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BITSians worldwide mourn the demise of Dynamo Diro Dr CR Mitra

2008-08-28 Print
 

Dr. Chittaranjan Mitra --- a pioneering innovator in higher education and a great builder of educational institutions and educational systems --- passed away in New Delhi on August 27, 2008.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / PRURGENT

Dr. Chittaranjan Mitra --- a pioneering innovator in higher education and a great builder of educational institutions and educational systems --- passed away in New Delhi on August 27, 2008.

Son of the late Sri Iswar Chandra Mitra, Dr. C.R. Mitra (CRM)studied at Allahabad University, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, did his Masters at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then acquired a Doctorate in Engineering Science from Columbia University, New York.

Returning to India from the USA, in the mid sixties CRM became the Director of HBTI Kanpur. In 1969 he was offered the Directorship of Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani Rajasthan and then on it was a mission with passion for Dr Mitra to put BITS Pilani in the league of IITs as one among the top ranking institutions in India today with global reputation.

Dr Mitra’s administrative acumen, resource mobilization and resource optimization abilities resulting in the building of a sizeable endowment for BITS Pilani are folklore among university administrators world over.

The broad based integrated educational system with strong emphasis on interdisciplinary approach at BITS Pilani to make the students graduating from BITS to be achievers apart from being dreamers was his vision. BITS alumni spread across the globe from Australia to America have no hesitation in declaring that it is the BITS Educational system pioneered by Dr CR Mitra which made them world movers and shakers.

Dr Mitra was twice the President of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and he was the first Asian to become the President of Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

The Practice School concept analogous to Internship by medical graduates pioneered by him for all students of BITS Pilani put the entire Industrial Map of India as the Practice School station map of the Institute.

To address the human resource development needs of the industry and simultaneously address the challenge of running higher degree programs at BITS Pilani, in the year 1979, Dr Mitra pioneered the M.E.(Collaborative) degrees which has today resulted in work integrated learning programs having an enrollment of about 17,000 and two thirds revenue for the Institute.

The educational reforms Dr Mitra carried out at BITS Pilani from 1969 to 1989 in terms of admissions, examination reforms, the dual degree concept, cafeteria approach to choosing electives, Industry University collaborations and many more have been the subject of several PhDs and numerous research papers.

Dr CR Mitra is undoubtedly one of the greats in shaping higher education in India and his insights, his clarity of mind and his wisdom guided his colleagues and students all through.

After two decades of passionate association with BITS Pilani, in the year 1989, CRM was invited by NIIT where he shaped the DNIIT, GNIIT, ANIIT and FNIIT programmes thus bestowing NIIT with the de facto status of a provider of university level education and force to reckon with in IT education.

Dr Mitra has authored several books which include Challenge and Response towards a New Education Policy, Education for Self Reliance, Higher Education in Changing Scenarios, S & T in Action, Managing S & T and The Knowledge Enterprise: Redefining Higher Education.

CRM, as he was fondly known, is survived by his wife, Dr. Sandhya Mitra, his son, Dr. Amitava ‘Babi’ Mitra, his daughter, Dr. Anuradha Mitra Ghemawat, his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Srirupa Mitra and his two grandsons, Abhiranjan Mitra and Gautam Mitra, his son-in-law, Dr. Pankaj Ghemawat and his granddaughter, Ananya Maumita Ghemawat, his sisters, Dr. Raka Mitra and Dr. Rita Mitra and by many other relatives.

On a more personal level, Dr. Mitra comes from a family imbued in the arts, literature, music and visual arts, and was an inspiration behind Swarabitan in Allahabad. Dr. C.R. Mitra is an ardent admirer of Tagore’s writings, songs, paintings and educational experiments. He took his inspiration from Tagore's "Where the Mind is Without Fear and the Head is Held High" and "Ekla Chalo re"

Dr CR Mitra will always be remembered by BITsians world over as part of a legacy...of sharing dreams, shaping and changing the Institution for the better. He's that legacy who never dies".

 
Contact Info
DR BR Natarajan
Professor & Vice President
BITS Alumni Association (BITSAA)
Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS)
Pilani (Rajasthan) 333031 India

Phone: 91-1596-242210

Website: http://www.bits-pilani.ac.in