Indore, 12th September 2023: The Indian Institute of Technology – Indore (IIT Indore) has inaugurated Prof. Deepak Phatak Tinkerers’ Lab, a student-managed facility open 24×7 to one and all. The facility is funded by the Maker Bhavan Foundation (MBF) and the Desai Sethi Foundation and is named after Padma Shri recipient Prof. Deepak B. Phatak, an exceptional educator and maker par excellence known for his path-breaking work on a variety of digital technology domains.
As the chief guest at the occasion, Prof. Phatak addressed the students and highlighted the value of learning by doing for an engineer: “The product prototypes students build here will not be bound by any syllabus, but only by the imaginative ideas and creative talent brought to life. The students are encouraged to work and build things with their own hands and seek advice and mentorship from elders as required. The passion that gets poured into the work done here would make the students far better practical problem-solvers in life. Their accomplishments here may constitute tiny steps taken towards becoming successful entrepreneurs.”
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Suhas Joshi, Director of IIT Indore, said, “The inauguration of Tinkerers’ Lab is a momentous occasion for IIT Indore, marking our commitment towards nurturing the next generation of engineers who are adept at practical problem-solving, besides being well-versed in theory. It reflects IIT Indore’s commitment to providing a holistic ambiance to its students and preparing them to make a real impact in the world.”
This remarkable addition to the IIT Indore campus was made with the support of two principal donors, Dr Hemant Kanakia, Chairman and Founder of Maker Bhavan Foundation, and Bharat Desai, Chairman and Co-Founder, of Syntel, Inc., through the Desai Sethi Foundation. The goal was to encourage real-world problem-solving and ignite the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship among students.
Bharat Desai joined the inauguration online from the USA and interacted with the students in a fireside chat. He said, “We are inspired by Prof. Deepak Phatak’s passion for teaching, his deep understanding of technology and his ability to translate that into clear conceptual principles that audiences can readily grasp and his immense love for India. This laboratory is dedicated to his contributions to India and his unwavering support to learning.”
Dr Hemant Kanakia attended the function in person with his batchmates from the 1975 batch of IIT Bombay. He shared the history and goals of the programme: “Tinkerers’ Lab began with the support of the batch of 1975 of IIT Bombay. Today, it is the flagship initiative of Maker Bhavan Foundation, which is working towards transforming India’s STEM education landscape by creating the future generation of talented technologists and inventive engineers – the next generation of changemakers who are master innovators, real problem solvers, confident builders, and ethical leaders for the nation.”
As TL opens its doors to the IIT Indore community, it heralds a new era of discovery, creativity, and engineering excellence. With state-of-the-art equipment, this facility promises to be a crucible for ideas, a place where dreams take shape, and innovations come to life.