The golden boy of IIT Kharagpur, Vinod Gupta, the US-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, is back and this time to honour his former faculty. Vinod Gupta made a contribution of USD 100,000 to his alma mater to set up a Chair Professorship endowment in the name of Prof. A S Davis who was his teacher for the courses of thermodynamics, air conditioning and refrigeration.
While gifting the cheque of USD 100,000 on March 25, to IIT Kharagpur Director, Prof. P P Chakrabarti, Vinod remarked on the teaching style of Prof. Davis which strengthened his analytical bent of mind, observation and decision-making skills throughout his life.
“Prof. Davis emphasized that the process was more important than the results. I was one among the hundreds of students and he personally saw to it that we learned our courses well through mentorship and socialization. He was a great communicator which added to his brilliance as a teacher along with his wit and practicality as a human being,” reminisced Vinod in his usual way while remembering his golden moments of the 60s’ at IIT Kharagpur.
I am confident that despite the increasing teacher-student ratio, there are teachers who innovate pedagogical methods to augment individual attention and mentorship,” he asserted.
Chairs help recruit and retain excellent academics and also acknowledge their exemplary contribution and also facilitate engaging external faculty experts. Further Chairs offer resources to existing faculty to carry on outstanding research work and associated activities such as outreach programs in addition to teaching.
The endowment for Prof. A. S. Davis Chair Professorship will be used to pay a top-up salary to a senior professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the area of Thermodynamics to carry out the state-of-the-art teaching, research and other development in the department.
Vinod Gupta has also promised to support part of a new extension building for the Vinod Gupta School of Management and a Student’s Activity arena in Agricultural and Food Engineering department confirmed IIT Kharagpur Director Prof. Chakrabarti in a social media announcement.
“Vin’s contribution to the Institute is at multiple levels, starting from seed funding management and law education in the IIT system, providing scholarships, supporting infrastructural developments and science and technology competition for school students. Now this Chair Professorship endowment which will directly benefit teaching and research,” said Prof. Subrata Chattopadhyay, Dean, Alumni Affairs, IIT Kharagpur.
“Another aspect where Vin has contributed significantly is the Alumni Department Engagement Program. Today we have formalized it and call it ADEP but several departments and schools have been benefited by Vin’s involvement in offering foreign internships or supporting student exchange and faculty exchange programs. We are encouraging the alumni to engage with ADEP to facilitate students placement, internship, exchange, guest talks, department funding requirements etc.,” he added.