Chennai: Even as the UPA is pushing hard to pass the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, Dr Subra Suresh, president of the world renowned Carnegie Mellon University says that with lack of growth in infrastructure in India, no foreign university would like to set up their campus here.
Speaking to DC on the sidelines of IIT-M’s 50th convocation on Friday, Dr Subra Suresh, an alumnus of the institute, pointed out that even though India witnessed economic growth in the last 20 years, infrastructure remained stagnant.
“Lack of infrastructure growth is going to be such a critical thing that universities will have issues to set up their campus in India. One needs to spend three hours going around a few miles and this will affect productivity and morale, which will hamper India’s prospects,” he said.
Dr Suresh who toured his alma mater, IIT-Madras, on Friday noted that both the universities had identified robotics and energy research as one of the critical areas for collaboration.
While delivering his convocation address later in the day, the former director of the US national science foundation, lauded IIT-M’s contribution to knowledge society. Without dwelling in detail on how an individual’s privacy gets compromised in cyber space, Dr Suresh felt that people are now forced to protect privacy and intellectual property.
In an attempt to solve the storage issue in solar power, Prof M.M. Sharma, chairman (board of governors), IIT-M said that the institute had joined hands with CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research in Karaikudi to come up with a solution.
“Our institute has 7,533 students on the rolls, with more than 50 per cent of them being post-graduate students. IIT-M has been recruiting world-class faculty in emerging areas for several years now. In 2012-13, the institute added 37 new faculty, of whom three are women, taking the total to 526,” said Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director of the institute.
Visual disability does not impede this scholar
N. Arun Kumar | DC
Blindness did not deter this 37-year-old research scholar at IIT Madras from working for a doctorate degree, which he received in the golden jubilee convocation hall on Friday. K. Sriram aspires to become a faculty member to inspire youth to serve the country.
Sriram, who lost his eyesight gradually from the age of four, stood first in his B.Com and postgraduate diploma in management at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
He joined IIT-M in 2005 under Prof. R. Madhumathi and Prof. L.S. Ganesh to do research in sustainable development through corporate social responsibility and related business practices.
“I was fortunate to get good teachers in my school,Vana Vani matriculation higher secondary school, college — Loyola, IIM and IIT-M — without whom I would have not reached this level,” he said. Sriram worked in Infosys from 1998 to 2005 in the corporate planning department which helped him as his subject was sustainable development and corporate responsibility.
The confident Sriram noted that the institute provided him academic freedom to do research at his own pace. He plans to publish his thesis, running into 333 pages, as a book in the future.
“I have no reason to complain about anything as I have a caring wife, Padma, and two children, Anish and Bhavya, who help me a lot in my day-today activities,” he said.
Sriram’s guide at the institute Prof. L.S. Ganesh said that he was the third visually challenged student to get a doctorate from the IIT-Madras. “He is really a hardworking student, who wants to do pretty good research,” he added.