Call it a grand idea, good enough to beat all laws of appreciation.
The Indian Institute of Science is planning to sell bricks that once formed hostel blocks, for $1,000 (more than Rs 40,000) each. These bricks are not made of gold but of golden memories, the institute says.
The IISc is confident that its old boys, many of whom are now top researchers and scientists in India and abroad, will pay more than that to take home one of the 8,000 bricks up for sale as centenary souvenirs. The institute turns 100 next year.
Prof N Balakrishnan, associate director at IISc, and an alumnus, said four old hostel blocks — built in 1956 — were demolished this year to make way for modern buildings. The bricks that survived the pull and tear were collected and kept safely — to be put to better use.
He said the fund generated from the alumni would be utilised to support research at the institute. "We thought these bricks will stir up nostalgic memories as well as give old students a chance to chip in to support research," Balakrishnan told Hindustan Times.
According to Dr K Kasturirangan, chairman of IISc’s Governing Council, the institute would soon draw up plans to explore new initiatives in research and education.
The bricks will be sold online. "We will be taking along some pictures of these bricks placed in compact glass cases to the IISc Global Conference at Santa Clara, US," he said.
The two-day conference will start on June 22 and that is when the booking will open.
The institute, which has been rated as one of the top 20 research universities globally by reputed private agency World Education, has over 30,000 old students. Its alumni include Nobel Laureate CV Raman, Homi J Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai.