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The First Princi.pal is a story waiting to be told. Meandering through the life of Dr. PS Mani Sundaram, it captures anecdotes of mixed flavour to highlight the genius of one of independent India’s foremost institution builders. Princi gave Regional Engineering College, Trichy (now National Institute of Technology) the distinction of consistently featuring among the top 10 Engineering colleges for 50 years running. His was a professional career that had to beat the odds of functioning under India’s political and bureaucratic regimes of the 1960s and 70s. Not only did he measure up to the challenges, his astute administrative sense made sure he did so in style.
A charismatic leader—administrator par excellence, pragmatic visionary and academic entrepreneur—he upped the ante of India’s higher education. Besides driving the astounding success of REC, he laid a solid foundation for Bharathidasan University as its first Vice Chancellor. His foresight has seen it grow from strength to strength in the three decades of its existence. Today the Bharathidasan Institute of Management stands tall as one of India’s premier Business Schools, rubbing shoulders with the IIMs.
2014 marks the Golden Jubilee of REC Trichy’s founding and a fitting occasion for a tribute to the great man.
If there’s something India needs it is theez. Indiapreneurs!
I think we’ve waited long enough. I was at an event organised by the students of NIT Trichy early September and was pleasantly surprised to see how clued in this generation is. The problem is that our academia is still stuck in a time-warp. These kids need active mentoring and incubation support from professionals who have been there, done that. We need to move incubation facilities out of educational campuses and transplant them firmly into the ‘real’ world of business. A few friends and I are working on providing space and infrastructure as well as functional support (HR, Admin, IT etc.) and plan to pilot this in Delhi, Coimbatore and Hyderabad, starting 2010.
Let’s use the standard Hindi movie formula of circa 1980 to script our earth’s climate story. Enter Superstar US. The virtuous, street smart, Robin Hood inspired protagonist of our story, replete with his coterie of jazz dancers. And then there’s the poor guy, India. Always trying to emulate the “hero” and competing with him for the “herione’s” attention in college settings. Let’s throw in some masala – subplots, love triangles and the very popular song and dance sequences – with the extras doing their own thing while they dance in the third row.
Now compare this with whatever we’ve been seeing in the Climate Change discussions. See the script accurately playing itself out? (Nobody seems to want to ask mother Earth for her point of view). Call it clairvoyance or just plain sensitivity, some of us have been seeing it coming since the mid nineties. Even we couldn’t have guessed the speed of deterioration, although fully knowing the bounty hunter tendencies of the US, we should have been able to. Easily. Shame on us!
Some simple facts from Prem Shankar Jha’s Tehelka article, An Earth On Edge.
1. Till as recently as five years ago, abrupt climate change was on the unthinkable fringe of possibilities predicted by climate scientists. In March 2009, 2,500 scientists from 80 countries assembled at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen. The congress concluded that the findings of the IPCC were out of date. The evidence collected since its fourth report was compiled showed that global warming was ceasing to be human-induced and was becoming self-reinforcing. Continue reading “Climate Change Bollywood ishtyle”
James Lovelock doesn’t think we will need innovation 10 years on. Not because the business world will find a new jazzword to hang their marketing spiels on but ‘scarily’ because planet earth wouldn’t exist. According to Lovelock, by the end of the century, 80% of the world’s population will disappear and half of Britain will be under water. And to prove his point, the octagenarian is buying a ticket to outer space.