Luminaries of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) such as Prof Roddam Narasimha, former director of the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), and Dr Sudha Murty, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, fondly remembered the days they spent at the institute, on the third day of the IISc Global Alumni Conference.
Prof Narasimha, was elated to speak about his association with IISc of more than 60 years. “I visited IISc for the first time in 1951, and saw an aircraft parked under a tree. I touched it, and found it beautifully curved. I immediately decided to study aeronautics,” he said, while explaining his fascination with aeroplanes. Using a lot of old photographs he recalled a number of people who made a big difference to his own life and aeronautics in India. Speaking of Prof Satish Dhawan, he said, “He was a remarkable person in many ways. He was different from others.” The session aptly titled “Reminiscence,” took the audience on a journey to the days when the institute was training some great minds of Indian science.
Recalling her student days at the IISc, Sudha Murty said: “Until I joined IISc, I hadn’t visited Bengaluru at all. In IISc, Prof V P Sen Gupta and his wife Nandini were very friendly, and gave me the warmth I needed.” In all, there were only fourteen women students in IISc at that time, she fondly remembered.
One of the oldest alumnus and former faculty of IISc, Prof S Ranganathan, who worked on metallurgy in IISc, recalled his undergraduate days in the Institute. “In those days, we got the undergraduate degree in two years, and at the end, we had to give a lecture,” he said.
He also proudly said the foundation stone to the building of Department of Metallurgy was laid by none other than Sir M Visvesvaraya. His first visit to IISc was in 1961, to attend the Gandhi Memorial Lecture delivered by Sir C V Raman.