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The Distinguished Alumnus Awards for 2019 has been announced by the Institute, and as many as 20 alumni will receive their DAA during the Convocation ceremony held every year in the month of August. The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes the professional achievements and contributions of IIT Kharagpur alumni.

Among the awardees are eminent scientists, industry experts, technocrats, and social activists, some of them pioneers in their respective fields and some even Padma Shri holders. Prof. Soumen Chakrabarti and Prof. Sunita Sarawagi of IIT Bombay, Prof. Ajoy Kumar Ray (Padma Shri) of IIEST, Shibpur, Prof. Ajit R. Shenoi, University of Southampton, Prof. Bulbul Chakraborty, Brandeis University, MA, USA, Prof. Anil K. Bhowmick, former Professor of Eminence, IIT Kharagpur, and now with the University of Houston are all senior academicians in some of the premier institutes in the world whose work is internationally recognized.

From the corporate sector, the awardee is Ronojoy Dutta, noted aviation expert who is currently the CEO of InterGlobe Aviation, which operates IndiGo Airlines. Dutta was President of United Airlines from 1999 to 2002.

There are also senior bureaucrats such as Prabhakar Singh, Director General, Central Public Works Department (CPWD), New Delhi, and G.C. Mitra, retired engineer-in-chief, government of Odisha, who is also a Padma Shri awardee. Mitra was associated with the construction of the cyclone shelters along the Odisha coast that have saved the lives of a large number of people of the state during several cyclones, including the recent Fani.

Commenting on the Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2019, Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, Director, IIT Kharagpur, said, “This adds to the list of so many personalities who have made us proud in many, ways. These cover academics, industry and corporate world, entrepreneurship, government service, social service, art and culture, etc. from India and abroad. Based on the recommendation of the Standing Committee the Chairman and Board of Governors have approved the names of the following for Distinguished Alumnus Award 2019.”

Two alumni whose contribution has shaped the education system at IIT Kharagpur have been selected for DAA this year. Shri Gopal Rajgarhia has contributed immensely to the internationalization of IIT Kharagpur by helping set up the Shri Gopal Rajgarhia International Program or SGRIP in 2014. Satinder Singh Rekhi has seed-funded the Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness.

Prof. Subrata Chattopadhyay, Dean, Alumni Affairs, said, “IIT Kharagpur alumni have been the Institute’s brand ambassadors. They have also been the first in the IIT system to contribute back to IIT. Today we have more 10 centres of excellence funded by the alumni and each of them has been the harbinger of change.”

The list of awardees this year also include Rahul Banerjee, social activist and development researcher of the Mahila Jagat Lihaaz Samiti, Indore, and Om Prakash Khanna, Chairman and Managing Director, and President of companies like Schlafhorst Engg. India, who is also associated with the Needy Heart Foundation. Besides them, are Rear Admiral N.P. Gupta, Prof. Ganti Prasada Rao, who is listed in several biographical volumes such as Marquis Who’s Who in the World, and Bipul Sinha, Co-Founder & CEO of Rubrik, the world’s first cloud data management platform.

Graphics : Suman Sutradhar

By Chirosree Basu

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