Coffee with our dearest Dumbledore

TEDxNITTrichy 2016 is finally here, and it’s bigger and better than before!

We couldn’t be more excited to kick off the second season of our TEDx chapter at NIT Trichy, and to present the flagship event of this season: Coffee Table Meet, the Director’s Screen! We, the people of TEDxNITTrichy cosied up a student audience of 52 and a very dear guest. With this being the first CTM, and wanting to stay true to TED’s goals of sharing ideas, we felt that our Director would best do that. Dr Srinivasan Sundarrajan is the Director (2011-16) of the National Institute of Technology, Trichy and former missile scientist at DRDO, India. That said, Director sir, also fondly referred to as the Dumbledore of NIT-T (for reasons obvious), has managed to garner such love from students that his Facebook page boasts of over 8K likes and students can be found frequenting his chamber at all times of the day.

Over the course of the evening, we students got to don the responsibilities that come with being in discussion with a man of such renown in his very own chamber. Dialogue flowed free (we’re not even joking!) to emphasise his opinion on assisted growth of local communities by virtue of advancements due to student research. He told of his days with former Indian President A. P. J. Kalam at DRDO, of predicaments faced at NIT-T and anecdotes of his relationship with students.

Attendees take part in discussion during the breakout session

It is beyond doubt that feedback is inexcusable for free speech and forms a distinguishing feature of smart leaders. With the advent of social media tools and accentuating presence of seemingly inconsequential cogs of an organisation, the Director has always supported voice of students at par with more chief individuals, evident this evening also. In an impromptu Q/A session at the culmination, note-worthy concerns were raised and suitable courses of action proposed by the audience also. Could you suppose that establishing grassroot-level communication has an entire box of issues of its own? Wow.

Dr. Sundarrajan addressing questions about the significance of entrepreneurship in students

Amidst all symposium, I gained vastly of insight from his generous forbearance that is the virtue of long years of passionate work. I learnt that entrepreneurial ideas might not be today’s conception, but they can be tomorrow’s: not everyone strikes gold together. I learnt to uphold a ‘Diary of Ideas’ to gain inspiration from in the rainiest of days, because not all can be materialised this moment. I learnt that it is skill and passion realised with awareness that pay, not vagrant education.

“Most people go to business school, learn management and seldom use it, our Director on the other hand, subliminally just uses excellent management techniques and shows others how it’s done.” said Sripathi Sridhar, an attendee.

Attendees pose for a cheery moment

Want to know what the Director thinks of the evening? Check it out!

All work and no play? That’s not the TEDxNITTrichy way! Every attendee was entitled to write personally to Dr. Sundarrajan (“(It) is the most important takeaway of the evening”, he said) and get clicked with him! Food and drink followed and much convivial conversation was made. NB

A student signing the saucer with a quote that defines them

 It’s been a great start of the second chapter of TEDxNITTrichy and the Coffee Table series, and we have lots more phenomenal stuff coming your way. To more creativity, randomness and extraordinary ideas, cheers!

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