Dear ISMAANA members:
The ongoing Corona virus pandemic has created great sense of personal and social insecurity around the world. We in USA have gone through 15 months of living with pandemic induced restrictions including wearing of mask, maintaining social distance and avoiding crowds. Since December 2020, intensive vaccination campaign has resulted in over 53% of US population getting their first dose and over 45% of population receiving both doses of vaccine. This has resulted in enormous drops in Covid-19 infections and number of deaths We are hopeful that by the end of July the pandemic effect would significantly ebb resulting in greater normalcy. Hopefully by the fall semester all schools and colleges will reopen with in-person classes.
India, on the other hand is undergoing a severe second phase surge of Coronavirus. During the month of April infections and virus-related deaths reached record levels. Infection levels have since started to come down but most areas of the country are under lockdowns and night time curfew. Vaccinating a country of 1.3 billion people is an enormous task but India is starting to make progress and it is estimated that by early 2022 most of the country will get vaccinated.
Due to Coronavirus, classes at IIT (ISM) are being held online and it is not certain when in person classes will resume. Within the campus over 70 persons got infected during the month of April, with two in serious condition. All have recovered and currently no new cases of Coronavirus within the campus are reported. This year Basant festival (Feb 2021) was also held online.
IIT (ISM), in addition to taking care of those who were infected within the campus is also providing much needed help to local population at Dhanbad in providing Medicine kits, Sanitizers, Face Masks, Oximeters, and Digital Thermometers and started a vaccination center for general public at the campus. We at ISMAANA undertook a fund-raising drive to help our alma mater to provide medical support to the local population. We collected and donated a sum in excess of Rs. 5 lakhs. Separately, Mr. Yugal K. Gupta (PE’68) generously donated $10,000 to help IIT (ISM) Covid relief fund.
We at ISMAANA continue to work on many projects to assist our alma mater as well as our north America based alumni. During the current academic year (2020-21) 38 students continued receiving merit cum means scholarships. Selection of candidates for another 14 scholarships were completed and we are sending the needed funds for these scholarships.
In addition, 8 academic excellence awards are given to eight fourth year students in four earth science branches and four major engineering branches based on their academic performance during the first 3 years. More details are provided under ISMAANA scholarship programs.
Work on Naresh Vashisht Center for Tinkering and Innovation (NVCTI) at IIT (ISM) is in the completion stage. Activity was limited to holding seminars and innovation competitions due to the lockdown but expected to pick up as students return to the campus. Two projects were selected for Dr. Piyush Dutta innovation prize this year. This was the first award of innovation prize of Rs 1 Lakh sponsored by Dr Piyush Dutta (Mining’60).
An alumni database development program is ongoing for last two years with dedicated efforts of Gaurav Seth. If you know of any alumnus who is not receiving our newsletter, please let Gaurav know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We started a fund-raising program in 2018 to enhance our endowment funds to continue and expand the academic excellence award program and to fund outstanding research projects at our alma mater. Additional funds are also needed to help IIT (ISM) students attend international seminars and conferences. Scarcity of funds limits us from considering many such requests during the year. We thank many of you have already contributed to the alumni fund. If you wish to donate please write your tax-deductible donation check to “Indian School of Mines Alumni” and send it to our treasurer Atul Kumar at 46 Huntsman Horn Circle, The Woodlands, TX 77380.
If you have any feedback to improve ISMAANA’s role or would like to contribute articles or news events or have any other comments, please send us a note.
President ISMAANA (’67 PE)