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Kolkata had witnessed phenomenal growth in the fields of commerce, industry, transport, health, education, amenities, public utilities, waterways, ports, literature, art and culture, which continues even today. Colonial development of Kolkata started in the 18th century with the construction of several buildings and it became the nerve centre of administration for Continental India. It was called the ‘city of palaces’ and was developed as second only to London, remnants of which are still quite visible even today. Several institutions were established in the early 19th century and further development occurred with the introduction of state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities.
Kolkata also sustained political events and calamities, e.g. partition of Bengal (1905), shifting of the capital (1911), Indian independence movement, air raids during World War II, great Bengal famine (1943), communal violence (1946), partition of India (1947) and, lastly, the creation of Bangladesh (1971), which led to a massive influx of refugees. Hardly any other city in the world had grown so rapidly and endured such enormous historical events.
Kolkata’s journey from a simple place of commerce to evolving into an administrative centre and eventually becoming a hub for Indian social, cultural, educational and literary development is quite unmatched. By virtue of its journey through various events, and accommodating its ever-increasing population and commuters, the Kolkata story truly becomes a ‘benchmark in urban vitality’.
This lecture series concentrates on historical development of Kolkata over the past three centuries, mainly focusing on its heritage of colonial civil engineering, with relevant lessons on sustainability that find their relevance even today with a vision for the future.
Please go to https://zoom.us/join and enter the corresponding Meeting ID: 896 6842 8915. The password is 202021 for all sessions.
Victoria Memorial Hall: Development, conversation, and modernisation
Dr Sen earned his PhD in Structural Engineering at the Imperial College London. He is an elected Fellow at the Institution of Civil Engineers London, at the Institution of Structural Engineers London, and the Institution of Engineers India. He has published several technical papers in international refereed journals in the UK and France.
Dr Sen's firm 'H K Sen & Associates' has designed and delivered many nationally acclaimed projects across eight states of India. These include, among others, the Salt Lake Stadium, India’s largest football-cum-Athletic stadium, which hosted the FIFA U17 World Cup 2017, and four integrated townships in MP, UP, Sikkim and Bihar.
Dr Sen serves as the Vice President of Indo-British Scholars Association, as a member of the Sports Advisory Committee of Government of West Bengal, and as a Committee Member of Bharat Chamber of Commerce. He served the Institution of Structural Engineers London as an elected Council Member for six years and as the Chairman of its International Interest Group for two years. He served on the Board of Governors of Welham Girls School for six years. In his capacity as the country representative of the Institution of Structural Engineers, he mentors aspirational engineers.
The City and Guilds of London Institute conferred on Dr Sen its highest honour of 'Fellowship' in 2014, for his 'outstanding professional and personal achievements'. The Institution of Structural Engineers London awarded him the ‘Keith Eaton International Award 2012’, for his 'outstanding services to the Institution'. He won the Commonwealth Scholarship of the UK in 1965 for doing PhD at the University of London. Dr Sen won the University Gold Medal at Jadavpur University in 1962, for standing first in Civil Engineering. He won the 'Rector's Prize for the Best Final Year Student of the Year 1961' at Jadavpur University, for academic and extra-academic attainments.
Dr Sen is a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta, Tollygunge Club, Bengal Club, Calcutta Club, and the Alumni Associations of Imperial College London, of PAN IIT, and Jadavpur University. Personal: Dr Sen is married and lives with his wife in Kolkata; they have one son and one daughter.
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