A fresh coat of paint, a new building, a helipad in the midst of the campus football field: at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) in Powai, there is frenzied activity. The institute will host Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh for its 50th convocation ceremony on Saturday.
The old convocation hall has been dismantled and a new one with centralised air-conditioning constructed in its place. The seats have been redone and the interiors cleaned up.
A patch of ground has being prepared for the descent of the PM's helicopter. "We are prepared for anything, in case he wishes to come by chopper," said Jaya Joshi, public relations officer, IIT-B.
The helipad will most likely be done away with after he leaves. Detailed security arrangements have been put in place, said Joshi.
Campus residents are viewing the changes with amusement and relief. "They are repairing the roads, planting trees, removing bus stops, making bathrooms," said a faculty member. "This is good. Otherwise no one looks at our complaints." Students have also welcomed the beautification drive.
On Saturday, there will be special traffic arrangements in place on campus. On Friday and Saturday, students will not be able to access facilities such as the football field and tennis courts.