Pankaj Jalote

Distinguished Professor, IIIT-Delhi
(Founding Director 2008 - 2018)


Brief Bio

Books


A Concise Introduction to Software Engineering

Software engineering is an integral part of studies in computer science and consequently foundational knowledge is critical to all students in the field. This text focuses on the essential elements, providing readers with the basic skills and introductory knowledge required to execute a software project successfully.

An Integrated Approach to Software Engineering

This extremely popular textbook provides an introduction to software engineering for undergraduate students of computer science.

Fault Tolerance in Distributed Systems

Comprehensive and self-contained, this book organizes the knowledge of software supported fault tolerance techniques with a focus on fault tolerance in distributed systems.

CMM in Practice : Processes for Executing Software Projects at Infosys

Examining the various stages in the life cycle of a typical software project at Infosys Technologies, the book describes the technical and management processes used to initiate, plan, and execute the project.

Software Project Management in Practice

In this book, Pankaj Jalote looks at one such organization, Infosys Technologies, a highly regarded high-maturity organization, and details the processes it has in place to manage projects.

Blog Posts


India’s Quest for World Ranked Universities

This century has seen rise in importance of global university rankings which has led to universities vying to improve their global rankings. In India, as in many other countries, there is a strong desire to have some of its preeminent universities recognized as among  the top in the world – currently there are no Indian […]

Classifying Research Universities in India

In India we have about 900 degree granting universities / institutions. A university has research and higher education as twin focus. However, not all universities emphasise both equally, and only a few develop the capability to excel in research. In every country, some universities evolve into research universities with a strong focus and culture on […]

A 3-Tier Higher Education System for India

Need for a 3-Tier HE System A natural way to organize the higher education system is to consider it as comprising of three tiers – focusing on research and doctorate, PG and UG education, and UG education. This is how the famous California Master Plan for Higher Education was organised. This is also how the […]

Research in Higher Education

After completing 10 years as founding Director of IIIT-Delhi last year, this year I am on Sabbatical. During the Sabbatical, besides taking long breaks for travel, family and friends, I have decided to work on Higher Education rather than in Computer Science – the area in which I have done my PhD and in which […]

Strengthening the R&D Ecosystem

Higher education is at the core of the R&D ecosystem in a country. In India, research in universities / institutions has not been supported as strongly as in other countries, and that is one of the reasons why its universities do not compete well globally. I am giving here an article I wrote with Prof. […]

Governance Model of HEIs in India

Autonomy of Educational Institutions is essential for an higher educational institute (HEI) to achieve excellence. But, of course, autonomy is not sufficient. If autonomy of governance is to help move towards excellence, and not degenerate into hiding mediocrity behind autonomy, it is essential that governance structure for HEI should be solid with suitable checks and […]

Insightful Suggestions by Chancellor and Chief Guest in IIIT-Delhi Convocation

IIIT-Delhi held its 7th convocation on Sat, Aug 25. This was the last one for me as Director, and the first one we held in the 500 seater auditorium in our new Seminar Complex (a huge building with seminar rooms, class rooms, labs, etc, as well as one full floor of incubation center.) In my […]

Some Life Lessons from IIIT-Delhi’s Journey

Recently I completed my second and final term as Director. In my last last convocation (7th for IIIT-Delhi) speech as Director, I talked about the decade long IIIT-Delhi journey, and some life lessons from it. While they were directed at graduating class, I am sharing some more general ones here. Full text of the speech […]

Autonomy in Admissions

In two earlier posts, we discussed some key aspects of academic autonomy and administrative autonomy in an Higher Education Institution (HEI). Admission is another aspect of academic autonomy, which is very important in India due to the paucity of high quality education opportunities. It deserves a separate discussion, and is the subject of this note. […]

Academic Autonomy of Institutions

It is widely accepted globally that autonomy of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) is necessary for them to excel and achieve their mission. Lack of sufficient autonomy is likely to lead to institutions that are not dynamic, and such institutions cannot excel. No wonder, given the low level of autonomy in our HEIs, none of them […]

In Search of Excellence

Pursuit of excellence is an integral part of Academics. I had written an article in Times Of India editorial page a few years ago. I am giving that article below. Many years have passed since that article and during this period much more attention has been given to (lack of?) excellence in our country – […]

Introducing Engineering Design in First Year of a BTech Program

The traditional model of engineering education for decades has been that in the first year physics, chemistry, and maths are taught as foundation courses. Then courses on different foundational areas of the discipline and engineering are taught. Only after that a student can try to practice engineering. The overall model has been to teach the […]

Enhancing Autonomy in our Higher Education Institutions

This is a somewhat longer version of the article that recently appeared in Times of India Editorial Page – e-paper link, regular TOI link. Autonomy of higher educational institutions/universities (HEIs) is now widely acknowledged as a necessity for excellence and improvement, particularly for those HEIs that engage in research as well as education.  In India we hear about […]

Australian Universities – Some Observations and Lessons for India

Note: These are some observations based on a visit to about half dozen universities in a few different cities. Some of them were the G-8 universities (top universities identified by the Australian Government), and rest just below them. The observations in this note are based on discussions largely in CS/IT schools and the broad numbers […]

Interdisciplinary Programs with Computer Science/IT

Computer Science/IT is a young discipline. However, with easy and cheap availability computing power, its use has become ubiquitous – there is hardly any discipline or any sphere of life which is not directly affected by IT. That is why computing (I will use computing, IT, and CS interchangeably in this note) is sometimes considered […]

Normalizing Class XII Marks

Recently it was reported in newspapers that CBSE moderates its marks by effectively increasing them – largely to “compete” with other Boards. It was also reported recently that some of the top colleges in Delhi have a majority of students from one Board in south, and a large number from one school. Both of these […]

Widen the Entrance Criteria in Higher Education Institutions

It is well established that good quality higher education is the best way to open doors to a variety of opportunities – that is why world over students vie to get into the best universities and colleges. Due to this, while school education is meant to lay the foundation for a broad development of the […]

First Year of College may be Critical for Success

Many faculty have observed that often performance of students in later years of a 4-year program is similar to the performance achieved in the first year. At IIIT-Delhi we did some analysis of student performance in the Institute in various years and relationship between them. IIIT-Delhi has a rigorous and demanding education program, as good as […]

Selecting a College for Admission

This is admission time again for higher education, and most students have multiple choices of higher educational institutions (HEIs – colleges, universities, institutes)  for admission. Finally, of course, the student has to get admitted in one HEI and study there. For most students and their parents, this is a hard choice – which HEI to chose from the colleges, […]

Summer Camp for School Children at IIIT-Delhi

In summer 2016, IIIT-Delhi organised a 5 week summer camp for school students. I attended the valedictory session, and asked the students “what have you learned in this summer camp that you will take back to your lives after the summer camp”.  Here are some replies (almost verbatim): We used to be afraid of going on stage, […]

Current Approaches to Teaching Cannot Deliver High Quality Education

Let me start this note with a simple assertion: education is about learning by students, where learning includes not only knowledge and understanding of a variety of concepts and phenomenon, but also development of higher order skills and capabilities for applying knowledge for problem solving. (For those who want to go deeper, learning can be […]

High Cost of Quality Education and Who Pays for It

As we all know, fees in IITs has been increased to Rs 2 Lac/year, though the committee had recommended a fee of Rs 3 Lac/year. Even at Rs 3 Lac, the fee would have covered perhaps about half of the actual cost per student of running an IIT. High quality higher education is actually expensive. […]

Using Online Courses for Credit in Degree Programs

Over the last few years, well known experts from top universities across the world have been offering online courses through platforms like Coursera and EdX. These courses clearly offer high quality instruction at very little (or  zero) cost. However, their use in providing quality education, particularly to students enrolled in some degree program, has been minimal […]

Faculty Attrition in Research Universities

Faculty in a research-focused university are expected to do quality research and quality teaching – knowledge creation and dissemination being the twin goals of such an Institution. Due to the importance of research, for faculty positions in such institutions, PhD degree is normally a requirement. However, just after PhD, neither the person, nor the selection […]

Assessing a Faculty Candidate

In the last six years I have chaired over 25 selection committee meetings for selecting faculty for our Institute, IIIT-Delhi. I have also participated as expert in many selection committees in different IITs. It is clear that there are a few key factors that research-focused institutions like IITs, IISc, some IIITs like IIIT-Delhi emphasize during their […]

Is IIIT-Delhi the right choice for you

IIIT-Delhi has established itself as one of the top institutions in the country for CSE/ECE research and education – it has modern curriculum and programs, its faculty is as good as the best in the country, and it has high quality and modern infrastructure. Its placement record is comparable to the best, and a good […]

Preparing for your Future

This is a small talk I have been giving to students in IIIT-Delhi on what they can do in their first 3 years of a 4 year program (or 1st year of their MTech program), so that in their final year, when they are assessed for jobs or higher studies, doors to exciting opportunities open. Have […]

Assessing Students for Research Internships

Recently I participated as a member of committees which were to select candidates for summer internship for two major collaborative sponsored programs. Though the number of internships were decent in each, still the number of shortlisted candidates were about 10 times the number of internships – indicating the strong demand for such internships. Other members […]

Advise to Incoming MTech Students

This note is based on my experience and interaction with MTech students in the three institutes I have worked: IITK, IITD, and IIIT-Delhi. In India now, the number of students appearing in GATE is over 10 Lac – not too far from the no of students who take JEE Mains. Based on my interaction with […]

Effective Study Habits

Most students want to do well in their studies – they want to learn, get good grades/marks, and do well in opportunities that good education can provide. In College life, besides studies, self growth is also an important goal for students. Therefore they need to effectively balance the two goals, which often conflict. In this […]

Advise to Incoming BTech Students

I often ask incoming students “What do you want out of your 4 years in college”. Replies are generally like: become a great programmer, engineering, mathematician,…., get a good job/career, gain deeper understanding of subjects, do exciting project/ research/ innovation; get good overall education, become a better professional, help for entrepreneurship career, make good friends, […]

Placement Record/Statistics of IIIT-Delhi, 2014

A new BTech batch is about to graduate from IIIT-Delhi. For the counseling of incoming BTech students, I compiled the placement data for the graduating batch. I was pleasantly surprised at the result – vast majority of our students got placed in technology companies, which not only offer technically more challenging work, but in general, […]

Undue Focus on Marks is Hurting Students

Success in Indian education, particularly at school level, is measured almost entirely in terms of marks obtained in some tests. A key goal of school education is to facilitate getting good higher education opportunities. And in India the higher education opportunities are almost entirely based on marks in class XII or some admission test like […]

Role of Alumni in for an Institute

I gave my first convocation speech at IIIT-Delhi in Nov 2012. Mr. NR Narayana Murthy was the chief guest. My full speech is available at Institute’s site (here). I thought I will share/record some suggestions I gave for the alumni of IIIT-Delhi – those portions of the speech are given here. “Let me now take […]

Report on PhD Production in Computer Science highlights the Opportunity for PhDs

On behalf of ACM India, I conducted the first survey on PhD production in Computer Science in India. The report has been published and can be found, along with the background, here. As the report clearly shows, while the number is not as low as one thought, it is still about 125. And if you […]

Impact of Grading Schemes on Students’ Grades

In this post, rather than a personal view or opinion, I am sharing the findings of a small study we did on impact of grading schemes. Grading schemes in universities vary with many systems in existence. To study the impact of grading schemes on student’s performance in terms of SGPA/CGPA, we have performed a small […]

Desired Skills/Capabilities in Graduating CSE Students for a High-End Engineering Career

At IIIT-Delhi, objectives of BTech program are to develop graduates for careers in high-end engineering professions and research. (We want to emphasize on “high-end engineering careers” as the vast majority of software careers in India need moderate expertise in computer sciences – as demonstrated by the fact that many large software companies take engineers from any […]

What Young Faculty Want from Institutes for Improving their Productivity

As mentioned in the previous post, last year, while discussing the yearly review of faculty at IIIT-Delhi, I had asked two questions from all the faculty members – what they need to do to be more productive, and what the Institute needs to do for them to be more productive. In the previous note, I […]

What Young Faculty Should Do to be more Productive in Research

At IIIT-Delhi, after the yearly review of all faculty members, the Director meets with each faculty member and discusses the review of the individual faculty’s yearly performance. Generally, the meeting will also discuss what support the faculty member needs for his/her work. Last year, I posed two specific questions to each faculty member. Q1 – […]

Assessing the Value of High Quality Education

How good is the education being provided by an academic Institution? While there can be sophesticated ways of assessing the quality (e.g. by having peope who understand education and its goals assess the quality by looking at the faculty, courses, method of teaching, etc.) often quality of the overall education is assessed by how well […]

Entrance Tests and Admissions to Colleges

When there is a large pool of applicants for an education program, job, etc. and only a few seats, one needs some selection method to select the required number from the large pool. The basic goal of a selection method is to identify those candidates who are most suited for the program/job, i.e., they are […]

Autonomy of Academic Institutions

There is a lot of talk of autonomy these days of universities and other academic institutions. The concept of autonomy seems to be invoked in any issue in which government side differs from the academic side. But autonomy comes with responsibility, and this responsibility is much more for a publicly funded institution – something that […]

Building World Class Universities in India

I recently attended the 5th Global University Summit, in which senior leaders from universities from many countries participated and shared views. It was indeed a unique opportunity to meet and listen to leaders of some of the best universities of the world.  While it was great to hear the views of these top leaders, and […]

Role of Students in Teaching

(This is a modified version of a note I sent to students of IIIT-Delhi – it assumes the context of an Institute like IIIT Delhi which has highly qualified, all-PhD, faculty.) We all know that the basic teaching-learning process is that the teacher teaches using various instruments like lectures, tutorials, assignments, labs, and student learns […]

Constraints in Research Grants

I recently wrote an article in TOI on research funding in India, highlighting three specific changes which can incentivise research as well as make research funding a potent tool for driving the research agend. The three specific suggestions are: Allow for some “summer salary equivalent” to be to given to the PI, as is done […]

Common Entrance Test for Engineering

MHRD has proposed a common entrance test (CET) for engineering from 2013. Based on our experiences and internal analysis at IIIT-Delhi, I have written earlier in TOI on the issue of entrance test. (Full article which also provides some analysis can be found here. ) In this note, I would like to discuss briefly if […]

What after Getting in an IIT or other top Institutions?

There is so much hype about getting in a premiere institution like an IIT  that students, well supported by their parents, spend multiple years preparing for the JEE. And after this herculean effort with a unidirectional focus of cracking the JEE, for many, getting in an Institute like an IIT becomes the ultimate goal, an […]

Selecting the program of study at the UG Level

Summers are a major decision time for students completing class XII – what degree program to enroll in.  In making this decision, I feel that students and parents give almost exclusive importance to opportunities after graduation, without giving sufficient weight to aptitude and interest. In this note, I will focus on including the aptitude and […]

Why have Entrance Tests in Physics-Chemistry-Maths for CS/IT programs ?

Traditionally in India, the eligibility criteria for enrolling in a BTech program is that the student must have taken Physics, Chemistry, and Maths (P-C-M) in his High School (class XII).  As entrance exam for a BTech (CS/IT) is clubbed with entrance in other engineering disciplines, PCM also becomes the eligibility criteria for CS/IT. While the […]

Is IIIT-Delhi the right choice for you for your BTech?

Note: This is a personal view, and does not represent Institute’s policy. I have earlier written a note Is IT the right choice for you, with inputs from various academicians, which gives some views on who should chose IT and who should avoid IT for their BTech. But even in IT, the programs of various […]

Collaborative PhD Program

A strong sentiment expressed in the survey I had conducted regarding doing PhD in India was the desire to have global exposure, and spending some time in a research group in overseas (there was also a strong sentiment in favor of spending some time in industry research lab). Though we provided for up to two […]

Completing PhD in Four Years in CS after BTech/BE

(Adaptation of a note I had written a few years ago) PhD is a unique degree in that it is not focused on acquiring more knowledge, but is oriented around doing research. As research requires many abilities as well as creation of new knowledge, a PhD program is necessarily a long one. Though many students […]

Reducing the Duration of the PhD program

The basic objective of a PhD program is to develop researchers. PhD programs across the world vary a lot in the method they follow to achieve this objective. There are programs which have no course work (e.g. in UK and Australia), to programs which have a huge amount of course work requirement (e.g. in some […]

Starting the PhD Program in Computer Science

As our goal was to develop IIIT-Delhi as a leading research-led Institute in the country, after starting the BTech program in 2008, we decided to start the PhD program in 2009. We felt that this will give a clear message that we would like to be a research-led Institute. Thankfully, by the end of the […]

Shifting Life Gear and putting my Money where my Mouth is

Note: This post is almost totally personal. Very soon after accepting the position, IIIT-Delhi had become a compelling dream for me, which I set out to fulfill with enthusiasm and optimism.  I had maintained a 5.5-day work week even earlier, I now shifted to a 6-day work week on a regular basis, focusing a lot […]

BTech(IT) Program – Designing the Core Courses

The previous note discussed the overall structure of the BTech(IT) program, and relationship of the IT program with CS program. As discussed, much of the core in a CS program and IT program is similar (in fact, as it turns out, the core we have in IT is a superset of the CS core, as […]

Structure of the BTech (IT) Program

In India, an UG program in computing is either in Computer Science or Information Technology.  What is the difference between the two disciplines? Broadly, we can say that while Computer Science focuses on the foundations of computing, IT as a discipline focuses on satisfying computing technology needs of organizations and disciplines using computing. So, in […]

Some Insights in Faculty Recruitment

IIIT-Delhi (www.iiitd.ac.in) has had some early success in recruiting good faculty. Reflecting on what has made it feasible, I have identified a few insights, which I think can be useful to other Institutions as well: Recruitment should largely be the responsibility of the person who is administratively closest to the faculty being recruited. The farther […]

Early Days – Reflections of Some Faculty Members

Vikram Goyal I joined IIIT-Delhi in the last week of October 2008. I was the first faculty to join after our director Prof. Pankaj. At the first time when I came to IIIT-D with him first semester’s mid-term exams were going. Due to  my joining being during mid-semester time I was asked by Pankaj to […]

Early Days – Impressions of Students of the First Batch

IIIT-D Under Shadows of Doubts — Gaurav Goswami Well, I have joined IIIT Delhi… The first batch of this soon-to-be great institute of technology in the heart of the city. Its on similar lines to the highly successful IIIT – Hyderabad. But, since the Delhi Govt. decided to name it Indraprastha and not International, people […]

Early Faculty Recruitment

High quality faculty, as any academic administrator/thinker knows, is the key that will determine the quality of the Institute. Attracting high quality faculty, and then nurturing them, is undoubtedly the main challenge in an academic Institution – the rest will all happen if top class faculty is in place.  If good faculty is there, good […]

Early Advice by Four Wise Men

Soon after I had agreed to take the challenge of building an Institution from Scratch, something I had many years ago declined for other IIITs (around mid 90s when IIIT in Hyderabad and Allahabad were being set up, I was contacted for leading them, but I felt I was too young, had too much academics […]

The Beginnings of IIIT-Delhi

Sometime in Summer of 2008, I got a call from a faculty member from an Institute congratulating me for being selected to be the Director of newly created (existing on paper only) IIIT-Delhi. I was aware that my name was nominated for the position, but had no information beyond that. I was not as much […]

Origins of IIIT-Delhi

The origins of the Institute are not fully clear to me, as I was not really not on the scene then. From some interactions, this is what I have been able to determine: Some interactions with Knowledge Commission of India convinced the Delhi Govt that Delhi can be the Knowledge capital of India, and that […]

Copyright © All rights reserved by Pankaj Jalote