Stepping - Up for the New Year - Department of Electrical Engineering
The electrical department is set for yet another jolting year filled with many changes. The year started with the appointment of a new HOD, Prof. Susmita Das. Team MM sat down with the old HOD Prof. J.K Satapathy and Prof. Susmita Das as they shed some light on what is in store for the department for the New Year.
Changes have been made in the curriculum in terms of credits. In previous years there were 200 credits whereas at present there are 160 credits. Even though the credits have been squeezed, the syllabus, however, has not been negotiated with. This change has been seen by several other NIT's and this came into light as a result of the implementation of the Washington Accords i.e. where all the degrees get certified from.
There are various new subjects being offered in terms of electives however, there is a shortage of faculty members for this to happen. There are 3 new faculty members appointed and the full strength is 23. The department should have 43 faculty members however this isn't the case and there are about 20 more vacancies. There should be another round of selections which is yet to be advertised. Normally vacancies are announced twice a year for the entire institute and not for a particular branch.
The electrical department has been prodigiously contributing to the research activities of the institute. There are many research projects ongoing in the department. The projects are funded by renowned organisations like the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and other prestigious government agencies. The department also acclaims research projects in collaboration with foreign countries like Tunisia and Russia.
The labs in the department are very well furnished and well equipped. The faculty and the students are content with the present conditions of the labs. All the instruments are regularly checked and repaired if need be. For the purpose of replacing obsolete instruments with new ones and getting faulty instruments repaired, the institute provides funds of about 20-30 lakhs. Recently the department took a huge leap in getting itself a new lab-- The Advanced Instrumentation Lab installed on the top floor of the department, which is home to all advance and National Instrument (NI) based equipment for more uniformity and accuracy. The department stands aegis to this lab and ensures that it so established as to cater to the instrumentation needs of all the engineering disciplines.
In the words of the newly appointed HoD, Prof. Susmita Das--
It has been a month since I was appointed as the HOD and I have ensured that the academics is streamlined. All the faculty members have uploaded the changed course structure. All the departmental classrooms and projectors have been checked to see if they are in working condition. My primary aim will be to focus on infrastructure development by having state of the art equipment. We have planned for industry-institute interactions, whereby local companies such as RSP and OPTCL will be approached so that our students can get first-hand industry experience, this interaction shall bridge the gap between students and industries. We will be having more workshops and seminars as well. All in all, the department provides a platform for the faculty and students to exploit their full potential.