TUM Mumbai: A new School of Artificial Intelligence at IIT Delhi

In 2020, the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi’s (IITD) Board of Governors approved the School of Artificial Intelligence (ScAI). The School was set up on campus to fill the gap as there is a need to increase the number of AI researchers and quantity of AI research. IIT Delhi’s goal is to set up ScAI that will in turn strengthen the institutes place on the global map. In January 2021, ScAI has started its PhD program.

Main building of IIT Delhi
Campus of IIT Delhi. Photo: IIT Delhi

ScAI will have a flexible faculty model combining core, joint as well as adjunct faculty members and industry partners. They will also be looking for external partners to help shape the new school into a world class entity. ScAI, IIT Delhi’s sixth school, will be broad in its research trajectories, and academically multi-disciplinary. India is ranked fifth in the world in both the highest number of AI companies and AI jobs. 

Some of the key objectives of the IIT Delhi’s School of AI are: 

  • To bring together more than fifty faculty members of IIT Delhi who are individually engaged in various aspects of research field of Artificial Intelligence. Thus, ScAI is expected to act as a multiplier for the overall research productivity.

  • To create external branding for IIT Delhi in this strategically important area. A cohesive group in AI will enable targeted recruitment of faculty and students to increase global visibility. It will become a focal point for industry and government interested in collaborating or funding AI innovation.

  • To provide a platform for industry, government, and civil society organizations to discuss their issues with experts from IIT Delhi and jointly find solutions.

  • To initiate educational programs focused on AI. Initially, the focus will be at the postgraduate level. However, after a critical mass of AI researchers has been reached, educational programs at the professional level will be introduced.

The future of ScAI 

According to IIT Delhi, ScAI expects to hire at least 20 core faculty members in the next ten years. Several existing faculty members help the institute take direction and will accept joint appointments in the School. Finally, adjunct faculty members will be those who are full-time in another department, but will interact with ScAI’s faculty members on research initiatives. They may also teach elective courses. 

The School of AI’s Founding Head, Prof. Mausam, Jai Gupta Chair, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IITD, stated that core faculty members will be those who consider AI or its applications in various domain areas such as healthcare, transportation, as their main research area. 

Why is the foundation of ScAI relevant for TUM? 

With the Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MSRM) and the Munich Data Science Institute (MSDI), TUM is internationally well positioned in the field of AI research. 
TUM Mumbai Liaison Officer Mohaa Vyas is convinced that collaborative activities entailing workshops or programs would further strengthen TUM's existing partnership with IITD and make ScAI an interesting cooperation partner in the field of AI. In addition to joint research, increased faculty and student exchange, she would also encourage organizing a series of master classes to explore potential cooperation formats in this exciting research field. 

TUM  faculty is already engaged with other Indian partners in the field of AI. Among them is Prof. Peter Struss from the Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures & Augmented Reality. Only recently he gave a talk at a workshop organized by the Infosys Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi, and the Department of AI, IIT Hyderabad. 

For more details, please contact Ms Mohaa Vyas.