Dean Emeritus

I passed-out in 2016, with a Bachelor’s in Production Technology, from MIT. I would mention Dr. A. Rajadurai, the former Dean, as one of the best Professors and Deans that MIT has ever had. Both in the academic and social front, he is a legend.

Dr. A. Rajadurai is a Metallurgical expert, who did his Bachelors from PSG College in Coimbatore. He did his Masters and Ph.D from IISc, Bangalore. He joined the Department of Production Technology in the year 1996. He served as the Head of the Department too. He has completed several funded projects and these projects are worth more than 10 Lakhs. His works are published in 42 International Journals and 23 National Journals. He has guided 14 Ph.D scholars, 6 MS scholars, and more than 100 UG and PG projects.

During our orientation day in the first year, he was introduced by our former HOD, Mr. A. Jothilingam, who cited Dr. A. Rajadurai’s academic achievements. I was astonished. I even planned to do my final year project under his guidance, although I was not completely aware of the opportunities and thesis topics available in Metallurgy. I eagerly looked forward to his classes in the higher semesters. But unfortunately, we were informed that he doesn’t handle classes for UG students. I was very sad. But our teaching fellow for Metallurgy, arranged a special lecture on “Micro structural Examining devices” delivered by Dr. A. Rajadurai. Even now, I remember each and every part of the lecture.

I can’t describe more on academic front as he didn’t handle classes other than that guest lecture. But as on the other aspects, I can specify many examples portraying his greatness.

Incident 1After Swearing in as Dean

During my first two and half years, there prevailed some tension in the air. The students had some hatred towards the administration. Some rules had been imposed (like don’t talk with seniors, don’t wear shorts while coming to the mess etc). We were badly in need of a student friendly person who would listen to our needs. We hoped for a change that would happen someday. And, finally the day came!

It was February 20, 2015,  6.15 PM. I was in my third year. Based on an inside tip, we all rushed to the main Administrative block. Our joy grew unlimited. We all felt that MIT will regain its old glory soon. The chairman of official Student body (Athenaeum) offered a huge garland to him. He politely refused it. He walked along with the students around the campus and had his dinner along with the students in the mess. (Imagine having dinner with the Dean of one of the most prestigious colleges in India). It was really a special moment for every MITian at the time.



Incident 2The first speech

After the swearing in ceremony, he arranged a meeting with the representatives of every department and organization. He assured that he will surely cater to the needs of the students. In return he asked us to maintain the college campus clean. He advised us not to litter inside the college campus. Even today, if someone meets him, seeking permission to conduct any function inside college campus, he insists that we clear the mess that we usually create. I haven’t seen a person like this in my life. After listening to him, I have never littered in the campus and I have used dustbins all the time. Under his efforts a specialization course on “Green Manufacturing Techniques” was introduced in our department. I can describe him as an academic person.

Incident 3My encounter with Dean Sir!

I was assigned the responsibility of conducting the Annual Alumni Meet for the Department of Production Technology in the year 2016. Along with the organizing team, I suggested a Guest lecture, in the class room for the Alumni, which will make them reminisce their college days. We all wanted him to deliver the guest lecture. Three of us together went to meet him and discuss our plans with him.

(Below is my conversation with him translated in English)

Me to PA for Dean: Sir! We have come to meet the Dean to seek permission for a Guest lecture.

PA for Dean: No problem. Go inside. Sir is free now.

(Me, leading in the front, hesitantly opening the door)

Me: May I come in Sir?

(He is sitting in the Chair behind the table and in-front of him, there are some chairs for other visitors)

Dean: Yes. Come in. Please sit down.

We informed him about the Alumni meet and the plans on Guest lecture.

Dean: Very nice idea. I appreciate your interest shown in the meet. Just tell me the exact timing, so that I can be there.

We informed him about the time. He asked us to keep him informed regarding our plans via email. He lent his Visiting card, his personal and official mail id.

Since it was evening tea time, he inquired whether we had tea. When we said no, he called his PA and provided us Tea and Biscuits. We were all Shocked!

Incident 4On the day of Alumni meet

On the day of the Annual Alumni Meet, he arrived on  time. He delivered a lecture on the Current Trends in Engineering Research. In his lecture, he outlined the available facilities in our college along with the needs. (which is the sole purpose of organizing an interaction with the passed out students every year) In his lecture, he presented people and their inventions. At the end, he displayed an empty slide and told them, “I have made this slide for one of my students. I will add up his research work along with this photo soon”. Goosebumps again!



At the end, we gave him a memento which he politely refused and said that he will receive only books as a compliment.



Incident 5My second encounter

The very next day, we again went to his office to thank him. One of our friends, bought a book, wrapped it in a cover and gave it to us. As usual, after entering his office he asked us to sit. We thanked him for delivering the lecture and lent him the book gift.

Dean: What book is this?

(We all looked each other as our friend who bought the book stayed outside.)

Dean : So, you randomly picked a book for gifting me? (With a smile) Now I am gifting the same book back to you. Go and read it. If you find it nice, then give it to me. That’s enough.

We took back the book and then returned it to him after reading it. That’s how a real teacher teaches his students from their own actions.

Here are some other incidents to be specified :

  • After he was assigned as the Dean, the members of MIT Quill approached him for an interview on his action plans. He politely refused by saying “Actions speak louder than words”.

  • After the December floods in Chennai, some of our College students arranged a cleaning campaign in the college locality. He, in-person visited the campus, interacted and encouraged the students.



  •  Is there any College whose Dean sits till the end of the college’s cultural fest with his family, witnesses the show and encourages the students? Well, we have!

 

  • To encourage student participation in all organizations, he made them official and appointed a staff advisor for all of them. Like departments, he arranged an official photo shoot with all the representatives of the organizations.

With the Volunteers of Youth Red Cross



With the members of The MIT Quill



With the members of the Variety Team


  • Every year, the Final year students of Production Department conduct a Student – Staff friendly cricket match. Besides his busy schedule as a Dean, he spent the afternoon playing cricket, with all staffs and students.

 



Surely MIT will miss him as a Professor and Dean. His complete academic profile can be found in the college website: http://www.mitindia.edu/en/pt-fac?id=342

Information and Image source:

  1. MIT Quill – Facebook page
  2. Madras Institute of Technology Website
  3. Department of Production Technology Photos – 2016 Alumni meet and Student Staff friendly cricket match
  4. Youth Red Cross Image
  5. MIT Variety Team Image
  6. this article was written as an answer to a question on quora. Link to his quora Answer: https://qr.ae/TUtlUQ

Written by: Sriram venkatachalam , 2012-2016 batch, Production technology.

 

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