Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi is stepping down as the Director of IIT Madras after completing two stellar terms that took the Institute to great heights. He will be succeeded by Prof. V. Kamakoti of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at IIT Madras.
During Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi’s tenure, IIT Madras was ranked No.1 in ‘Overall’ Category for three consecutive years in India Rankings released by National Institutional Ranking Framework, Ministry of Education. The Institute has been ranked No.1 in the ‘Engineering Institutions’ category in the same Rankings for six consecutive years – from 2016 to 2021. IIT Madras was adjudged as the ‘Top innovative Institution’ in the country in Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) in 2019, 2020 and 2021. IIT Madras was also selected as an ‘Institution of Eminence’ in 2019.
Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi oversaw a rapid expansion of campus infrastructure including the launching of an Rs. 1,000-crore satellite campus called ‘Discovery Campus’ to accommodate the increase in research requirements. Prof. Ramamurthi has been instrumental in the development of indigenous 5G standards for India, 5Gi, during his tenure as Chairman – Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI).
An Alumnus of IIT Madras, Prof. Kamakoti is currently the Associate Dean for Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (ICSR), IIT Madras. He is also a member of the National Security Advisory Board, Government of India.
Congratulating Prof. V. Kamakoti on his appointment, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi said: “With Prof. Kamakoti at the helm, IIT Madras is poised to scale new heights in the coming years. He is an excellent teacher and researcher, and an able administrator. He has played key roles in many national projects, bringing to bear his deep expertise in computing and cybersecurity. The Institute and the country will benefit tremendously from his services”.
Prof. Kamakoti, who is a faculty in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, led the research team that designed and booted up India’s first indigenously-developed Microprocessor ‘SHAKTI’ that can be used in mobile computing devices and networking systems. It can reduce reliance on imported microprocessors in the Communications and Defence Sectors. ‘SHAKTI’ Microprocessor can be used by other sectors as well as it is on par with its international peers.
Prof. Kamakoti was appointed by the Union Commerce Ministry in 2017 as the Chairman of a Taskforce on leveraging Artificial Intelligence for development across various fields. He has been presented the following awards:
- Abdul Kalam Technology Innovation National Fellowship, 2020
- IESA Techno Visionary Award, 2018
- IBM Faculty Award, 2016
- DRDO Academy Excellence Award, 2013
- IITM Young Faculty Recognition Award (YFRA), 2007
Speaking about his priorities, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Incoming Director, IIT Madras, said: “In the last two decades IIT Madras has focussed on Interdisciplinary translational research of relevance to our Nation. We have also reached out to a large number of students through NPTEL, Swayam, and online degree programs. With these gathered strengths, our immediate priority would be on augmenting the skill-set for indigenous technology development addressing local and global requirements aligning with the objectives of the National Education Policy.”
An alumnus of IIT Madras and the University of California, Santa Barbara, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, the incumbent Director, joined IIT Madras as a faculty member in the Electrical Engineering Department in the year 1986 and served at various key positions, including that of Dean (Planning).
The ‘IIT Madras Strategic Plan 2020’ (https://www.iitm.ac.in/the-strategic-plan), devised and adopted by the Institute during the initial part of Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi’s tenure, has chalked out quantified targets for all key pillars of the Institute.
These include a flexible curriculum suited to the aspirations of today’s youth, high-quality faculty, thriving research environment with a critical mass of research scholars and laboratories with the latest equipment, a strong industry-academia connect, epitomized by the country’s first university-based Research Park, an effervescent start-up ecosystem with over 200 companies incubated, a rapidly expanding program of collaborations and student exchanges with leading international institutions, and an enviable placement record.