IIT Kanpur, Indian Air Force To Collaborate On R&D In Aerospace Technology

IIT Kanpur, Indian Air Force To Collaborate On R&D In Aerospace TechnologyA memorandum of understanding was signed between IIT Kanpur and the Indian Air Force on 8 September. (Photo: Abhay Karandikar/Twitter)
Snapshot
  • IIT Kanpur has signed an agreement with the Indian Air Force to establish the Air Vice Marshal Harjinder Singh Chair of Excellence and a Research Scholar Program for Air Force officers.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and Indian Air Force (IAF) have come together to promote research and development (R&D) in aerospace technology.

An agreement (MOU) was signed between the two institutions at the IAF headquarters in New Delhi on 8 September to establish the “Air Vice Marshal Harjinder Singh Chair of Excellence”.

According to the director of IIT Kanpur, Abhay Karandikar, the Chair of Excellence will promote teaching and R&D in aerospace technology, aircraft structural integrity, aircraft health monitoring, and other related areas in aeronautics and aviation.

“It will facilitate development of training programs for #IAF personnel which will provide platforms for dissemination of knowledge & ideas to innovate new technologies. It will also provide research grant to PhD scholars of #Aerospace Engineering of #IITK working in these areas,” Karandikar tweeted.

Air Vice Marshal Harjinder Singh, after whom the Chair is named, was among the earliest to join the newly created Indian Air Force in 1932.

An aeronautical engineer by trade, Singh made his start as a Hawai Sepoy, the lowest rank in the service, and rose up to become the first Indian corporal, the first Indian sergeant, and the first Indian warrant officer before becoming an Air Vice Marshal in the late 1950s.

In the later years, Singh commanded the IAF’s then newly formed Maintenance Command and retired in the 1960s after serving in the IAF for 32 years.

Besides the Harjinder Singh Chair of Excellence, IIT Kanpur will establish a "Research Scholar Program".

As part of this offering, qualified serving officers in the IAF will be eligible to apply for the Master of Technology (MTech), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and other postgraduate programmes at IIT Kanpur.

Strengthening R&D and self-reliance is at the core of this collaboration. “Through this partnership, we aim to establish a long term relationship in academic & research-based interactions with #IAF and strengthen the #AtmaNirbharBharat mission,” Karandikar tweeted.

The IAF has said that the two institutions will work together to arrive at indigenous solutions in the field of aviation technology, maintenance of advanced weapon systems, and evaluation of new platforms and systems.

The Aerospace Engineering department at IIT Kanpur has been in existence since 1964. Over the years, it has collaborated with many aeronautical establishments, such as National Aerospace Laboratories, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Aeronautical Development Agency, and Indian Space Research Organisation.

IIT Kanpur ranked sixth in research, fourth in engineering, and fifth overall on India Rankings 2021, as per the National Institutional Ranking Framework, released on 9 September.

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