The First Convo— Class of ‘55

Prime Minister Nehru’s at the first IIT-Kgp Convocation on April 21, 1956

Dear Friends,

As you may or may not be aware, I am a graduate (electrical engineering ) of the first batch of the very first IIT, IIT Kharagpur. The IITs were the vision and brainchild of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s very first Prime Minister. Establishing institutes of higher learning was one of his pet projects and he personally participated in the growth of these institutions.

Thus, when the very first batch of graduates from IIT Kharagpur had their convocation in April 1956, Nehru personally attended the celebratory event and handed out degrees to the graduates. In the photo, I am the Sardarji with glasses right behind Nehru’s left shoulder. The Sardarji behind Nehru’s right shoulder is Sarjit Singh Dhanjal (Civil Engg) and the Sardarji next to him is Jaspal Singh (Civil Engg).

After receiving the degree from Nehru we shook hands with him and walked away. Later in the day, we had lunch with him. The dignitaries sitting with Nehru include Dr S.R. Sengupta (Director) on his right and Dr B. R. Seth (Head of Maths department ) on Dr Sengupta’s right. On Nehru’s left is Dr B.C.Roy, chairman, the board of governors, Dr J.C. Ghose, first director of IIT Kharagpur, and Mr P. N. Sengupta, registrar.

I shook hands with Nehru again in 1964 when I was working as an executive engineer with Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking (DESU) and Nehru came to inaugurate Indraprastha power station. Incidentally, the first hall of residence was Patel Hall which was built in 1951 and was followed by Nehru Hall in 1952 and Azad Hall in 1953. Other residences came later.

Although I do recognize most of the other faces in the photo this information would not be of interest to most of us.

- Jogendra Singh | Class of 1955 | IIT Kharagpur | Elect. Engg.

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Students' Alumni Cell, IIT Kharagpur

Alumni cell is a student body in IIT Kharagpur with the aim to foster and bridge the interaction between the institute and its Alumni.