With IIT-Bombay alumnus Parag Agrawal being elevated as the new Twitter CEO, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) — the premier higher education institute in the country — has once again hogged the limelight worldwide.
Known for producing top innovators, scientists, academicians, economists and politicians for years, IIT-Kanpur has always kept a distinct place among the top five IITs (India currently has 23 IITs).
Established by an Act of Parliament in 1959, IIT-K was created with the assistance of a consortium of nine leading US research universities as part of the Kanpur Indo-American Programme (KIAP).
Situated on the Grand Trunk Road near the Kalyanpur locality, the institute currently has nearly 6,478 students — 3,938 undergraduates 2,540 postgraduates — and about 500 research associates.
The institute has also set up an office in New York, with alumnus and technologist Sanjiv Khosla as the overseas brand ambassador of the institute.
IANS takes a look at some of the most distinguished IIT-K alumni who have made the country proud on the world map.
N.R. Narayana Murthy
Murthy founded Infosys in 1981 that is today a highly innovative global software services company. Murthy conceptualised, articulated and implemented the Global Delivery Model (GDM), which has become the backbone of the Indian software industry. In 2014, Murthy was ranked 13th among CNBC’s 25 global business leaders and was listed among the ’12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time’ by Fortune in 2012. He has received numerous awards, including the Legion of Honour from France, CBE from Britain and Padma Vibhushan.
Currently the Chairman and CEO of tech behemoth IBM, Krishna led the building and expansion of new markets for IBM in Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, quantum computing and Blockchain. He was a driving force behind IBM’s $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat in 2019. After earning his BTech from IIT-K, he moved to the US to earn a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991.
Currently serving as Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & IT, Vaishnaw represents Odisha in the Rajya Sabha. In 2008, Vaishnaw left for the US to earn his MBA from Wharton School in the University of Pennsylvania. After his MBA, Vaishnaw came back to India and joined GE Transportation as its Managing Director. Subsequently, he joined Siemens as the Vice President, locomotives, and Head, urban infrastructure strategy.
As a renowned economist and central banker, Subbarao was the 22nd Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from 2008-2013 and served under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. After graduating in physics from IIT Kharagpur in 1969, he secured an M.Sc degree in physics from IIT-Kanpur. Subbarao topped the civil services examination in 1972 and was assigned the Andhra Pradesh cadre. In 1978, he did a master’s degree in economics from the Ohio State University. He is currently a distinguished visiting faculty at the National University of Singapore.
Jhunjhunwala has been a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras since 1981. During his career, he has contributed extensively to technology innovation and adoption in the Indian context. His research areas include optical communication, computer networks, wireless communication, decentralised solar and electric vehicles. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2002.
A billionaire businessman and co-founder of IndiGo airline, Gangwal was the former CEO and Chairman of US Airways Group. From June 2003 to August 2007, Gangwal was the Chairman, President and CEO of Worldspan Technologies, a provider of travel technology and information services. In 2020, he was ranked No. 359 in the Forbes’ 400 list of the richest people in the US.
Rakesh K. Jain
Jain is the Andrew Werk Cook Professor of Tumor Biology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the Harvard Medical School and Director of the E.L. Steele Laboratories for Tumor Biology at the MGH. In 2015, Jain received honorary doctorates from Duke University, KU Leuven, Belgium, and IIT-Kanpur. In 2013, he was awarded the National Medal of Science. He is regarded as a pioneer in the area of tumor microenvironment and is widely recognised for his seminal discoveries in tumor biology, drug delivery, in vivo imaging and bioengineering.
A business executive with more than three decades of experience in the IT and automotive sectors, Mittal served as the President of IT industry’s apex body, Nasscom. He set up the Data Security Council of India, which promotes data protection and develops best practices for security and privacy. The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) has conferred him with a lifetime achievement award for dedication to the growth of the global ICT industry.
Bansal founded fashion e-commerce company Myntra and currently serves as the CEO of cure.fit. In 2014, Myntra was acquired by Flipkart for $330 million, which was one of the largest e-commerce acquisitions in India then. After Flipkart’s acquisition of Myntra, Mukesh joined Flipkart. Under his leadership, Flipkart went on to achieve $5 billion in annual revenue. He has been listed in the Best 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurs by Fortune magazine.
Agrawal is a chemical engineer known for his contributions to cryogenic gas separation and liquefaction and renewable and solar energy. He is the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University in the US. In 2002, Agrawal was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering in the US for contributions to the development and worldwide implementation of high-efficiency and high-purity cryogenic and non-cryogenic gas separation processes.