Humble Beginnings

Over the years

August 2009

Director's Message

Chairman's Report

Special Events

Conferences and Workshops


Department Days

Campus Events

Alumni Events

Cultural Events





Humble Beginnings

Post-independence, a dream was born in the minds of some of the greatest Indian academic visionaries to establish India on the world map by setting up institutes of higher technical education. The first seeds of this dream were sown in 1950 and gradually more were scattered in the other regions of the country. These seeds served as the foundation stones of one of the greatest league of academic institutes of India, the Indian Institutes of Technology. The city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, also got its share. The day was 14th December 1959 and the location was a small room in the canteen building of the Harcourt Butler Technological Institute (HBTI). On this day, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur was established with Prof. P. K. Kelkar as the first Director of the Institute, along with 100 students and a small faculty.


....When I came to Kanpur first to join as the Director of the Institute, almost everybody I met in Kanpur asked me if I had wanted to commit professional suicide ...I did not at all worry about this because I was no longer myself but an instrument of a historical process.

Prof. Kelkar, 17 May 1981

The Institute shifted to its present location on the historic Grand Trunk Road near Kalyanpur village, Kanpur district, in 1963. In the initial years, the Institute collaborated with 9 US universities under the Kanpur Indo-American Program (KIAP) which lasted from 1962 to 1972. These universities namely, M.I.T, University of California, Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Carnegie Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Case Institute of Technology and Purdue University, assisted the Institute in setting up research laboratories and academic programs for instruction as well as research.

During these ten years (1962-1972) the KIAP activity had three major components: (1) Consortium staff working in Kanpur under the stewardship of a Program Leader, (2) Some IIT Kanpur faculty members receiving on-the-job experience in the Consortium institutions, and (3) The procurement of equipment, books and journals not available in India. The number of Consortium staff at any one time was not large, but had specialized faculty who brought a broad spectrum of ideas and intellectual resources from these nine institutions. During this program, a well known economist and the then United States Ambassador to India John Kenneth Galbraith helped establish one of the first Computer Science Departments at IIT Kanpur. Collaborative research conducted at IIT Kanpur has led to significant original contributions that have been widely cited.



Over the years

The Institute grew by leaps and bounds. Several path-breaking innovations both in its curriculum and research were made and myriad success stories were churned out. It went on to establish several world class research facilities that include the National Wind Tunnel facility, the Centre for Nanotechnology, the Advanced Centre for Material Science, and the Samtel Centre for Display Technology.




August 2009


50 YEARS!!! And IIT Kanpur has achieved an enviable stature of excellence. Today, it sprawls over an area of approximately 4.3 square km amidst a lush green cover which is home to several species of flora and fauna. It provides extensive research support and several recreational avenues and has emerged as one of the leading research institutes of the country. The student body of 100 has grown to over 5,000.

The year 2009 marked the completion of 50 years of its existence and to commemorate this milestone in its history special yearlong celebrations were planned to match the greatness of the Institute. Several events were held during the year 2009-2010 —¬ science conferences, workshops, lectures by eminent people including Nobel laureates, sports events, cultural programs, even department days. The Institute also launched its very own Community Radio as a Golden Jubilee initiative and became the first IIT of the country to have its own campus community radio station.


Director's Message (Prof. Sanjay G. Dhande)


IIT Kanpur came into existence on 2nd November, 1959 through the registration of a society in Delhi. Professor P. K. Kelkar, the founding director, took charge on December 14, 1959, and the first batch of students was admitted in August 1960. The institute celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2009-10. Over the five decades the institute has had a tumultuous journey. Looking back, one can discern five distinct phases in this journey, each lasting roughly one decade.




The first decade (1959-1969) was one of incredible growth. Under the leadership of Professor Kelkar, the institute made several innovations like semester-based system, letter grading system, and science-based curriculum. These have since been widely replicated all over India and so may appear obvious now, but at the time they were path-breaking. These led to establishing IIT Kanpur as the pre-eminent engineering college in the country.

In the next decade (1969-1979) while the institute continued to grow academically, it had to handle a number of agitations and strikes. It was the period of Naxalism and Emergency, and these had their influence in the institute as well. Amongst the highlights were the closing of the hostel messes for a month, the resignations of chairman board and director, and the movement of a number of renowned faculty members to other colleges.

The third decade (1979-1989) was a period of relative calm after the turbulence of the previous decade. By this time, IIT Kanpur’s name was highly respected worldwide, and its alumni started making a mark internationally. A large number of faculty was hired and the students were as brilliant as ever.

In the fourth decade (1989-1999) came the financial crunch. There was a feeling that the IITs are producing graduates for the US and the phrase “brain-drain” came into popular vocabulary. The government decided to freeze the funding to the IITs, partly due to these sentiments and partly due to the financial crisis in the country. To meet its expenses, IIT Kanpur started exploring other avenues including support from its alumni who by now were heading a number of successful corporations.

The fifth decade (1999-2009) was one of great vigor and activity with rejuvenation through the substantially more funding coming into the institute. Three factors contributed to this: (1) with higher GDP, the government had more money to invest in higher education, (2) the society found that the IIT alumni that were supposed to be lost to the western world, have won so many laurels that it helped change the perception of India around the world, and (3) many of the alumni made substantial financial contributions to their alma mater. At the same time, the expectations of the society from IITs increased substantially resulting in much greater media attention and increase in JEE intake.

The institute today stands at a crossroads. While we have established ourselves as a premier teaching institute worldwide, we still lag far behind in research. With the Indian industry growing by leaps and bounds and with the greater intake of students, the institute is expected to ramp up its research and number of faculty, and this is the biggest challenge facing us. If we succeed, we will establish IIT Kanpur as one of the best colleges in the world. And if we fail, we go down the path of irrelevance. For this, we have to fight against history as well: so many universities in the country have prospered in their first fifty years only to self-destruct in the next fifty. The quality of our faculty, staff, students and alumni gives me confidence that our fate will be different. History beckons us!


Chairman's Report (Prof. Manindra Agrawal)


IIT Kanpur was established in 1959 and we celebrated our Golden Jubilee during the period of August 2009 to December 2010. To organize the celebrations, the director constituted a committee consisting of representatives from all sections of the IITK community. The members were: Professor Sanjeev K. Aggarwal (DRPG), Professor K. Muralidhar (DORD), Professor Ashok Mittal, Professor Pradip Sinha, Professor Sanjay Mittal, Dr. Avinash Agarwal, Dr. Satyaki Roy, Dr. Runa Sarkar, Mr. Abhay Bhushan (President, Alumni Association), Dr. Sameer Khandekar (Treasurer, Alumni Association), Dr. Ram Mishra (President, IITK Foundation), Dr. Rakesh Pandey (Member, IITK Foundation), Mr. Phool Chand Gond, Mr. R. S. Mishra, President Student Gymkhana, Convener Student Senate, Mr. Mohammad Shakeel (AR, DRPG, Member-Secretary), and Professor Manindra Agrawal (Chairman).

The committee had its first meeting on August 1, 2008 and decided to invite proposals from the campus community and alumni for ideas of the events to be organized. We received many proposals and over the next four months these were discussed, the selected ones were refined, the dates and responsibilities were assigned. The PIs of the projects are given in the following pages.

The first task was to create a logo for the Golden Jubilee. A competition was organized in which we received more than 100 entries from students, staff, faculty, and alumni. After several iterations, the logo designed by Ms. Sneha Singh, a second year student of Master of Design programme was selected. Preparations for many of the events started in January 2009 and the Inaugural Event, with Mr. Narayana Murthy as chief guest, was held on August 8, 2009. Over the next year and half, a large number of events were organized, and a report on each is given in these pages.

We were allocated about Rs. 477 lakhs as budget for all the events, but we eventually spent only Rs. 295 lakhs. The reasons were twofold: (1) while most of the scheduled events took place successfully, some could not take place due to reasons varying from excessive delay to infeasibility, and (2) we received substantial funding from outside the institute for some of the events.

Some of the highlights of the Golden Jubilee period were:

Creation of a documentary tracing the history of the institute,

Inauguration of the celebrations by Mr. Narayana Murthy,

Launch of nano-satellite Jugnu and burying of time-capsule containing the Institute’s history by the President of India,

Five major conferences on Fabrication at Small Scales (FASS) and Indo-US Conference on Fabrionics: Science of advanced fabrication, International Conference on Environmental Health and Technology, Energy Conclave 2010, Interaction, Instability, Transport and Kinetics: Glassiness and Jamming, and Molecules, Supramolecules and Materials,

Organization of department days in which the departments invited their ex-faculty, ex-staff and alumni,

Four alumni conventions: in Kanpur, Bangalore, Washington DC, and Santa Clara,

Launching of an initiative to create a vision for the institute for the next twenty years.

The entire institute and alumni contributed whole-heartedly to the organization of all the events. I thank all the committee members, the Institute administration, and the organizers of all the events for their time and effort to make our Golden Jubilee celebrations a success.

I also thank Harshvardhan, who created the Golden Jubilee website, and Mrs. Reema Mittal, Mrs. Sudha Chandrasekhar, and Mrs. Kiran Biswas, who edited this report. And finally, I thank Mrs. Sudha Chandrasekhar who took care of so many things: website updating, collection and editing of reports, maintaining all records and paperwork.

In the following pages, a report on each of Golden Jubilee event is presented. The organization of the reports is according to the categories of: Special Events, Conferences and Workshops, Department days, Seminars, Alumni Events, Campus Events, Cultural Events and Sports.
Below are the project titles and their project investigators:

GJ Event
Project Investigator

Aerospace Engineering Department Day

Prof. Sudhir Kamle

Annual Global Conference on Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation

Dr. B. V. Phani


Student Gymkhana

Bangalore Convention

Mr. Pawan Kumar – Class-of-69, Mr. Ashok Das – Class-of-85, Mr. Sujit Kumar - Class-of-92, Mr. Subrata Mitra – Class-of-88, Mr. Ashish Gupta – Class-of-88

Biological Sciences and Bioengineering Department Day

Prof. R. Sankararamakrishnan, Dr. Amitabha Bandyopadhyaya, Prof. S. Ganesh

Campus School Reunion and Open House

Prof. Sandeep Sangal

Chemical Engineering Department Day

Prof. Goutam Deo, Prof. Santosh K. Gupta, Dr. Sanjeev Garg

Chemistry Department Day

Prof. R. N. Mukherjee, Prof. R. Gurunath, Dr. S. P. Rath, Prof. D. Goswami

Civil Engineering Department Day

Dr. Debajyoti Paul, Dr. Priyanka Ghosh, Dr. Prishati Raychowdhury

Community Radio

Dr. Satyaki Roy

Computer Science and Engineering Department Day

Prof. Somenath Biswas

Cricket Tournament

Mr. Phool Chand

Cultural Events

Dr. Satyaki Roy

Design Program Department Day

Dr. Bishakh Bhattacharya

Electrical Engineering Department Day

Prof. B. Mazhari

Energy Conclave 2010

Dr. Avinash Agarwal

Foundation Day

Prof. Manindra Agrawal, Mr. K. V. Sathyamurthy

Golden Jubilee celebrations for Group ‘B’, ‘C’ & ‘D’ employees

Mr. S. S. Kashalkar

Golden Jubilee Walk

Prof. A. K. Lal

Humanities and Social Sciences Department Day

Prof. L. Krishnan

Hyderabad Alumni Meet

Ms. Madhu Chadda (BT/ME/79), Mr. Abhilash Kondai (BT/AE/1991)

ICARUS 2010 - An Undergraduate Research Conference

Dr. Nachiketa Tiwari and Dr. Siddharth Panda

IITK Memorabilia

Dr. Sameer Khandekar and Dr. Satyaki Roy

IITK Movie

Dr. Satyaki Roy

IITK Photo Exhibition

Dr. Anupam Pal, Dr. Koumudi Patil, Mrs. Sonali Goswami

Inaugural Event

Prof. Manindra Agrawal

Industrial and Management Engineering Department Day

Prof. N. K. Sharma, Dr. Peeyush Mehta, Dr. R. N. Sengupta

Interaction, Instability, Transport and Kinetics: Glassiness and Jamming

Prof. Debashish Chowdhury, Dr. Amit Dutta, Dr. Satyajit Banerjee

Inter-IIT Staff Sports Meet

Staff Gymkhana

International Conference on Carbon Nanotechnology: Potential and Challenges

Dr. Kamal K. Kar

International Conference on Environmental Health and Technology

Prof. Mukesh Sharma

International Conference on Turbulence

Prof. Mahendra K. Verma

International Conference on Water – Harvesting, Storage and Conservation

Prof. Vinod Tare

International Workshop on Digital Preservation of Archaeological Heritage

Prof. Onkar Dixit, Dr. Bharat Lohani

International Workshop on Distributed Systems

Prof. R. K. Ghosh

Junior National Organic Symposium Trust Conference

Dr. R. Gurunath, Prof. Sandeep Verma, Prof. Faiz A. Khan

Kanpur Alumni Meet

Mr. Gopal H Sutwala (BT/CHE/1973), Mr. Ashok Bajaj (BT/CHE/1973), Mr. Amit Tiwari (Phy/MSc2/1998)

Kanpur Alumni Convention

Prof. Kripa Shanker

Laser Technology Program Department Day Prof. P.K. Panigrahi

Lucknow Alumni Meet

Mr Ajay Jain (BT/MT/84), Mr Neeraj Agarwal (BT/CE/1999), Mr. Sanjay Ayyangar (BT/CE/1984)

Materials Science and Engineering Department Day

Prof. Dipak Mazumdar, Prof. S. P. Mehrotra, Dr. Kantesh Balani

Mathematics and Statistics Department Day

Prof. Debasis Kundu

Mechanical Engineering Department Day

Prof. N. Vyas, Dr. Sameer Khandekar

Molecules, Supramolecules and Materials Conference

Prof. Amalendu Chandra, Dr. J. K. Bera, Prof. Sandeep Verma

National Conclave on ‘Earth Systems and Climate Change Research

Prof. Rajeev Sinha

Open House for School Children

Dr. Sameer Khandekar

Physics Department Day

Prof. Yashowanta N. Mohapatra

Presidential Visit

Prof. R. K. Thareja

XLII Annual Convocation

Prof. Sanjay Mittal

i Reach Symposium

Prof. V. Chandrasekhar, Prof. Debasis. Kundu, Prof. M. Katiyar and Prof. B. Mazhar

Rural Bicycle Tour

Prof. Amitabha Mukerjee and Dr. Joydeep Dutta

Santa Clara, Alumni Meet

Mr. Rajeev Singh, Mr. Shamik Mehta, Mr. Jai Rawat, Mr. Rajeev Ranjan, Mr. Sudhanshu Bahadur, Mr. Prasanna Mulgaonkar, Mr. Anand Jagannathan, Mr. Rohit Toshniwal, Mr. Padma Chari, Mr. Ramneek Bhasin, Mr. Nitin Shukla, Mr. Vineeta Gupta, Mr. Jitendra Gupta, Mr. Manzil Kohli, Mr. Abhay Bhushan, Mr. Sandeep Jain, Mr. Unmesh Kulkarni, Mr. Pankaj Tandon, Mr. Rajiv Bhat, Mr. Nitin Shukla, Mr. Saumil Shah, Mr. Samuel Dadala


Dr. Anurag Gupta

Simulated Evolution and Learning (SEAL-2010) Conference

Prof. K. Deb

Symposium on Fabrication at Small Scale (FASS) and Indo-US Conference on Fabrionics: Science of Advanced Fabrication

Prof. Ashutosh Sharma and Dr. N. V. Reddy

Theoretical Chemistry Symposium - 2010

Prof. Amalendu Chandra, Dr. Madhav Raganathan, Dr. N. Nair, Prof. K. Srihari

Time Capsule

Dr. Avinash Agarwal


Dr. Madhav Ranganathan

Washington, DC, Alumni Meet

Mr. Vivek Malhotra, Mr. Srinivas Balla,Mr. Rakesh Pandey, Mr. Satish Kulkarni, Mr. Sudhakar Kesava, Mr. Pradeep Wahi, Mr. Prasanna Mulgaonkar, Mr. Shamik Mehta, Mr. Atul Mathur, Mr. Pankaj Tandon

Workshop on Role of Officers in Management of Institutions of Higher Technical Education

Mr. S. S. Kashalkar




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