Kejriwal win stirs IIT-Delhi alumni

The euphoria over the rise of Arvind Kejriwal is far from over, and his triumph in country’s capital is being discussed in every nook and cranny of the Capital. But few would imagine the IIT administrators taking a leaf out of his political success for a vision to reform.

 On Sunday, when hundreds of alumni of IIT-Delhi came together to brainstorm over the future growth of the premier college, a noted alumnus Vijay Thadani, CEO of NIIT and a panelist, while talking about the need for autonomy, said, “My motivation got strengthened after what we saw at Ramlila Maidan (swearing-in ceremony of the new Chief Minister) on Saturday. Getting to decide your own future is very important for everyone — whether it is society, an individual or the institute.”

 Urging the alumni present at the function he said, “Let’s go and meet Kejriwal tomorrow morning and invite him to seek IIT-Delhi’s help in solving any city-related problem.”Besides autonomy, there was an array of issues which were deliberated upon, inclu­ding the lack of faculty, the not-so-perfect infrastructure, low university ranking at global level and low international representation on the campus.

 The Director, Professor R K Shevgaonkar announced a slew of reforms evoking an air of optimism in the seminar hall. “We have been in talks with the Haryana Government to set up our branch campuses there. Last week, our deal materialised according to which we will get two campuses — one in Sonepat and the second one in Jhajjar. At the Sonepat campus, we will run programmes for faculty development and executive MBA programme. At Jhajjar, our campus which will be located close to the AIIMS campus, we will partner the medical institute in the area of biological science, pharmacology and chemical engineering,” he added.

 The Director was quite vocal about his exasperation with Government rules and red tape which stop the college from grow aggressively like the private universities. To illustrate his helplessness, he gave an example to the illustrious gathering comprising senior IPS officers, scientists, professors and corporate leaders: “In case, I want to invite a top-notch scientist from abroad and want to offer him the international salary, the rules will prohibit me from doing so. I wish we had an endowment fund which could take care of such expenses,” he said.
   However, some people were not  too excited to hear about the reforms. An IIT-Delhi alumna Vrinda Thareja, a PhD student in material science at Stanford University, said, “The college should first make the laboratories at its campus functional before going to any other place like Haryana.” 

Fortis Healthcare president Daljit Singh appealed to  the college administration to include the alumni in the board so that they too become stakeholders and feel accountable for the growth of the college. 

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