IIT students urged to contribute to socio-economic growth

Saturday, August 28, 2010

NEW DELHI - As the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur gets set to celebrate its diamond jubilee next year, its 300-odd alumni have come forward with a call for the young IITians to contribute to India’s socio-economic development.

“Being an IITian should not be about having big salaries,” according to the Technology Alumni Association (TAA), a think tank of IIT alumni.

“We have been able to engage the IITians settled abroad as well as in India in paying back to their country by initiating research and development, upgrading skills of faculty, sharing industry knowledge, encouraging entrepreneurship, and initiating projects that can address numerous problems of poverty, unemployment and health in the country,” TAA Chairman Ashok Madhukar told IANS.

The first IIT of the country, IIT-Kharagpur started in 1951 in Hijli area of Kharagpur, West Bengal. It will celebrate its 60th anniversary Aug 18, 2011.

“Since its inception IIT-K has had a holistic growth and helped in leveraging the country’s strength in terms of infrastructure and intellectual resources,” said Y.P.S. Suri, founder member IIT Alumni foundation who heads Finnish stainless steel company Outokumpu in India.

“We IIT alumni now feel it is time for payback in the form of uplifting the downtrodden and taking up Corporate Social Responsibilities,” he added.

The call from the alumni comes as a series of functions are slated to mark the completion of 60 years of this IIT.

“Talks are already underway for a special train named Technology Express from Howrah to Hijli to commemorate earlier visits of dignitaries like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad,” Alumini Affairs Dean Amit Patra said.

Azad, the first education minister of independent India, formally inaugurated the IIT Aug 18, 1951.

The institute also proposed to release a commemorative stamp to mark the occasion, adding that efforts were on to declare IIT-Kharagpur a UNESCO Heritage Institute.

A function was held Friday evening to mark the foundation day of the institute.

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