BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT ACADEMY, PUNE CHAPTER
The Humboldt Club, Pune, was founded in 1972 by the initiatives of Late Professor B.B. Kulkarni with Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) foundation, Germany and the Club was duly recognized by its incorporation in the official list of Verzeichnis Aller Humboldt Clubs and Vereinigungen. Over the 100 such clubs / Vereinigungen which included 10 from India, the Humboldt Club, Pune became one amongst them. The Club worked for many years purely on an adhoc basis with only occasional meetings and without any written constitution, formally enrolled membership or regular income. Professor B.B. Kulkarni was the designated “Contact person” till 1990 and later was appointed by the Club as President. Soon after, it was decided to formalize the Club by adopting a constitution and intensify its activities by suitable planning, distributing work responsibilities, appointment of office bearers, etc. Thus, a draft constitution was prepared by six senior most Humboldtians in Pune including Dr. A.V. Ramaswamy, Prof. M.V. Kaulgud and Dr. Arun P. Kulkarni. During this time, the first regional Kolleg was also organized successfully by Dr. A.V. Ramaswamy on January 2003 on behalf of the Humboldt Club, Pune at Kashid Village, Alibaug. Many Humboldtians from Pune and Mumbai region participated in this meeting. On the suggestion of Professor B.B. Kulkarni, a meeting of Humboldt club, Pune was convened by Dr. A.V. Ramaswamy on 12 April, 2004 at the NCL Guest House. The agenda of the meeting was to discuss a draft of the constitution, to elect the executive committee and to plan future activities of the Club. Among the 19 Humboldtians present, the following seven members were elected to constitute the executive committee (EC) for a period of 3 years (till April, 2007): Prof. B.B. Kulkarni (President), Dr. A.V. Ramaswamy (Vice President), Dr. Sourav Pal (General Secretary), Dr. D.C. Agrawal (Treasurer), Prof. A.D. Karve, Dr. Rajiv Kumar and Dr. Gopal Krishna as members. In its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 19th March, 2005, the proposed constitution of the Club was adopted in its final form. On the unfortunate demise of Prof. B.B. Kulkarni in April 2006, Dr. A.V. Ramaswamy took over as the President of the Club.
After completion of the term of 3 years, in the AGM held on 21st May 2007, a new Executive Council was elected with the following members : Prof. A.D. Karve (President), Dr. Sourav Pal (Vice President), Dr. Rajiv Kumar (General Secretary), Dr. D.C. Agrawal (Treasurer), Prof. B.S.M. Rao, Dr. Anil Kumar and Prof. M.V. Kaulgud as members. After a detailed discussion the Humboldt Club was rechristened as the present Humboldt Academy, Pune Chapter. In this period, decisions like organizing a regional Kolleg, collection of Rs 2,000/- from each Humboldt member as one time corpus fund for opening a bank account and preparing and hosting of Academy’s website were initiated. Subsequently, in June 2008, a bank account in the name of “Humboldt Academy, Pune Chapter” was opened in the State Bank of India, NCL branch. Also, the Humboldt Academy’s website (https://sites.google.com/site/humboldtacademypune) was unveiled and administered by Dr. Arun P. Kulkarni. Over the time the number of members of the Club has increased to 45 with a majority of the Humboldt fellows working at NCL, SP Pune University and IISER Pune. It is to be mentioned here that many members of the Humboldt Academy, Pune Chapter have been recognized for their contributions and achievements in Science and Technology.
On the completion of the 3 year term by the previous EC, in the Academy AGM held on 29th May 2010, a new EC was elected with the following members: Prof. A.D. Karve (President), Dr. Sourav Pal (Vice President), Dr. S.K. Date (Vice President), Dr. Manohar Badiger (General Secretary), Dr. D.C. Agrawal (Treasurer), Dr. Amol Kulkarni, Dr. A.P. Kulkarni and Dr. Nayana Vaval as members. After completion of 3 years, AGM was held again in December 7, 2013 and EC was elected with the following members: Dr. Sourav Pal (President), Prof. B. S. M. Rao and Dr. Arun P. Kulkarni (Vice Presidents), Dr. Manohar Badiger (re-elected as General Secretary), Dr. C. S. Gopinath (Jt-Secretary) D.C. Agrawal (Treasurer), Dr. Ashok Giri, Dr. S. G. Srivatsan and Dr. S. D. Sartale as members. Later, due to moving of Dr. Sourav Pal to IIT, Bombay and Dr. D. C. Agrawal to Taiwan, Prof. B. S. M. Rao and Dr. N. N. Joshi took over as President and treasurer respectively. Many activities from Humboldt Academy Pune Chapter were taken place, which are briefly mentioned here:
The previous Executive Council of Humboldt Academy, Pune Chapter came to an end on 31st December 2016, and a new EC was elected with the following members: Prof. B. S. Madhava Rao (President), Dr. C. S. Gopinath (General Secretary), Dr. M.V. Badiger (Vice President), Dr. S. G. Srivatsan (Treasurer), Dr. Srikrishna Sartale (Joint Secretary), Dr. Benudhar Punji, Dr. Ram Rup Sarkar, Dr. Swati Acharya, and Dr. B. Gnanaprakasam (Members). The new executive council took charge from January 01, 2017 and will continue for a period of three years till December 31, 2019.
Seven members of the Academy were invited for Humboldt Kolleg, which held in Bengaluru during November 23-25, 2017. Prof. Rao and Dr. Gopinath were invited to present Pune Chapter activities. It is to be noted that only Pune and Kolkatta chapters were invited to make presentations, in this important meeting.
The members realized the need of registering the academy as either a trust or society and suitable initiative was taken to complete that procedure There was also a need to upgrade the Academy website. A committee was constituted and it includes Dr. Arun Kulkarni, Chetan Bhongale and Ram Rup Sarkar.
From January 01, 2018 onwards, the new website of the academy (http://humboldt-academypune.org/) started functioning.