Alumni Funded Centre of Excellence Inaugurated

IIT Kharagpur inaugurated the Asoke Deysarkar and Ruma Acharya Centre of Excellence in Petroleum Engineering

The Centre which received a seed funding of USD 1 million from the alumni after whom it has been named, was inaugurated on October 24, 2016 at the Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy Science Block. The pivotal course of the Centre, Transdisciplinary Programme on Petroleum Engineering (TPPE) was launched earlier this year for students opting for 5 and 6 year B.Tech.- M.Tech. and M.Sc.- M.Tech Dual Degree programmes. Already nine 2nd year students have enrolled for this programme. More students are expected in the next academic year. The studentson completion of their B.Tech. or M.Sc. will have the opportunity to do M.Tech. in Petroleum Engineering.
“India needs energy focused long-term academic programmes with a few good petroleum engineering programmes since even today petroleum is the focus of energy. Unlike other classical academic programmes, TPPE will help students to develop leadership qualities, learn about finance, legal, geo-politics, ethics together thus reaping the benefits of a multi-disciplinary programme. For exact framework experts from renowned petroleum schools like Texas A&M, Oklahoma university have been involved by IIT Kharagpur. The aspect of industry experience which is quite lacking in Indian education system has also been added. The internships will allow students to learn practical approach making them more employable” said Asoke Deysarkar.
Prof. Anindya Sarkar, Program Coordinator, said “TPPE is a new kind of academic experience crossing the barrier of departments. Oil & gas industry has always been multidisciplinary but in this course, teamwork will be inculcated so that the students learn to work with teams from various disciplines. There is an industry immersive internship starting from 3rd year wherein students from various disciplines will work in a team in the industry. Also the industry being highly technical and economics playing a major rolethe programme will develop expertise in, for example, predicting market, risk assessment, trends in energy security etc. which are yet to be taught in engineering courses. Components from Economics, Law, Finances have been incorporated in this course, thus delivering a competent professional with leadership skills ready to join the industry and also capable of making social changes. Such course is typically useful in this difficult time when oil price is low and there is a turmoil in the Middle Eastern oil producing regions.”
“I have a dream and it is to transform educational system of India right from grade 1, scrapping bookish knowledge and imparting practical knowledge with problem solving skills with interdisciplinary programmes. A classic example of this in recent time is a geologist at IIT Kharagpur entering the domain of archaeology and providing evidence of the antiquity of Indus Valley Civilization older than thought. Considering the immense diversity in India, each state in this country has typical attributes which if exchanged with each other, the country as a whole will evolve” added Deysarkar”.
He also spoke about the situation of ‘Giving Back’ to universities by alumni in India which is far behind than the scenario in the world’s top ranking universities. Though IITs have done a better job compared to other higher educational institutions in India but there is a long way to go. Large amounts of donations are made by only a handful of alumni. He suggested to imprint the students before they graduatewith the idea of giving back so that they start contributing to their Alma Mater after 10-15 years once they are established. “Had I not come to IIT Kharagpur I may have become an ordinary job holder or office employee. But IIT Kharagpur transformed me. Here you can learn what you want to learn and I learnt how to learn. My relation with IIT Kharagpur on giving back aspect is on and off. I have funded R&D projects, my wife Ruma Acharya who is also an alumnus has funded building a recreation room at one of the girl’s hostel and then TPPE happened with Prof. P P Chakrabarti assuming charge as the Director of IIT Kharagpur” said Deysarkar.