And They Continue to Give!! Superannuated IIT Delhi Professors Endow Scholarships and Awards for Students, Employees

New Delhi: They spent decades holding the hands of their students, sharing with them their knowledge and experiences both within and outside class. Teaching them to be better humans and not just smart engineers and scientists, providing them with words of encouragement when they failed and setting demanding deadlines to make sure they have what it takes to succeed.
You would expect these IIT Delhi professors would, once they retired, take a break, and spend more time thinking about their grandchildren. Fortunately for the students at IIT Delhi, this is not to be. In the last two months alone, many of our retired faculty colleagues have come back to endow scholarships and awards for the students of IIT Delhi.
Prof Kushal Sen, Department of Textile and Fibre Engineering and his wife Dr Mira Kushal (an IIT Delhi alumna) instituted five awards to recognise and promote research excellence and leadership among undergraduate students and an award for recognising contributions of IIT Delhi employees in the betterment of the Institute.
Prof S.N. Singh, Department of Applied Mechanics, has instituted two merit-cum-means scholarships for undergraduate students in memory of his wife and mother and these are in addition to eight other awards and scholarships that he and his wife instituted when he was serving at IIT Delhi.
Prof Anurag Sharma, Department of Physics, and his wife, Prof. Enakshi K Sharma (an IIT Delhi alumna and former faculty member) have instituted an award in memory of his father for the best PhD thesis in the field of Optics and Photonics while Prof D. Subbarao, Department of Chemical Engineering has endowed an award for the best PhD thesis in Chemical Engineering.
Superannuated faculty members have also helped raise funds from their friends and colleagues to set up Endowments to support student awards and research excellence. Prof V.S. Bisaria, Department of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology, has raised funds for the “Prof T.K. Ghose Endowment” while Prof D.K. Pandya, Department of Physics, was one of the key drivers of the “Prof K.L. Chopra Endowment”, which was launched on the Golden Jubilee of the Thin Films Lab at the Institute.
Prof S.N. Maheshwari, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, was instrumental in setting up the Chaturvedi Distinguished Fellowship by the Vipula and Mahesh Chaturvedi foundation. Prof Mahesh Chaturvedi, who is now 96, retired from IIT Delhi in 1986 and had set up a Chair in Policy Studies at the Institute in 2007.
On their motivation to institute these awards, Prof Kushal Sen said, “IIT Delhi has given us everything; the education, the professionalism and on top the humility. Interacting with such bright minds has been the hallmark of our journey. We would like to see more and more IIT Delhi undergraduates and graduates take up research as their career and bring glory to the institute and themselves”.
Echoing these sentiments, Prof Anurag Sharma added, “Excellence in research has been a hallmark of our Institute and instituting an award to promote the same comes naturally to us who have spent most of their lives at IIT Delhi. It has given us everything and we can never give back enough. Most gratifying has been the interaction with bright students, and they need all the encouragement to excel.”
Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi thanked all these colleagues for their kind gesture and said, “The selflessness and devotion of our faculty members is our greatest strength. Many of these colleagues would prefer remaining anonymous, but we hope that by celebrating such contributions we can build a strong culture of giving amongst our alumni.”
Prof Naveen Garg, Dean, Alumni Affairs, added, “All these colleagues have held roles as Department Heads, Deans, Deputy Directors etc while they served at IIT Delhi. Their gifts to the Institute should assuage concerns surrounding the usage of gifts that some of our alumni seem to have.”
Scholarships endowed by donors help defray tuition expenses of Undergraduate students at IIT Delhi while awards encourage students to excel in academics, research, and co-curricular activities.