Dear ISMAANA members:
We wish you and your family a very happy holiday season. For the last 20 months we have been living with the Covid-19 pandemic but the ferocity of the pandemic has now ebbed with an aggressive program of vaccinations. Many nations are opening their borders for visitors and there is a sense of relief and hopefulness. Recent development of the new Omicron variant however is creating new sense of anxiety and frustration.
Over sixty percent of population in US is fully vaccinated, This, still leaves a large share of the population unvaccinated, many of whom are opposed to vaccination. It is a matter of considerable concern as unvaccinated population continue to get infected and prolong the misery of this pandemic.
India went through a severe second wave of pandemic in spring of 2021 with large number of hospitalizations and deaths. Many of us lost our near and dear ones and the whole nation underwent a prolonged grieving period. With a very aggressive program of vaccinations cases are down over 97% since the peak and death rates are down over 95%. Currently over 30% are fully vaccinated and another 30% had one shot. It is estimated that by first quarter 2022, most eligible adults will have at least one shot of vaccine.
Pandemic had great impact on educational institutes. All of 2020-21 academic session at IIT (ISM) was held online. While students are gradually trickling back during new academic session of 2021-22, full in-person classes are expected to resume in January 2022.
We congratulate Dr. Raja Ramani (MinE.’62) for being inducted into National Mining Hall of fame Museum located at Leadville Colorado USA. It’s a great honor and first time an IIT (ISM) alumni is inducted into such a prestigious museum.
During the pandemic, ISMAANA’s role of helping our alma mater continued. We had 2 fund raising initiatives for Covid relief raising over to Rs. 50 lakhs for PM Cares fund. We continued to award 56 merit cum means scholarships, and eight academic achievement awards. Piyush Datta innovation award of Rs 1 lakh was awarded to 2 groups of students for their innovative projects. Additionally, eight more innovation awards were started and expected to be awarded during the current academic session.
Naresh Vashisht Center for Tinkering and Innovation was utilized for seminars and two innovation competitions. As in-person classes resume activity for the center is expected to accelerate. We started a monthly online seminar for students under the leadership of Dr. Ganesh Thakur. We also started an online internship program mentored by alumni faculty members in North American Universities. Currently we have 5 interns under mentorship of Dr. Anil Kumar, VP ISMAANA and Dr. Amit Acharya of Carnegie Mellon University.
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)