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The 'CRs' on Campus: Ever evolving Classrooms at IIMA
"Classrooms have been spectators to IIMA’s growth since the 1960s. They have served as catalysts, propelling the growth and fostering an environment conducive to learning and innovation."
Classrooms have been spectators to IIMA’s growth since the 1960s. They have served as catalysts, propelling the growth and fostering an environment conducive to learning and innovation. These spaces, over the years, have witnessed countless moments of inspiration, and intellectual exploration.
During this time, significant campus construction took place, culminating in the establishment of six permanent classrooms by 1974. These classrooms, designed by renowned architect Louis Kahn, then, had a capacity of 60 students and can be considered the first permanent classrooms on campus, as Prof. Vijaya notes in VSC-NY25 "Classroom Complex (CR-1 to CR-6) completed in 1974" (p. 11).
During this period, the institute was undergoing significant computerization, although the introduction of computers at IIMA had occurred in the early seventies. This development facilitated the implementation of computer projection systems in the classrooms, greatly enhancing the teaching and learning experience.
A special report on 'Computerization at IIMA,' published in the 'Alumnus' (Vol. 22, No. 1, January 1990, IIMA Archives) emphasized the impact of this advancement. It stated, "use of computers by PGP, FPM and FDP participants has gone up substantially since the opening of a PC lab exclusively for them in 1986. Use of computer projection systems in classroom where in the image on the PC is reflected on a much bigger screen has made, both, teaching and learning more effective and enjoyable". The report also highlighted that many instructors had begun extensively incorporating computers into their classroom instruction.
On November 16, 1992, during a planning committee meeting, it was suggested to introduce cordless microphone systems in classrooms and replace the traditional blackboards with whiteboards. This change was deemed more convenient and less hazardous to health.
By 1997, there was a high demand for computer-based projector systems for classroom presentations. The institute had a portable projector with a notebook, but it was insufficient to meet the then existing demand. It was felt that the classrooms needed to be redesigned to accommodate this technology (Source: IIMA Alumnus, Vol. 29, No. 3, September 1997, p. 10, IIMA Archives).
In 1999, there were discussions about improving the electrical infrastructure for including the installation of air conditioning to the classrooms. The building committee approved the appointment of Shri Mukesh Shah as the regular AC consultant and SMPS Consultants, who had previously worked with the institute, as the electrical consultant for classroom air-conditioning.
Additionally, the lighting in the classrooms was considered inadequate, as the average lumens at that time were only 65, which did not meet the then existing international standards. The building committee meeting in August 1999 discussed plans to improve the lighting situation.
Overall, these changes and improvements aimed to enhance the learning environment and provide better facilities for students and faculty.
During this period, there was a growing need for more classrooms with larger seating capacities. As a result, the first phase of the New Campus development was being planned. Construction began, and by 2005-06, according to the annual report (2005-06), "5 classrooms with a capacity of 80 each" were completed and in use. These classrooms are now part of Academic Block 1 on the New Campus. At that time, the institute already had 11 classrooms in use, with 6 on the main campus and these 5 on the new campus.
In the following year, 2006-07, two more classrooms with a capacity of 80 were added in the IMDC. Later, in 2011-12, minor renovations were undertaken for the main campus classrooms, including the "classroom terrace arches." Additionally, in 2013-14, a flat-floored seminar room was converted into a 60-seater theatre-style classroom to meet the increasing demand for short-term courses (Source: AR, 2013-14, IIMA Archives).
During the period, contributions were received from the alumni for the restoration and upgradation of some classrooms, on the main campus.
Eventually, at the same time, the design phase for the New Academic Block on the New Campus commenced in 2017-18, followed by a meticulous tendering process and obtaining the necessary permissions from the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). Finally, in April 2019, the construction work began, and after several months of dedicated efforts, the project was successfully completed by late 2022.
These eight state-of-the-art classrooms, now known as the classrooms of the New Academic Block, are currently in use, marking a significant milestone in the history of the institute.
It is fascinating to witness the continuous evolution and progress of the classrooms and their facilities. As a testament to this, we invite you to explore an intriguing recreation of a 1982 classroom in 2022, meticulously crafted by Prof. Chinmay Tumbe. This recreation serves as a captivating reminder of how the iconic classrooms with vintage furniture have provided an exceptional learning environment for our students.
Note: Currently, in the Old Academic Block (AB 1) on the New Campus, there are 5 + 1 classrooms in operation. Specifically, CR 7-11 and CR 12 are functional. CR 7-9, with a capacity of 104, is designated for the PGP programme. CR 10-11, with a capacity of 103, is allocated for PGPX. Furthermore, on occasion, some seminar rooms are utilized as classrooms for elective courses. Additionally, CR 12, with a capacity of 40, is designated for IMDC for MDP programmes (along with 2 classrooms at IMDC).
In the New Academic Block (AB 2) on the New Campus, there are 8 classrooms available. These classrooms are distributed across the first and third floors, with 4 classrooms on each level. These classrooms, ranging from CR-13 to CR-20, have a capacity of 98 and are primarily used for the PGP programme. Notably, CR-16 is specifically designated for PGP FABM.
We extend our gratitude to the PGP and PGPX programmes officers for providing us with these details.
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