostering a culture of excellence and innovation from the grassroots level.

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