Having made it to the list of top ten engineering colleges in India, VIT is now aiming for global recognition.

Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) has garnered the eighth position in the list of top 25 engineering colleges in India and second among the private engineering colleges, in the India Today and AC Nielsen survey of engineering college 2013. The 29-year-old institute was placed in 14 and 12 place in 2007 and 2009 respectively. The survey takes into consideration rank, reputation, academic input, student care, infrastructure, placements, perceptual rank and factual rank.

G. Vishwanathan, founder and chancellor, Vellore Institute of Technology, talks about the efforts and initiatives taken by the institute and his vision for future. Excerpts from a telephonic interview.

Is its faculty strength VIT’s strong point?

For any educational institution, the faculty is the backbone. For teaching learning to be successful, the faculty has to be the best. We adopt innovative teaching methodology, and with support from the faculty and students, we have successfully implemented project-based and research-based learning. Our students learn by doing practical projects as they find this method most interesting.

VIT has published 2,463 research papers in the past four years. How was this achieved?

We have been encouraging students and faculty to publish their research papers and also present them at seminars around the world. Almost all the departments have been efficiently conducting research, but topping the list are School of Advanced Sciences, School of Biotechnology and School of Mechanical and Building Sciences. We also help deserving students to travel overseas to present their papers.

What is the focus of VITs Centre for Innovation and Development

The centre focusses on developing feasible, low-cost solutions to the many problems being faced in the communities around us. We combine skills in a range of science and engineering disciplines to address challenges faced by marginalised groups and “base-of-the-pyramid” consumers in our rapidly developing society. Here we take up projects that are beneficial for human kind — audio-tactile speech aids for the hearing-impaired, biodiesel production, open-source software for the visually challenged, myo-electric controlled prosthetic arm & hand, power-assist wheelchair and clinical support software for low-resource medical facilities to name a few.

Can you talk about VIT’s infrastructure

We provide students with the best possible infrastructure. Our labs are well equipped and state of the art. The entire faculty are provided laptops as we have smart classrooms. The VIT library has over 2 lakh books. Free wi-fi is provide and hostel facility is good.

How frequently does VIT restructure/revise its curriculum

The advantage of a deemed university is the freedom to update and restructure the curriculum as and when required. At VIT, we engage the industry in devising the curriculum as this will enable us to keep our students abreast with the developments and also prepare them to be job-ready. The industry is directly involved in restructuring the syllabus once a year. We also teach foreign languages to our students. They can choose from German, French, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish.

What are the partnership and collaboration with foreign universities?

We are planning to introduce dual degree programme in B.tech course in partnership with the U.K and the U.S. A dual-degree programme has already been successfully implemented for MBA students. Semester-abroad programme is already being implemented for undergraduate students .

What is your vision for VIT?

We are gradually going up in our ranking within the country. Our aim is to be well-known internationally, with a world ranking. We are maintaining a cosmopolitan atmosphere in the campus. My aim is to help every VITian to evolve into a good entrepreneur, get good placement and be prepared for the global market.