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Manmohan Singh depends on IITians for social engineering

Sunday, 4 July 2010 - 1:36am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

The PMO has five officers from IITs, out of which three are from IIT Kanpur alone.

This is what you call social engineering through IIT engineers.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh may himself be an avante grade economist but his core team of handpicked officers has five IITians at present. 

In fact, the PM seems to have a special liking for the IITians and he acknowleged as much during his speech at IIT-Kanpur's convocation function on Saturday where he said that the institute was well represented in his office too.

The Prime Minister's Office has five officers from IITs — out of which three are from IIT Kanpur alone — while both his private secretaries are IITians too.

In fact, the PM's office has always been packed with top IITians for a long time. PM's two private secretaries who are IITians are Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi and Jaideep Sarkar while Amit Aggarwal (IIT-K) and Ashish Gupta (IIT-K) are the directors in PMO.

Besides two years back Shaleen Kabra (IIT-Delhi) was also part of the PM's core team while Ashish Kumar Singh (IIT-Mumbai) was PS to MoS PMO Prithviraj Chavan

"There is a long list of illustrious IIT alumni - Shri Narayanamurthy in the software industry, Shri Vinod Khosla in venture capital, Prof. Raghuram Rajan in economics, Dr. Subba Rao in public service, late Prof. Rajiv Motwani in computer science, Shri Ashok Kejriwal in the NGO sector and so on.

Your institute is well represented in my office too. There are three officers from IIT Kanpur in the Prime Minister's Office today. Both my private secretaries are alumni of the IITs," the PM said.

While talking about the IITians, the PM said that IIT alumni have helped immensely in this transformation of India's image, serving as excellent ambassadors for their country and in issues of governance. 

However, while lauding the achievements of the IITians, the PM also added that these students should also make an effort to give back to the society. "You will be well off; you will have accomplishments in your professional life.

But you must always bear in mind that the people of our country have partly paid for your education, that our country is still burdened with persistent poverty, hunger and disease and that institutions like yours are islands of excellence in a sea of less endowed institutions.

You must in some manner, however small it might be, give back to the society and the people who have nurtured you,"
Singh said probably indicating about his officers.

"…I hope you will be a little old fashioned and build your life on the bedrock of ethical conduct. I hope you will have the courage of conviction that Abraham Lincoln once spoke of- to close your ears to a howling mob and to stand and fight if you think you are right," the PM added. The PM wants IITs to take up more research and collaborate with the corporate sector. 

"We need more innovation in areas like sustainable agriculture, affordable health care and energy security. India's strength in frugal engineering and extremely affordable innovations is becoming known internationally.

Indian scientists and engineers should leverage this strength to play a more prominent role in addressing problems that affect all countries of the world," the PM said.

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