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IIT Madras to soon create professors-by-practice

Published Oct 25, 2014, 11:41 am IST
Updated Mar 30, 2019, 7:10 pm IST
There are many professionals who have passion to teach but do not have PhD

Chennai: With an aim to make all students employable and bridge the industry-institute gap, the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) plans to create the post of “professors by practice” and recruit industry experts to teach students.

Director of IIT-Madras Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthi said that there were several industry professionals with a lot of expertise and passion to teach in education institutions but who did not have PhD degrees.


“They have a lot of knowledge in product design, technology, market, design, cost effectiveness and manufacturability. These experts can play a useful role in academic institutions by teaching some electives, which normal faculty cannot teach as the professionals have lot more insight in practical aspects,” Prof Ramamurthi said.

Explaining further about the concept of “professors of practice”, the director said that these professors could co-supervise PhD and research students with their expertise gained in the industry they worked in.

“They can also help define new research projects which are pitched in such a way that the output is useful for the industry. The professors of practice will be selected through a rigorous selection process. Only professionals with 20 years of experience and who have achieved a lot in the industry will be recruited, that too by a selection committee,” he added.

The IIT-M director said that he would soon write to the HRD ministry seeking permission for the proposal. “We will have a cap on the number of professors to be recruited in this category, maximum of five per cent (35) of the sanctioned faculty strength (700),” he said.

It may be pointed out that several universities in USA recruit professors of practice to keep in pace with latest technology.

Location: Tamil Nadu