Contributions of IITK alumni and IOE crisis

Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, is one of the premier institutions set up by the Government of India. Registered in 1959, the institute was assisted by nine leading institutions of the U.S.A in the setting up of its academic programs and laboratories during the period 1962-72. With its record of path-breaking innovations and cutting-edge research, the institute is known the world over as a learning center of repute in engineering, science, and several interdisciplinary areas. In addition to formal undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the institute has been active in research and development in areas of value to both industry and government.
In the photograph I am standing with (2000 alumni reunion ) my batchmate Rakesh Gangwal, Co-Founder of IndiGo airlines who made one of the largest personal donations with a 100 crore contribution focused on supporting the School of Medical Sciences & Technology at IIT Kanpur. There are records of such  amounts of alumni funds flowing in IIT K - a true example of an ecosystem working in an academic environment. I am proud to see our institution producing thousands of such contributors and leaders across various sectors.
Give Back
Contributions of IITK alumni in money, time and expertise have had a significant impact and helped the institute undertake many initiatives. These contributions are special because the Institute can use them to fund important initiatives that do not have other funding options.
Crisis at IOE Pulchowk
A key focus should be on refreshing the agenda of democracy in academic institutions , investment in technology and human capital supported by adequate budgets from the government. Engagement of all concerned stakeholders is necessary for coming to amicable solutions.
Cheap versus expensive. Economic development versus profit. Control versus chaos. Momentum in the world is building for a new like-minded initiative dedicated to investment in technology, human capital and democracy in academic institutions to galvanize coordinated action. IOE should draw strategies to follow the global trends backed by an adequate budget from the government. Cream students of the nation should always have additional investment from the government. TU Engineering faculty should be governed by the Institutes of special Technology Act. The Act should declare them as " Institutes of National Importance" and should lay down their powers, duties, and framework for governance as the country's premier institutions in the field of technology. Government should grant the status of ‘Institute of National Importance’ to premier higher educational institutions in Nepal through an act of the Parliament. Such institutions should serve as a pivotal player in developing highly skilled personnel in the country. Such institutes get special funding and recognition from the Government of Nepal. I have raised these issues with various stakeholders like university grand commission, national planning commission, Pokhara University, Tribhuvan university in the past. I have spoke during my speech in presence of Minister including Devenra Paudyel, Minister of Information and Communication including Mr. Gurung, secretaries, Directors, students and guardians.
The IT industry needs a mass scale of graduates and IOE should lead in this sector.
Financial sustainability is considered one of the major problems in many universities today. The main objective of administration in the universities is to guarantee they are capable of generating enough revenue to carry out their operations effectively and fund their academic and research activities without too much reliance on the funding by the government.
Determinants of alumni financial support to academic institutions : personal and institutional factors related to a willingness to make donations to the university. Student's academic experience and belonging to a non-academic student group as major positive influencers of intention to give. The gender and tribal balance as well as the University consenting to making their financials public were top conditions for financial giving. Universities and other higher educational institutions to deploy alumni funding as a financial strategy must change the perception of their Alma Mata and improve the quality of student-Institution relations while on campus. Academic institutions must improve on the current students' academic and social experiences on campuses and create permanent bonding and impression in post-graduation. My batchmate Rakesh Gangwal donated INR 100 crore to IIT Kanpur. This institute collects huge funds from alumni. This is an example of "The quality education paid". 

Author: Prof. Timila Yami Thapa

Experience: Combination of policy makers , innovator, entrepreneur,  and social activist

More than 40 years in ICT

Professor Timila Yami Thapa was educated in Indian Institute of Technology ( B. Tech. Electronic Engineering( 1975 batch), Kanpur, India and M.Sc. from  De Montfort University, Leicestershire, UK 1995 in Information Technology with specialization in Systems Engineering. She also underwent one year of training on Systems and Communication Infrastructure at Philips, Holland sponsored by UNDP. Her service to Nepal is a unique combination of a national-level policy planner, a pioneering educator in Information Technology and Computer Engineering, an industrial administrator, an entrepreneur and a social reformer working for upliftment of women, child-education and youth employment.  She pioneered and initiated new educational programs in Nepal. Her efforts to improve technological infrastructure culminated in the  first ever Computer Engineering program in the history of Nepal at Institute of Engineering under Tribhuvan University, which became the foundation of current growth in engineering and technology in Nepal.


Pioneering Contribution in ICT sector


Considering the political situation and the state of education in 1979, it required significant effort and persuasion of higher administration and ministers to invest in the technological future of Nepal. As a national-level policy planner, I worked for one year as a Member of the ICT Advisory Board under the Prime-minister's office.  As an educational policy planner, I served as a member of the Academic council and the Research Council under   University Grant Commission, Nepal.  I also worked as a governing member of the Nepal Engineering Council for three years. I also served for three years as a member of the advisory board member of Rural Telecommunication Fund Board, Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA). From 1996-08, I was also in charge of looking after promoting the software industry in the Computer Association of Nepal (CAN) where I worked as an executive board member (1996- 1998 ). I am currently also serving as an Immediate Past President, IETE ( Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers, India), Nepal chapter.

As an educator, I served in the Engineering  faculty, Institute of Engineering (IOE)  of Tribhuvan University, Nepal, since 1979 until my retirement (2015) first as a professor in the Electronics and Computer Engineering Department; and later as the Assistant Dean when I managed four state-owned and ten affiliated Engineering colleges. I taught Electronic Engineering courses from 1979 till 1997 and Computer Engineering courses in that department from 1998 till 2015 at Institute of Engineering IOE, under Tribhuvan University. I also worked in Pokhara university for four years designing course-curriculum of BE Software Engineering, Computer Engineering, BCA, BE in Information Technology. I also served as a senate member at Pokhara University. I also worked as a Senate member for two years at Pokhara University. 

I am the owner of a Software company Designco Nepal founded in 1991. That time, well-qualified human resources in the IT area were not available and opening a software company was very difficult due to the lack of resources and the domestic market.

I handled complex software projects of  Himal Cement, Nepal Electricity Authority, Nepal Telecom, Nepal Water Sewerage Corporations(NWSC)  and KUKL, Jyoti Group, etc.

I also initiated the creation of the first IT Park in the history of Nepal organizing a series of interactions with prominent leaders and business people including president of FNCCI. I was a CAN executive committee member then. CAN Infotech exhibition was also organized that also provided more exposure along with the further exposure in the International Software Industry exhibition at Hanover Germany 1996, 1997 and 1999  and I contributed  in formulating  IT policy and initiating IT park. I also convinced the Education ministry and concerned stakeholders to invest in opening Computer Engineering at IOE.

As a social reformer, I have been actively involved in the social work in child education and women’s empowerment by organizing many activities and participating in many organizations. I founded DHMA in 2011 and currently work as Chairperson to promote ICT, child education, empowerment programs for minority groups, especially women, skill development of youth and services for and child education. in Nepal. I am also engaged in other organizations with the major motto of promoting ICTs extensively for empowerment. I worked as Chairperson of Women Agency Research Nepal (2019- 2022), Life member of Women In IT(WIIT), Executive member of senior Professor’s Association, Executive Member of  Senior Citizens Samaj, Nepal. Member of Senior Professional Engineer, CIDC, India. Life member of Management Association Nepal (MAN), Nepal Engineer Association (NEA) and HEADS Nepal, Member of Women in Science and Technology (WIST),  Member of  Women chapter of Chamber of Commerce, Member of AOTs Japan, Member of Mount Everest Rotary club, Member of Lalitpur Cultural Centre.