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Highest ever PhD awardees at IIT Kharagpur

Saviour honoured at IIT convocation
(From left) Sriman Kumar Bhattacharyya, director officiating of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; human resource development minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank; and Sanjiv Goenka, chairman of the board of governors of the institute, at the convocation on Tuesday.

Subhankar Chowdhury   |   Kharagpur   |   Published 27.08.19, 10:44 PM

 IIT Kharagpur on Tuesday awarded the highest number of PhD degrees in its history, director officiating Sriman Kumar Bhattacharya said.

“Today, we have conferred degrees on 372 PhD students, a substantial increase from last year’s figure of 295,” he said.


“This is the first time that so many students are getting PhD degree from this institute.”

Chemical scientist Man Mohan Sharma had urged the IIT at its 63rd convocation in 2017 to enrol more PhD students so that the institute emerged as a foremost research hub in the country.

Apart from the graduating students, the institute honoured 20 of its former students with distinguished alumnus awards.

They were Ramanand Ajit Shenoi, Ajoy Kumar Ray, Anil Kumar Bhowmick, Arjun Menda, Bipul Sinha, Bulbul Chakraborty, Debendra Dash Sharma, Gopal Chandra Mitra, Ganti Prasad Rao, N.P. Gupta, Om Prakash Khanna, Rahul Banerjee, Ronojoy Dutta, Sarbari Gupta, Satibder Singh Rakhi, Prabhakar Singh, Shri Gopal Rajgarhia, Soumen Chakrabarti, Sumita Sarawagi and Vikram Raj Saxena.

Netaji Auditorium, where the convocation was held, erupted into thunderous applause when 82-year-old Gopal Chandra Mitra, credited with building a storm shelter that had saved thousands of lives in Puri when Cyclone Phani wrecked havoc in the coastal town of Odisha earlier this year, went up on the dais to receive the honour.

He and director officiating Bhattacharya are credited with coming up with the storm shelter made of reinforced concrete.

Metro had on May 6 reported about their pathbreaking work. Bhattacharya was on the dais when Mitra received the honour from the minister.

Ajoy Kumar Ray, a professor at the institute and former director of IIEST Shibpur, said: “I felt honoured at being felicitated by the institute where I have taught for 40 years. Today, I met many old friends.”

Director officiating Bhattacharya listed the achievements of the institute in his speech. “The institute’s excellence in teaching and research in diverse areas of academics has been recognised by the National Institutional Ranking Framework, 2019, where for two consecutive years IIT Kharagpur is the only institute to be ranked in the top list in the overall category as well as in the engineering category,” he said.

He also added that IIT Kharagpur had been recommended for the HRD ministry’s Institute of Eminence status by the University Grants Commission.

The honour is expected to fetch Rs 1,000 crore over the next five years.

Sanjiv Goenka, the chairman of the board of governors of the IIT, said in his speech: “My heartiest congratulations to the graduating students who will be entering into a new phase of their lives. They have not only gained advanced knowledge and expertise from this great institute but also have earned one of the most prestigious and coveted tags in the world, ‘the IITians’.”

Human resource development Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the chief guest at the event, inaugurated the institute’s IT and Research Park at Rajarhat through a remote control from the dais.

He said IIT Kharagpur would soon venture into medical education.

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