The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong organised the third edition of the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Lecture Series 2018 on July 27th to mark the death anniversary of former President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The lecture which commenced with an intriguing invocation was followed by Director Prof. Keya Sengupta, Director, IIM Shillong reminiscing on how “Dr. Kalam’s teachings, through close angles, has helped nurture and develop the personality of the young and dynamic leaders emerging out of IIM Shillong who can finally shape the future business landscape.”
Renowned physicist and Chief Guest of the event, Padma Bhushan Prof. Bikash Sinha delivered a lecture on “The Beauty and The Aesthetics in Science”, which was attended by the students of IIM Shillong, amongst a host of attendees comprising of faculty and students of colleges and schools, and dignitaries from the Indian Army, the Airforce, Paramilitary, State and Central Armed Police Forces.
Prof. Bikash Sinha is an Indian National Science Academy (INSA) honorary scientist and an expert in the fields of nuclear physics and high energy physics. He is the former director of the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics and Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre. He has also been the Homi Bhabha Chair Professor of the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre and was a member of the scientific advisory board to the Prime Minister of India. Professor Sinha talked about the intricate relationship of beauty and science. Talking about Einstein’s field equation of gravity, he said, “Look at the beauty of the equation. It has the ability to describe and explain the entire universe.” He talked about the work of great luminaries such as Werner Karl Heisenberg, Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, Majorana, Fermi and Stephen Hawking and the significance of aesthetics of their theories and equations. Addressing the students in his concluding statement, he said, “Man has used science to destroy mankind but remembers that on this very day, 3 years back Dr. Kalam breathed his last while still espousing his belief that India’s growth is a collective responsibility. “ Drawing light on the true magnitude found in great personalities like Einstein and Tagore, Prof. Sinha exhorted current generations in arriving on discursive points, the respective domain of study and knowledge following notwithstanding, which can further lead to evolvement, through progress on an emerging line of thought towards better understanding of each other’s strength and weaknesses, and being more human and cherishing the true sense of humanity.
On behalf of the Institute, Prof. Basav Roy Choudhury, PGP Chairperson, IIM Shillong thanked Prof Sinha for sharing his insights and the thought-provoking lecture. Thanking everyone for their contribution in making the event a success, he said, “Dr. Kalam does not need any introduction but it is good to remind ourselves of his contribution to humanity. He could not have imagined his commemoration without the presence of children and we are honoured to have children from various schools of Shillong.”
IIM Shillong also hosted a candle lighting and floral homage on its campus, remembered by many as the place where India’s most beloved former President breathed his last, which was open to the public to pay their respect to the much-loved Missile Man of India.
‘Creating a Liveable Planet Earth’ was the last lecture delivered by India’s Missile Man, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam at IIM Shillong in 2015. The Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Lecture Series was started in 2016 to honour his memory, and the past editions have been graced by Dr. Manas K Mandal, Director General – Life Sciences, DRDO and Padma Vibhushan G. Madhavan Nair, former Chairman, ISRO.
Inspired by the teachings and values of Dr. Kalam, students of IIM Shillong started Nurturing Minds in 2015. The objective of the program is to encourage learning and help nurture creativity, amongst socially and economically underprivileged school children of Shillong.