Former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam graced our institute on 7th and 8th November, 2011. He visited the Chellakere campus, had a special interactive session with the institute’s undergraduate batch. He inaugurated the Robert Bosch Center for Research in Cyber Physical Systems and later gave a talk to a packed J N Tata Auditorium on 8th November, 2011.
Starting proceedings at the J N Tata Auditorium, Associate Director Professor N Balakrishnan gave the introductory speech. Director Prof P Balaram welcomed Dr Kalam and referred to the thunderous applause that welcomed Dr Kalam into the auditorium and stated that the only way the Director may get an applause when he enters the Auditorium is if he is accompanied by Dr Kalam.
The theme of the talk was “Evolving a unique you”. Dr Kalam started by speaking about the beginning of IISc. He spoke about his experiences with Prof Satish Dhawan, theclasses that he attended, the way they worked on a project to design a contrarotating propellor and mentioned Prof Satish Dhawan’s advice: “In a project, problems will always occur. You should master them”.
Dr Kalam held the audience spellbound with his charisma and had the entire audience (comprising of grown up researchers) reciting his oaths with childlike sincerity and enthusiasm.
He listed the criteria for building a unique personality. 1. Have a great aim (Small aim is a crime) 2. Continuously acquire knowledge, through great books, teachers, wise people and good internet 3.Work hard and 4. Persevere. He added that IISc will provide a conducive environment to become a “unique you”.
APJ gave the example of Prof Satish Dhwan and listed out the essential qualities a leader should have. 1. Leader must have vision. 2. Leader must have passion to transform vision into action. 3. Must be able to travel into unexplored path. 4. Must have nobility in management 5. Must work with intergrity and succeed with integrity. 6. Must be a creative leader
In conclusion, Dr Kalam asked everyone in the audience to think about what we would like to be remembered for and to write it down on a page. This was followed by a vibrant question and answer session.
Finally, the vote of thanks was delivered by Associate Director Prof Balakrishnan
Illustration: Aravind Krishnan (SERC)