The page — “Congratulate KGPian Sundar Pichai, CEO-Google” — contains a photo of a smiling Pichai while his appointment date of August 11 is displayed alongside.
Pichai is only the second person of Indian origin to lead a major global IT firm after Satya Nadella became the CEO of Microsoft in February 2014.
“Congratulations Sundar. You are an inspiration for IIT-Kgp students and the whole IIT-Kgp family is proud of you. Wish you the very best!” posted institute director P P Chakrabarti on the Facebook page on Tuesday.
On Sunday, the eve of the momentous announcement by Google, IIT-Kharagpur had announced Pichai’s name for its Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Since Monday, phone lines at the institute’s office of alumni affairs and international relations have not stopped ringing with congratulatory calls coming in from all over the country. Congratulatory messages flooded the Facebook page of the institute, ‘IIT Kharagpur’, and that of the institute director, ‘Director IIT Kharagpur’ as well.
“Seeing the excitement, the institute sensed the need for offering a platform to allow the people to congratulate Pichai. Hence to reach out to the huge alumni base, students and well-wishers of IIT-Kharagpur, the institute’s web development team on Tuesday morning launched the page on Facebook,” said Rohan Gupta, general secretary of the alumni cell and third-year geology and geophysics student at the institute.
Till 7 pm on Wednesday, the page got a reach of 2.64 lakh with more than 5,000 posts and 5,000 “likes” in less than two days. It will be operational till August 15, 2015.
The posts on the page will be forwarded to Pichai to congratulate him on behalf of KGPians and the people of India, said a senior official of the institute.
Atal Ashutosh Agarwal, the official representative of the students of IIT-Kharagpur for 2015-16 and a fourth-year mining engineering student, said, “I am excited that we could launch this initiative so promptly and people have taken this opportunity to congratulate Sundar Pichai from all over the country. While some of his batchmates are telling stories about how good he was in studies and what did he use to do in free time during his campus days, some congratulated their old buddy from the department of metallurgy and materials engineering and his hostel, Nehru Hall.
Siddhartha Mukhopadhyay, dean of alumni affairs and international relations at IIT-Kharagpur said that Pichai had already made the headlines when he was promoted as the senior vice-president of Google. “The institute has stayed connected to Sundar and he has delivered the inaugural lecture at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit-2014. Being proud of him is putting it too simplistically. He has led a revolution. The Google products his team ideated and developed over the years have touched the lives of almost all Internet users. The Facebook page is a way to convey the joy we are feeling for him”, he said.
The page can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/events/506766656144489/.
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