Gandhinagar: Homecoming 2019, an annual alumni meet organized by the Office of Alumni Relations of the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN), began today with former students from different undergraduate and postgraduate batches. This is the third edition of Homecoming where IITGN alumni from all over the country and overseas have come back to their alma mater.
The two-day event started with an informal interactive session with the Institute leadership team about new developments at the Institute such as Maker Bhavan, non-degree program, JEE Open House in different cities, and new infrastructure for various academic, sports and student activities. Discussions also included ideas for more close and active engagement of alumni in the special initiatives of the Institute such as the Alumni Residency Program and Student Leadership Initiative.
Addressing the participating alumni, Prof Sudhir K Jain, Director, IIT Gandhinagar said, “The most satisfying thing from my last ten years at the Institute is the strong student culture, relationships, and leadership that we have been able to create together. We have to work to convert the same ethos into our alumni engagement.” He asked the alumni to do a little bit of introspection and suggest that in what ways we can do better and improve further. Giving more information on the new developments at the institute in terms of infrastructure and pedagogical initiatives, he also stressed upon Institute’s aspiration to lead in student entrepreneurial landscape. “We now want to scale-up on this front too. We intend to train our students in entrepreneurship in such a way that they build products and contribute to the economy of the country, provide employment and capability.” He encouraged alumni to contribute and participate in the Student Leadership Initiative of the Institute.
Welcoming the IITGN alumni at the event, Prof Jaison Manjaly, Professor-in-charge of Alumni Affairs, IITGN said, “Campus is a very interesting space in a student’s life which one can never forget. Homecoming allows you to reclaim your stories and memories.”
Prof Madhu Vadali, Associate Dean, Students Affairs, talked with the participants about Student Leadership Initiative of the Institute where graduates from IITs, some of whom become leaders in society, can come at IITGN and share their insights with the students in order to inculcate leadership qualities in students. And Prof Pratik Mutha, Dean, Academic Affairs, gave more information about setting up the Maker Bhavan, one of the major academic initiatives of IITGN to create a state-of-the-art maker space which will be the best in India and at par with other global universities.
Alumni also shared their stories from college days and the joys of life on the IITGN campus. They shared a common feeling of nostalgia as they renewed old friendships and interacted with each other, faculty, and current students.
Rounak Mehta, an alumnus of 2015 batch of BTech Mechanical Engineering and currently working in San Francisco, shared his feelings about coming back to the Institute after a gap and said, “I came to the campus almost after 2-3 years. I feel so happy and jealous at the same time upon seeing the campus so well developed. I look forward to bond with some old friends and faculty.” Rounak also works actively with the IIT Gandhinagar Foundation in the United States.
Charu Gupta, a 2017 batch student of MSc Maths, and Ayushi Tyagi, a 2017 batch student of MSc Chemical Engineering, jointly shared their thoughts and said, “The interdisciplinary culture at IITGN is one of the most important things we cherish about the Institute. It helped us connect with each other even if we were from different disciplines. The same thing was possible in the hostels, thanks to the well-thought design of hostel buildings. We are coming after two years, a lot of things have changed, but we still feel connected with the Institute.”
In the evening, recreational activities like monopoly, poker, snooker, carom, foosball in Student Activity Centre; informal interactions at Panchayat Circle, and campfire dinner near hostel Jalmandap added to the enthusiasm of the participants.
The second day of Homecoming 2019 tomorrow will see informal interactions with faculty. This will be followed by an open mic cultural event, where IITGN alumni will showcase their different talents.