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Distinguished guests in conversation, 1968

Convocations , Visiting VIPs , Faculty

The photograph appears to be taken at the Institute Guest House, now known as ‘Bose-Einstein Guest House’. The occasion was the fifth convocation of IIT Madras.

Seen in the picture are (from left), Prof. E. G. Ramachandran (Head Metallurgy Department), Prof. K. A. V. Pandalai (Head of Aeronautical Engineering Department), Dr. Vikram A. Sarabhai (chief guest and Head, Atomic Energy Commission), Prof. M. V. C. Sastri (Head of Chemistry Department) and Dr. Karl Pfauter (Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany).
Prof. E. G. Ramachandran was the first Professor and the first Head of the Department of Metallurgical Engineering, IIT Madras and is considered as the architect of this foremost department in India. He completed his M.Sc. from University of Mysore and Ph.D. from University of Sheffield in 1947. He served in the Department of Metallurgy, IISc Bangalore, for a period of 9 years, and at National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur as Assistant Director for 5 years, after which he joined IIT Madras. 
Prof. K. A. V. Pandalai is remembered as someone who taught former President of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam at Madras Institute of Technology. In 1967, he was invited to set up the Department of Aeronautical Engineering at IIT Madras. 
Dr. Vikram A. Sarabhai was an Indian physicist and astronomer who initiated space research and was a key figure in developing nuclear power in India. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1966 and the Padma Vibhushan (posthumously) in 1972. 
Prof. M. V. C. Sastri was a keen researcher and academician. Sastri was Head of Department for a period of 13 years in the Chemistry department. He served as Member of the Editorial Board of International Journal of Hydrogen Energy and was also on the Board of Directors of International Association for Hydrogen Energy. 
Dr. Karl Pfauter worked as an educationist, journalist and diplomat and was also head of the cultural department at the German embassy in New Delhi from 1954.  

An identical photograph can be found in the Gourishankar Collection in Album 0306 under the ID: 001/0306/IMG_0364

Central Photographic Section Collection
Photograph ID:
Album ID:
1 August 1968
C. Gourishankar (1936-2002). 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.
Fifth Convocation
Possibly Institute Guest House