Summer Camp 2003
@ IIT Kanpur

6th June -5th July 2003

for 2nd Year Undergraduate Students from Engineering Colleges across India

Principal Sponsors 
Indian Institutes of Technology Kanpur
and Tandon Consultants Private Limited, New Delhi

Snippets letters Others Home

06 June 2003:: The Day

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 begun!! 

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.

The Camp Cabinet
Quick Look
Getting Ready for Camp
The Camp
Guest Lectures
Field Visits
The People Behind
The Camp Schedule
A Typical Day
Camp Diary
Points Tally

07 June 2003

  • A wall magazine (The Bridge to Future...) was started.

  • Group Leaders of the four groups were unanimously chosen by the respective group members.
    Any nominations for The Camp Leader?

  • Face-to-Face, 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

  • Mr. Robert Uthwatt of COVI-SPAN JV, Naini, unveils the magic of the new stay cable bridge under construction across the river ... at Naini. After his gripping presentation, he invited the students to visit the bridge nearing completion and see for themselves the gigantic engineering marvel - the Naini bridge.

  • Dr. C. S. Vishwanatha of TORSTEEL Research Foundation walked Camp 2003 participants through the origin and development of two basic civil engineering materials - steel reinforcement bars and concrete. He took the students to the window to the future and gave a preview of the materials that Camp 2003 participants are likely to be faced with during their careers.

  • Abhinav Venkateshwaran leads Camp 2003!! The team leaders (Vranda Kamath; N. Prashanth; Rohit Kumar Sinha; Benny Mathew George) unanimously picked Abhinav Venkateshwaran as Camp Leader for his traits of commitment and dedication to the cause at hand.

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 . The proceedings 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 Varma. 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 participants.

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 a  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.


11 June 2003

  • Om Sri 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

  • In 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 profession. 

  • A 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 they happen.


12 June 2003


  • 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. 

  • Mr. 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.

13 June 2003
  • 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 associated with.

  • 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 Aggarwal.
16 June 2003!!
  • A historic start of the day!! Architect Deepak Gahlowt of Confederation of Construction Products and Services, New Delhi, took the participants back to the days of Mohenjodaro and Harappa. Recalling the mind of the then architects, Mr. Gahlowt walked through the transformation of Indian architecture from then to now. He highlighted the fine details of the historic architecture of India, and the single stone carvings seen in the caves of Ajanta and Ellora!! Mr. Gahlowt invited students to come and uncover the mysteries of Indian architecture.

  • The activity of the day was an embarrassment to the participants. 3D Visualization simply was a game of drawing known and shown objects. The Maps of India drawn by the participants will not be acceptable to the Surveyor General of India, because the state of Delhi was so big that it touched the borders of Nepal. The southern states had no Tamilnadu, and Karnataka was on the eastern coast of India. Will someone show these participants the India map, please?? Or will someone wake-up those geography teachers in today's schools??!!

  • The afternoon was a treat to listen.... the story of cement making, marketing and using!! Mr. A. K. Jain, Vice President (Technical) of GRASIM Industries Limited, Bombay, was the special guest of the afternoon. He showed how the Indian cement plants are more state-of-the-art than those in the western world. His presentation was followed by an interesting Q&A session in which Mr. Jain handled large number of questions with crystal clear clarity and won the hearts of the participants.  Colonel (Retd.) Sudhir Tamhaney, General Manager (Technical), GRASIM Industries Limited, New Delhi, also graced the occasion.

  • The evening's game of basketball did not draw much respect from the participants. In their own ways, the participants showed their stubbornness to play with discipline. They seemed unhappy about team work and discipline that the camp is emphasizing...


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 field. 

  • 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 first prize.

  • 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 control.

  • 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 being.

  • 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 objectives
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 infrastructure.

  • 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 evening.

  • 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 region
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 farmlands.

  • 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 Coordinators.

  • 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 President!!
  • 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, Rashtrapati Bhawan.

  • Venue: Meeting Hall 3 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
    Environment: Formal but relaxed; Light Hindi film instrumental music
           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 Cuckoo's Nest!!
  • 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 Done!!

  • 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 6:45am. 
  • 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 responsibility.
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.
        A lady      :: 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 policies."
    The judges, Professor Sudha Goel and Miss Sakshi Agarwal, had only one choice: R. Lalitha - Top Spot.

  • 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 occasion.
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 Birthday, Sheetal!

  • 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 Evening
  • 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, Assam. 

  • 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 haan ji.

  • At dinner, the digital images of the Camp 2003 were flashed for the invited guests.
05 July 2003... The Moment of Truth!!
  • 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 students.
    - 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 precision.

  • 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 Railway Station.
  • Adios Amigos....

    With best wishes....
    Ranjana Tandon, Bharat Lohani, C. V. .Murty
    Coordinators of Summer Camp 2003