06 June 2003::
The wee hours of 06 June 2003 saw 27 energetic and bubbly
engineering college students from across India on the athletic
track at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. Yes, the Summer
Camp 2003 has
The inauguration of the third
edition of the civil engineering jamboree, Summer
Camp 2003 @ IIT Kanpur,
was held at the premises of the Guest House of IIT Kanpur. Professor
Sudhir K. Jain, Head, Department of Civil Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, and INAE
Distinguished Visiting Professor Mahesh C. Tandon,
Managing Director, Tandon Consultants Private Limited, New
Delhi, welcomed the participants and shared the secrets behind
the origin and the mission of the month-long journey of civil
engineering - Camp 2003. Mr. G. C.Tallur, Secretary,
Government of Karnataka Public Works Department, powered the
students with the enthusiasm to go out and see the real world
of civil engineering - how it is practiced and what the
challenges ahead are. Professor Kripa Shanker, Deputy
Director, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, who presided
over the function, urged the students to dedicate themselves
to the development of the nation. The three Camp Coordinators,
Mrs. Ranjana Tandon (Director, Tandon Consultants
Private Limited, New Delhi) and Professors Bharat Lohani
and C. V. R. Murty, presented warm wishes to the
participants and invited them to make the best of this special
month-long modern-day "gurukul" of India.
Ready for Camp
07 June 2003
Bridge to Future...) was
Leaders of the four groups were unanimously chosen by the
respective group members.
Any nominations for The Camp Leader?
a 30 minute chat show highlighting one participant each
day, has been added to the Camp itinerary. Be there in the
lawns of the Guest House at 9pm every day!!
08 June 2003
09 June 2003
The magician is on
the campus! Mrs. Rashmi Datt kicks off the two-day
Personality Development Workshop for Camp 2003 participants.
Holding a mirror in front of them , she unwinds the
participants to realize themselves
- their fears, their anxieties, their joys and their dreams .
of the workshop temporarily suspended at 6:45pm, but the day
does not end there...! After dinner, Camp 2003 migrates to the
only modern Cineplex of Kanpur City to witness the deft
craftsmanship of the mastermind dream merchant, Ramgopal
Yes... "Bhoot" it is! A two-hour spine chilling
experiment of Ramgopal Varma only managed to rake-up a sense
of comic in the already prepared and relaxed Camp 2003
10 June 2003
" A great beginning of the day!!" said the
participants, because they did not have to pull out of the bed
for the morning exercise after a late night in the city. But,
indeed it turned out to be a great day with Mrs. Rashmi Datt
providing a detailed analysis of " assertiveness
behaviour" and " automatic negative thoughts"
. " Listening" to others is an art, ... and
behavioural trait that can be honed. Camp 2003 became
conscious of this
important aspect of social conduct. The participants had
a lump in their throat as they bid good- bye to Mrs. Rashmi Datt.
" Thank You , Maam...!!" was an understanding for
all that she did.
Ganeshaya Namaha!! Om Sri Avighnamastu!! These are some
chantings that Hindus resort to before starting a new
activity, indirectly hoping that Lord Ganesha will bail them
out in the event of a crisis. But, today, Lord Ganesha is
himself in trouble. Yes... the elephant population in India is
endangered, by none other than us, the mankind!! Mr. Ajay
Pal Singh of UP Irrigation Department, Roorkee, presented
graphic account of how the elephants are dying at the Rajaji
National Park due to the accidents at the railway line passing
through the park area. The construction of a railway line,
highway and a canal across the natural migration path of these
elephants has led to this crisis. Mr. Singh proposed the
construction of eco-friendly civil engineering structures that
will allow these elephants to still keep to their migration
path without the threat of accidents. This crusader of
elephant safety in India is yet to find many helping hands; if
this snippet touches you, immediately mail Mr. Singh at email@example.com.
a touching account of the realities of life, Professor
Sudhir K. Jain of IIT Kanpur walked the participants along
those difficult circumstances of making choices in life. In
his two-hour rendition of real-world experiences, Professor
Jain gave numerous options to the Camp 2003 participants to
successfully come out of crises - related to life and
worthy graduate of IIT Kanpur, Mr. Saroj K. Jha,
currently Asian Region Representative of UNDP stationed in
India, followed his teacher (Professor Sudhir K. Jain) and
charged Camp 2003 students with the traits of leadership. He
narrated the realities of his profession (the Indian
Administrative Service), and invited students to plan their
future before and expect upcoming events in life even before
Handling data about the
Earth collected from the space is a growing science.
Professor Bharat Lohani of IIT Kanpur provided a
window to Camp 2003 on how this new specialization
in Civil Engineering will be an important professional
option for students to seek after their studies.
C. R. Alimchandani, Chairman and Managing Director,
and the septuagenarian and doyen of the Indian civil
engineering consulting industry gave a touching rendition
of the need to work for the nation that is ours. Mr.
Alimchandani recalled the words of his wife - "No
one else will respect you for your work as much as your
own country men!!"; this was the deciding moment
that led him to return to India from France, after a
successful career with worlds leading design engineering
specialists in France (e.g., Mr. Eugene Freyssinet,
the inventor of prestressing). Through his presentation,
he appealed to Camp 2003 to develop beautiful structures,
however small they be.
- Camp 2003 goes Medium!!
The dress code of 2003 Summer Camp is more of a matter of
training the students than of disciplining them. The leaders-to-be
will find that they have one thing less to learn, how
to wear a tie.... some 20 years from now!! Today, for
the visit to the laboratories, the campers took to the
green T-shirts and caps gifted to them by the Co-Host of
the Summer Camp 2003, Tandon Consultants Private
Limited, New Delhi. Interestingly, even the big boys
of the camp Suhrut Kumar Panda and Saumil Jayant
Mehta fit into the medium size.... with ease.
- The day was spent in the
civil engineering laboratories of IIT Kanpur.... a typical
route that most tourists to this Institute tend to take.
An important part of the visit to the laboratories was the
visit to the National Wind Tunnel Facility @ IIT Kanpur.
In this closed-circuit wind tunnel, researchers from
across the country study the behaviour under strong winds
of aircrafts, parachutes, buildings and other civil
engineering structures, and automobiles; an unique
experience... at the unique facility of the nation!!
- Ultimate Frisbee....
many campers had not heard of this game, but got a taste
of this total work-out game during the games session in
the early part of the evening. A game in which all the 26
campers got into the fray... and thoroughly enjoyed
themselves, Ultimate Frisbee came out to be a surprise
winner of the many events planned for the Summer Camp 2003
14 June 2003
- The day was kicked off by Professor
Durgesh C. Rai of IIT Kanpur, who elaborated the art
of writing well. With the immediate task of having to
write the 2003 Camp Report, the participants will take
back some skills of being able to present their thoughts
in the written form in a refined form.
- Ms. Alpa R. Sheth of
VMS Consulting Engineers, Bombay, recalled some of the
finest of the Civil Engineers who made a difference to the
profession. Recalling the efforts of Sri. M.
Vishweshwarayya, Ms. Sheth appealed to the Camp
participants to give the country special structures that
will last through time. She discussed the issues involved
in the design of tall buildings - a civil engineering
project that every growing young person would like to be
- The making of the Panama
Canal is among the finest examples of how man braved to
face the challenges to time, technology and teamwork. The
hour-long video on the history of the making of the
canal was treat to the participants. This video was
followed by a shorter one on the dreams, travails and
challenges behind the making of large dams.
15 June 2003
- Three distinguished Chief
Engineers from the Central Public Works Department, New
Delhi, walked into the IIT Kanpur campus to share
their vast experiences with Camp 2003. Mr. K.
Srinivasan presented the Parliamentary Library
building project, Mr. D. S. Sachdeva spoke on how
to renovate and rehabilitate dilapidated buildings, and Mr.
R Subramaniam described how the Vigyan Bhavan was
restored after a fire damaged it. They invited the
participants to visit these structures while they were in
new Delhi during the CE Jamboree.
- The afternoon's activity
was a game of the mind. LOAD required three
essential traits to win the competition - knowledge, guts
and speech. Rohit Kumar Sinha demonstrated all
three of these and was the last man standing.... Close
behind him were N. Prashant, Sumit Jain and Ankit
16 June 2003!!
17 June 2003 :: A date with The ACC...
- The sponsors of
Summer Camp 2003, m/s The ACC Limited, Thane, were
on campus to interact with the participants of the Camp. Mr.
J. N. Cooper, Vice-President, ACC Limited, Kanpur,
welcomed the students to this special day, with messages
from Sri.T. S. Rangarajan, President, and Mr. A.
K. Jain, Executive Director, of The ACC Limited,
Thane. These two distinguished personalities could not
attend the day's proceedings due to some last minute
pressing engagements at Bombay. Mr. Cooper followed it
with an excellent presentation of the activities of his
organization, highlighting the international profile of
the company. The Camp 2003 participants did not let Mr.
Cooper go.... he almost missed his next appointment!!
- Mr. Mukesh Pande,
Assistant Manager (Customer Services) stationed at Kanpur,
gave a detailed account of durability of concrete. He emphasized
the need for giving more attention to
concrete before it is put in place.
- Mr.P. Srinivasan,
Senior Manager at the Thane office of ACC, showered the
participants with the challenges in the civil engineering
field. In a gripping presentation, Mr. Srinivasan captured
the awe of the students on what is possible and what
remains to be done as a civil engineer working in the
- In the post lunch session,
a series of multimedia presentations were presented. The
first was a colourful slide show on the ongoing and
completed projects of The ACC Limited. This was followed
by a video on material testing and quality control in
concrete engineering. Two highly acclaimed videos, that
were earlier telecast in TURNING POINT, the popular
science program on Doordarshan Television, were re-run for
the participants. One was on the Gagal Cement Plant at
Shimla, and another on Ready Mix Concrete based on
an RMC plant at Bombay.
- At the end, the visiting
guests admitted many questions of the students. They then
surprised three of them with prizes for their
active participation during the entire day; Rohit Sinha,
Rahul Bhatnagar and N. Prashant were the
three hailed by the guests. The day's technical programme
ended with a formal vote of thanks to the Camp sponsors,
m/s The ACC Limited, by Professor Sudhir K. Jain,
Head, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Kanpur.
- Today was an easy day on
the field... It was something easy on all - the players
and the organisers; yes it was MUSICAL CHAIRS....
a party game. The quiet man from Maharashtra, Sheetal
Jagtap Shivajirao, won both the last chair and the
- Of course, the day would
not end there, because the event that the students were
waiting for was to be held only after the dinner - THE
CAMP DECOMPRESSION!! When last information came in
at 12 midnight, the 2003 campers were all drunk (of
course, with Pepsi and Coke), and were guided back to
their rooms by Sakshi Agarwal, the big sister of
the Camp. "Go to bed early, you have to travel
tomorrow to Delhi and beyond!!" - were the words
from Sakshi to the Campers before they hit the sacks.
18 June 2003
- Our guest of the morning, Mr.
V. Parameswaran, Area Manager, FOSROC Chemicals
(India) Private Limited, New Delhi, continued the story of
concrete from where the makers of cement, GRASIMs and ACCs,
left it; this time the emphasis was on the proper use of
admixtures of concrete and on the precautions to be taken
to protect the steel reinforcing bars from corrosion. This
presentation provided the participants with a formal
background on the recent initiatives that the Indian
construction industry is undertaking for improved quality
- The second part of the
morning was an interesting video on the Leaning Tower
of Pisa. The most favoured research topic for many GeoTechnical
engineers, this structure is still a mystery
for many. Professor N. S. V. Kameswara Rao of IIT
Kanpur, who was coordinating the programme, reminded the
participants that there are multiple answers to any
engineering problem, and threw a challenge at the
participants to come up with their proposal for the
solution to the put an end to the tilting of the leaning
tower of Pisa. This will be a competitive section of the
camp. Dead line for submission of solutions to the Camp
Coordinators - 20 June 2003!!
- In the afternoon, the 2003
Campers are off on the CE Jamboree!!
More news....from the
Swarn Shatabdi Express as they are on their journey
to New Delhi and beyond!!
18 June 2003... Journey to New Delhi
- Camp 2003 spent the
whole duration of the journey appreciating the Swarn
Shatabdi Express (Lucknow-Delhi sector). The
ambience, the cleanliness, the food and the wonderful
canvas of north India through the large glass windows...
all were of top Class!!
- Of course, Camp 2003,
immediately discarded the recorded music being played on
board for the live performance of Rahul Bhatnagar,
which was adequately supported by the rest of the
participants. Some participants spent the time bluffing
each other. Despite the shrill vocal chords of Ankit
Aggarwal and G. V. L. Anusha, one could even
see other co-passengers tapping on the tray tables to
the English and Hindi melodies from Rahul Bhatnagar.
- At the Capital City of
the nation, a warm welcome was accorded by the staff of
Tandon Consultants Private Limited. Yes, it is all
set.... for the CE Jamboree!!
19 June 2003...
- Visiting the Delhi Metro
construction marked the beginning of the tour. The
precast segmental construction technology applied to the
making of elevated metro viaducts caught the imagination
of the campers. More importantly, the girl participants
of Camp 2003 had something very special in the offing
for them at the GAMMON India's precasting yard at
Pitampura. They met the first lady site-engineer on the
tour, Miss Y. Shwetha of GAMMON India Limited.
Each of the six girls had the same question, "How
do you manage the difficult conditions of working at the
site?" Her reply: "I feel pampered here;
everyone takes care of me and so I am perfectly at home.
But, yes, in the initial months, the work itself was
difficult; but, once I learnt the basic concepts, I
began feeling better. I think, knowledge is power."
- The high-point of the
Camp was the meeting with Mr. E. Sreedharan,
Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation
Limited, New Delhi. Generations to come will scarce
produce such a rare personality - a man of honour,
dignity and focus. He was awe inspiring to
the students. After a brief recall of his personal
professional milestones, he took many questions and some
very personal ones too. It was amply clear to the
awe-struck participants, that before becoming a true
Civil Engineer, one needs to be a good human
- A ride on the Shardara-Kashmiri
Gate segment of the already commissioned Delhi
Metro Rail was a soul cleaning experience.... that
Indians can make international standard metro transit
infrastructure in the country, was etched on the hearts
of the Camp participants.
- The evening was a slated
for a special rendezvous with four senior members of the
Civil Engineering fraternity - Major General Yogendra
Singh (Retired Chief of Technical Staff, and who
fought wars in 1950s and 1960s), Mr. D. P. Gupta (Retired
Director General, the now called Ministry of Road
transport and Highways), Mr. H. S. Bhatia
(Managing Director, Engineering and Management
Associates), and Mr. N. S. Bawa (Retired Senior
Advisor, United Nations), and Mr. R. S. Sharma (Chief
Engineer, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways). The
care and affection offered by the distinguished guests
was a reflection of the commitment of the Civil
Engineering Industry to the Summer Camp and its
20 June 2003
- A sporty start of
the day - Camp 2003 examined the Jawaharlal Nehru
Outdoor Stadium as well as the Indira Gandhi
Indraprastha Indoor Stadium. The first one showed the
meaning of scale - huge top stands and giant light posts.
The second showed how a design error can result in the
colossal loss of such an important and expensive
- The Delhi Tourism and
Transportation Development Corporation were the hosts for
the rest of the day. Mr. Jose Kurian, Chief
Engineer, was a great host technically and otherwise. The
visit to the Lajpat Nagar Flyover offered examples
of the entire range of activities involved in a typical
flyover project - works related to diversion of utilities,
boring well foundations, concreting of substructure and
launching of superstructure precast components, all of
which were happening simultaneously. A visit to the
casting yard closed the loop of information related the
precast components that were being manufactured off-site a
few kilometers away. Mr. Kurian hosted a special lunch for
Camp 2003 at the precasting site.
- The day ended with a visit
to the Delhi Tourism's Garden of Five Senses - simply
outstanding, exclusive and a must see. At the garden, Mr.
Chopra's care and affection made it easier to feel the
five senses. Guess what the five senses were...!! Na...
you better go there yourself. But, be assured, currently
this is the hottest attraction in the Capital City
21 June 2003
- It was the first birthday
during Summer Camp 2003... of Rohit Kumar Sinha!!
The day began early at 6am, as the CE jamboree moved
towards Chandigarh on a bus. Everyone wished Rohit many
happy returns of the day, with a promise to do
something for him in the evening.
- At the City of Roses, our
hosts Punjab Engineering College were waiting for us.
Immediately on reaching, Camp 2003 rushed to the
Chandigarh College of Architecture. Professor Bipin
Malik had commissioned the office staff to keep the
audio visual facilities ready for his presentation on The
Elegance of Chandigarh. The colour-slide journey
through the history, planning, architecture and
present-day challenges to maintain the city was a teaser;
Camp 2003 could not resist anymore.
- After thanking Professor
Malik, first stop on the visit to the Chandigarh city was
the three magnificent buildings at the Capitol Complex -
The Secretariat, The High Court and The Assembly. The
second stopover was a brief one at the National Museum
building. The third stop was at the Rose Garden. The
green belt, the musical fountain and of course the
roses won many a heart of Camp 2003.
- Camp 2003 spent the
evening in the main promenade of the main market of the
city in Sector 17. The weekly Saturday Carnival
brought thousands of residents of the city and tourists to
witness food, fun and frolic that was in abundance at the
laser-light lit shopping complex. Camp Leader, Abhinav
Venkateshwaran and Group Leader N. Prashanth, did some
secret shopping... that was revealed only later in the
- At the end of the evening,
Camp 2003 moved to the shores of the Sukhna Lake.
Here came the surprise item from Abhinav and Prashanth ...
the birthday celebrations for Rohit Kumar Sinha. A big
cake with candles and a loud birthday song set off the
course for the rest of the evening. N. Lavanya Lata conveyed
her greetings to Rohit in a song on this auspicious
occasion, while R. Lalitha warned everyone from
even considering to request her to sing. A short thank
you speech by Rohit marked the end of the day.
22 June 2003
- The Camp woke up early...
eager to set off to Shimla, the Summer Capital of
the then British Empire. But, a few slow risers kept this
enthusiasm in check. The bus ride up the 7 hills was well
received by the participants. Around mid-day, Camp 2003
set foot on the No.1 tourist place of the country. After
three hours of curio shopping and eats, they got to the
railway station, just in time to get the holiday
special Shimla-Kalka toy train.
- The participants took to
one of two options: (a) singing songs, playing cards and
getting off the train every time it stopped, or (b)
sleeping through the journey. The scenic view and the many
engineering challenges went past the windows without
drawing much awe or reverence from the campers. The
steepest hill gradient in Indian Railways, the
multi-storey masonry bridges across the deep gorges, the
longest tunnels, the ancient ball-type signaling of Indian
Railways, the use of guard rails on curves and bridges on
the permanent way, and many other antiques will all have
to wait for the next visit of the participants to the
23 June 2003
- This was another day that
broke early... this time Camp 2003 was off to one of The
Temples of Modern India, the Bhakra Dam. The
onward bus journey saw a number of components of the
extensive irrigation system laid out in the region - lined
canals, aqueducts, locks and regulators, and green
- Being at the Bhakra Dam,
the pride of the nation, was a very special occasion for
the participants - this is the first project that Camp
2003 visited that showed them a measure of the possible
gigantic scale of civil engineering projects. It is
amongst the early projects that independent India embarked
on which led to a complete transformation of the northern
states of India. The challenge of this multipurpose
project became obvious as the participants walked through
the service tunnels and the power generation rooms at the
dam site. Truly.... it is the pride of the nation. It is
heart-warming to see that the nations dream project today,
the connecting the major rivers project, is
in line with what was already achieved in the Beas-Sutluj
river basins some five decades ago.
- The Camp left the Bhakra
dam at mid-day to visit a Modern Temple of India, the
jewel project of the Punjab Government, namely the ongoing
Khalsa Heritage Memorial Project at Anandpur Sahib.
After paying respects at the Gurdwara, Camp 2003 stopped
at the Khalsa Project and experienced something out of the
way from the country's usual construction activity. The
excellent architecture, the effective use of refined
design strategies, the fair face exposed concrete
surfaces, the precision-cut stone facade work, and the
extensive application of geo-membranes and geo-textiles in
creating the environs that merge with the local terrain
and texture - all these spelt only one thing - excellence!!
- Camp 2003 had a pleasant
surprise when it met the the Associate Architect of the
Khalsa Project, namely Mr. Ashok Dhawan from New
Delhi, who was at-site to monitor the progress of the
project. He kindly agreed to meet the students and
emphasised the just one thing - excellence!!
Describing the nuances behind some of the architectural
forms adopted in the Khalsa Project, he urged students to
come up with memorable and long-lasting structures.
24 June 2003... The Big Day!!
- Camp 2003 returned to New
Delhi by mid-day. The afternoon was a special rendezvous
with the engineers of the m/s Tandon Consultants Private
Limited, New Delhi. The engineers were a perfect blend of
youth, desire and determination that led them to produce
internationally acclaimed structures. The first presenter
was the Principal Consultant, Mr. Vinay K. Gupta.
He put in all his vast experience to summarise the
opportunities for fresh entrants in civil engineering
profession. Then, it was Mr. Alok Pandey, Senior
Consultant, who presented the two wonderful structures of
the country built in the recent times - the Lotus Temple
and the Khalsa Heritage Memorial Project, Anandpur Sahib.
Finally, it was the turn of Mr. Jatinder S. Pahuja,
Deputy Principal Consultant, who elaborated on the Delhi
Metro Projects. While all these presentations were on, Mr.
Mahesh Tandon, Managing Director, Tandon Consultants
Private Limited, was taking notes; this was a humbling
experience for both the participants as well as the Camp
- The evening was a very
special day in the life of all the Camp 2003
participants. In fact, it is a historic moment for the
entire civil engineering industry, when 52 special
invitees of very senior rank were under one roof at the
Magnolia Conference Room, India Habitat Center at the
special dinner meeting hosted by m/s Tandon Consultants
Private Limited, New Delhi. This Grand Dinner party was an
occasion where the distinguished visitors offered
exceptional words of advice to Camp 2003. Prerna Mishra,
a 2001 Summer Camp participant and now employed at Tandon
Consultants Private Limited, New Delhi, put it simply:
"I am happy I am in Civil Engineering."
The grand surprise at the dinner was the disclosing of the
impending meeting of the Camp 2003 participants with the
Honorable President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.
The students went into loud roars with a sense of shock
and disbelief. After this declaration, there was din in
the hall. The evening ended with GREAT food.
- The day did not end. Camp
2003 rehearsed for the next days meeting with the
Honorable President of India. 8 young minds and 8 short
questions; they repeated the questions to ensure utmost
clarity. They stood in line to check heights for the
picture that they were to take with the Honorable
President of India. The boys were now getting ready for
their white shirts and darks shoes, while the girls were
looking for their suits and broche. They were tense....
Some feared, that they cant sleep.
25 June 2003... The Rendezvous with
- The day broke early....
but this time to prepare for the special rendezvous with
the Honourable President of India. The first meeting of
the day was at the Vigyan Bhawan with Mr. R. Subramanian,
Chief Engineer, Central Public Works Department, New
Delhi. He showed the exceptional work done to renovate the
Complex after a large part of it was gutted down by an
unexpected fire sometime back. The renovation project
showed the immense potential of Indian engineering cadre
to meet the challenges being faced. After a detailed visit
through the structure, Mr. Subramanian offered
refreshments to the students, just to pep them up for
their next stop of the day at the Presidential place,
- Venue: Meeting Hall 3 at
the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Environment: Formal but relaxed; Light Hindi film
At 1:20pm, the
Honourable President of India, arrived and Professor
Sanjay G. Dhande, Director, IIT Kanpur, welcome him.
The 2003 Camp Leader, Mr. Abhinav Venkateshwaran,
offered him a silver plaque to mark the memorable meeting.
Miss. Mihika Baruah, also offered him some gifts of
some works of IIT Kanpur. The Honourable President walked
in saying that earthquake prediction is important. After
an introduction of the student group by the Camp
Coordinator, Professor C. V. R.Murty, the
Honourable President made few opening remarks. He knew at
age 10 where he was heading. Also, he believed that we
must lead a simple life. He then invited questions from
the students. Please await on this website the full
transcript of the Q&A Session that followed. At
the end, he stood for some pictures with the students and
offered food to all. The Presidential Staff was all praise
for the Camp 2003 students for the way they conducted
themselves during the Q&A Session. After the special
food service, Camp 2003 visited the interiors of the
Rashtrapati Bhawan - the Ashoka Hall (of Swearing In
Ceremonies), the Darbar Hall (of Investiture ceremonies),
and the Presidential Museum. In all it was a 3 hour affair
at the Presidential Estate.... a truly memorable one!!
- Camp 2003 then moved on to
visit the Highway Project Site along Delhi-Gurgaon sector
being of m/s Consulting Engineering Services, New Delhi.
This was another unique experience where the students saw
the full spectrum of technological interventions being
employed in today's national project of the Golden
Quadrilateral. Camp 2003 also did the ground breaking
ceremony of a certain stretch of the road segment to be
built. An outstanding experience...
26 June 2003
- Camp 2003 headed
south-west from New Delhi to the UNITECH Country Club at
Gurgaon, to meet the Captains of the Civil Engineering
Industry. This was a special meeting called by the
Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC), New
Delhi. Mr. P. R. Swarup, Director General, CIDC, welcomed
the gathering and presented in brief the role of CIDC in
coordinating the partnership between the industry
partners. Mr. C. S. Virdi, Senior Engineer, Mr.
Ravinder Raina, Assistant General Manger, and V. P. Gupta,
Advisor, from m/s UNITECH Limited, presented their wide
experience in construction engineering and management,.
Mr. Jagpal Singh (Deputy General Manger of m/s EIL
Limited) talked about contracting, and at the end, Mr. V.
N. Bhat (Regional Manager of m/s L&T Limited) took
open ended questions of the Camp participants. At the end,
m/s UNITECH Limited hosted a sumptuous lunch for the new
leader of the civil engineering in the making.
- Camp 2003 visited the
upcoming UNITECH Trade Center in Gurgaon. The emphasis in
the visit was the demonstration of separation joints
intended to accommodate seismic movements in multistorey
buildings, and of the building services ducts and pipes.
This visit added valuable education to the students.
- At 3pm, it was time to
head back to New Delhi to meet Mr. S. S. Chakroborty,
Managing Director of m/s Consulting Engineering Services.
In a two-hour recall of the milestones of his life, Mr.
Chakroborty appealed to the conscious mind of the
students. One word dominated his informal rendition - technology.
He made it amply clear that time has come where technical
skills will be the winning factor. He completes hid
presentation by enumerating the emerging trends in civil
engineering. He hosted a grand tea at the end, and stood
with the students to instill confidence in them, apart
from taking their questions.
- Camp 2003 rushed to IIT
Delhi for a quick dinner. Professor Arvind K. Jain of IIT
Delhi was waiting with all arrangements for this wonderful
surprise of the evening. Those who knew little about the
late night presentation of Professor S. C. Handa of IIT
Roorkee on the Taj Mahal, walked to the lecture room with
a heavy heart. But soon as Professor Handa's poetic
rendition started, they regretted every bit of their hasty
expression of their feeling earlier at dinner. In
a one-hour 15 minute gripping story telling, Professor
Handa provided the history, romance and technology in the
making of the Taj Mahal. After this teasing presentation,
there was only one option for Camp 2003... to visit the
Taj Mahal in Person!
27 June 2003...
- The day was pilgrimage to
the temple of love.... The Taj Mahal. After a six
hour road journey, Camp 2003 reached Agra. There was the
biggest disappointment of the Camp 2003 waiting to be
disclosed... Taj Mahal was closed for visitors.
Nevertheless, Camp 2003 went to the South end of the
complex to get a close look at the marvel. After taking
pictures, it was time to know more about the history. Camp
2003 stopped at the Agra Fort. Professor Handa gave
additional tips on the structures, as the day ended softly
28 June 2003... One Flew Over the
- The Lotus Temple in the
heart of the Capital was the fist stop. The participants
already knew about the structure that architect Fariburz
Sabah created for the Bahai faith, thanks to the
presentation on 24 June 2003 by Mr. Alok Pandey of TCPL.
Still, it was all worth to stand under the shell structure
and say to the engineers of L&T Limited... Well
- The players building
abandoned after the 1982 Asiad Games was renovated and is
now being used as the Secretariat of the Government of
Delhi (State). Equipped with the intelligent building
system, this building is a fine example of the challenges
in rehabilitation of buildings, a specialization that will
become a career option for many Indian engineers in the
near future. Congratulations are due to Mr. D. S.
Sachdeva, Chief Engineer, and his colleagues at the
Central Public Works Department for the magic they did to
this structure. It was not a surprise to note that much of
the ethnic and elegant interior decorations and finishes
were the personal choice of the incumbent Chief Minister,
Mrs. Sheila Dixit.
- Camp 2003 approached the
restricted access area of the recently completed
Parliament Library Building, another building that was
completely engineered by the CPWD. This one stands a
testimony to the excellent inherent capabilities of the
engineering cadre of the Indian government sector.
Completed with meticulous care, the building offers a
variety of light and large span column free roofing
systems, functional planning details related to
ventilation and lighting, nuances in the exhaustive use of
intelligent building system, and challenges met during
construction, in addition to the state-of-the-art library
services. Chief Engineer, Mr. P. Srinivasan, and
colleagues of CPWD showed all aspects of this showcase
high-tech structure. They offered special lunch at
the end of the visit.
- All but one at Camp 2003
thoroughly enjoyed the much awaited shopping starting at
4pm. But, for the Camp Coordinators and participant Miss
Vranda V. Kamath, it was hard. Vranda had to return
home to Ahmedabad as she was diagnosed to have contacted
chicken pox. She needed to rest, but it was not easy to
let her go....
29 June 2003...
- It was a tough day for
Camp 2003. Camp 2003 had to leave co-participant Miss
Vranda V. Kamath, behind and return back to Kanpur
after the 10-day tour to the North of India. They started
the day with this heavy heart. Of course, one relief was
that there was no time for morning physical activity as
the train itself reached Kanpur Central Station at
- The only formal event of
the day was the presentation by Mr.N.K.Sinha,
Retired Director General and Special Secretary to the
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of
India, New Delhi. All students were waiting for this
presentation to get a feel of sheer magnitude and expected
impact of the Prime Minister's dream project, the National
Highway Development of Project.
- The rest of the day was
spent in writing the camp report by each team. Scanning
the large number of photographs taken by the students
throughout the camp was important; Mr. Sanjeev Kumar
Roy and Mr. Ankit Agarwal shared this
30 June 2003
- It was a day of
competitions. FOUR competitions marked the high of the
formal activities of the Camp.
- The first one at 9m was Map the Campus. After
having spent a month on it, the students were given two
hours to go around the IIT Kanpur campus and make a
drawing of the same. What came out was an outstandingly
close map of the campus, particularly by the visitors to
the campus. Professor Onkar Dikshit was very
pleased with the students efforts.
- The second event was Summer Camp 2003 Quiz. The
questions were based on the lectures, videos and visits
made during the camp. The big sister of Summer Camp 2003
and Project Associate at the Department of Civil
Engineering, IIT Kanpur, , Miss Sakshi Agarwal prepared
the Quiz based on the notes she made during the various
sessions. The colour slide-based Quiz was hosted by Professor
C. V. R. Murty.
- After lunch, it was time to build bridges. Four teams
and four concepts - a truss bridge, a
cable-stayed bridge, an arch bridge, and a
girder-slab bridge. The truss bridge by Team
Bearings (effort spearheaded by Mr. Sarvesh M.
Agarwal) was the most beautiful one. Even though the
stay cables did not carry any load, that bridge by Team
Piercaps (effort coordinated by Mr. N. Prashanth
and Mr. Rahul Bhatnagar) did the best in the load
carrying capacity and ductile behaviour. Professor
Bharat Lohani kept the count as the bridges were
loaded to collapse.
- The last and interesting competition was a debate on
"Should there be reservation for women in
governance?" While the boys fought hard,
particularly Mr. Benny Mathew George and Mr.
Sharad Vimal Oberoi, to insist on NO reservation, it
was the lass from Thanjavur, Miss R. Lalitha, that
stole the thunder. Here is an excerpt of what she had said
in 7 minutes in support of the Women's Reservation Bill
being discussed in the Parliament of India:
"Just think of what a girl is called:
A woman :: there is
a man in it.
:: there is a lad in it.
A person ::
there is a son in it.
A human ::
there is a man in it.
A female ::
there is a male in it.
When a woman does not get a chance to decide her
identity, there is no way she gets a chance to decide her
The judges, Professor Sudha Goel and Miss
Sakshi Agarwal, had only one choice: R. Lalitha -
- Camp 2003 went back to
RAVE3 for a night show. Jim Carey's Bruce
Almighty was a treat for all, except those few
campers who were not mighty enough to take Jim Carey's
gimmicks and gesticulations, and slept through the movie.
01 July 2003
- The day was interesting
with another new technology to learn - Trenchless
Technology. Particularly in the urban centers,
constructing underground is becoming increasingly
necessary. In a three-hour lecture-cum-video description
of the technological developments in this method of
construction, Mr. Niranjan Swarup, Executive
Director, Indian Society for Trenchless Technology, New
Delhi, presented the history and details of this recently
arrival into the Indian construction scene. Mr.Swarup
urged the participants to consider a career in this new
and emerging field of construction in the country.
- The afternoon's physical
activity was a wonderful experience for all participants.
Each of them realised how big or how small they
were - literally. Who knew that the distance
between their thumb and little finger with the palm spread
out, is about eight-and-a-half inches, or distance from
the tip of the elbow to that of the middle finger is about
18 inches? Yes.. Professor Bharat Lohani made Camp
2003 measure themselves and the space around them. This
activity called Guess The Space, drew all the
participants out to the outdoors to realise the heights of
the trees, sizes of buildings, widths of roads, ...
- Later in the day, the game
of cricket saw some fierce competition with the girls
students sometimes outsmarting the boys in many an
02 July 2003... Camp
2003 enters last lap!!
- The second significant
visit of the Camp to the ongoing construction of the Stay
Cable Bridge across river Yamuna connecting Allahabad
to Naini flagged off the last lap of Camp 2003. The
participants woke up early and set off by bus to the holy
town of the country. After a grueling 7 hour journey, the
participants reached the project site, and were accorded a
warm welcome by Mr. Robert H. A Uthwatt, Resident
Engineer of COWI-SPAN JV Supervision Consultant to the
bridge. After the introductory comments, he offered lunch
to the participants.
- The visit to the bridge
was another unique experience that the Camp offered. The
first all-concrete Stay Cable Bridge of the country was
being constructed to international standards. Constructed
at a town where everything else around is heritage, this
towering 90m tall structure built to 2mm accuracy stands
as an example structure that signifies India's departure
towards a new era of civil engineering. The form-finished
concrete structure constructed with modern technologies is
an architectural masterpiece with 52 stay cables. Even
though the supervision of this bridge is being done with
international expertise, the material required have been
made in-house in India, in particular the specially
engineered stay cables from m/s Usha Martin, Ranchi. The
digitally aligned orientation, shining form-finished
concrete with NO pores, and precision in the finishing
items reassure India's march towards a new millennium of
civil engineering construction.
- Camp 2003 thanked Mr.
Robert Uthwatt, Supriyo Ghosh and other engineers of COWI-SPAN
for showing the project and set off to Kanpur... once
again for a 7 hour road journey. The Institute's Guest
House staff served a warm meal at 1:30 am as the Camp
returned to the chilling dining room for a quick meal.
03 July 2003...
- Today was the second
Birthday on the Camp, this time it was Sheetal J.
Shivajirao's turn. A very quiet man by nature, Sheetal,
was very humble about the day. The Camp loves him and so
sang a very special wish on his birthday... Happy
- General S. P. Mehta,
formerly Director General of Survey of India, was on campus
to present the new decision making tool GIS, the Geographic
Information Systems, that is already being widely used
by Civil Engineers in the new millennium. He presented a
detailed discussion on the subject and showed the nuances
of how it can be applied to various civil engineering
applications. The presentation caught the imagination of
the participants and drew a number of questions.
- The second visitor of the
morning, Mr. N. Raghavan, Vice-President of L&T, who
carried a slide journey to paint the large canvas of civil
engineering. His presentation of the morning mirrored the
characteristics of the profession of civil engineering and
the key players involved in it. Clarifying the typical
activities, Mr. Raghavan urged the participants to nurture
creativity and produce something worthwhile. His words:
"Surprise your client, and surpass the
expectations", were charged the students with a sense
of quality consciousness. He presented the recent trends
in civil engineering, the new developments in design of
buildings, tall structures, highways, ports, airports, and
nuclear power plant structures. He closed by reminding the
students of the mega projects of the nation has embarked
on and invited the students to be apart of this rebuilding
of the nation.
- The afternoon was spent in
listening to the participants as they made their
PowerPoint presentations of the projects that they brought
from their homes. Kudos to Benny George, Sharad
Oberoi and N. Prashanth for their outstanding
and crisp presentations. Professor Ashwini Kumar chaired
this long session and was supported by Professors
Soumyen Guha and Sudha Goel.
- The day ended with the AFTER
THE CAMP Questionnaire. It will be interesting to
see the comparison of this data with that from the BEFORE
THE CAMP Questionnaire...
04 July 2003... The Cultural
- The last set of
presentations of the Industry were accomodated in the
morning session. First on deck were the Sponsors of Summer
Camp 2003, m/s TATA Steel. Mr. Partha Dey
from the Calcutta office came with three other colleagues
and presented the current steel reinforcement bars, TATA
TISCON. He made a short video presentation on the
manufacture of these bars.
- The last speaker of Summer
Camp 2003 was Mr. Harjeet K. Jaggi, Chief Bridge Engineer,
Northern Railways, New Delhi. He admitted open-ended
questions on the Indian Railways, and life as a civil
engineer in it. He completed his interaction with the
students with a short presentation on the challenges met
with in the making of the Kaliabhomora Bridge at Tezpur,
- The afternoon saw hectic
preparations for the evening's cultural show put up by the
participants of the Summer Camp 2003. Mrs. Ranjana
Tandon arrived by road from Lucknow and joined this
frenzy of getting ready on time. The Cultural Evening was
well hosted by Mr. Sharad Vimal Oberoi and Miss.
G. Venkata Lakshmi Anusha - both beaming with smiles
all through. The programmes grand finale was the parody by
Mrs. Ranjana Tandon ... 2003 ka Summer Camp nirala hai
- At dinner, the digital
images of the Camp 2003 were flashed for the invited
05 July 2003... The Moment of
- Camp 2003 woke up early
today.... this time not for the morning physical
exercises. It was the last event of the camp - Gliding, an
event that has more of a message for future than
the physical excitement. Learning to flying high -
was the central theme of this special morning. Captain
Umesh Chandra of the Flight Laboratory at IIT Kanpur
took each of the participants one by one to the unlimited
sky. Barring one, no one else had such an experience
before. The last of them in the sky, Saumil Jayant
Mehta was given the privilege of doing a sky dive with
the glider. This special moment is one that each of
participants will treasure for life....
- The Valedictory Session
of Summer Camp 2003 started at 11:30am.
- The Camp Coordinator, Professor Bharat Lohani,
welcomed the gathering and congratulated the participants
for successfully completing the Camp.
- The Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at IIT
Kanpur, Professor Sudhir K. Jain expressed his
satisfaction that Camp 2003 has been successfully executed
to the satisfaction of the Civil Engineering Industry, IIT
Kanpur and student participants. He wished the next years
camp the very best.
- INAE Distinguished Visiting Professor at IIT Kanpur and
Managing Director of Tandon Consultants Private Limited, Mr.
Mahesh C. Tandon was happy to see that the concept of
Summer Camp was now a coveted event in the minds of the
Industry Captains and more and more of them are keen to be
a part of the upcoming editions of the same.
- Camp Coordinator, Mrs.
Ranjana Tandon recounted the philosophical aspects of
the Camp. She presented a short story of what happened to
fresh hard carrots, delicate fluidy eggs and
unnoticed coffee beans when they were put in hot
water, and urged the participants to not become soft like
the carrots or hard like the eggs, but become aromatic and
enjoyable like coffee beans when difficulties strike them
in the big wicked world.
- Professor Sanjay G. Dhande, Director of IIT Kanpur,
expressed his gratitude to the Indian Civil Engineering
Industry for hand-holding the summer camp for the last
three years, and reiterated the commitment of the
Institute to the cause of producing a national human
resource of graduates with multidimensional personality.
He gave away certificates of participation to the
- m/s TATA Steel offered a special trophy for the MOST
PROMISING CIVIL ENGINEER of the Summer Camp 2003. Mr.
N. Prashanth of IIT Guwahati was the run-away winner
of this coveted trophy. He lifted this trophy for his
consistent involvement in all segments of the camp -
questioning during lectures and videos, hands-on
activities, sports, literary and cultural.
- Camp Coordinator, Professor C. V. R. Murty,
thanked one and all who made Camp 2003 possible -
participating colleges, sponsors, distinguished speakers
dignitaries from the Civil Engineering Industry,
administration and various departments of IIT Kanpur,
volunteers. One name that received wide applause was, Miss
Sakshi Agarwal, Project Officer, Department of Civil
Engineering, IIT Kanpur, for her dedicated work and
commitment to meeting the needs of Summer Camp 2003 with
- The rest of the day was
the tough part.... saying Adieu to all
participants. There were lumps in the throats, wet eyes
and nostalgic words..... It became difficult by the
evening, when Suhrut Kumar Panda and Benny
Mathew George could not hold it anymore. Yes... it has
been a very special association for the last 30 days....
06 July 2003... The Echoes....!!
- Camp 2003 is over!!
- The walls of the Visitors'
Hostel at IIT Kanpur are still ringing of the loud shrieks
of Miss G. Venkata Lakshmi ANUSHA, "Don't
forget me....", as her car rolled off the
ramparts of the Visitors' Hostel to the Kanpur Central
- Adios Amigos....
With best wishes....
Ranjana Tandon, Bharat Lohani, C. V. .Murty
Coordinators of Summer Camp 2003