57th Institute Foundation Day

When I came to Kanpur first to join as the Director of the Institute, almost everybody I met in Kanpur asked me if…I had wanted to commit professional suicide …I did not at all worry about this because I was no longer myself but an instrument of a historical process.

These inspiring words by Dr. P.K. Kelkar truly reflect the vision on which this institute stands today. Established on 2nd November 1959, Our institute completed 58 glorious years yesterday.The Institute Foundation Day celebrations took place in the Lecture Hall Complex and witnessed the presence of distinguished guests with Mr. Vinay Sheel Oberoi, Secretary, MHRD being the Chief Guest and Dr. Ajit Prasad, Director of IIM Lucknow being the Guest of Honour. This event also marked the reunion of the class of 1966.

The program took off with the lighting of lamp followed by an address by our Director, Dr. Indranil Manna.

The event also saw the inauguration of the Science and Technology Research Park with a presentation on the same being presented by Prof. Sameer Khandekar, Associate Dean, SIIC.

This was followed by the felicitation of Institute alums with the esteemed Institute Fellows award.

Awardees of the Institute Fellow Award 2015 included distinguished Professors like Prof. Ashok Kumar Mallik, Prof. Ranendra Narayan Biswas and Prof. Dorairajan Balasubramanian.

The Awardees in their speeches talked about their experiences in IIT Kanpur and the role of the Institute in their overall development. Prof. Balasubramanian talked about the dread he and his colleagues had for the Student Reaction Survey held in L7 while Prof. Biswas talked about how the restriction of the use of aircraft hangars for badminton matches during the period of emergency posed a problem for the approaching Inter IIT Sports meet to be held in IIT Kanpur, and how he along with his colleagues struggled to collect funds for the construction of a hall for the purpose.

The distinguished Gopaldas Bhandari Teacher Award, given annually to honour an outstanding faculty member was conferred on Prof Sumit Ganguly, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The award is decided by the graduating UG students each year.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest award instituted by the Board of Governors, IITK given to an alumni for their outstanding achievements. This year the Award was given to Mr. Vishnu Agarwal (BT/EE/66) , Mr.Arvind Pradhan (BT/ME/74), Mr. Uday B. Desai (Bt/EE/74), Mr. Anurag Kumar (BT/EE/77), Mr. Ram Sewak Sharma (MSC2/MTH/77), Mr. Prabhat Singh (BT/CE/80), Mr. Sanjiva K Lele (BT/ME/80).

This Award has been previously given to the likes of Mr. NR Narayan Murthy.

The Satyendra K. Dubey Memorial Award, given by IITK in the memory of its alumnus Satyendra K. Dubey was awarded to Mr. K. M. Abraham (MT/IME/89) this year. This award is given to any alumnus of any IIT who upholds the spirit of Mr. Dubey, a man who sacrificed his life to uphold the dignity of his profession. This Award was first given in 2006 to Mr. Arvind Kejriwal for his efforts to get the Right To Information bill passed and for bringing transparency in the working of the government.Mr. K.M. Abraham is an IAS officer working under the Government of Kerala currently. He is known for his rigid stand against the wrongdoings of the Sahara Group. He did his M.Tech. in Industrial and Management Engineering from IITK in 1989.

The Chief Guest, Mr. Vinay Sheel Oberoi, in his speech underlined the poor performance of indian universities in international rankings and the need to improve upon it. He stated that the primary reason for indian universities faring poorly in rankings was that they scored miserably in ‘General Perception’ – a major criterion in most of the international rankings. He further elaborated that ‘General Perception’ or Reputation was judged through an online poll off a few thousand odd voters and was not necessarily a fair assessment. He also highlighted the need to induct foreign faculty for improving rankings. He also mentioned that the ministry had already given nod to the recruitment of 770 foreign faculty in IITs, IIMs, IISc, IISERs and other central universities as part of GIAN. Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in Higher Education is aimed at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs internationally, to encourage their engagement with the institutes of Higher Education in India. IIT KGP is heading the pool of IITs for the program.

The Felicitation Ceremony was followed by a cultural programme organized by the students of IITK. The first performance was a sitar recital by Mainak Bhattacharya, accompanied by Rohan Tiwari on Tabla. This was followed by a flute recital by Niket Kumar accompanied by Rohan on Tabla. The cultural programme ended with a Kathak performance given by Kalyani Deshpande.

The program came to an end with a vote of thanks given by Dr. Santanu K. Mishra from the Department of Earth Sciences.

Written by Richeek Awasthi and Saim Wani