Prof Rajat Moona took charge as the Director of the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) on Monday. Prof Amit Prashant, the Officiating Director of the Institute, handed over the responsibility to Prof Moona on Monday morning.
This brief formal ceremony was followed by a collective welcoming ceremony and an interactive session between him and the IITGN community that served as a medium to know more about Prof Rajat Moona, his work so far, and his interests. The session was also lined-up with heartwarming welcome messages from the friends and former colleagues of Prof Moona, including Prof Sudhir Jain, Founding Director of IITGN and incumbent Vice-Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University, Prof Dheeraj Sanghi, Vice-Chancellor, J K Lakshmipat University, Jaipur, and students of IITGN.
Speaking to the Institute community upon joining IITGN and sharing anecdotes from his vast work experience, Prof Moona said, “I am thankful to all of you for such a rousing welcome. Working on various projects so far, whether leading some of the key technological projects or driving academic/administrative activities, my philosophy has been not to shy away from making errors, because it is only natural for humans to make an error. But, I also strongly believe that learning is also a natural human quality and if you do not learn from your past experiences, it is an error. Don’t ever let the fear of making mistakes stop you. Our motivation should be to keep doing things that we can, and ultimately it will lead us to success. I have been fortunate to work with teams who have helped make various path-breaking projects a success, and I am sure that together we will grow and take IIT Gandhinagar to greater heights.”
Prof Moona holds a BTech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur (1981-1985) and a PhD in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore (1985-1989). His research area spans over embedded computing, computer security, VLSI design and Operating Systems.
Before joining IITGN, Prof Moona served as Director of IIT Bhilai and Director General of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). He is also a faculty of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Kanpur since 1991. He, along with his students and colleagues, has authored 18 patents, several research papers and books.
He had been instrumental in defining some of the key applications for the country, such as smart card driving licence, vehicle registration, e-passport, electronic toll collection, mobility card, etc. He is an active member of the technical committee of the Election Commission of India for EVMs and has been instrumental in defining the EVMs and VVPAT. He has also contributed in defining the national voter service portal and national electoral search for voters.
Prof Moona is the recipient of several awards and recognitions, including Indo-US Science and Technology Fellowship, Poonam and Prabhu Goel Chair Professorship, VASVIK Award for the year 2010, IESA Techno-visionary Award 2014, Fellowship of Maharashtra Academy of Sciences 2015, National award of Election Commission of India 2016 for the best electoral practices, and most recently, a Special Award for IT Initiatives by the Election Commission of India in 2022.
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