Publish Date: September 5, 2022
IIT Delhi Diamond Jubilee Celebrations Closing Ceremony- Director Prof. Rangan Banerjee's Speech
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Honorable President Shrimati Droupadi Murmu ji,
We are delighted to welcome you to the closing ceremony of the Institute’s Diamond Jubilee. Your presence on this occasion is an honour to us and is a recognition of the significant and impactful journey of the Institute during the last sixty years.
We are privileged to welcome the Honorable Minister of Education Shri Dharmendra Pradhan ji: we have always counted on your guidance and support and are fortunate to have you here with us to celebrate our Diamond Jubilee. Honorable Ministers of State Dr. Subhas Sarkar ji and Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh ji, we are grateful to you for gracing this occasion. We are happy to welcome Prof. Ajay Sood ji, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt of India and are grateful to you for agreeing to deliver the Distinguished keynote lecture. I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the Ex-Directors, Chairmen and Board Members, retired faculty, distinguished invitees, alumni, faculty, staff and students.
Today is indeed a day of celebration. On this occasion, in the next few minutes I will give you a quick overview of the past, present and future of the Institute.
Our journey began in 1961- you can see a few early images of the iconic Dogra Hall, main building and the main gate– Images of the foundation stone, classes starting, the first convocation addressed by the then President Dr. Radhakrishnan and the first major equipment- an electron microscope. We always had a vibrant campus with an exciting student experience. Over the years, we have grown -the number of degrees has grown from an average of 400 graduates per year to 2500 graduates in recent years.
Like other early IITs, we started with a focus on the undergraduate programme. We have made the transition to a predominantly post graduate Institute with a focus on research. The diversity in our student population has improved- from early years where there were very few women, we now have 29% women among our student population.
IIT Delhi today provides an excellent all-round education- with an extremely high selectivity and a diverse input – with students coming from different parts of the country from different economic and social backgrounds. We make a difference in the lives of our students. I illustrate our transformational educational experience with one recent example. Meet, Ms. Anu Meena, she came from a small village Manoli in Rajasthan, studied in her village school in Hindi till the 8th class – succeeded in qualifying the JEE in 2011 and joined the Integrated B.Tech and MTech programme in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering. She was a first-generation graduate and flourished at IIT Delhi. In 2014, she was the sports woman of the year and graduated in 2016. In 2018, she was recognized as a Forbes 30 under 30 Asia for her startup. Today her company Agrowave touches farmers lives. Her story is truly inspiring.
Like Ms. Anu Meena, we have 56,000 stories of making a difference in the lives of our students. Our alumni make us proud and are also giving back to the Institute. Today the Institute has evolved into a multidisciplinary university. Apart from our science and engineering department we have Humanities and Social Sciences, Design, Management and Public Policy. We also have started many new undergraduate programmes- Design, Energy, Materials and postgraduate programmes in- Electric mobility, Cyber Security, VLSI Design and Cognitive Science. Our students benefit from our office of career services with a large number of job offers from leading global and Indian companies.
Our research ecosystem has cutting edge fabrication, characterization and state of the art computing facilities. Our faculty and researchers can make sensors, lasers, drones, batteries, 5G/6G Telecom infrastructure, SARS Covid Kits, Quantum key communications, Electric Vehicles, Solar Photovoltaics Cells, Bullet Proof Jackets and Compressed Biogas Charging Stations. In many cases, we make these cheaper and better quality than products that are commercially available. Several of these technologies and products have been licensed to industries.
We are proud of having worked for the Cowin app, the code on which the IRCTC railway booking system runs, the Graded Response Action Plan for cities for air pollution control, the Badal cloud system used by the NIC.
We encourage our students and faculty to translate their ideas into products. We have an innovation and startup ecosystem- through our Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer and the Technology Innovation Hub for Cobotics.
The Institute leads the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan- a national initiative where we work with 16,000 villages across the country with a hub and spoke model involving more than 3,000 science and engineering universities to work on rural problems for sustainable agriculture, water, energy, basic amenities and village industries and livelihood.
We are fortunate to have a beautiful campus in the heart of the national capital. We wish to utilize the 320 Acre Hauz Khas campus as a demonstration- create a net zero carbon campus, smart campus and use it as test lab for 5G/6G and much more.
We have been fortunate to have been granted land in Sonipat and Jhajjar by the Haryana Government. In Sonipat, we are setting up a state-of-the-art atmospheric observatory and high-end research facilities. In Jhajjar, we are planning a healthcare hub working with the National Cancer Institute of AIIMS and a sports technology facility.
We will contribute to the Prime Ministers dream of making India a developed nation by 2047, Towards this end we will create a long-term vision for the Institute – IIT Delhi 2047 that will involve reimagining the Institute’s infrastructure, enhancing the student experience, revamping the curriculum, enhancing our societal and research impact and having an international footprint.
On this important day in our history, we rededicate ourselves to the vision of the Institute - to serve as a valuable resource for industry and society and to be a source of pride for all Indians.
(IIT Delhi Diamond Jubilee Celebrations Closing Ceremony Was Organised On September 3, 2022)