Academic and Co-Curricular Vision Document for DIAT in upcoming 5 Year

Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, under the aegis of Department of Defence Research and Development, Ministry of Defence Government of India, has grown in strength and stature, since its recognition as Deemed to be University on 1st April 2006. The Institute has also acquired ISO 9001: 2000 certification from DNV Norway. Having conferred the status of category ”A” Deemed to be University by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, the institute is on its way to NBA and NAAC accreditations.

The Institute, a premier autonomous educational entity, equipped with modern laboratories, well-qualified faculty members, is engaged in post graduate education and research leading to M.Tech and Ph.D degrees. Efforts are continuously on to maintain higher standards of quality training in the critical area of modern Defence Technologies, thereby enhancing the technical capabilities of DRDO Scientists, Service Officers, Officers from Defence Industries and fresh engineering graduates. The institute also prepares trained manpower for industries engaged in “Make in India”, campaign of Government of India.

At DIAT, to meet the needs of Armed Forces, DRDO, Defence Quality Assurance, Defence Ordnance Factories, Directorate of Aeronautical Quality Assurance, and other Public Sector undertakings many specialized / customized PG courses are conducted. In addition to the Ph.D. & M.Tech. Courses, the Institute also conducts 1-1.5yr duration specific limited courses and a variety of specialised short-term courses. DIAT opened its gates in the year 2006 for the general public, and since then has been admitting students in open category with scholarships to join its Ph. D / M. Tech programmes. To boost the ongoing research programmes and also to enhance quality of teaching and training the institute has introduced a scheme of “Visiting Professors/Scientists”. The institute is on its way to take a quantum leap in the domain of technical education & research, specific to defence needs.

The Vision of DIAT is to be a centre of Excellence of international repute for Education, Training and research in Advanced Technologies with a view to strengthen national security and self-reliance. To evolve as an Innovative Unique Research University to develop indigenous contemporary Defence related technologies in Navigation Systems, Wireless Sensors, Efficient Propulsion Systems, Weapon Systems for DRDO and Defence Services, provide technological solutions to the Services to optimise combat battlefield effectiveness and above all produce qualified quality manpower which can truly become an instrument for building a strong indigenous technology base in the context of creating a performing Defence Industrial Base in India, is the Mission of DIAT.

In order to achieve its Vision and Mission, Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DU) is committed to creating a centre of Excellence for Education, Training and research in contemporary and futuristic Technologies by way of continual improvement and consistent Innovation in material as well as Intellectual Infrastructure towards customer’s delight.

Therefore, the Office of Policy and Planning has a mandate to frame the vision plan in such a way that following objectives are nurtured by DIAT:

  • To cultivate core Competencies in Basic & Applied Research in contemporary & Futuristic Technologies.
  • To attract and nurture Intellectual capital.
  • To maintain an Eco-Friendly and appropriate Academic Ambience.
  • To promote professional Development of personnel for productive performance.
  • To strengthen collaboration with the Armed Forces, Academia, R&D Institutions and Industry.
  • To generate adequate financial resources for sustainable Growth and Development.

To attain these objectives, following plans are underway, so that in upcoming 5 years the objectives are met to a large extent:

New Schools and Centre’s:

This is an era of interdisciplinary research. The times of working in silos have gone past and unless collaborations between various departments does not occur, major technologies cannot be realized. Quantum Technology, Cyber technology, Radar Technology and Defence Technology are few classic examples. DIAT has already started taking steps towards this and new school of Quantum Technology, Defence Technology and Radar Technology are in place. In the upcoming years, additional schools on Energy and Environment, Metallurgy and Manufacturing would be on anvil. Project Management is one area in Defence sector which is of prime importance. This can also be initiated in the coming years.

This concept of Schools will be immensely beneficial to the students studying their M. Tech curriculum since they can choose from wide range of electives from where a seamless education can be offered to them. DIAT Post Graduate Committee (PGC) has already done this exercise for students in Quantum Technology and this will be done all across the institute. The idea in the upcoming 5 years would be to have the university in the form of Schools and Centre’s which would be supported by individual Departments.

Involving students for Development of new technologies to address challenging times

Entire country has witnessed Pandemic challenges in past 2 years. The country has rose to the occasion and therefore, India has seen immense developments of indigenous technologies in the products as simple as face-mask to, as complicated as, Ventilators. DIAT has geared up in the same way, and has developed more than 8 products right from face masks, sanitizers, quarantine zones, AI-based imaging for diagnostics, nanomaterials based anti-covid formulations and many similar products. Students and faculty have worked hard to recognize such products. Patents have come up to safeguard the technologies. These technologies have been given to industries and upscaled products are available in the market.

In upcoming years, this momentum is planned to continue. The synergy between students and faculty members to develop a product indigenously would be harnessed more. In-house funding would be given to faculty and students together for developing such ideas. DIAT has developed “Innovation Cell” to handle such ideas from students and faculty. This cell is backed by Dean (Sponsored Research) so that more such project ideas are initiated and realized. Constant lectures from Industry personnel would be conducted on such lines for student motivation. Entrepreneurships and start-up will be encouraged for faculty and students alike.

Research towards product development under “Atmanirbhar Bharat”

DIAT is a post-graduate University. Many international and National project competitions are conducted world-wide. DIAT is motivating students to participate in such competitions so that indigenous technologies and research is encouraged. Students are given good exposure to challenging problems of DRDO and are motivated to do projects on those lines.

Involving students in DRDO projects and boosting them to participate in project competitions would make them industry-ready. This will be further boosted in the coming 5 years. Acquiring more projects from PSUs, Tri-services and Industry, would be the main focus. DIAT will strive as Research University and develop technologies which can compete at National level, minimum. Becoming an Institute of National Importance is the final aim of DIAT in coming couple of years. The documentation is already in the pipeline and the efforts have already started on these lines.

Establishment of Hobby Clubs for Co-Curricular development of Students

Students are the back-bone of every university. They are the stake holders and their overall development is the main motto of any good University. Hobby clubs are mainly initiated to uncover the hidden talents in the students. Literary Club, Robotics Club, Additive manufacturing club, Quantum-Club are already thought of. Such clubs would be formed by the students and for the students. Many such co-curricular activities would be planned in upcoming years. Social responsibility would also form a part of this planning. These include CSR activities, tree plantations, rural upliftment and education, cleanliness drives, water treatment and recycling activities would form the agenda in upcoming years. Making students more socially responsible, is the aim.

Strengthening Alumni network

Alumni of DIAT is very strong and rich. Though DIAT is a young University, the alumni comprise of personalities from DRDO and Army-Navy-Air Force backgrounds. Many civilian students have gone overseas for higher education in excellent universities in USA and Europe. They bring fresh ideas for curriculum development, more options for placement cell and more exposure to the current students. Strengthening the DIAT Alumni will be one agenda in upcoming years.

Establishment of Chair Professor Positions

DRDO, Tri-Services (Army-Navy-Air Force), Industry and PSU sponsored Chair Professors would be highly beneficial to add to the Vision and Mission of the University. They work as excellent Guru’s to the faculty as well. DIAT is already taking steps to have such luminaries on the campus. In next 5 years it will be one main agenda. Institutionalization of Chairs will be done and at least 5 such positions would be created.

Strengthening Placement Cells

The name of the institute is strongly dependent upon the industry and academia where the students get placed. Placement Cell is highly strengthened in past 2 years and it will continue to grow and become more professional to attract more companies towards DIAT. DIAT will have a dedicated Placement Officer so that he/she can take care of all civilian students and uplift placement statistics.

International Networking for Research and Training

National and International MoUs are important to diversify the research domain and collaborate to learn better. This pushes the faculty and students to work at competitive edge and deliver to an international community. MoUs with Universities in the UK, USA and Australia already exist. In next 5 years joint research has to be explored. Joint post-graduate programmes going towards dual degree, Joint PhD supervision, joint research programmes would be targeted. At least 4-5 such dual degree programmes with international universities would be a target.

Innovation and Incubation Centre for more Start-ups on Campus

The era of conventional jobs is rapidly diminishing and a culture of self-employment is on the anvil. Recent governmental policies also state similar philosophy. Many government grants are being offered to boost Incubation of start-ups on the campus. DIAT is already working on those lines. DIAT has established an Innovation and Incubation Centre and the policy is already framed. One company is incubated in this facility. At least 3-4 more companies should start on campus, would be the agenda for upcoming 5 years.

Inviting more projects from Industry, PSUs and Private sector

Government funding for conventional research is largely reduced in recent years. It will continue to reduce in coming years. The industry, o the other hand is becoming more aware of indigenization and “Make in India” philosophy. Industry, therefore, has many research ideas which can eventually become novel products. DIAT is gearing up their faculty in this direction. Faculty and students are encouraged to take projects from industry so that they learn to work o deadlines and focused deliverables. This will be encouraged more in the coming years. Atleast 2 Industry projects per Department would be the target for upcoming 5 years. This will also help DIAT to become more self-reliant and take lesser grants from DRDO in coming times.

Large financial asset development and striving towards financial autonomy and self-reliance would be main focus in upcoming years.

DIAT as an Online Education Hub

Online mode of study has become a new normal. Many institutes like IITs in India and Boston / Harvard in the USA have uploaded lectures and small course module in specific topic, which is of large interest to students. Few of such lecturers are compiled together to give small certification courses. DIAT also wishes to develop such resource material for online platforms. These could be used for MOOC courses (by AICTE) or CEP (continuing education programme) programmes which are conducted on national platform. Such material is being developed by different faculty members at DIAT. In coming 5 years such resource material will be made available by DIAT in the form of lectures and videos.

Note: This is an evolving document and will keep on getting up-graded from time-to-time, as per the recommendations from National Education Policy of 2020.

Dr. Sangeeta Kale

Director (Policy & Planning)