Greetings to all on the occasion of my taking charge as the President of the Indian Institute of Metals! I take this position with full sense of responsibility, and commit myself to achieve a higher level of performance for the Institute and its beneficiaries than before.
At the core of all the functions and responsibilities of our Institute is “Metallurgy and Materials Engineering” which are enshrined in our logo. By these, we mean the knowledge of metallurgy which we share (through seminars, symposia and technical papers), document (through technical books), test (through certification examinations), enhance (by short courses), and add value by taking up an advisory role for the Government and the related stake holders. It is in this spirit that I propose to steer our Institute in the year to come.
Let me now set the agenda for the Institute, in a point wise manner.
Short courses: The CII-IIM joint collaboration on offering technical courses for the industry professionals will be further strengthened. We will also explore other platforms for creating academic and certification courses for national as well as international audiences. The syllabuses of such courses may combine open source courses with IIM’s specialised courses to be offered soon.
Publications: Our flagship journal “Transactions of the Indian Institute of Metals” has been consistently performing well. One of the twelve issues in the year will be henceforth dedicated to Design and Manufacturing, keeping with the importance of metallurgical design and manufacturing. Depending on the response, the number of issues on Design and Manufacturing can be increased in future. IIM Metals News, the house magazine will create a calendar allocating monthly issues to cover important topics and invite experts to contribute. Sector-wise industries may be invited to contribute short articles as well.
Many technical books are on the anvil and will be published in due course of time. We plan to break new ground by creating a handbook on Steels based on the large amount of data on steels that has been created in the country and elsewhere.
Data bases: The importance of data bases cannot be overstated in today’s data empowered world. IIM can take up the responsibility to build data bases of companies, products, materials, experts etc on a digital platform amenable for analytics.
Think tank: A beginning will be made to create white papers on thrust areas to bring out gaps in metallurgical skills, education, technologies and knowledge.
International Relations: It’s important to have strategic relations with the international professional associations to remain connected and be benefitted. The Institute’s existing portfolio will be expanded to establish new collaborations in the coming year.
Digital outreach and brand building: We live in a digitally connected world and more so during the pandemic. In order to increase the Institute’s outreach and have more meaningful participation by the young generation, an innovative use of the digital media will be the way forward. Our institute will soon make its presence felt on media where active participation of professionals will be seen. The Institute’s Vision and Mission, and the takeaways from membership can be communicated on such media platforms effectively, apart from the latest information.
Platinum Jubilee: The institute is soon completing 75 years of its existence and service to the nation. Some of the activities are planned to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee year such as the International Symposium, Platinum Jubilee plaque, Monthly Commemorative Lectures by prominent metallurgical professionals, a movie on the achievements of the Institute and Essay competition for students.
Membership and Finance: A committee will specifically look into the growth opportunities. Three new award categories are introduced: Metallurgical Manufacturing, Materials Start-Up and Metallurgical Heritage. Further, the scope of existing awards is expanded to include New Materials, Safety and Health. With these inclusions and expansion, we hope to attract more members from other allied disciplines of science and engineering. We need to bring more corporate members.
Chapters: We will encourage leading chapters to revive their neighbouring dormant chapters and create incentives for the same. We should not hesitate to merge dormant chapters with active chapters in the neighbourhood if needed. A structurally leaner institute will be easier to manage and focus.
Events: The NMD ATM 2020 event will see live and online mixed mode of delivery to optimise safety and appeal. We will encourage chapters to hold special events of high calibre throughout the year. The institute will make efforts to project women and young metallurgists. Student-centric events such as tutorials to develop problem solving skills, giving career guidance etc will be promoted.
The Council: The council has more corporate leaders, more women and more young professionals than usual. Apart from their advisory role, they will be encouraged to come forward to take up functional roles.
Vice Presidents: We are very fortunate to have highly experienced and capable Vice Presidents in office. We will encourage them to plan at least one activity in the year to promote Industry- R&D- Academic Interactions, Student Activities, Materials Policy, Data Base Creation and International Outreach. They will be supported by task force leaders and task groups from the Council.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought fear and restrictions, and curbed our physical activities. However, we see a much better engagement on the online medium, reducing much time and costs associated with travel and stay. I believe this challenge may be converted into an opportunity by transforming IIM from a uni-dimensional entity, revolving around the ATM and the Awards functions into a multi-dimensional organisation humming with activities at national and chapter levels.
Thus in summary, the year ahead will see much activity in the following areas:
1. Training and reskilling for Industry
2. Specialty workshops on emerging topics for academia and R&D
3. Creation of relevant data bases
4. Student activities that include tutorials, and promotion of student-industry and R&D interactions
5. Status papers on materials technologies, technology gaps and the way forward
So friends, let us resolve to build a new IIM in its 75th year which is strong, sustainable and dedicated to the service of metallurgy, the metallurgist and the larger public good.
Thank you, one and all.