Skip to main content


< Back

Dr. G. F. Duckwitz addresses the audience at the first convocation

Institute Events , Convocations , Administrators

Seen on the dais from left: Mr. G. K. Chandiramani (member of IIT Council), Prof. B. Sengupto, H. H. Shri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar (Governor of Madras State), Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (President of India), Dr. A. L. Mudaliar (Chairman, Board of Governors).

Dr. G. F. Duckwitz (1904-1973), Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in India, was one of the dignitaries present at the first convocation ceremony of IIT Madras that took place on the 11th of July, 1964. During the World War II he served as an attaché for Nazi Germany in occupied Denmark. He tipped off the Danes about the Germans' intended deportation of the Jewish population in 1943 and arranged for their reception in Sweden. As a result of Duckwitz’s courage and initiative, most of the Danish Jews went into hiding. The Danish underground then transported them across the Øresund strait to Sweden, where for the rest of the war they were cared for, thanks to Duckwitz’s diplomacy. Dr. G. F. Duckwitz had especially flown in from Delhi to be a part of the event’s proceedings. After Dr. A. L. Mudaliar (Chairman, Board of Governors) welcomed and introduced the dignitaries, Dr. G. F. Duckwitz addressed the audience. He recalled the conditions (IIT did not have a campus of its own) under which the students had to be educated in 1959 (first year of the Institute) and congratulated them on having persevered none the less. He remarked on the tremendous changes that had taken place in terms of construction and growth of the Institute and credited it all to the hard work of Dr. B. Sengupto (Director). He also delivered a special congratulatory message from the President of the Federal Republic of Germany to the audience.

Gourishankar Collection
Photograph ID:
Album ID:
C. Gourishankar (1926-2002). A geologist by qualification, Gourishankar started his career as a photographer after working for many years with the Geological Survey of India. In everything that he did, Gourishankar strove to achieve flawlessness and impeccable quality. Thus his photography too was characterised by this drive for perfection. Every photograph that Gourishankar took was meticulously planned and shot and printed with diligence and patience. Gourishankar carried out most of the official photography at IIT Madras in the 1960s.