On January 25, 2020 alumni of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) inaugurated the Alumni Clock Tower, a gift back to their alma mater. The event was held on the IIT-KGP campus and brought together alumni and members of the IIT-KGP community, including students and faculty. The Secretary of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India, Shri Amit Khare, IAS was on hand to officially inaugurate the tower by cutting the ceremonial ribbon. Khare praised the IIT Kharagpur alumni for the thoughtful gift to their institution, “As the District Collector of Darbhanga, which had two clock towers, I often wondered the need for them when people had their wristwatches to look at the time. I soon realized that they were great socializing points. Both ADDA and the Alumni Clock Tower would be places of interaction and exchange of ideas, which is what great institutions facilitate.” The ADDA, which was gifted to campus by the Batch of 1970, was also inaugurated during this weekend because members of the batch were on campus to celebrate their golden reunion from KGP. The Batch of 1970 also had members that supported the clock tower fundraising efforts.
Mr. Ron (Ranbir) Gupta, President of the IITKGP Foundation USA and a member of the 1970 Batch stated, “This is going to serve as a beacon for the entire campus.” Gupta spearheaded the fundraising efforts for the clock tower, encouraging fellow alumni to contribute.
Fundraising towards this effort began in 2018 and brought in over 150 donors. Members of many different graduating batches extending from 1959 to 2017 were energized to give back to this pioneer project at IIT-KGP. The Clock Tower was designed by renowned architect and alumnus of IIT-KGP, the late I.M. Asthana, for whom this tower was his last project. Director of IIT-KGP, Prof. V.K. Tewari, said, “The Clock Tower may be made to display more features in the future, such as digital display of the temperature, humidity or announcements of major events. IIT Kharagpur has the largest infrastructure, students, faculty as well as alumni of all the IITs. With this enormous resource, particularly the assistance and mentorship of the alumni, no dream is impossible to achieve.” Also later inaugurating the Infrastructure monitoring laboratories at the Ranbir and Chitra Gupta School of Infrastructure Design and Management (RCGSIDM), Director Tewari asked the School if the monitoring of the IIT Kharagpur campus could be displayed at the Alumni Clock Tower, to which Dr. Bharath H. Aithal, Assistant Professor with RCGSIDM, replied positively. The monitoring at the Clock Tower is expected to begin February 29, 2020, according to Dr. Bhargab Maitra, Head of the RCGSIDM. The Alumni Clock Tower will leave a lasting impression for generations to come—the IITKGP Foundation USA would like to extend congratulations to all involved in the success of this project!