At the outset, my warm regards and greetings to the esteemed members of the Indian Institute of Metals (IIM) ! It is a great privilege and honour for me to take over as President of this esteemed institution. IIM is an organisation with a proud past and an exciting future, being one of the largest and most prestigious associations of scientists, engineers, technologists, academicians, managers and industrialists in the field of metallurgy and materials engineering in India.
And as I refer to its proud past, I wish to acknowledge the endeavours and achievements of the past Presidents and other office bearers. Their persistent, passionate and pragmaticleadership of the Institute combined with a clear vision of the path has brought the IIM to its current position of eminence amongst global metallurgy institutes and industry bodies. Mr. Anand Sen, outgoing President, has made significant contributions with his professional acumen, to steer the IIM through the year and especially during NMD-ATM 2018 at Kolkata, which was a grand success.
In the face of considerable short-term volatility across multiple industrial sectors and a global economic slowdown, India has set a daunting target of becoming a US $ 5 Trillion economy by FY2024, requiring a steady growth rate of 9% over five years. Within the realm of India’s domestic developmental imperatives, poverty alleviation through universal access to education and vocational training and employment generation is of paramount importance, as is infrastructure development which keeps pumping adrenaline into the economy. In the rush for development we can also not afford to ignore climate-change minimisation / reversal goals. These apparently conflicting imperatives need innovative science-based solutions through technological self-reliance, and, human resource and skill development. The Institute, through its educational initiatives, and through its strengths in networking amongst the industry-academia-research troika, has much to offer to the nation in this regard. We have a lot to offer to the Government, Industry and to the broader society as they wrestle with the issues of the progressing economy and, if we do it right now, I know our contributions will be welcomed and appreciated. For example, we could generate white papers on employment opportunities for Metallurgy & Materials engineers, Skill development for Supervisors and Technicians in metallurgical industries, Bringing up new generation curriculum for academic courses in educational institutions on advanced materials engineering related topics, Continuing education via online/distance education mode, and certification courses for working professionals in metallurgical industries, and many more such topics where we can strengthen the policy makers of our country by providing valuable inputs.
Over the years membership has increased, however the component of active members has declined which needs utmost attention. Introspective and perceptive reasoning suggests that the Institute needs to evolve through new modes of membership acquisition and continuing engagement with members through multiple channels of communications. Parallely, strengthening our professionalism – through education, training, publications and providing more platforms like NMD-ATM, possibly at the regional level, where interactions among multidisciplinary metallurgical research approaches will ensure metallurgical advancements for improving the economy.
In this online era, we all should also start thinking of creating chronicles where we record all important events of IIM, achievements of our illustrious members, named as hall of fame which will be our gift to future generations. I encourage all of you to give feedback on this to me for implementing the same. Over the next few years we will continue to build on our strengths, but also take on new directions.We will continue our programs that strengthen our professionalism – through education, training and resources. We will also retain our commitment to solidarity, ensuring that our members that are less resourced can have more opportunities and assistance to develop the skills.
Among the new approaches, I wish to concentrate on enhancing communications among present members by making our website more attractive and supportive, reaching out to our less resourced members with opportunities and assistance; and attracting new members from industries and academies by planning workshops and professional courses for industrial personnel; and, career guidance outreach programmes in metallurgical field for student community.
This year, the flag-ship event of IIM, the 57th National Metallurgists Day and the 73rd Annual Technical Meeting are being organised together with an International Symposium on Advanced Materials for Industrial and Societal Applications at Trivandrum, a city of great technological and cultural significance. I look forward to your active participation and contributions which will lead to an enriching experience for all of us.
Our Institute will attain a significant landmark in 2021 when IIM reaches Platinum Jubilee of its functioning. It is my proud privilege to kick-start our preparations for a year-long series of events including a Platinum Jubilee Lecture Series, Special publications, Technical gatherings, Media events, Student competitions, Commemorative postal stamp and first-day cover, and many other events culminating in the NMD-ATM 2021 mega-event at New Delhi. We owe it to our founders to make this a truly memorable milestone and I look forward to working with each of our Chapters, institutional and individual members.
Through this coming year, we will thus be involved as volunteers in a number of events and actions designed to take this Institute forward to greater heights in relevance and impact to society and nation. In all these endeavours, I look forward to the whole hearted support of all members making IIM a truly global association in the field of metallurgy and materials engineering.
Jai Hind !
(U. Kamachi Mudali)