Special Correspondent


co-operation between Germany and IIT-Madras

still continues”

CHENNAI: Retired German and Indian professors came together on Friday to celebrate 50 years of co-operation between the two countries in the functioning of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras at ‘Nostalgia,’ an event organised by the institute and the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD.

M.S. Ananth, Director, IIT-Madras, who rushed in after taking part in the foundation laying ceremony for IIT-Hyderabad, said the academic co-operation between Germany and the IIT-Madras still continued, unlike at other IITs. (Each IIT was set up with a partner country providing technological and academic support.)

He said the various laboratories and departments set up by German professors and technical assistants were thriving, and the institute was moving ahead to focus on research and consultancy. Sponsored research had generated Rs.75 crore in the past three years, and consultancy projects had yielded Rs. 20 crore. The Research Park would also start functioning soon and create a closer interaction between the academia and industry.

A. Ramachandran, second director of the IIT-Madras, who was credited with creating the modern departments of the institute and fostering Indo-German academic ties, was the chief guest.

The institute had set an example of the growth registered in the country in the past 50 years. However, development was irrelevant in the face of the poverty faced by huge masses of people, he said. Engineers should focus on solving the problems facing the country, including those in energy, water and sustainable development. In this context, he welcomed the decision to start a centre for sustainable development at the institute with German collaboration.

Christiane Schlottmann of the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) said German and Indian professors had been discussing the details of the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development for the past few days. She said the plan would be presented on Saturday at the conclusion of the event.

R.F. Herrmann, consul-general of the German Embassy at the Chennai, said the IIT-Madras was the finest example of Indo-German collaboration and promised his country’s continued co-operation in academic partnerships.

Twelve retired professors (six from Germany and six from India), who were among the earliest who had taught at the IIT-Madras, spoke.

Later the German delegation presented books to Dr. Ananth, Dr. Ramachandran and M. Singaperumal, dean of administration at the institute. As part of the two-day gathering, the retired faculty, including former directors, were taken on a tour of the institute.