|Previous||Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, IIMA and ISRO (August - 2023)|
Congratulations to ISRO and all Indians for the successful soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 near the moon's south pole. India has become only the fourth country to have a lander on the moon, and the first to do so near the lunar south pole.
In this month's snippet, we delve into the intertwined story of one of our founding members, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, IIMA, and ISRO. A little known aspect is that ISRO was among the Top-10 recruiter of students at IIMA between 1966 and 1974. Kiran Karnik (PGP 1968) spent two decades at ISRO and was later President of NASSCOM (2001-2008).
During the initial years of the Institute, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, father of the Indian space program, served as the honorary, part-time director of IIMA while simultaneously setting up ISRO in 1962, then known as the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR), among various other activities.
Dr. Sarabhai played a pivotal role in establishing IIMA. He successfully persuaded local industrial houses, led by the remarkable Kasturbhai Lalbhai, to pledge their support for the institute. With this great support & assistance, he ensured building the necessary infrastructure and convinced Dr. Jivraj Mehta, the first chief minister of Gujarat, to allocate land for the institute. Dr. Sarabhai continued as the honorary director until August 1965 when Prof. Ravi Matthai took over as the first full-time director. After his tenure at IIMA, Dr. Sarabhai was appointed as the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission in May 1966.
As a document of the month, we present several items of interest. First, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai's convocation speech "Preservation and Innovation, the tasks of Government in Developing Countries", at IIMA from April 1967, during his tenure as Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission in the Government of India, based on a paper co-authored with Dr. Kamla Chowdhry, IIMA's first faculty member. The document also shows ISRO's recruitment drives that sought to employ IIMA students for both permanent and summer positions, and the fascinating connections between our students and ISRO through student yearbooks and IIMA alumni magazines.
For an enthralling account of the Astronomy Club of IIMA, known as Stargazers, click here, discover the significance of The Bronze Head of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, a prominent fixture in the Vikram Sarabhai Library (VSL), by following this link.
Immerse yourself in the captivating world of IIMA with a documentary produced by ISRO in 1989. Witness the vibrant student life, dedicated faculty, and the overall essence of our esteemed campus. Watch the documentary here as it offers a unique perspective on the institution through the lens of the Development & Educational Unit of ISRO Production.
The staff of IIMA continues to engage with ISRO through cricket as the local cricket tournament is often held on the grounds of ISRO (Ahmedabad) though mobile phones of outsiders are not allowed inside the premises for security reasons.
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