Saturday, June 9, 2012

IIT Kanpur Retains Premier Position in India Today Rankings

India Today has announced the 2012 rankings. Amongst the engineering colleges, IIT Kanpur has once again retained its top position. Here is the link to their story.

Even though I believe that it is very difficult to differentiate between the top few institutes in the country, it feels good to have some one of the stature of India Today rank IIT Kanpur as number one.

The ranking has come at a time when the very existence of the Institute as an institute of excellence is at stake, and when its autonomy is being challenged. I hope this sends out a strong message that something which is working fine can be improved but only with care and compassion, and after a lot of data, experimentation and analysis.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Convocation 2012

The 44th Convocation of the Institute was held on 2nd June, 2012. A record 1135 students graduated this year, thanks to the first under-graduate batch of enhanced strength (admitted in year 2008) graduating this year. The number is going to increase further over the next 3-4 years. The number of PhDs were 101, maintaining a 100+ number for the 4th year in a row. We are hoping that next year too, we will be in the 100-110 range for the number of PhDs, but year after that, we should cross 125 (considering the pipeline - how many admissions took place 4-5 years ago).

More than 80% of the graduates received their degrees in person, which is a very high fraction.

The function was held in three parts of about 2 hours, 1 hour, and 1 hour. This is to make sure that parents of all the students receiving degrees can be accommodated in the auditorium when they go on the stage to receive their degrees. In the first, we gave out only the PhD degrees, which is the highest degree that the Institute awards. Along with that, some of the awards, including President's Gold Medal, were given in the first ceremony. Director's report of the last academic year and the convocation address by the Chief Guest, Dr. E Sreedharan, were also in the first ceremony. The first ceremony was held from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

The second ceremony was from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM, and in this part, we gave away MTech (2-year), MSc (2-year), MBA, and MDes degrees, and PG Diploma for EXVLM.

The third ceremony was from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and in this part, we gave away, BTech, BTech-MTech dual, and MSc (Integrated) degrees.

 The coveted President's Gold Medal given to the student with the best academic performance in the graduating class among all disciplines of under-graduate programs of study was given to three students this time. Shubhayu Chatterjee (MSc, Physics), Ankit Kumar (BTech, Computer Science and Engineering), and Ashish Gupta (BTech, CSE). Overall, more than 100 students received awards and medals during the convocation.

There is also a nice tradition in IITK that the graduating under-graduate students elect the best teacher, and that faculty member is given what is known as "Gopal Das Bhandari Distinguished Teacher Award." This year, the award went to Dr. Swagato Kumar Ray of Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Here is the link to convocation website.