The chilly January brought with it new genesis of transformation, new endearings and reminiscence of forever bonds which spreads a warmth that surrounds the Institution with happy faces, when we see our Alums back on the campus. The old building once again echoed with familiar laughters and famous campus stories that surrounded the batches of 1973, 1983 and 1998 who commemorate the grand celebration of the 19th Alumni Meet from 6th to 8th January 2023.
For the first time ever in the history of IIT an entire batch came forward to give back together to their alma mater a gift of mutual collaborations of endowment for institutional development. This year the entire batch of 1998 signed an MoU with the institute on the lines of “Giving Back Fund for Institutional Development Program.” The annual giving is among the several alumni fundraising campaigns conducted by the grand old IIT during the year.
This year Mr. S Chandrasekaran, Director, Samas Engineering Corporation; Smt. Priyanka, Consultant Engineering Manager, Developing E-commerce and EdTech Systems for Startups; Mr. Pawan Kumar Sachdeva, Chief Executive Officer / Director, Avendus Capital Pie Ltd; Mr. Siddhartha Roychowdhary, General Manager, PSU; Prof. Bhaskar Roy, Adjunct Professor & Visiting Professor (Retd.), Aerospace Engineering, IIT Kharagpur; Mr. Debashish Chatterjee, Founder, Konfer.ai; Mr. Mukkamala Lakshman Rao, Project Manager in Boeing, Long Beach; Prof. Ramamritham Gopal, Director Dean and Former Head at D. Y. Patil University School of Management; Mr. Anjan Dutta, Principal Consultant, Inflexon Point; Prof. Shyam Sunder Sethi, Technical Consultant and Honorary Visiting Professor, IIT Delhi and Vinayak Kashinath Deshpande, Managing Director at Tata Projects Limited were bestowed with the honour of Distinguished Service Awardees 2022.
“I am extremely grateful to the IIT Alumni foundation India for allowing me to work on the group medical insurance project especially to our ex-President Shri Commander Jaitly, Shri Sheshamani and all the other governing bodies of IIT Kharagpur Alumni Foundation India. The group medical project that we started in 2022, is covering almost 700 Alumni and their families comprising of almost 2000 lives in the first year itself. It has been very successful with a total premium collected of Rs. 1 crore and 7 lakhs. We have already distributed coverage of more than 2.5 crores, said Mr. Siddhartha Roychowdhary, General Manager, PSU and one of the Distinguished Service Awardees 2022.
“From Academic and Research institutions to corporate worlds to sports to civil services, we find Kgpians in every sphere of our society. Everyone of you are striving to achieve excellence in your respective fields bearing the proud signature of IIT Kharagpur every year. I congratulate all the Distinguished Service Awardees and other Distinguished Alumnus Awardees for their achievements which have made both the Institute and us very proud. We will be celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of IIT Kharagpur which would mark 75 years of the Institute’s formation from 18th August 2025 to 17th August 2026. We will have year long celebrations with various programmes not only here at KGP but also in different cities and places where our Alums have strong presence. We earnestly look at you forward your active support, participation as well as encouragement to make the Platinum Jubilee celebrations successful and memorable. I am sure together we will make this a gala and memorable event,” said Prof. Jayanta Mukhopadhyay, Dean Outreach in the opening remarks of the Institute programme.
With an expected corpus of 4000 crore from the Alumni, the students are being prepared for the industry and in the new curriculum, the institute have given 6-8 months of industry experience to the students which is going to start from 2023 summer. The Alumni help us to connect to these areas of exposure for the students to explore. Now the students can go the other universities and have a one semester course there. There are also provisions for people coming from other institutes at this place and have this course here.
“It is a special honour to be here to collect this award. It is not easy to be a woman in my field and I think I owe a lot to this institution to give me the confidence I needed to do what I love doing,” said Prof. Bulbul Chakraborty [1974/B Sc/PH/SN] who is currently an Enid & Nate Ancell Professor of Physics in Brandeis University, recognized as Condensed Matter Theorist research on soft condensed matter theory including studying granular materials, statistical physics and system equilibrium.
Her recent research focuses on understanding the response of granular material towards external stresses and contributed immensely to their jamming condition in amorphous materials. She was honoured with the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the 65th Convocation of the institute held at 27 August 2019.
Coming back to toy your Alma Mater creates ripples of emotions that the students share with the surroundings, the transition of growing up from a boy to a man and from a girl to a lady. The ever changing flow of a college life directs an individual to identify themselves, their goals, their passion, their bonds. While visiting the respective halls, the batches of 1973 shared the nostalgia of old wooden chairs while the batch of 1983 shared their memory of listening to Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan during lazy winter afternoons. The batch of 1998 which was at the doorstep of entering the millennial era missed knocking his neighbours door for late night snacks after dinner.
“This is a huge privilege and honour for me to get this award. Frankly speaking being an IITian itself is a great honour. When you gout in the industry you understand what value you carry as an IITian. I came here as a young boy, innocent and naive but IIT made a man out of me and an outstanding engineer making a great life just because of this institution. We always stay connected with IIT Kharagpur in someway or the other either recruiting from here or coming here for Advisory capacities or for any institutional development work. It is definitely an immense pleasure to come back here again and again. I would also like to thank the Director for keeping IIT the same because even if you come back here after 50 years or so, you can identify what all things were there. Though IIT KGP has become technologically and infrastructure wise very good but the basic structure, the human quality, the humbleness remained. Thanks to the administration here for keeping it the same and making it safe for all the the students to work here, study and make a good name for themselves,” said Mr. Dip Kishore Sen [1977/B.Tech/CH/PH] Whole-time Director and Senior Executive Vice President (Development Projects), L&T Ltd.
He has played a very prominent role in establishing L&T in the GCC Countries by securing several landmark projects, notable among which are the Mafraq – Ghweifat Road Project, the Abu Dhabi International Airport, the Roads & Transport Authority(RTA) projects of R1028 & R1048 package 1 & 5 in UAE, the Al Wakrah Road Project & LRDP Pkg 4 in Qatar, Batinah & Bid Bid Sur Road Projects in Oman. Under his leadership, L&T bagged its first railways job in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and secured many urban infra development projects in Qatar, Oman & UAE. His uniqueness is in his versatility of having worked across domains like Design & Engineering, Business Development, Tendering and hardcore construction. Under his leadership, several major breakthroughs were achieved in the railways sector by securing the CTP 1 & 2, 3R, 14, EMP 4, EMP 16, CP 303 packages of the Western and Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor projects. He has successfully steered the business to bag prestigious projects of light rail transit in Mauritius & metro project (Electrical & Mechanical package) in Dhaka in Bangladesh who is recognized of his pioneering contribution in the transport industry and is honoured with the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the 68th Convocation of the institute held this year.
“I am extremely honoured to receive this award. I would like to thank my friends and family who have helped me to reach here. First of all, I would like to thank my father who made it possible for me to start a small unit of Vimal Plastics. He procured a small industrial land for me, much before I planned to quit my job. I would also like to thank my father-in-law for being supportive of Vimal plastics in its formative years and my classmate Sanjay Bhattacharya for introducing me to the world of plastics. Thanks to all my friends especially Neeta Sharma, Admiral Bhadwar and Buddha Dasgupta whose faith in me has got me this award. I extend my gratitude to my daughter and son-in-law for taking out time and showcasing our products to the world. Thanks to my son who, an RPian like me for two years helped us during the Covid period. He left his job and with the help from his daughter-in-law, also an SNite and IITian made sure that the large family supported by us did not suffer. I must admit that they did it even better than us. Above all I would like to thank my SNite wife. We have always worked together and she has always stood solidly with me all these years. In our industry circle, we are always known as the couple who work together and come together. I thank my wife for being my best critic even when I am doing nothing. My lifetime of experience tells me that all of us graduating from IIT Kharagpur are capable of doing excellent work simply by loving the work that we do and being ready to work hard. On this occasion I am reminded of the “Bhagti Geet Shokol e Tomar e Ichha, Ichha Moi Tara Tumi. Tomar kormo tumi koro maa, loke bole kori ami, remarked Shri Vimal Kumar Fialoke [1973/B.Tech/CH/RP], CEO & MD at Vimal Plastics.
After initial engagement with some of the PSUs, Vimal decided to set up a start-up in 1981, moulding premium acrylic containers for the cosmetic packaging under the name, “Vimal Plastics”, long before “Start-Ups” became a common term in India. Today, Vimal Plastics has transformed into a unique industrial establishment that not only provides livelihood to 400 families but also supports their children’s education and provides financial assistance to the needy, enabling them to build/buy their own homes. Vimal is credited with design and manufacture of the first ever indigenous ‘Flip top Cap’ and introducing PET-G moulding in India. The high quality of his products has earned him recognition even from some of the leading European and Middle East business houses. A true KGPian, who in preference to lucrative jobs abroad, vowed to serve his motherland. His passion for creative endeavour and devotion has not only built a business but more importantly an ecosystem that has helped a large number of employees and their families not only earn livelihood but also significantly improved lifestyles, is recognized for his pioneering contribution to industrial development and is honoured with the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the 68th Convocation of the institute held this year.
“I spend most of the time of my life with students. The things I learned and one of the things I learned 40 years back when I started the academic career was that – Once a teacher, always a student. I learned more from my students probably more than I learned from my professors. I was fortunate to have 11-12 silver medalist and 2 gold medalist associated with me. I did my B.Tech and PhD degree from here, so getting this award from the Director is a prized possession,” stated Prof. Bhaskar Roy, Adjunct Professor & Visiting Professor (Retd.), Aerospace Engineering, IIT Kharagpur & Distinguished Service Awardee 2022.
“All of you have said thank you to the institute but I won’t like to do that. IIT Kharagpur has been with me for the last 44 years. It is just ridden on my shoulders and it has never gone away and that is what I carry as my family. You do not say thank you to your family, you do not say thank you to your friends, they are with you all the time and that is something that have taken me forward. 44 years with amazing bunch of friends, amazing bunch of guides and mentors and that is what carries me today. What I am doing right now is for the next generation. One of the things that I am most active on is something called the IIT Startups. We are looking at the next generation of Start-Ups. It is a not for profit body which accelerates and incubated them and takes them to make the business plan and helps them in getting funding. So if we can help and partner with the institute and with any of you, it will be my pleasure. And lastly, I would like to say thanks to KGP, KGP ka tempo high hai,” said Mr. Anjan Dutta, Principal Consultant, Inflexon Point, another Distinguished Service Awardee 2022.
“It is indeed a great pleasure and honour to receive this award. When I came into IIT in 1975 and graduated in 1980, a 17 year old who saw the main building with the words written Dedicated to the Service of the Nation. These words developed my character from that day on. I chose to stay in India, worked all my life in India, had the opportunity to work in all the facets of the industry including Chemical Engineer, Process Control Automation, Civil Engineering, but all along I think this spirit dedicated to the service of the nation, that governed every delivery, every work step and that is why one feels very proud and very obliged to the institute to give this core aspect to the character that one has got to work for the nation and today I am very honoured to say that there are many projects for the nation where I feel that I am contributing to the nation, so I owe this to IIT Kharagpur,” said Vinayak Kashinath Deshpande, Managing Director at Tata Projects Limited & Distinguished Service Awardee 2022.
After sharing their heartfelt messages with the fellow Alumni, the G S Sanyal Faculty Excellence Award (GSSFEA) 2022 was awarded to Dr. Om Prakash Sha, Professor, Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture which was instituted by IIT Kharagpur Alumni Foundation for his contribution to student related activities such as social and cultural activities, technology innovation and entrepreneurship. The objective of this award is to celebrate teaching excellence among faculties.
“It is a huge honour for me to receive the G S Sanyal Faculty Excellence Award 2022. I would like to thank the Institute and the Office of the Dean Outreach along with my teachers, students, colleagues who have helped me and inspired me in this long journey. Lastly, I would like to dedicate this award to my teacher Prof. J P Ghosh who was also the Alumni of this institute graduated in 1958, a teacher par excellence and a great human being. Without his guidance and the example he set as a teacher, none of this would have happened. “
The Excellent Young Teacher Award was awarded to Dr. Aditya Bandopadhyay, Assistant Professor Grade -I, Mechanical Engineering who remarked that, “I would like to truly thank everyone who have shown confidence in me and my abilities especially to the professors who have moulded me to this stage. I owe a lot to this institute, having done my bachelors and PhD over here, I am very much humbled and honored to be with all of you in this stage.”
Prof Amit Patra, Deputy Director, “All of you come here when you were 17-18 years of age and even today after so many years when you visit your alma mater, it feels the same. One of our Alumnus said you should always be a student and keep learning because then you will be able to face any problems and any types of situations that you face either professionally or personally or any type of challenging projects you do. We have this confidence on our Alumni. At IIT Kharagpur we try to keep up with the times but now we feel we need young people, as parents feel when they grow old to have their children by their side. As an institute we have grown immensely and now we have the east campus getting developed, there is already a large lecture complex and next to that a new sports ground with three new hostels coming up. Though actually we have planned for 8 eight hostels, each having a capacity of 500. About 6000 students will be staying in the south east campus alone may be after 3-5 years. We have an immediate Platinum Jubilee Plan which we have already started implementing along with long term visions. Being a 70 year old institute, we need the support of our Alumni to be Atmanirbhar and help us in many ways. They can always contribute financially, but apart from that they can also help by mentoring, by giving the faculty, the students exposure of the outside world by sharing with us the challenges and how to solve them. Those who are in the corporate sector can guide us through the projects which IIT Kharagpur can do. I feel we can do 10 times more of what we are doing now.”
Prof. V K Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur remarked,” You all must remember that your alma mater always remembers you, whether you contribute or not, but we acknowledge you as our alumnus till you are here in this world. Whether we are here or not, whoever will be in this position will remember the KGP ALums as Once a Kgpian, Always a Kgpian and the KGPian will always be embedded in us till our last breath. I am very happy and would like to congratulate all the people who have been awarded today and the enthusiasm which is growing with time. We are in the right path and I think the baton which will be passed after us, will be in better hands as well. As the Google CEO is somebody from among us, many more among us will rise to that pedestal among us. I hope the flag of IIT KGP always flies high. I hope you explore yourself what is that which you can do for your institute. Mentoring, advising the Director, giving advice to the faculty members of your department, head of department of what you are seeing in the world, how the technology has changed, what we are doing, what we are in comparison of our peers in the world. Many of you have been staying oversees, and you have seen the world growing, many of you have started start-ups when nothing like that was thought of even. I think you all have the ability, the techniques and you know the acumen required for growing up as a start up. Many of the students, many of the faculty members and others who are not even Alumnus of IIT KGP, if need be I think we should help them out as well. During the covid period, we have seen the ladies in U.P have started making masks and now they have virtually started an industry. I think every challenge that comes our way gives us an opportunity to grow. The healthcare improvements, healthcare equipment, healthcare techniques developed at IIT Kharagpur is better than any of the IITs. The Students did an excellent job during covid spreading the message of helping each other in the halls and in the wings. We are looking at being among the top 10 universities in the world and I believe that it is possible with the 70,000 plus Alumni who are there across the globe bringing so much of laurels for us, for themselves and for the nation.
By : Poulami Mondal, Digital & Creative Media Executive (Creative Writer)
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