National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) on Advance Data Management System for Highways in IIT Delhi.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Chairman, NHAI, and Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, and other senior officials on Thursday.
The collaboration will be undertaken on the identified thrust areas like Project Management and Data Management, Highway Network Traffic Demand and Incident Management, Highway safety, Highway Work-zone Management, Highway Pavement Management System. IIT Delhi will also give inputs for the NHAI data management policy.
As a part of the arrangement, IIT Delhi will provide space and infrastructural facility, scientific and technical expertise, and extend the available advance research facilities for the CoE. Efforts will also be made to attract students and research scholars for setting up start-ups and incubators on different transportation and highways related research solutions.
NHAI, on the other hand, will provide critical data support and necessary access to its information resources, including the data software, ‘Data Lake.’ NHAI will also extend the required financial support to carry out research and various activities at the proposed CoE.
This arrangement is set to remain in effect for over a period of five years and is expected to bring out highly effective digitized systems on which the NHAI will thrive further.
Speaking of the MoU with IIT Delhi, Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Chairman, NHAI said, “This partnership will fuel advancement in various fields related to the new age data-driven traffic and construction management systems for highways that will not just benefit NHAI but the entire nation at large”.
Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi welcomed the MoU with NHAI to set up the Centre of Excellence for Advanced Data Management System for Highways. He further said, “IIT Delhi has significant expertise in the AI, machine learning, and data sciences areas. We have also recruited many new faculty members in these areas in the last few years. The institute lays great emphasis on such collaborations, which directly benefits the public and makes our research visible to society”.
“Under the partnership, IIT Delhi will work with NHAI on developing advance analytics based on AI and ML, prepare simulation models, enhance data storage and retrieval capacities further to strengthen NHAI’s capabilities in data-driven decision making,” said Prof Sunil Khare, Dean, R&D, IIT Delhi.
The research outcome of the CoE and the collaboration between NHAI and IIT Delhi will have a futuristic impact on highways and transport development in the country.