Conference will be attended by ministers as well as former president S.R. Nathan.
Come Easter weekend, you may see an unusually large number of Indian faces in the Suntec area. And some of those you see could be the alumni of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT).
They will be in town to attend the PanIIT Apac 2012 conference at Suntec convention centre, the first time it is being held in Singapore.
Since 2002, IIT alumni have gathered alternately in India and the United States, where there are about 40,000 IITians. The number of IITians in Singapore has been growing over the years - about 1,000, with 600 associated with the alumni chapter set up in 1993. This growth, a result of the growing economic and strategic importance of the Asia-Pacific region, is one reason why the IIT alumni decided to meet in Singapore this year.
President of the IIT Alumni Association in Singapore Amrit Barman told tabla!: "We are happy to be able to bring the PanIIT conference to Singapore to highlight the increasing importance of the region and of Singapore in the rapidly changing global landscape."
The organisers expect about 600 IITians to attend the conference on April 6 and 7. They hope it will be a unique opportunity for individuals and companies to get visibility for their services, innovative products and portfolios. Globally, there are about 200,000 IIT alumni and several from the different regions of the world will be attending the Singapore conference.
Singapore Management University's (SMU) provost and deputy president for academic affairs, and a 1972 IIT graduate, Raj Srivastava, told The Straits Times: "Singapore probably has one of the largest concentrations of IIT graduates."
A day before the conference, there will be a round-table discussion between 12 visiting directors of the IITs and academic leaders from the National University of Singapore, SMU, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore University of Technology and Design to discuss, among other things, sharing programmes through video-conferencing.
The conference will be inaugurated by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office S. Iswaran, while Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will hold an interactive session with the audience on the second day.
The conference's patron, former president S.R. Nathan, will make a welcome speech on the opening day and hold a book signing event on the second day.
In addition, there will be 15 speakers at the two-day session. Business leaders and dignitaries attending the conference include Ambassador Gopinath Pillai, founder of Headstrong and HCL Arjun Malhotra, entrepreneur and investor Kanwal Rekhi and Financial Technologies Group chairman Jignesh Shah.