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Dr. Erhard Eppler addressing the audience at the inauguration of the Computer Centre, 1973

Institute Events , Inaugurations , Visiting VIPs

In the book ‘Computer Education in India: Past, Present and Future’, there is a report about the event and some details of Dr. Eppler’s speech. According to the report, Dr. Eppler emphasized on the fact that the newly installed IBM 370 computer at IIT Madras could be of use in tackling various problems of the country. He also highlighted the fact that no other university in the country had an advanced system such as the IBM 370. Reportedly, he noted that the system would aid the Institute in becoming self-reliant.

Dr. Eppler was the Minister for Economic Co-operation for the Federal Republic of Germany from 1968 to 1974. He studied German, English and history at Frankfurt University, Bern and Tubingen. He obtained a PhD for his work on Elizabethan tragedies and worked as a teacher from 1953 until 1961.

IBM made a large mural for the inauguration upon Prof. Mahabala’s request. It was placed behind the stage of the Central Lecture Theatre (CLT). In this image, it is visible behind the distinguished guests who are seated at the stage. It was around 25 feet long and approximately 6-8 feet high, providing a clear image of the machine. After the inauguration, the mural was kept in one of the classrooms in the Building Sciences Block (BSB) where M.Tech. classes were held.

In the image, from the left, Dr. Erhard Eppler (Minister for Economic Co-operation, Federal Republic of Germany), Prof. S. Sampath (Deputy Director), Prof. A. Ramachandran (Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India), Mr. K. T. Chandy (Chairman, Board of Governors), Mr. C. Subramaniam (Union Minister for Industrial Development and Science and Technology) and Prof. K. A. V. Pandalai (Director).

Gourishankar Collection
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17 November 1973
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.
Special Convocation, Inauguration of Computer Centre
Central Lecture Theatre (CLT)