Trust you enjoyed reading the stories on community engagement in the last issue that provided a glimpse of what IIMA alumni are doing in the social space. We plan to take up other themes to showcase the contribution of Wimwians in different spheres.
As you know, the heritage campus of your alma mater is facing a variety of structural and other issues. The buildings are old and require significant efforts to restore and reconstruct. I am delighted to report to you that the Vikram Sarabhai Library has been repaired, restored and most importantly, transformed. The support of TCS was critical for this endeavor as this effort entailed significant expense. The pictures in this issue and the piece by our librarian Anil Kumar would give you sense of the enormity of the effort and the transformation that the library has gone through as a part of the restoration exercise. I am sure you would love the new ambience which is quite modern while the spirit of the Louis Kahn architecture is retained. We hope to raise more resources to restore and modernize the rest of the Louis Kahn Plaza buildings. Any support that you can provide for raising resources through CSR and other funding would very useful.
It is almost a year since we initiated the formation of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to enhance alumni engagement. As I mentioned in my last editorial, fifteen SIGs were created to elicit interest from alumni. The response was very enthusiastic and we have been working on mechanisms to make the SIGs vibrant. It is taking time but hopefully we are laying the right foundations to make the SIGs meaningful and sustainable. Of the fifteen SIGs, coordination teams for six have been formed and they are interacting with the larger group to identify activities that will be of interest to various stakeholders. These teams consist of alumni, faculty and current students affiliated to different clubs. A few alumni chapters have also organized events around some of the SIGs which shows that SIGs can potentially become useful for meaningfully engaging with alumni in different cities. A wide ranging set of activities are being planned by the SIGs and it is expected that such engagement would result in alumni members of the SIGs contributing to research, case writing, curriculum development, workshops and teaching on campus. I urge all of you to actively participate in this endeavor.
The season of re-unions has just got over and as always they provided wonderful opportunities to interact with the alumni of different batches. In all, eight reunions were organized this time, of which seven were held on campus. About 500 alumni participated in these reunions with their families. Unlike last year, we are only providing limited details of these reunions in this issue but hope to cover them more extensively in the next issue.
I am happy to report to you that the research profile of your alma mater has been growing in recent years. As many as 35 papers were published by Institute faculty in the A* and A category journals during 2018. The list of books and papers published in other journals is also long and inspiring.
Finally, I must mention the heartwarming felicitation function organized by the alumni in Mumbai for Professor Abhinandan Jain. Alumni from all over the country participated in this emotionally charged event. It was a pleasure to be part of it and experience firsthand, the warmth of the alumni for their beloved teacher.
Professor of Economics
Dean, Alumni and External Relations