New Delhi

Pawan Goenka, executive director and president of auto maker Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M), has been appointed chairman of the board of governors at Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras). Goenka, an alumnus of IIT-Kanpur, will remain in the post for three years, IIT-Madras said on Monday. “I am certain he will add tremendous value to this role as well,” director Bhaskar Ramamurthi said in a statement. “I am looking forward to working with the director of the Institute, Prof. Ramamurthi, and the board to contribute towards the institute’s goals of building scientific and engineering excellence, incubating innovation and encouraging entrepreneurship. Going forward, I am banking on the support from the board and active participation from the student and alumni fraternity for adding sheen to an institute with an already outstanding pedigree and reputation,” Goenka said in the statement. A chairman of an IIT plays a key role in setting policy and setting the development agenda and acts as an interface between the institute and the human resource development (HRD) ministry on important matters.

Prof. Sanjay G. Dhande

In the welcome speech, Prof. Dhande summed up the five decades of IITK’s existence – first, the decade of growth; second, the decade of unrest caused by the Institute’s staff; third, the decade of calm and introspection; fourth, the decade of funding crunch and consequent belt-tightening; and fifth, the decade of reinvigoration in which the Institute made a mark internationally.

Prof. M. Anandakrishnan

While reminiscing about the early years of IIT Kanpur, Prof. Anandakrishnan recalled the fervor and dedication of the young faculty members under the dynamic leadership of Prof. P. K. Kelkar, the founding Director of IITK. He emphasized the pivotal role of Prof. Kelkar in establishing an Institute where science-based engineering education was put in place for the first time.