Tuesday, June 26, 2007

IISc in the news

Thanks to the recently concluded IISc Global Conference, IISc has been in the news.

Before the Conference, the Business World's P. Hari did a story about The IISc Makeover. Interestingly, it has quite a few things that are news to some of us -- not-so-well-networked types. Take, for example, this item: "[IISc] plans to create three new departments of vital importance for Indian industry: biomedical research, earth sciences and knowledge sciences."

The news reports about the Conference hardly go beyond highlighting the speeches by IISc Dirctor, Prof. P. Balaram, and India's President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. From Balaram's speech, we learn about major donations by IISc alumni for two visiting professorships. We also learn that Kalam urged IISc to "start an undergraduate program." From another report, we learn that the President also urged IISc to encourage entrepreneurship.

The Hindu's report also has this bit of howler:

Prof. Balaram said India’s first metallurgy and chemical engineering departments were started in IISc.

For example, the metallurgy department at the Banaras Hindu University (where I got my undergraduate degree) began its existence way back in 1923, while that at IISc started only in 1946-47.