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Chennai, NFAPost:  Indian Institute of Technology Madras has once again been adjudged as the Top Innovative Educational Institute in India for the second consecutive year by the Government of India.

The Institute has been Ranked #1 in the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) launched last year by the Innovation Cell of Ministry of Education (formerly Ministry of Human Resource Development) in ‘Institutions of National Importance, Central Universities and Centrally Funded Technical Institutions’ category.

Around 674 Institutions have participated in the ARIIA Rankings this year compared with 496 Institutions last year.

Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday announced the results in a virtual event in the presence of Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and other officials.

“We have to be self-reliant. Self-reliance requires us to innovate, to seek implementable solutions for developmental challenges. To create a favourable environment for experimentation, India’s higher education system should play the role of an enabler and force multiplier to drive Indian innovation and startup ecosystem,” Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said.

He added, “Innovation must become the heartbeat for education. The quest for excellence should become the norm. I congratulate all institutes which have secured the top honours. I would like to compliment not only the Heads but also the other faculty members and youngsters who are assisting them. The other Institutes should re-double their effort as this is an annual effort…Learn from the best in the world and aim to better than the best. I hope this ranking, named after one of India’s Illustrious Prime Minister, will inspire all higher education institutes to be ‘Atal’ (steadfast) in their commitment to creating world-class Institutions.”

ARIIA endeavours to systematically rank education institutions and universities primarily on innovation related indicators. It aims to inspire Indian institutions to reorient their mind-set and build ecosystems to encourage high quality research, innovation and entrepreneurship. More than quantity, ARIIA focuses on quality of innovations and measures the real impact created by these innovations nationally and internationally.

Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said, “Innovation and hence the ARIIA will be the foundation stone for the New India which will be self-reliant. The rankings aim to acknowledge the efforts of institutes which are coming up with new innovations and bridging the gap between industry and innovation.”

IIT Madras excelled in ARIIA owning to its strong entrepreneurial eco-system that encourages students to become job-generators. The IIT Madras Incubation Cell (IITMIC) in the IITM Research Park is India’s leading deep-technology startup hub with Innovation and Impact as key differentiators/drivers.

While IITMIC handles the startups, there are other innovation platforms for students even before they graduate. They include Nirmaana pre-incubator, Center for Innovation (CFI), which provides a platform to the students to ‘walk in with an idea and walk out with a product’, and the Gopalakrishnan Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship that grooms wannabe entrepreneurs.

IIT Madras Director Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi said, “IIT Madras is known for its world-class innovation ecosystem consisting of the Research Park and several other centres, that has already produced world-class companies and disruptive technologies for India. We are proud to be recognised a second time in succession as India’s top innovative educational institution under ARIIA.”

IITMIC houses incubators such as Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC), Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) and Bio-Tech incubators. IITMIC has incubated over 200 deep tech startups (Till June 2020) that have attracted VC/Angel Investor funding to the tune of $235 million and having a valuation of $948 million. They had a cumulative revenue of $61 million in 2019-20 financial year, creating over 4,000 jobs and generating over 100 patents.

The startups are in sectors such as Manufacturing, IoT, energy/renewables, healthcare/ medical devices, water, edu-tech/skill development, agri-tech, robotics, AI, ML and, data analytics, among others.

Center For Innovation has augmented the ‘tech’ space in the institute wherein their projects have gone on to produce high-profile startups and internationally acclaimed competition teams. ‘Nirmaan’ seeks out students with ideas that have commercial potential and puts them through a one-year programme, IIT Madras said.

The GDC puts cohorts of entrepreneurs-to-be through the paces and helps them position their idea properly to meet customer needs and build a company that can deliver the product.

ARIIA 2020 has rankings for six categories of institutions, namely:

1)    Institutions of National Importance, Central Universities and Centrally Funded Technical Institutions,

2)    Private or Self-Financed Colleges/Institutions,

3)    Private or Self-Financed Universities,

4)    Government and Government Aided Universities,

5)    Government and Government aided College/Institutes,

6)    Higher Education Institutions Exclusively for Women

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