IIT Delhi Establishes Alumnus Endowed “Shri. G.K. Chandiramani Chair for Cyber Security”
New Delhi: IIT Delhi alumnus Mr Suresh M. Shivdasani, class of 1975 (B. Tech, Electrical), has endowed the “Shri G.K. Chandiramani Chair for Cyber Security” at IIT Delhi, in honour of his uncle Shri G.K. Chandiramani. The Chair will promote excellence and leadership in teaching and research & development in the field of Cyber Security.
The contribution of IITs and IIT alumni to India and the world has been quite unique. However, we rarely think of the people who made this possible, viz. the pioneers of higher education in India who envisioned, conceived, and collaborated with leading institutions globally.
One such pioneer was Shri G.K. Chandiramani who was the Secretary, Ministry of Education. GKC, as he was fondly known, devoted his entire life to the advancement of higher education in India. As Joint Secretary at the Ministry in 1961, he led the team that established the collaboration between IIT Kanpur and several leading US universities, including MIT. He was also personally involved with the negotiations and signed the agreements for the collaboration of IIT Bombay with Russia, as well as IIT Madras with Germany. He was associated with the IIT Council for over three decades and was a founding member of the Board of IIM Ahmedabad.
After retirement from the Ministry, he was one of the longest-serving Chairman of The Council of the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore from 1973-1986 and was succeeded by Dr. Raja Ramanna, the well-known Indian physicist. He was also the Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Delhi from 1982 to 1985.
Since inception of the company in 2001, Mr Suresh Shivdasani is the Managing Director and CEO of Sohar International Urea and Chemical Industries (SIUCI), which when constructed, was the largest private sector greenfield fertiliser project in the world. He was also a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Oman for nine years, and since 2012 is a Member of the Advisory Board of the Tata Opportunities Fund, Singapore.
He has been the CEO of several companies, with the Bahwan Group in the Middle East, and Birla International, part of the Aditya Birla Group, in India. After his B.Tech, Mr. Shivdasani was awarded the J.N. Tata Scholarship for pursuing MBA at McMaster University in Canada, where he was the first non-Canadian to be awarded the Matthew Litvak Gold Medal and the Xerox of Canada Fellowship. Mr. Shivdasani then joined the prestigious Tata Administrative Service, and at the age of 28, was one of the youngest Senior Managers at Telco (now Tata Motors).
Sharing his experiences whilst a student at IIT Delhi, Mr. Shivdasani, who was also the General Secretary of the Student Affairs Council (SAC), the apex student body at the Institute, from 1974-75, reminisced, “I believe the Institute not only offers an excellent academic environment, but also with the range of extra-curricular activities offered, provides for an outstanding opportunity for personal growth, for students to work in teams, and develop leadership qualities.”
On his purpose for establishing the Chair, Mr. Shivdasani added, “Our society today is more reliant on technology and connectivity than ever before and consequently the risks of data breaches and cyber-attacks are increasing exponentially. However, there is a severe shortage of Cyber Security technologists in India and globally. Hence the focus of the Chair on Cyber Security.”
To conduct basic and applied research in Cyber Systems and Information Assurance, IIT Delhi established a Centre of Excellence in Cyber Systems and Information Assurance (CoE-CSIA) in 2014. The Centre aims to train professionals in India and the region through degree, non-degree, and public education programs, and to collaborate with industry, government, and academia on both the theory and practice of information assurance and Cyber Security.
Prof Naveen Garg, Dean, Alumni Affairs, IIT Delhi welcomed the Chair and said, “We are excited that Mr. Shivdasani has endowed this Chair in Cyber Security at IIT Delhi. The Centre of Excellence in Cyber Systems and Information Assurance at IIT Delhi has started an M.Tech program in Cyber Security this year. The Chair will further propel research in this key area and benefit the Institute and the country.”