Director’s address (Alumni Convention Jan 2020)

Welcome back to VJTI Mumbai. VJTI thrives because of its highly talented and proven brand ambassadors!!! VJTI Mumbai (erstwhile Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute – established in 1887) has been in the forefront in producing engineers for nation building and through its immensely talented graduates contributing towards technologically self-reliant nation.

Students and Alumni are our true brand ambassadors. Our institute is known for attracting the best students and producing high quality engineers and researchers. Improving students’ satisfaction level and empowering them with new opportunities are core principles of VJTI. We are blessed with our huge alumni base and very supportive alumni association helping us in many ways and keeping our flags high. We are continuously augmenting our teaching, learning and research environment, work and personal lives considering institute’s vision and mission of building the next generation of technocrats, innovators and visionaries; and taking technology to Society. We are touched by the enormous contribution and confidence alumni and well-wishers have placed in the Institute. This year, with the alumni support and supervision, we could refurbish institute auditorium on fast track and made it world class – worthy of VJTI brand. With a mission of keeping VJTI clean, green and environment friendly, we are successfully doing repairs and restoration of our old heritage buildings and other facilities; giving a decent looks to the institute infrastructure. We are refurbishing toilets with sustainable eco-friendly and cleanliness measures. Many more things are still to be done.

We are aligning our mission to challenges associated with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and working on local and universally acceptable innovative solutions made in VJTI for global good. This shift is immensely helping us attain new insights and ways forward. And for that, we have simplified and aligned continuous evaluation with substantial reforms in curriculum and examination system and augmented Tinkering facilities. We are in the process of setting up new Centres of Excellence at all departments. We are aligning our curriculum to the latest pedagogical practices, emphasizing project oriented learning, and technologies for solving problems for society. 

On personal front – academic and research, I taught an elective course on Blockchain Technology at VJTI (with 129 final year students of circuit branches – Fall 2019), and organized a faculty development program (Oct 2019) and thus contributed to capacity building in the area of Blockchain. I received generous research funding from MeitY (INR 9.40M – Blockchain), DRDO (INR 7.23 M – AI and Cyber Security) and played a part in getting DRDO funding (INR 45.00 M – Security of Power Grid – Prof. Faruk Kazi). Consolidating collaborative research, academic excellence and mobility fronts; I travelled to France (IMT Atlantique Brest campus) and Italy (University of Padova) in May 2019. During my trip to USA in June 2019, I visited JSNN and UNC at Greensboro, World Bank at Washington DC, DU and Oracle at Denver. I also visited Apple Park, Googleplex, TCS, and Marvell Semiconductor in Bay area. In a meeting with key alumni members there, we discussed issues related to AA registration, IRS related matters and other regulatory compliances of USA, besides initiatives of crowd funding chair professorships, top-up incentives, student scholarships and hand holding. I am indeed happy to note that VJTI-USA Alumni Association has taken a definite shape and now roaring to roll out initiatives to support institution, its faculty and students. In October 2019, as a core member of Indo-Franco delegation; I visited France – Toulouse (Federal University of Toulouse, Supaero, Airbus and ENAC (Ecole Nationale de Aviation Civilie)) and Lyon. In 2020, we would like to consolidate our Alumni base in Europe, UK and the Gulf.

The world has shown trust in our work, which resulted in our collaborations with Universities, Industries and R&D organizations of high repute and this year we saw substantial growth in our national and international partnerships by signing about 20 MoUs with Governments/Universities/Institutes and Industry/Research Labs of global repute.  We had visiting experts from the leading institutions and R&D labs from India and abroad. Similarly, our students and faculty also made their presence felt on national and international platforms. All these are taking us to enhancing Globalization of education at our institute opening new opportunities for our students, faculty and staff.

We stand ready for the ambitious task of re-establishing ourselves as an institution of global stature, which can contribute to the nation’s building through technology. We are among the most respected campuses. We have excellent placement records both in terms of quantity and quality employment. Technology Based Incubator at VJTI under DST NIDHI TBI project has attracted top notch entrepreneurs and we will see thriving start-up echo system in place within couple of months from now. We have received generous support from Industries for this initiative. We are enabling students to take advantage of summer internships at top industries, research organizations and institutions and at VJTI for two months, and for facilitating this initiative; we look forward to our alumni.

As we consolidate our experiences from our eventful past and the present, we are now crafting a step by step vision for our future. Our focus has been innovation, and we expect that the lessons we picked up along the way will help the next phase of our growth. 

I wish you all a great success in career and life, and look forward to your continued associations with alma mater in its quest for excellence!!

Dr. Dhiren Patel, Director – VJTI Mumbai