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Letter from alum about recent tragic incident at IIT Kharagpur

Rohit Kumar, a third year B.Tech student recently passed away under unfortunate circumstances. (For more information please see The Scholars’ Avenue - a student run campus newspaper which has on-going coverage on this and related matters)

I am saddened, like I am sure alumni around the world are, by his tragic and untimely death. My prayers and thoughts go out to him, his family and friends. No words will ever fill the immense gap that is left behind by his premature passing to his family and friends.

Much negative has been written in the press about the violent protests that followed Rohit’s death. Violence and vandalism are not acceptable and cannot be condoned. What I would like to highlight, which perhaps has been overlooked by the media, is that over 99% of the students protested peacefully that day and every day following that, even when there were 3000-5000 students in the gathering. For that I commend the students and student leaders for demonstrating immense control, presence of mind and wisdom.

I hope we can turn this sad and disappointing turn of events to quickly and permanently improve the healthcare services at IIT Kharagpur and processes for addressing similar grievances with the administration.

It is important that we, the alumni, students and administration, work closely in this matter. I know that several alumni leaders are actively trying to assess the issues and develop comprehensive plans to address those. However, from my experiences as Past-President of IIT Foundation, it is clear that our best and perhaps the only chance of making significant, timely and sustainable improvements will require not just the active participation of IIT Foundation board of directors and alumni leaders around the world but a vast majority of alumni contributing their expertise, relationships and financial support.

Rohit’s passing away and the events in the aftermath are a wake up call for us to be more active and engaged with IIT Kharagpur. I believe that alumni are trustees of their alma mater - trustees of its legacy and trustees for building a stronger foundation for its future. We must step up and help students and administration improve the healthcare services, quality of life, and additional areas. This is fundamental to our collective and shared aspirations of making IIT Kharagpur a world-class education and research institution and a preferred destination of choice for faculty, students, staff and external partners.

I hope we can bring such a vision to reality sooner than later, and remember Rohit’s legacy in this journey.

Warm regards,
Shailendra “Shail” Kumar
Past-President, IIT Foundation
1987 ME RK

Posted by: Shailendra Kumar @ Mar 28, 2009, 7:54 pm PDT    Filed under: Alumni    4 Comments »

Dr Kiran Seth honoured with Padma Shri

Dr. Kiran Seth
Dr Kiran Seth has been honoured with Padma Shri award. Apart from teaching Operations Research and other Industrial Engineering subjects at IIT, he has been synonymous with the SPIC MACAY movement which he founded more than 30 years back. The award is a recognition to his efforts to spread Indian music, heritage and culture to youth across the country. This year he has also been voted as NDTV Indian of the Year under Arts and Culture category.

Read more at the Asian Age

Posted by: Anwar Haneef @ Mar 27, 2009, 3:29 pm PDT    Filed under: Media, Alumni    2 Comments »

Annual Houston Alumni Chapter Picnic: April 11th, 2009 at West Houston

Annual Houston Alumni Chapter Picnic: Register Here!

Annual rite of spring is here. We plan on a day of high-tempo activities,
gentle relaxation, good food and great camraderie and networking. The
spring picnic hosted by the IIT Kharagpur Houston Alumni Chapter will be
held on Saturday, April 11th, 2009 at the Cullen Park in west Houston.

Be there to enjoy a gentle walk down the creek, or a competitive game of
volleyball or cricket, round of kids events, activities for the better
halves. Bring your family - we will make sure that they are connected and
make new friends! We will have kids events so that the next generation of
IITians will have a field day of fun and frolic.

Posted by: Anwar Haneef @ Mar 27, 2009, 2:58 pm PDT    Filed under: Events, Alumni    Add Comment »

The Rs. 1-lakh Artificial Heart from IIT Kharagpur

Artificial heart from IIT Kharagpur
Scientists at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, have devised an artificial heart for Rs 1 lakh. The Total Artificial Heart (TAH) — said to be the first such in the country — has been developed by a team of scientists at IIT-Kgp’s school of medical science and technology.

Read more at The Times of India.

Posted by: Anwar Haneef @ Mar 27, 2009, 2:47 pm PDT    Filed under: Media    Add Comment »