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Museum chronicles achievements of MIT

Visitors at the museum that was inaugurated at Madras Institute of Technology, Chromepet, on Friday. Photo: A. Muralitharan  

A museum with rare photographs of the founders, significant moments and the growth of the 62-year-old Madras Institute of Technology, Chromepet, was inaugurated on Friday.

The museum, according to authorities of the prestigious technical educational institution, has been set up to showcase the achievements of the institution, its growth and the contribution by its founder and his family.

The museum has photographs of Chinnaswami Rajam, founder and his family members. “My grandfather studied only till class IV. When he rose to prominence, he realised the importance of education and spent his resources and money on starting this institution,” said V. Balasubramanian, his grandson.

Chinnaswami Rajam, he said, was a “self-made industrialist” and had set up a number of companies in the fields of electricity and steel, based in Thanjavur. “My father C.R. Viswanathan studied engineering in London. But his death was a great loss to my grandfather and when my grandmother too passed away after some time, my grandfather was shocked.

“But later, he decided that he will provide the best quality technical education to young people,” Mr. Balasubramanian recalled.

Started in 1949 on a vast piece of land near the Chromepet railway station, MIT initially offered DMIT (Diploma in MIT) courses in Aeronautics, Electronics, Automobile and Instrumentation. Mr. Balasubramanian said MIT was the pioneer in private technical education and its contributions were immense.

Arjun Srinivasan, son of Prema Srinivasan, granddaughter of Chinnaswami Rajam, said he had been visiting the institution since he was five years old. A graduate of the College of Engineering, Guindy, he completed his master's in the U.S.A., where he worked before returning to India.

“They have done a commendable job by creating the museum. It has some very rare photographs. It is very inspiring. I too want to contribute in some measure, even if not as huge as my great grandfather's, but at least half of that,” Mr. Arjun said.

The museum has photographs of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru addressing students and his daughter Indira Gandhi speaking during the silver jubilee celebrations along with M. Karunanidhi who was Chief Minister then too. It also has photos of the first President Rajendra Prasad at the campus and another rare photo of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam with S. Narasimhan, one of his favourite professors. Mr. Kalam was among the sixth batch of students to pass out from MIT.

Former students and staff paid rich tributes to Chinnaswami Rajam on the occasion. The alumni also interacted with present students and shared their experiences of their days in the college, their life at the hostel and how engineering education was more practical-oriented those days.

The museum was inaugurated by P. Mannar Jawahar, Vice Chancellor of Anna University, in the presence of A.Joseph Stanley, Dean,


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 5:37:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/Museum-chronicles-achievements-of-MIT/article14962491.ece

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