Hyderabad : As International Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad (IIITH) enters the 25th year since its founding in 1998, the institute launched its silver jubilee celebrations with a Distinguished Lecture series that featured an inaugural session by Dr Gullapalli Nageswara Rao, founder of the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) who spoke on “Institution Building – Some Lessons and Reflections”.
Dr Rao commended IIITH for being a true public institute, and for research and innovation for being part of its DNA, which helped it reach where it is today. Quoting Albert Einstein he said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. He mentioned that India is a country of disparities that doesn’t allow many opportunities, added to that Covid 19 brought many challenges. He mentioned Polio was a success story. He mentioned we do well in mission mode but fumble in sustainable efforts. He went on to share LVPEI’s success story and how they became a 3,000+ team today touching 35 million people, treated over 5 million children and became the world’s biggest corneal transplant centre. And also a leading eye research institute in India. He drew parallels between IIIT-H and LVPEI inspiration, innovation and being socially conscious in their work.
Dr Rao also launched IIITH’s commemorative Silver Jubilee Logo, designed by Pratyay Keda Suvarnapathaki, a third year student from the Dual Degree Program in Computer Science and Engineering program. IIIT H organised a contest to choose the logo and his design was chosen.
IIITH’s Silver Jubilee celebrations will be spread over 18 months, and will consist of various events, interactive activities, fundraisers, contests etc, aimed at bringing together alumni, faculty, students, staff and other members of the IIITH fraternity, while focusing on research that matters – graduating competent, creative and caring students making significant contributions to society.
From just 50 students in the first batch to around 1900 students in 28 programs, the institute is now widely ranked as the No 1 institute in AI (computer vision, machine learning and data mining, and Natural Language Processing) in India, and Asia’s 2nd best institute for robotics. The institute has grown to include 29 research centres, a technology innovation hub for Data Banks, Data Services and Data Analytics (TIH-Data), and an Applied Artificial Intelligence Research Centre (INAI) in collaboration with Intel. IIITH’s Kohli Centre on Intelligent Systems, set up 2015 with a funding from the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) continues to be a leading center on Intelligent systems bringing together sharpest minds of India to take research from lab to land for sustainable social impacts.IIITH’s alumni nearly 5000 strong now and are making a meaningful impact in different institutions, in different roles, and across different geographies.
Commenting on this important milestone of 25 years, Prof P J Narayanan, Director, IIITH said, “Silver Jubilee marks the maturating of an academic institution, embarking on a journey along an independent and confident path of its own.The institute has built strong foundations for academic excellence through the efforts of its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. However, tough challenges lie ahead if we have to rise to be among the top global institutions. Silver Jubilee is an opportunity to connect ever more strongly with all stakeholders: students, parents, alumni, industry, government, well-wishers, and the society at large. The institute has planned celebrations over the next 18 months with activities and events that capture the spirit of connecting with the society more.”
Prof Raj Reddy, Chairman, IIIT-H Governing Council addressed the gathering remotely from the US and reminisced on the founding of the institute and the various people who helped set it up. He also congratulated the institute for its extremely unique achievement of being ranked among the top 10 institutions in the country in a short span of just 25 years.
Updating the audience on the institute’s silver jubilee plans, Mr Vipul Kedia, alumnus and vice-chair of the silver jubilee committee shared that a series of events have been planned for the next 18 months – conferences, distinguished lectures, cultural events, social initiatives); alumni meets and engagements, alumni led conferences, social gatherings and sporting events; promotion IIITH’s unique model that can inspire and be a role model to other institutions, and fund raising efforts to scale up the institute’s infrastructure and other facilities.