The International Meet in Delhi, Nov 26-27 - Report
By Neil Pundit
The first International Meet of BITS Association International was held in Delhi on Nov 26 in the Institution of Engineers' Building, and the following day for lunch and social in Gymkhana Club. The program was well planned with a number of Panel Sessions on: Higher Education, Entrepreneurship, Industry, .. Women Empowerment. A very late start, some lengthy talks, reduced time for audience participation, and against all such odds, we forged ahead. The audience was receptive, asked a few but insightful questions, and the overall mood was uplifting with the presence of the incoming Director Prof Dr Dharmendra K Singh, upbeat notes of meetings with the VIPs in Ranchi, and the express promises of overall uplifting of the Alma Mater. The Jharkhand Govt has already granted Financial and Administrative Autonomy measures, the Academic Autonomy (BIT Sindri University) is pending for substantial staffing level and caution not to repeat recent bad experiences of premature academic autonomy to other institutions. It would be difficult and lengthy to cover all deliberations. Here are some highlights:
- Coaching has become a norm for entrance to higher education and jobs.
- Entrepreneurship is alive and well, with moves in various fronts, even holistic farming, going beyond organic farming.
- Women empowerment, drawing from our illustrious past, is well underway, and a greater awareness of men is urged.
- Statistical Quality Control, Deming's legacy from Japan, is much in vogue.
A partial list of attendees, a published handout, shows many luminaries - all alumni in diverse fields, but all excelling in their careers.
The actual attendance including the spouses was close to 100. While we had a few billionaires in attendance, all attendees highly accomplished in their profession or business, it was a gathering of chums, old and young, reveling in the joyous moment of togetherness. Prof Dr Arun Sahay, a veteran of industry and academia, on the board of governors of IIT Kanpur, was very much there.
The second day gathering from 11 am to 3 pm in Gymkhana Club was all social, and included spouses and children. Some ladies, Mrs Chaturvedi and Saha, celebrated singers of All India Radio, blessed us with a few songs and poems. BN Mishra, having translated 18 Dinkar's books, chimed in, and so did Hari Agrawal, author of Loka Gitanjali. Young girls sang on the urging of the parents. Folksy Shree Sharma delved in greatness of Deshpande in slogans of "you are second to none" that the audience practiced with charm and humor. I recited some poems. The mood was of sharing in the sheer joy of togetherness, ignoring calls to buffet.
The Board of Directors of the BITSA International, on the recommendation of the Delhi NCR Executive Committee, conferred the honor of Distinguished Alum International to Dr Krishna Pal Singh (1967 ME) for his superb entrepreneurship, leadership in ultra safe nuclear reactor technology, and his numerous philanthropic endeavors. This is the first such award from the BITSA International, aimed at the best of the bests amongst us alumni. Kris could not attend but provided a video message.
The audience included 3 from US, 3 from Canada, and one from Singapore - among overseas attendees. Our attending billionaires Shree Sharma and Satya Swaroop Taneja provided much support and encouragement, and promised continuing support for future gatherings.
For 2017 the Board of Directors are entertaining overtures from Dubai, Singapore, London, and Sydney/Melbourne. It is desired that future International Meets foster formation of local alumni organizations.
For a highly successful Meet, it is the collective efforts of many, but among the organizers I would single out: Chandrika Prasad (VP, International), HRP Yadav (President, Delhi NCR), Hari Agrawal ( Patron, Delhi NCR), and Abhay Kumar (General Secretary, Delhi NCR).
Then I must acknowledge enabling participation and encouragement of my friends: Raj Dubey (Secretary, International), S Rao Ponamgi, Shree Sharma, and Satya Swaroop Taneja. Finally, I am grateful to the incoming Director and my friend Dharmendra Singh for accepting my request and attending both days. Then Shashank Garuryar, President of BITSAAA Sindri, for being able to attend the second day. He was very supportive in the formation of the BITSA International. And, finally Rajendra Choudhary, President BITSAA Ranchi, for his reach into the VIPs of the Jharkhand Govt, making my meetings with them possible against the odds of the houses being in session.