The waves of change are in the air as the Indian Education Landscape is set to undergo a sea change with UGC declaring a tentative list of the 20 Institutes of Eminence (IOE) in early August this year.
The historic decision of establishing 20 institutes as IOE by MHRD dates back to the year 2017 when none of the Indian Universities made the cut to be ranked among the top 200 in any of the world university ranking list.
The recent list included universities like OP Jindal University Haryana, Shiv Nadar University etc in the private list and Delhi University, IIT Kharagpur etc among the public list.
Establishing IOE in India will craft such a framework wherein universities will need to focus on research and innovation besides just teaching methodologies.
As the end goal of establishing IOE remains that of bringing Indian Universities to the forefront and rank them higher in global university rankings indexes, it’s imperative to focus on research and innovation, as all the world ranking systems weigh research as a key indicative parameter.
QS ranking imparts 20% weight to the research parameter whereas THE (Times Higher Education) imparts 30% weight to research.
Research and corresponding innovation strength seem to be a weighing parameter while selecting IOE institutes.
The above is somewhere highlighted as JIO university too gets the IOE letter of Intent under the “Greenfield Category”. Though this sparked a controversy as to why, after all, a university which is yet to be established should get such a prestigious tag.
However, it makes sense as it has on its back the Reliance Foundation which is the nation’s most innovation driving company
Hence focusing on research is the need of the hour as it promotes innovation. Besides, research work if mapped to valuable IP and then ultimately to intangible technologies and inventions can drive sustainable growth for not just universities but nations as a whole.
This brings us to the present research framework which at present has many loopholes and lacks a platform which facilitates research. As we all know ideas form the basis of all research work, be it research publications, patents or other scientific journals. All have some transformative ideas as their seeds.
However, still many ideas are never able to take the shape of significant research as there are too many of them and deciding the research worthy ones is time-consuming.
Hence there must be a solution which must be incorporated in the research infrastructure.
However, the new emerging technologies are quite an enabler of research. Advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are already touching our day to day lives. It has even started to influence how and what we shop, how and what we eat etc.
Thus, the power the AI encapsulates and the limitless potential it offers is intriguing researchers and scientists to explore AI solutions which can enable research and research workflows.
Though AI-enabled research still is at an initial stage however it is being looked seriously to alter the scientific discovery path.
A few ways in which AI can facilitate research are:
Accelerating research and innovation:
Universities and institutions usually have a hard time identifying innovation worthy ideas. Hence a lot of time is spent in deciding and examining ideas, this slows down the overall innovation lifecycle.
AI-assisted tools can help in decision making and accelerating the overall innovation lifecycle, as they can assist researchers in examining the humongous amount of data.
The deep learning technologies behind AI can be used to mine out insights which can be used in research work and can be used as substantial evidence to support the research done.
Human intellect combined with AI power can do wonders. As AI possesses the power to learn, dive in and tap data.
Hence it can also generate hypothetical concepts by applying various permutations and combinations on the previous data set.
These concepts can be further explored or clubbed with the existing ones. Such a framework can open new avenues of research.
Hence AI can be great leverage to promote and fuel research work. Strengthening research arm of universities and academic institutions will place them higher in the world rankings and also drive sustainable innovation for the nation.
So how can AI at present be incorporated by universities in their research framework?
To know the answers to the above question, join our upcoming webinar which will be taken up by subject matter experts from IIT Madras and SCTIMST University on 14th November 2019.