मङ्गलबार, ०६ चैत २०७४, १३ : ३०

IIT model to replace thesis option by “to start start-up” might worth for Nepal

While Nepal is still struggling with how it’s University can reform to deliver intended result in innovation and entrepreneurship for the country, IIT Delhi has just announced that they are setting up a separate incubation centre at Sonepat, Haryana to incubate around 50 companies every year and allowed Ph.D. student an option to start a startup instead of the thesis. It is first such announcements in the world adding a potential for disruptive innovation in academic education sectors.

According to Mint,  V. Ramgopal Rao, director of IIT-Delhi, IIT is planning to allow it’s Ph.D. students convert their thesis into start-ups. These startups will be provided with a monthly compensation “at par with the industry salary” to pursue their start-up journey along with seed capital, free mentoring, accommodation, and access to IIT-Delhi labs. IIT Delhi will give it’s students an option to start their own venture at a separate incubation center set up by IIT. It will surely be a great boost to startup ecosystem in India and will allow researchers to start their own venture. The move allows research scholars to become entrepreneurs.

According to Rao, it will be a platform to harness deep technology from blockchain to artificial intelligence via young companies. The aim is to convert thesis to start-ups. Currently, some 25,000 researchers are pursuing doctoral studies at centrally funded technical schools (CFTIs). And IIT-Delhi will tap a portion of them and give them the option to start their own venture at a separate incubation center.

B.K. Panigrahi, a professor at the IIT-Delhi, said the move will also push doctoral fellows to think about an alternative career beyond academics and may be motivated to create jobs than just seeking jobs. It is claimed that the next focus of IITs will be on creating entrepreneurs so that successful research works can be converted into usable products.

In Nepali context, however, there are inherent inefficiencies in the spending pattern & fund allocation structure in Nepal. The reasons are around 80% of the education budget is spent on administrative expenses that limit the ability to focus on educational infrastructure development and curriculum improvement making it’s impossible to engage educational sectors experts for local co-creations and innovation.

However, newly elected Nepal government found prioritized to develop qualified manpower in science, technology, and information technology. It has purposed ‘Madan Bhandari Science and Technology Institute’ to fill such gap under the umbrella of a high-level Education Commission with planned educational system improvements. It has been claimed that the government will focus on Agriculture, Ayurveda and aromatic and medicinal plants commercialization while adding  Bidushi Yogmaya Ayurved University and distance learning system including Open University.

Youth Self-Employment Programme concept has been implemented for the development of entrepreneurship of youths linking them to production though specified models.  It has been planned to provide research fellowships to young scientists with the concessional loan on the basis of the project proposal and by submitting academic certificates as a guarantee to unemployed youth are provided with.

Apparently, in Nepal, the self-employment support for the graduate is expected to cover by the provision of the concessional loan. Providing research fellowships to young scientists is an exceptional move. However, the lessons learned from OECD countries in productivity of “loan on the basis of a project proposal and by submitting academic certificates” had not proven effective yet. Upon these contexts, apparently, the IIT Delhi model to replace ‘proposed loan on the basis of the project’ by ‘start-up projects in place of graduate students thesis’.