Baton Passed on for PanIIT Global Conference 2013 in Houston

Witty Bindra (R), Chair of the IIT 2013 Global Conference in Houston accepting the baton

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Kolkata, India – Every year, PanIIT conferences take place amid much pomp and fanfare. But what happens in the time span between two conferences? How is PanIIT shaping up? How can the India chapter learn from their Indian counterparts? All of these were discussed and the baton for Houston PanIIT Global Conference 2013 was passed over on the last day of the PanIIT Global Conference 2012.


The roundtable was attended by Arvind Gupta, HR Vaish, Sid Chowdhary, Sandipan Chakraborty and Arjun Sen. The panelists shared their experiences and traced the journey of Pan IIT and its objectives.


Pradeep Gupta highlighted the contribution of the US alumni, especially the Washington DC group and their 60 minutes program that made them a household name. “Section 227 acknowledged the contribution of IITians to the US economy,” said Gupta, mentioning the role of Hiten Ghosh and Suresh Shenoy.


“Between conclaves, we help in employment, education and entrepreneurship,” pointed out Hari Padmanavan, pressing on the need for digital marketing and social networking to move forward. The role of Pan IIT, he also said, should be to provide a think-tank role to the government.


“Initiatives have to be scaled. What is required is time for Pan IIT to run. We have to work more, sustain and grow,” said Chakraborty.


Sid Chowdhary, chairman, PanIIT, US, said that the need is to make sure that Pan IIT remains relevant. “We need to help in promoting success of IITians, and not just the prominent ones irrespective of where they are in their career paths; connect all alumni both physically and virtually and give back to the community,” he said.


“We need to provide alumni services. We want them to be engaged and feel the value of Brand IIT. We can create roadmaps and there are a host of other services that we can provide,” added Chowdhary.


In the US, the role of PanIIT will also be advocacy. “IITians in Washington Dc are already asked for advice on policy matters. In India, though, the key task should be nation building,” he said.


According to Arjun Sen of the US chapter, an alumni cell needs to be created that will provide new IITians going to the US all useful information. “We have started a newsletter. There are lots of ideas but we can only implement them based on resources,” said Sen. There are 60,000 IIT alumni in the US.

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