In May 2016, the Union Cabinet gave its ex-post- facto approval to amend The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, for incorporation of six new IITs including IIT Goa — an institution of national importance. Subsequently on July 30, 2016, IIT Goa made its auspicious beginning from the Goa Engineering College Campus at Farmagudi, Ponda. This was a day to remember. To commemorate this historic occasion, a plaque was unveiled by the then Hon’ble HRD Minister Mr. Prakash Javadekar in the presence of Hon’ble Defence Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar and the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Goa Mr. Laxmikant Parsekar. The first batch of 90 students was enrolled into three branches of Engineering — Mechanical, Electrical and Computer Science & Engineering. The entire teaching load was handled by faculties of IIT Bombay which continues to act as the mentoring Institute. As we progressed into the semester, we realized managing students in a makeshift campus and providing adequate facilities for faculties pose several challenges that required serious planning. One- by-one, all issues ranging from lecture rooms to housing were sorted out and we looked forward to the next semester.
On March 9, 2017, I took charge as the Director of IIT Goa. We set our vision on four key themes: Teaching, Research, Outreach, and strategic planning for our future. Our immediate task is to build our campus. At present we are devoting most of our time to cast our distinctive strength by recruiting bright young faculty and initiating research programs in new and emerging areas of excellence. The task is cut out for us for the coming years, and only time will tell how well we put our ideas into practice.
Goa has a rich cultural heritage—abundance of festivals and assortment of attractions; there are so many places to explore! Therefore, since its inception, IIT Goa has become a brand in itself, and I believe it will unleash its potential to accomplish great things in the future.