New School@IITD:: The School of Inter-Disciplinary Research (SIRe)

The School of Inter-Disciplinary Research (SIRe) was founded in October 2017 with the objective to create a platform for promoting Interdisciplinary Research at IIT Delhi. It is envisioned that the school with its multi-disciplinary nature will not only accelerate its growth but would also enable to engage with faculty across other Institutes

Head, SIRe, Prof. Arunachalam Ramanan tells Dr Vanita Srivastava about the School, the research areas to be focussed and more.

Edited Excerpts:

How will this department help the research and academic ecosystem of IIT Delhi?


It is expected that over a period of time the School would be able to "seed" a number of inter-disciplinary programmes that are unnoticed today. IIT Delhi already has a number of strategic interdisciplinary research groups working on various issues including a few related to societal problems but with limited scope. We believe that SIRe will serve as an ideal platform for the growing numbers of Centres for excellence, MOUs with other organizations/institutes/research laboratories like DRDO, AIIMS, and JNU etc to undertake problems that require solutions from completely different perspectives. Recently the School has been approached by the National Institute of Museum, Delhi to help them towards conservation of monuments etc.


What is the faculty strength at present? Is there a plan to increase the strength?


SIRe is a virtual school. All faculty who have a registered PhD student at SIRe are faculty members of the School. At present, we have 14 PhD students registered at this School with 18 faculty members from 9 Departments, 2 Centres and one school.


What are the main programmes of the department? When is the undergraduate course going to be introduced?


Currently the School runs only PhD program. In two years, the school may start MS (Research). At present, there are no plans to have any UG program.


What are the research areas that the department will focus on? What kind of multidisciplinary research are you looking at?


All areas of science, engineering, humanities and management pursued at IIT Delhi are considered under the umbrella of SIRe. IIT is also having MOU with DRDO, AIIMS and JNU. Other institutions are welcome to have an MOU with IITD which would enable them to register PhD students at SIRe.


What are your future plans for the department?


The school would like to take up challenging society related research problems that require expertise from different disciplines and perspectives. The school expects to increase the number of PhD students to 25 in a year or two.