IIT alumni fail to make commitment | india | Hindustan Times
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IIT alumni fail to make commitment

IT SEEMS the alumni no longer want to donate funds to their alma mater. This attitude was quite evident at the IIT, Kanpur. For four days, the premier institution bustled with IITians (1971 & 1981 batch) reliving the best of their days with their wives and children. But the alumni, many of them doyens of the Silicon Valley, fell short of committing funds for the IIT like other batches, which came and went in the last three years.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2006 00:19 IST

IT SEEMS the alumni no longer want to donate funds to their alma mater. This attitude was quite evident at the IIT, Kanpur.

For four days, the premier institution bustled with IITians (1971 & 1981 batch) reliving the best of their days with their wives and children. But the alumni, many of them doyens of the Silicon Valley, fell short of committing funds for the IIT like other batches, which came and went in the last three years.

The GSVM Medical College and HBTI, too, had a rendezvous with the change.

“Undoubtedly the alumni aren’t forthcoming with donations. They come each year, analyse the needs of the institute and depart with assurances,” said a senior IIT faculty member.

“This is contrary to the donation boom the IIT had seen till 2001-02,” he explained.

Emotions ran high after IIT-K director Sanjay G Dhande spoke to them on Monday night. Prof Dhande outlined the kind of help that was needed for research at the IIT, which has an annual grant of Rs 150 crore.

“The future of the institute rests in your hands.. We are at the pinnacle and need you to support to stay on the top,” he said.

He pointed out that the institute was grappling with a paucity of funds and research normally suffered with the kind of budget it had. He plainly talked about achieving financial autonomy for creating knowledge.

In turn, the man who has become a globetrotter raising funds from various channels, had to add these alumni to the list of non-committal ex-IITians.

“At least, they didn’t commit themselves. It’s good... there have been batches that made lofty but hitherto unfulfilled promises and bagged newspaper headlines,” said another faculty member.

The IIT, notably, hasn’t received any donation from the other alumni in the last three years, though Infosys chairman NR Narayan Murthy (1969 batch) and former Union Minister Arun Shourie heavily pumped money into the institute. It was their proactive role that inspired the GSVM Medical College and the HBTI to rope in their alumni in a bid to improve their financial fortunes. The ex-Ganeshians, like the IITians, went down memory lane, but didn’t extend the help expected from them. On his part, principal Dr SK Katiyar kept reminding them to act the way the Infosys chairman did at the IIT.

The story was the same at the HBTI, which in its first alumni meet, realised such an event wasn’t going to help the institute any way. As an IIT professor put it, the boom was over and it was time for a reality check.

‘No time to play’

CHAIRMAN OF Blue Spruce Global, a US-based company, and 1971 batch alumnus of the IIT-K, Rakesh Bhargava is very happy with the progress made by the premier institute in the past 35 years.However, the former State Table Tennis champion said the institute concentrated only on the development of the mind and hardly paid any attention to the development of games and sports, with the result that none of the IITians could shine as a good sportsman till date, he said.

He said: “Before entering the IIT, students remain under stress of passing the entrance test and later they get overburdened with their studies and do not get any opportunity to participate in games and sports. The dull routine forced students to pass through bouts of frustrationhe said and added that had they got an opportunity to utilise their energy, they would not be under stress or strain,” he added .

Son of the soil
GAUTAM ROHATGI is brilliant enough to handle two different professions simultaneously. He has no hesitation in admitting that specific degree should not be treated as a bar in selecting the profession of one’s interest.

Gautam is a stockbroker and technical consultant to his own family industry and other industries. He is consultant to Hind Chemicals and several other small and medium industries in the country. He has been promoting research and development programmes in the industries associated with him. He has no mind to start his own industry or business.

Credibility is a must
DR AJIT Kumar, an MTech and PhD from the IIT-K, did not prefer teaching profession or join any industrial group. Instead, he chose to set up a real estate company in the US. His technocrat wife is a senior chemist at Allahabad University. He had very little money when he started his company but was now enjoying the fruits of hard labour and work credibility in the USA, with plans to expand the business. “I am working on a project for Senior Citizens Housing Colony in various parts of the USA.”

‘Poor state of affairs’
ANURAG GOEL was unhappy to see the present state of affairs in the city, specially about the closure of big mills and small-scale units. He said as an engineer he was very upset to witness the plight of industries. He said if the situation was not controlled, the city might face serious crisis for the young generation. He said politicians, entrepreneurs and administrators should sit together to boost industrial development in the city. He said the scenario was highly optimistic some 40 years ago.