IIT Kharagpur Alumni Support Prof P.P.Chakrabarti's Candidature for Director, IIT Kharagpur

Mar 21, 2013, 15:15 ET from IIT Kharagpur Alumni

SAN FRANCISCO, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

IIT Kharagpur alumni from different walks of life have stepped up to support the candidature of their fellow alumnus and director-select, Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarti (PPC as he is fondly known at the campus). In mid-2012, Prof. Chakrabarti was selected to be IIT Kharagpur's next Director but his official appointment currently has been delayed with his alleged implication in the Coalnet scam.

Over 1500 alumni of IIT Kharagpur have now joined forces and have risen in an unprecedented support for Prof. Chakrabarti. There has been an overwhelming response on Social Communities like Facebook, through the PPC For Director page, where over 1200 IIT Kharagpur alumni have signed up in less than a week to show their support to the movement. Over 800 alumni have signed a petition on change.org, asking the Board of Governors of IIT Kharagpur to exonerate the professor and appoint him as the Director. Over 100 RTI's have been filed by the alumni community to ensure that the relevant documents which would prove his innocence are brought in public attention. This overwhelming alumni reaction in support for PPC is one of a kind and has never been seen earlier.

Prof Chakrabarti is an IIT Kharagpur President's Gold medalist (PGM,1985 batch), awarded to the top student of the graduating class.  Prof. Chakrabarti chose to forgo lucrative opportunities overseas to stay in India and teach in his alma-mater. Says Shail Kumar, previously senior administrator at University of California, Berkeley, and a 1987 graduate of IIT Kharagpur, "In our times, the most logical route for an IIT graduate, especially for a PGM, was to pursue graduate studies at a premier research university in the USA. PPC, fortunately for IIT Kharagpur, was an exception to this rule."

Professor Chakrabarti excelled as a distinguished academician being one of the youngest to win the Prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award, which is the highest recognition for scientific achievements  in India. He also has a number of patents and publications to his name, and was a pioneer in setting up the world class VLSI laboratory at IIT Kharagpur. He was made the Dean for Sponsored Research (SRIC) at IIT, at the age of 40, one of the youngest deans ever at any IITs. Under his leadership and administration, IIT Kharagpur' SRIC grew into the largest cell of its kind at any educational institute in the country.

Prof Chakrabarti has also been a pioneer of innovation and research among the student and faculty ecosystems at IIT. His involvement and support led to the formation of IIT Kharagpur's first ever Formula race car project under the aegis of SRIC, putting IIT KGP on the world formula car map. His continued support to this student project has led to the successful creation of 2 more cars till now for major international events. Says Siddartha Khastgir, Founder, IIT KGP formula car project, "Back in 2009, Prof. PPC was one of the very few people in the institute, who thought that an automotive innovation project should be done at KGP and he supported the initiative by making it an SRIC funded project. He is responsible for bringing the Automobile Engineering tradition back to KGP. His vision has led to the setting up of one-of-its-kind and state-of-the-art Automotive Lab at IIT KGP."

Professor Chakrabarti also championed the creation of the IIT Kharagpur Entrepreneurship Cell (E-Cell) and the Incubation society which in the past 5 years, has spawned many successful upcoming businesses like Capillary Technologies, StudyPad Inc, iViz Technologies, Dataresolve Technologies and have generated more than a thousand jobs among themselves.

In the E-Cell's early years, he invited successful entrepreneurs back to the institute to start companies, and also encouraged many students to take up entrepreneurial careers through the seed funding program. Aneesh Reddy and Krishna Mehra, founders of Capillary Technologies, a Red Herring 2012 Global 100 company said "Prof P P Chakrabarti was instrumental in driving us to start a student's entrepreneurship movement which has achieved tremendous success at IIT Kharagpur. When we were starting Capillary Technologies, Prof. Chakrabarti mentored us. His guidance in the initial days had a significant impact on our success. Today we employ 400 people globally and have clients in 16 countries with offices across 4 continents."

Given the massive contribution that Prof Chakrabarti has made to IIT Kharagpur, its students, faculty and alumni, it is but natural to expect alumni from all walks of life, to standup in support of an exceptional student, brilliant researcher, beloved professor, able administrator and a visionary leader.  IIT Kharagpur would be fortunate to have Prof. Chakrabarti as its next Director.

About IIT Kharagpur

As centres of excellence in research and technology, the IITs are ranked among the top 100 educational institutions in the world. IIT alumni have contributed to the creation of nearly 20 million jobs over the last 50 years. In the last six decades, IIT KGP has given the world some of the finest academicians, scientists, researchers, technocrats and entrepreneurs like Arjun Malhotra (Chairman, Headstrong), Sundar Pichai (SVP Android, Chrome and Apps at Google), Vinod Khosla (co-founder, Sun Microsystems), Arun Sarin (former CEO, Vodafone) and Deep Nishar (SVP, Products and User Experience, Linkedin).

SOURCE IIT Kharagpur Alumni