It’s not the beauty of the building you look at, it’s the foundation that has stood the test of time. On 18th August, 2018, IIT Kharagpur celebrated 66 glorious years of perpetual growth on its 67th Foundation Day. Years back, the initiation of this institute motivated the notion of a India, affirmed to advance the bubbling aspirations of a post independence India’s historic tryst with the project of modernity. The augmentation IIT Kharagpur has witnessed in this span of 66 years, which is not a very significant time for an academic institute, is the reason our nation crowns itself with IIT Kharagpur as a prodigy. The celebration was held on August 18, 2017 in Netaji Auditorium, IIT Kharagpur.The office coordinated the organization of the Foundation Day on behalf of the Institute.
At its acme, the 67th Foundation Day had Shri Kewal Kumar Sharma, IAS, secretary, Higher education MHRD Govt. of India as the chief guest, who emphasised upon the substantial efforts and Schemes developed by the Indian government to help the IITs reach their zenith. He also highly spoke of the dynamic IIT system and the ecstasy of a student on being a part of it. Finally presented with a souvenir, by Prof. Partha P Chakrabarti, Director of IIT Kharagpur, he left for a department visit. Prof. Partha P Chakrabarti too, fondly stated how IIT Kharagpur has travelled miles ahead in the fields of robotics, infrastructure growth and developing a diverse curriculum from the initial shore it left 66 year back. He even acknowledged the potent role that the Alumni community has played, serving as august ambassadors of the “IIT Kharagpur brand” and aiding the institute in carving its own niche.
The Foundation Day Debate was on a unique topic – ‘By 2050, a machine will win the teaching excellence award at IIT Kharagpur based on student feedback’. In a nutshell, Machines vs Teachers. The participants were faculty members and students and it sparked off an intriguing discussion between the two sides. With the faculty for the motion and students against the motion, the debate concluded with the teachers upholding the argument that they won’t be required by the year 2050 due to the introduction of sophisticated AI machines.
After that, there was also a panel discussion on the topic - ‘Carrying India ahead into 2022: The role of IITs’ in which the important role of technological advancement due to IITs in the country’s development was discussed.
With every passing day, IIT Kharagpur takes a step forward towards realizing Shri Jawaharlal Nehru’s endeavour and all aspiration that preceded it. The voyage of this institute till date is more of a manifestation of our pursuit of a premier nation, and not just a series of desired outcomes. IIT Kharagpur’s evolution inspires, and is a paragon for other emerging institutes across the nation.