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A Humble Tribute to the Memory of Late Prof. M.C. Puri

(By one of his friends Dr. C.Mohan, Prof. Maths (Retd.), IIT Roorkee, presently Prof. at Ambala College of Engineering & Applied Research, Ambala Cantt)

 

It was rude shock for me to learn on TV on Dec. 29th Night that one of my dear friends, Prof. M.C.Puri had become victim of a terrorist attack the same evening while attending the annual meeting of Operations Research Society of India, being held in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

 

I had a long association with Prof. Puri spanning over a period of more than two decades. I first came in contact with Prof. Puri when I started interacting with Operations Research Group of Delhi University of which he was an active member. He was not only an intellectual and mathematician par excellence but had also great qualities of head and heart. He was equally liked by his colleagues and students. Prof. R.N.Kaul used to speak highly of him. He was one of the pillars of the Operations Research Group of Delhi University and invariably made it a point to attend its weekly seminars coming all the way from IIT Delhi to attend these.

 

Prof. Puri was not only known to me academically, but he was also a great personal friend of mine. Whenever I went to Delhi University or IIT Delhi in connection with some academic work or to conduct some viva voce exam, he invariably met me. We also frequently talked on phone. Only a few days prior to his untimely death, I happened to go to Delhi University on Dec 21, 2005 to conduct M.Phil viva voce exam and was looking forward to meeting him there. However, I was informed by Dr. S.R. Arora, Principal Hans Raj College, one of his erstwhile student that Prof. Puri has expressed regrets that he would not be able to come as he had some guests from USA.

 

Prof. Puri was an assuming intellectual who was fully devoted to academic pursuits even after retirement and in fact up to the last. He had a long association with OR Society of India and made it a point to attend its annual meetings wherever these were held. He also played a leading role in organizing societys annual meetings and conferences whenever these were held in Delhi. In fact he breathed his last while attending one of its annual meetings.

 

Prof. Puri will be remembered by his colleagues, friends and students for his unassuming nature, sincerity and academic honesty. His death is a personal loss to me. In his death I have lost a personal friend whose memory I shall always cherish. He was one of the few living academicians who are fully devoted to academic pursuits and whose tribe is fast depleting.

 

Chander Mohan