Tuesday, November 1, 2011

CELEBRITY IITians- By: Rohan Khot

Published in The Hitavada "FUTURE"
(By: Rohan Khot, JEE AIR-557, Ex-ICADian, Grad. IIT Guwahati, Currently working in Google Inc., California)

The Indian Institutes of Technology ( IITs) are undoubtedly crown jewels in India’s system of higher education. Their contribution to making India largely self-reliant in top-notch manpower needs in diverse areas of engineering in the pre-liberalization era, and to India’s emergence as a powerhouse in the knowledge economy in the era of liberalization and globalization is uncontestable. Even IITians who went abroad in large numbers have served the motherland in their own ways by achieving excellence in their professions and thus enhancing India’s prestige globally.

Some IIT products have become celebrities. They have conquered not only the technical world, but also fields like business, politics, literature, finance... almost everything one can imagine. The following examples will illustrate just how deeply IITians have influenced the post imperial world. Mr Duvvuri Subbarao (IIT Kharagpur) is the Governor of Reserve Bank of India, the apex bank in India's banking system. Mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy (IIT Kanpur) is the Co-founder and Chairman of Infosys. He needs no further introduction. Mr. Srikumar Banerjee(IIT Kharagpur) is Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), a premier multi-disciplinary Nuclear Research Centre of India. Mr. Manohar Parrikar (IIT Bombay) has served as Chief Minister, Goa and proved the worth of IITians in politics as well.

Talking about the slightly younger generation of IIT graduates, Mr. Chetan Bhagat (IIT Delhi) took everybody by surprise with his award winning bestsellers like "Five Point Someone",  "One Night @ The Call Centre",  "The 3 Mistakes Of My Life" and recently released "2 States". Mr.Vinod Khosla (IIT Delhi) is the Co-founder Sun Microsystems, a multinational vendor of computers, computer components, computer software, and information technology services. IITian’s are known to be renowned academicians as is proven by Mr. Mriganka Sur (IIT Kanpur),  Professor of Neuroscience at MIT.

"IIT is a world treasure, thank you, bless you." -- Bill Gates (in his speech at IIT Bombay)
The potential of IITs was correctly recognized and appreciated by Bill Gates. He has worked with many IITians in the field of computer science and employed them at high posts in his company Microsoft. He is convinced that IIT’s will continue to produce the finest engineers in the industry and the best academicians in the world.
With India beginning to offer better opportunities than before for the flowering of their talent, many IITians are either returning home or supporting technology-driven ventures here, thus transforming “brain drain” into “brain gain”. True, IITs have many shortcomings. But none can deny their potential to address unmet expectations and to make India more proud. Which is why, there is a clamor for more of them to be set up. And the UPA government deserves kudos for its decision to establish nine new IITs, adding to the earlier bouquet of seven. 

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