Chennai 36 interviews Prof. Jagadeesh Moodera, an alumnus of IIT Madras. Prof. Moodera did his PhD in IIT Madras after which he went on to study at MIT and win a series of honours and awards. 

Looking back, how would you rate your time here?

There is no value for the time I spent here.  Being with people who are similar to you, who are smarter than you, you invariably end up learning a lot. There are two things I learnt to have from being here- one is confidence in me, the other is passion.

What do you think is most necessary to succeed in life?

You don’t need a lot of things. All you need is self- confidence and passion. I am what I am because of the way I was developed here.  My time here opened up a new world. It gave me freedom to exercise my mind in any way. I’ve been coming here since 1982. Since the last 5-8 years, I’ve been coming almost twice a year. Meeting students thirty years after you’ve graduated, being on the other side, is a unique feeling. I hope you get to experience that feeling. Whatever you do, never forget the tie.

Your best experience at the institute

 Just the people I met there- my classmates, my seniors and some of my professors with whom I was close to. And SAC of course, we never missed the OAT movies. Where ever we were in the city, we’d be back in the institute by eight o clock for the movie. And the day did not end after the movies- it went on till two, three in the morning.

How is life at MIT different from that of IIT?

It is difficult to compare like that because when I studies in IIT, I was young – like you. By the time graduated, I had responsibilities and a different role. At MIT, there is a more professional atmosphere and we were more serious about things there.   

I love insti because

I love insti because it gave me confidence to face the world. It taught me how to think, to reach beyond the boundaries and explore the universe. That is why I keep coming back here again and again.

Message to the students

I’d like you to follow your passions sincerely. Do the best you can do and don’t compromise on the quality. Don’t shy away from your responsibilities.  Do not forget the institute. Give back what you can to the institute when you get an opportunity to do so. Nurture the younger ones. It becomes your responsibility 20-30 years from now.