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Issue No.: 550 | April 2013

Professor P. V. Indiresan, R.I.P



Padma Bhushan award winner and Electronic Engineer, Professor P. V. Indiresan and a good liberal passed away in Pune. He was 85. A resident of Delhi, he had come to Pune to chair the Election Commission’s technical committee on Electronic Voting Machines.

Educated at the Presidency College, Madras, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and the University of Birmingham, UK, he taught at the University of Roorkee, IIT Delhi and IIT Madras. He was a distinguished Fellow of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, and Honorary Fellow of the Indian Railway Society of Signal and Telecommunication Engineers. It was his decision to revamp academic course content every five years at IIT, a practice that continues to this day.

In 2004, our sister organisation Project for Economic Education had the honour of publishing his  Dr. S. Ambirajan Memorial Lecture sponsored  by the Institute for Economic Education and the Public Expenditure Round Table on "Equity and Sustainable Development”. In this lecture, he discussed the scheme known as PURA (Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas) championed by former Indian President Abdul Kalam. He dwelt in detail on the various aspects of PURA from concept to implementation.  A concept that must be taken forward as a solution to reduce, if not eliminate, the India-Bharat divide. 

He was an outspoken critic of reservations and the Common Entrance Examination on the ground that it would dilute the quality of the IITs. Professor Indiresan’s opposition to 27 per cent  reservation for Other  Backward Classes surprised many, because  of his proximity to  Arjun Singh the then Human Resource Development Minister.

We conclude with this typically Indiresan statement delivered while concluding his Ambirajan lecture.

"A former South Korean President remarked that South Korea is a small country that thinks big; India is a big country that thinks small. PURA is for those who are willing to think big, at least try big experiments. So far, apart from President Kalam, no one has picked up the courage to do so. The question is not money, but absence of will.”







Other Articles in this Issue


Water Thievery - Cause of Droughts in Maharashtra

Sharad Joshi

Main Feature

Budget 2013 – An Elaborate Exercise in Denial

M. R. Venkatesh

Twelfth Plan and the 2013-14 Budget - 3

Sunil S. Bhandare

Reflections: The Gang Rape and After

The New Delhi Protest

Nitin G. Raut

Justice Verma Committee Report

Suresh Sharma

Death of a Rapist

Ashok Karnik

Reflections: A Flawed Democracy

Are We Really Free?

Firoze Hirjikaka

A Travesty of Justice!

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana

'Trousering’ a Brown Envelope in Myanmar and Communal Politics in Britain

Professor Christie Davies

Reflections: In the midst of Blasts, Turf wars continue

National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC)

Ashok Karnik

Foreign Relations

Terrorism Strikes Again, and Again, and Yet Again

B. Ramesh Babu


Preamble to a Farce

Firoze Hirjikaka

The Art of Giving

Firoze Hirjikaka

Point Counterpoint

Terror Strikes Again!

Ashok Karnik

Phone Tapping and CDRS

Ashok Karnik

The Helicopter Deal

Ashok Karnik


Disenchanting India: Organised Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India By Johannes Quack

Reviewed by Prabhakar Nanawaty

Educating Adults

The Right to Education Act (10)

Suresh Sharma

Children First Party of India Debut

Dilip Thakore

My Mother Pramila

R. C. Saxena

Anandi Gopal Joshi

B. M. N. Murthy

Maha Kumbh: Time to Come Clean

Sunita Narain


Freedom First, this month in April 1956


In Memoriam

Professor P. V. Indiresan, R.I.P


Viren J. Shah, R.I.P


Remembering Hari Shankar Singhania


From Our Readers

Perpetuating the Status-Quo

Kaiser Ansary

Yet another Strike!

Kaiser Ansary

India’s Growing Leadership ‘deficit’

Saratchandra Panda, Bhubaneshwar

In case you have not heard this one

The Hijacking of Wharton

Rajiv Malhotra


an African child
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