Obituaries for alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, will be published on this website in honor of our departed friends and classmates. Obituaries customarily include the following: (1) date and place of death; (2) a brief summary of career; (3) interests, passions, hobbies, publications, honors and other distinctions the alum would have liked to see mentioned; (4) the names of surviving family members. Please write to obituaries @ iitbombay.org with the above information and include a photo if you wish. Kindly note that the information you provide may or may not reprinted verbatim, but may be used as a basis for the obituary.
Prakash Raghunath Joshi
(B.Tech '76 , MTech '78 Aeronautical Engineering, H4)
Prakash Raghunath Joshi; (popularly known as Anna Joshi to his batchmates) joined IIT Bombay in 1971 for B.Tech in Aeronautical Engineering. He was my wingmate in hostel 4. He came from a modest middle class family living in a small village Adivare near Rajapur in Konkan, Maharashtra. His history and entry to IIT is amazing. Credit goes to his innate intelligence and the determination of his visionary parents to educate all the children till the highest level in spite of their rural background.It will be difficult for us city dwellers to digest that his village had no school till 1960 and no electricity till 1970. Anna studied till 10th standard in his village in a newly started Marathi medium school. Since there was no teacher for Physics and Chemistry in the school, he had to go to Rajapur for his SSC – 11th standard then. In spite of such odds he passed SSC exam with excellent marks in 1969 and qualified for the National Merit Scholarship. Anna came to Mumbai for further education, and joined SIES college at Sion. One of his friends in SIES college gave him JEE application form and made him apply. He appeared without any serious preparation and cleared the JEE. He opted for Aeronautical Engineering. After B Tech (1976), he also completed M Tech (1978) in Mechanical Engineering as jobs for Aeronautical engineers were not easy in those days.
I have observed him at IIT as a very disciplined and self respecting student. He never missed any class and was always aware of the hardships and financial difficulties his parents were facing to educate their children in Mumbai. He never spent money unless absolutely needed and tried to manage within the scholarship that he used to receive.
After completing IIT education he was selected by Larsen and Toubro for their newly started R&D centre. In due course, he was entrusted with higher responsibilities, in the company’s heavy Engineering Division, and then in Oil & Gas division. Finally he was Head of L&T Valdel at Bangalore office. He worked for the company till he superannuated in 2013. He has a few papers to his credit published in international journals where he has written about his pioneering work in the field. Due to his own personal experience during childhood, he was very sensitive about proper education of the underprivileged children. He has personally tutored many poor children in the area as a social service. He firmly believed that medium of school education should be mother tongue. Although the current trend is for English medium education, he admitted his son in a Marathi Medium school near his house. Apart from all his qualities listed above, he was a lover of Sanskrit language.
Anna was suffering from cancer for the last couple of years which he faced very boldly. He took prescribed treatment religiously and was an ideal patient; but finally he breathed his last on 27th February at about 6 pm.
The sad demise of Anna is a personal loss to me and all his friends from IIT. He was a man of integrity, always cared for his family and everyone around him, and worked for the society and above all, never forgot his rural roots. I salute him for all his qualities. He is survived by his mother who herself is 91 years in age; wife, son, daughter in law and a grand child. I pray that the God gives courage to his family to bear the loss and that his atma attains mukti.
~As reported by Suhas ( Aba ) Khedkar (B.Tech Civil 1976 , MTech Structural 1978)
Shrikant K. Kudekar (B. Tech.'72 EE, H5)
Shrikant K Kudekar, “Guru” to his friends and colleagues, departed from this world on 13th of January 2017 aged 68.
Shrikant, an alumnus of IIT Bombay, graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1972. A popular inmate of Hostel V, who would be remembered as a quiet but imposing person who made his presence felt in everything he did. He, along with three other IITian friends was the founder of Pune based Technofour Group, a company of high repute in India and abroad. He did his schooling at Nutan Marathi High School and New English High School, Pune. Shrikant was also one of the scholarship recipients for a two year specialization internship at Philips Netherlands in 1972.
Shrikant leaves behind his wife Mrunalini, daughter Shilpa and son Srinivas. He also leaves behind a legacy of entrepreneurship and product development in the field of Eddy current testing and vital defence products. His zeal for 100 % indigenization of his developed products will be remembered by colleagues and those in the industry. He is the co-inventor for influence fuse for Adrushiya mine MK2, along with Scientists from A.R.D. Pune.
~ As reported by Pravin Dhole (EE'72 B. Tech.)
Prof. MGK Menon
Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Bombay from 1997 to 2003
Prof. Menon was born in Mangalore on August 28, 1928. His father was a District and Sessions Judge in British India and so Prof. Menon spent his child hood in various parts of India. He received his primary schooling in the Madras Presidency and his later schooling in Jodhpur. His college education was also partly in Jodhpur where he was a student of Jaswant College. He received his B.Sc from Agra University to which Jaswant College was affiliated. He then joined the Royal Institute of Science in Mumbai and earned his Master’s degree in science. He went on to do his PhD in Bristol, England where he did pioneering experimental work in cosmic rays under the guidance of Professor Cecil Powell.
Prof Menon’s work caught the attention of Dr Homi Bhabha, then the Director of TIFR and he invited Prof Menon to join TIFR, which he did. After working as a post-doctoral fellow for a few years in England, he came back to India in 1955. At TIFR, he continued his studies on cosmic rays by integrating himself with existing research groups. On the one hand, he was associated with the group for sending up balloons having glass plates with emulsions to study cosmic ray interactions at high altitudes and on the other side, he also worked with the group which performed experiments in the Kolar Gold Field mines to study cosmic rays deep below the earth’s surface. It was pioneering work and it was not surprising that he was honored with the S S Bhatnagar Prize. After Dr Bhabha’s demise in an air crash in 1966. Prof. Menon was appointed as the Director of TIFR.
In the nineteen seventies, the Govt of India recognized his contributions and his talent and it was not long before he moved to Delhi to hold a series of administrative posts concerned with the development of science and technology in India. Just to name a few, he was the Chairman of the Electronics Commission. He was a member of the Planning Commission. He was the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology and later the Minister of State for Science and Technology. He was a Member of Parliament from 1990-1996. So he had a very distinguished career which continued almost to the end.
Prof. Menon had been associated with IIT Bombay in a number of ways on many occasions. He was on the campus on the historic day of March10, 1959 when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone of the Institute. He was the Chairman of a Committee appointed by MHRD around 1975 to consider the possibility of establishing major Centres of Research in each of the IITs. The Centre for Studies in Resources Engineering owes its existence to that Committee’s report. He was also the Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT Bombay from 1997 to 2003.
In his passing away, the Nation has lost one of her most gifted scientists and administrators. May he rest in peace.
~ Extracted from Prof. SP Sukhatme's obit on Prof. MGK Menon
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