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News - 2008

IIT Bombay News Archive - 2008
Archive of News Updates

December 2008

  • New director chalks out plans for IIT ... Like the 5,000-odd students at IIT-Powai, he, too is on a popular social networking site. Fifty-year-old Devang Khakhar is probably one of the youngest directors the tech institute has seen in a very long time. link.jpg

    • "Reservations have become an important part of public institutions ... they do serve a purpose, but the problem with reservations in faculty is that it is already difficult to find teachers."

    • "Recruitment is more about getting the right kind of people rather than the numbers ... on a brighter side, salaries are going to get more attractive following the implementation of the new pay scales. So more people should come here to teach."

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • Dr. Kishor M. Kulkarni ('65), President of Advanced Metalworking Practices, recently retired from the company which he had founded in 1984. Previously, Dr. Kulkarni held managerial positions with Cabot, SCM Glidden Metals and the IIT Research Institute in Chicago. link.jpg

    • Dilip Dahanukar ('64) has dedicated his science fiction book "Alien Man" to his alma mater on its Golden Jubilee. link.jpg

    • His dream was to follow in the footsteps of Sir M Visvesvaraya - the maker of modern Karnataka - and build another Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) dam. Veerappa Baligar ('78) is today a powerful bureaucrat who is Principal Secretary to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa. link.jpg

    • Industrial crane manufacturer and material handling solutions provider ElectroMech announced that Mr. A.V.R. Murty ('78) will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the company. link.jpg

    • Hexaware Technologies announced that Deepak Rao will join Hexaware from Siemens Information Systems Ltd. and will be responsible for growing the global BFSI business. link.jpg

    • Sanjay Uppal has been appointed as the president and COO of OnMobile Global, effective December 9, 2008. Uppal will be responsible for managing the business operations of the company, initially excluding strategic new sales, strategic new products and mergers & acquisitions. link.jpg

  • Prof. Devang Khakhar has been appointed as the new Director of IIT Bombay and will take over the new position from January 1, 2009. Prof. Khakhar succeeds Prof Ashok Misra, who was the Director from May 2000 - October 2008. Prof. Khakhar did his B.Tech. from IIT Delhi in 1981 and his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1986. His research has won him many laurels, including the Bhatnagar Prize in 1997 and the Swarnajayanti Fellowship in 1998. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Indian National Science Academy and the Indian Academy of Sciences. link.jpg

  • Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said that Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) has contributed significantly to India's destiny to become a knowledge power. Inaugurating the 6th Annual Pan IIT Global Conference, Dr. Singh said the government is committed to provide access to quality education to the poor and the disadvantaged. Dr. Singh further said that the IIT community is acknowledged as a community that has contributed very significantly to the knowledge economy and knowledge society, globally and in India. "The IIT impact study findings being released today validate this assessment." link.jpg

  • Every one rupee invested in an IIT has had an economic impact of Rs 15 and each IIT graduate meant 100 new jobs, says a study commissioned by an umbrella organisation of IIT alumni. The interim report of the IIT Alumni Impact Study 2008 says nearly 200,000 alumni of the country's premier technical institutions "have been associated with Rs 20 lakh crore of incremental economic value creation'' across industry, government and entrepreneurial activity over the past five decades. The IITians have also been involved in the creation of 20 million new jobs, which roughly translates into one IITian creating 100 jobs. link.jpg
  • News coverage of PanIIT 2008 ...
  • Amar Bhidé's (BTech '77 ChE) book "The Venturesome Economy" has been selected on the "Best of 2008" lists of the EconomistBusinessweek and Barrons. Tom Peters, co-author of "In Search of Excellence" says that "If I were to recommend to the next president just one book ... it would unhesitatingly be The Venturesome Economy." Lawrence Summers, Director of the National Economic Council in the Obama Administration, says that "... anyone interested in our economic future and especially our technology policies should read this book." link.jpg

  • All current IIT directors were appointed by a process violating at least some of the laws cited by Madras High Court in setting aside the re-appointment of IIT Madras chief M.S. Ananth. Section 17 of the IIT Act, 1961, states that "the Director of each institute shall be appointed by the council with the prior approval of the Visitor (the President of India)." The council referred to is the IIT council, the highest decision-making body of the IITs, chaired by HRD minister Arjun Singh. But Ministry documents establish that for at least three Director appointments apart from Ananth’s re-appointment, no meeting of the council was called. link.jpg
  • Despite the recent terror attacks in Mumbai, Mood Indigo, Asia’s largest international college festival, witnessed more than 75,000 footfalls this year, its largest turnout ever. Though one of the performances, by Pakistani band Junoon, was called off after the attacks, almost all other international events took place as scheduled. Singer Rabbi Shergill and the band Indian Ocean were big musical draws, and their performances attracted a huge crowd. This year, the festival hosted nine big events, including a fashion show, the winner of which will get direct entry into the semi-finals of the Pantaloon Miss India pageant. The winners of one of the acting events will get a break in a Hindi film. link.jpg
  • India is planning to rename IIT Bombay and IIT Madras half a century after they were started, under amendments to the Indian Institute of Technology Act proposed by the UPA government. If the amendments are approved by Parliament in their present state, the institutes will soon be called IIT Mumbai and IIT Chennai. The draft IIT (Amendment) Act, 2008, proposes changing the names of IIT Bombay and IIT Madras, 12 years after the two port cities were renamed Mumbai and Chennai. link.jpg
  • Alarmed by a significant decline in its campus placement this year, IIT Bombay is approaching start-up companies to beat the recession heat. According to a source, IIT Bombay’s placement record - which was extremely impressive last year with nearly 100% placements - has posted a 40% dip in the first phase of placements this academic year. Such a poor response has forced the authorities to extend the date of placement for this academic year till April. However, Subash Babu, professor in-charge, IIT Bombay, told ET there is just a marginal impact on campus placement due to the economic meltdown. link.jpg
  • Eureka 2008, IIT Bombay's annual business plan competition saw a whopping 2,500 teams. Of the 40 short-listed, the majority have business ideas in the area of clean technology. Touted as Asia's largest B-Plan competition, Eureka allows participants from across institutions to send business ideas across over a dozen sectors. link.jpg
  • On the back of a global meltdown, big-ticket firms may not be flocking at the premier Indian Institute of Technology campuses. IITians, however, have not lost all hope. Many are looking at start-ups for their first jobs. At IIT Bombay, for instance, the Entrepreneurship Cell - in association with National Entrepreneurship Network - is holding a campus recruitment programme for start-ups, which has seen over 200 students enrolling so far. This first-ever start-up campus recruitment programme at the institute has had 10 companies, such as MAIA Intelligence, RedBus, Seventymm Services and Zeus Numerix, registering for recruitment. link.jpg
  • With final placements at the premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) being a very tame affair this year, IITians are planning to approach companies on their own. Though this violates the policy which states that students cannot do so till placements on the campus are over, many students do not want to take chances.Placements on the IIT campuses have suffered due to the economic slowdown. IIT Bombay on day one has had only 33 offers so far as compared to 93 offers made last year. On day two the students had received around 27 offers against 41 last year. link.jpg
  • In a new book, "The Venturesome Economy", Mr. Amar Bhidé makes a detailed argument that contradicts the prevailing view of expert panels and authors who contend that the nation’s prosperity is threatened by the technological rise of China and India. America’s competitive advantage, Mr. Bhidé explains, resides mainly in its creative use of information technology, especially in the large and growing services sector, led by companies like Wal-Mart. link.jpg
  • Growing joint research deals between India and Australia will be under pressure and university marketing and promotional trips are likely to be reconsidered following the Mumbai attacks. Founding Australia Education International head and now consultant, Roger Peacock, told the HES that the attacks were "likely to make institutions much more cautious about sending staff to undertake marketing and promotional activities in India". link.jpg
  • At Livewire - Mood Indigo’s platform for the best bands in India - students, band members and rock-lovers alike will pay tribute to the victims of Mumbai Terror strikes in a unique way. For the first time, an international band will perform on a city stage ... the concert will be dedicated to victims of the terror attacks, something organisers of the festival feel they must do as a means to show their solidarity with them. link.jpg

November 2008

  • Alumni in the news ...
    • The American India Foundation is buoyed by the wave of Indians who came to the United States to seek education ... people like Al Kapoor (BTech '89 ME) of Weston, founder and president of the Boston investment firm Millennium Ventures Group. "Basically, they gave me a world-class education for very little," he said. link.jpg
    • Politics is not the last resort but the ultimate destination for a group of professionals, including IITians, who have launched Bharat Punarnirman Dal. "Our party is based on the ideology of equal opportunity and nationalism," said Ajit Shukla (DD '02 ME). link.jpg
    • Emerging Indian companies in the cleantech sector couldn't have asked for better times ... one of the early entrants in the Indian cleantech space was Pune-headquartered Praj Industries, which began in 1984 by offering technology, design and machinery to turn molasses into alcohol for biofuels. "We had started as a technology company and the term cleantech was yet to be coined,” says Praj’s chairman Pramod Chaudhari (BTech '71 ME). link.jpg
    • Intel's latest processor, the i7, was partly developed on technologies developed in India, and a global team led by an Indian gave the finishing touches. Kaizad R Mistry (BTech '84 EE) manages development of Intel's 45nm logic technology. Mistry is VP of the Technology and Manufacturing Group, and Director of Logic Technology Integration. link.jpg
    • Yogen Dalal (BTech '72 EE), Managing Director of Mayfield Fund, talks about the magic of Silicon Valley, in a LiveMint interview. link.jpg
    • The RockeTalk mobile social networking application will be pre-loaded on mobile phone models available through LG retailers in India. RockeTalk was founded in 2005 by Rajiv Kumar, an IIT Mumbai alumnus and founder of Bluetooth software company WIDCOMM. link.jpg
    • Three IITB alums - Ravi Venkatesan, Samir Gulve and Ganesh Natarajan - are amongst the awardees for "India's Most Influential Technology Leaders" for 2008. link.jpg

    • Integrated Device Technology (IDT) announced that Umesh Padval (BTech '80 ChE) has been appointed to the company's Board of Directors. link.jpg

    • At the heart of the advanced engineering team that shapes new design solutions for Mercedes Benz, Bharat Balasubramanian (BTech '73 ME) is VP of EE, IT and processes at Daimler AG in Stuttgart. link.jpg

    • The Pankhudi Foundation in Bangalore works with towards the education and health of street children and children living in slums. Pankhudi was founded in April 2005 by Shahzad Wakeel, who had then just passed out of IIT Mumbai. The foundation started as an Orkut community comprising young professionals with day jobs who were keen to contribute to society’s well-being. link.jpg

  • Expressing grave concern over the brazen terror attacks in Mumbai, Nandan Nilekani (BTech '78 EE) termed it as the "very great tragedy ... it is a challenge we have to deal with, we will bounce back." link.jpg
  • College festivals are beginning to feel the pinch of recession, but student organisers are keeping their chins up, and devising innovative ways of raising funds. Even the biggest college festival in Asia, IIT Powai's Mood Indigo 08, has been beset with sponsorship problems. And although they have managed to collect Rs1.2 crore - after four months of hard work - their stories echo those of the KC collegians. link.jpg
  • While the 1983 batch of IIT Bombay is getting ready to catch up with old friends in December, the former students have also decided to give back to their alma mater by helping the institute attract and retain world-class faculty through their legacy project. The aim of the project, titled Gurudakshina, is to enhance the institute’s brand and strengthen programmes related to faculty. Registrations are on for the Silver Jubilee Reunion of the batch, which is scheduled to be held on Dec 27 and 28. link.jpg
  • "Opening eight IITs at one go is definitely going to affect the brand that IIT is," said Professor Ashok Mishra, National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) president and former director, IIT Bombay. Professor Mishra said IITs have always been an elite brand. Increasing the number of these institutes might provide education, it will dilute its brand value. "The Government should have not rushed while taking such a decision. The established institutes are already facing a crunch of good teachers." said Professor Mishra. link.jpg
  • Concerned over a possible erosion in its brand name, scores of alumni of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) criticised the government for bringing in student reservation for other backward classes and forcing a faculty quota. They demanded a greater autonomy for these institutes of excellence. In a special alumni meeting on 'Sustaining IIT Brand' at IIT Delhi, the former students said that minimum government interference in the institute affairs, no quota in faculty selection and a certain 'benchmark' in selecting students is a must for IITs. link.jpg
  • Nandan Nilekani's 380-page book, his imagination of India's past, present and future, debuts in New Delhi on November 24. The Penguin book, Imagining India: Ideas for the New Century, will examine the central ideas that have shaped modern India offering original perspective on her past, present and future. The first-time author will be on a six-city tour to promote the book, the US release of which will be in early 2009. link.jpg
  • The renowned Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) may soon have doctors, historians and policy makers at its campus just like several universities in the United States. A Committee, headed by educationist Yash Pal, Chairman of the XIth Five-Year Plan Committee met the heads of all the IITs on Friday, to discuss how the premier tech schools can upgrade their character and enlarge their scope like the American universities. link.jpg
  • In a first by IIT Bombay, the institute is all set to initiate 'start-up jobs' as part of its final placements this year, which will enable both third-year and final-year students to participate in the recruitment drive. The National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) start-up job initiative is the country’s first campus-recruiting programme for start-ups. link.jpg
  • The Robotics Institutes (TRI) is a venture by a group of IIT Bombay alumni. In order to acquaint students with the basics of robotics before the competition, TRI/ThinkLABS conducted free robotic workshops called Fundae sessions in various places in Mumbai in September and October which saw participation of over 500 students from around 75 schools. ThinkLABS is one of the companies incubated by IIT Bombay’s Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE). link.jpg
  • It is an ambitious vision: all villages in the country, connected to the world via technology. Village knowledge centres (VKCs) -- a dream that former President A P J Abdul Kalam shared with IIT alumni -- are gaining steam. The Ittamadu VKC was a pilot project set up in 2005. The computers and library were provided by IIT Bombay alumni. "To set up more VKCs, we need money'' says Srikanth Rao, treasurer of the IIT Bombay Alumni Association, Bangalore chapter.
  • Alumni in the news ...

    • Three IITB alums - Ravi Venkatesan, Samir Gulve and Ganesh Natarajan - are amongst the awardees for "India's Most Influential Technology Leaders" for 2008. link.jpg

    • Integrated Device Technology (IDT) announced that Umesh Padval (BTech '80 ChE) has been appointed to the company's Board of Directors. link.jpg

    • At the heart of the advanced engineering team that shapes new design solutions for Mercedes Benz, Bharat Balasubramanian (BTech '73 ME) is VP of EE, IT and processes at Daimler AG in Stuttgart. link.jpg

    • The Pankhudi Foundation in Bangalore works with towards the education and health of street children and children living in slums. Pankhudi was founded in April 2005 by Shahzad Wakeel, who had then just passed out of IIT Mumbai. The foundation started as an Orkut community comprising young professionals with day jobs who were keen to contribute to society’s well-being. link.jpg

  • Jagmohan Mundhra's (BTech EE '68) "Shoot On Sight" lives up to the intensity that its title reflects, and works as a wake-up call for those sound asleep in their belief that terrorism is not anywhere close to their home. Directed by Jagmohan Mundhra, the film stars actors par excellence Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Gulshan Grover ... the plot is based on the aftermath of the infamous 7/7 bombings in London and the killing of Jean Charles De Menezes on the London Underground. link.jpg

  • The deadline for IIT Bombay's "10 Great Ideas" event has been extended until December 31st. link.jpg

  • The Legacy Project gift from the Class of 1980 has translated into a garden named "Kshitij Udyan" located behind the Convocation Hall. "Kshitij" was inaugurated on September 9th by Prof. MGK Menon. link.jpg

  • 60,000 students, 500 colleges, over 120 events, 4 days, 4 nights, 100 hours of Mayhem!! This is what describes Mood Indigo 2008 (MI'08) - the annual cultural festival of IIT Bombay. While the institute celebrates its golden jubilee year of foundation, Mood Indigo '08 promises to be the cherry on the pie. Mood Indigo, or Mood-I, as it is fondly called, will be organized from 20th December to 23rd December, 2008. The quality and quantity of effort put behind Mood-I justifies its title, "The Baap of all College Festivals". link.jpg

  • The Centre is thinking of inducting a former IIT student into the engineering schools’ highest decision-making body. The move will enable the alumni to play a formal role in charting out the institutes’ future policies as members of the IIT Council, top government officials said. The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has accepted in principle a proposal to nominate a member of the Pan IIT Alumni Association to the IIT Council, sources said. link.jpg

  • IIT Bombay is trying to build public transportation systems which are three times as energy efficient as compared to those today. Urban transport planning and creating an 'urban scenario simulator model' will use real census data, actual traffic data and other accurate inputs to model the response of a city to various interventions through infrastructure building. link.jpg

October 2008

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • NY Post - With financial markets in disarray, the timely publication of "The Venturesome Economy" by Columbia University professor Amar Bhidé (BTech ´77 ChE), reassures us that we can survive even this latest crisis. link.jpg

    • At the Dataquest Awards 2008, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr D. B. Phatak (MTech '72 EE), Chair Professor, Subharao M Nilekani and Head of IIT Bombay-based Kanwal Rekhi School of Information Technology (KReSIT). link.jpg

    • ADC announced the appointment of Dr. Krish Prabhu (MSc '75 Phys), to the company's Board of Directors ... he most recently served as chief executive officer of Tellabs, Inc. link.jpg

    • "Sixty-eight Pages" is a film that makes an effort to address minority issues and their status as HIV positive ... Sridhar Rangayan, a graduate of IIT Mumbai has directed and scripted several award winning films. link.jpg

    • China Solar PV, a multi product solar company, announced the appointment of Mr. B. Veerraju Chaudary as its new Chief Technology and Operating Officer (CTO & COO). He has been trained in solar photovoltaic system design and engineering from the renowned Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai. link.jpg

    • Network Solutions announced the appointment of Dr. Satyam Priyadarshy as Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO). Dr. Priyadarshy received his Ph.D. from IIT Powai. link.jpg

    • Graziadio Business Report (GBR) has appointed five new members to its editorial review board ... Bhimaraya A. Metri (PhD '02 RelEngg), Dean, Management Development Institute received his Ph.D. from IIT Bombay. link.jpg

    • In 2004, Vardan Kabra (DD '02 MetE/MatSc) turned his back on an offer by multinational P&G to pursue his dream of starting Fountainhead School. He represents a new generation of young MBAs who are giving up seven figure salaries for the kick of being an entrepreneur.

  • As a Kerala state player, George Koshy (MTech '72 ME) used to shoot the ball into the basket during his college days. Today, as a rocket scientist with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the tall, 58-year-old M.Tech from IIT Bombay is the project director for Chandrayaan-1, India's maiden unmanned moon mission, and on his broad shoulders rests the venture's success. For Koshy, Chandrayaan will be his third major space mission. He was mission director when ISRO launched an Israeli satellite in a stripped down version of PSLV in January and played a similar role when the space agency sent up a cluster of 10 satellites in April. link.jpg

  • In the IIT joint entrance examination of 2008, students could join IIT Kharagpur despite scoring no more than 5% in physics. For the second year running, the reduction of subject cutoffs to single digits under a procedure introduced in 2007 has allowed less meritorious candidates to slip into IITs even in the general category. This flies in the face of the seemingly reassuring statistics put out by IIT-Roorkee on its website in August stating that in the 2008 JEE conducted by it, the marks obtained by the last admitted candidate in the general category were 63 out of 162 in maths (39%), 72 in physics (44%) and 45 in chemistry (28%). link.jpg

  • IIT-Bombay will be setting up a demonstration solar thermal power plant in collaboration with industry that will also act as a testing facility. It is intended to be a high-visibility, national impact research programme. But IIT-B needs Rs 50 crore for the project and there is no indication yet where the funds will come for this fledgling initiative. link.jpg

  • With Lehman going bust, campus placements will never be the same again ... some of the 20 students from IIT Bombay who joined Lehman Brothers in the last two to three years are also in touch with faculty members. The placement committee at the Powai college has been inundated with offers from other companies with openings, wanting to hire these students. link.jpg

  • Two of India’s top academic institutions have finally made it into league of the top 200 universities in the world. The annual rankings are produced by the prestigious Times Higher Education-QS and this year The Indian Institutes of Technology Delhi and Bombay have managed to get into the top 200. IIT Delhi has made the most staggering leap in the entire league table by jumping from its position last year at 307 to 154, making it the top academic institution in India. IIT Bombay also made a massive jump to rank 174 from 269 last year. link.jpg

  • Graduates across IIT campuses pull out their smartest tux when Goldman Sachs visits them. This year, however, the investment giant seems to have decided to give the tech colleges a miss in its annual campus recruitment drive. IIT Bombay, for instance, has received a polite note from this banking and securities firm; it states there will be no opening this year. The investment major recruits about five students from the Powai college each year and offers them an average annual salary of Rs 10 lakh. link.jpg

  • Censorship. That is what directors of the IITs are currently fighting after the Union Human Resource Development ministry decided to edit out their opinion against faculty reservation. Access to the minutes of the high-level meeting of the standing committee of the IIT council (SCIC), through a right to information query, reveals that the opinion of the seven directors was cleverly masked by the HRD ministry. The minutes have left out one of the most crucial points aired by the IIT chiefs - that they were totally against the introduction of reservation in the recruitment policy for faculty members. link.jpg

  • Known more for its nerve-wracking competitions and off-beat workshops, IITB Techfest, one of the largest technology festivals, this year will have a unique competition called 'Prayaas' which is aimed at getting real-time implementable solutions to some of the persistent problems of the society by using the student resource. Prayaas will attempt to use the participants’ innovative ideas through stage-wise evaluation and guidance, which can be put to use for day-to-day lives. link.jpg

  • Students queued up in large numbers outside IIT Bombay for a blood donation camp as part of the institute's cultural festival Mood Indigo, which will be held from December 20 to 23. The festival's stamp this year is "RETRO: Reborn to Rock''. Ishank Gupta, core group member of the festival, said, "Through the blood donation campaign, called Khoon Chala, we want to tell the world that the youth is capable of rocking and reaching out to the country. On day one, we had over 450 IITians donating blood." link.jpg
  • The economic slowdown in the United States might hit the recruitment of IITians this placement season. Though students on IIT’s Powai campus are worried about losing out on some of the popular US companies for jobs, professors are positive about retaining most of the companies from their prestigious recruiter’s list. Some of the professors, however, feel that the slowdown in finance companies will encourage more students to go for core technical jobs, which is a positive outcome. link.jpg
  • Research and innovation in the area of biosciences and bioengineering at IIT Bombay is all set to get a major fillip, thanks to the Wadhwani Research Centre in Biosciences and Bioengineering (WRCBB) which is soon to be established at the institute. IIT-B signed a memorandum of understanding(MoU) with the Wadhwani Foundation to initiate the set up of WRCBB on Wednesday. Romesh Wadhwani, founder of the Foundation and an IIT-B alumnus of the class (electrical engineering) of 1969, said, "I hope that my gift of $5 million will be a catalyst for accelerating IIT-B’s progress in becoming a world class centre for research and innovation, so that in time it can be viewed as the best worldwide." It was during the IIT-B Golden Jubilee conference 2008 at New York in July that Wadhwani had announced his gift of $5 million to his alma mater. link.jpg

September 2008

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • Research and Markets has announced "India's Best Equity Analysts-2008" ... Nilesh Jasani (BTech '91 EE / PGDM '93 MBA), Credit Suisse ... the IIT Bombay and IIM Calcutta graduate is happy to be back in India. link.jpg

    • The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers is being felt rather strongly by the Indian Institutes of Technology. Nishikant Dhanuka, a student of IIT-Mumbai, who is also the placement nominee from the students’ side said: "Last year, four of our seniors joined Lehman. But we haven’t heard from them till now. Other previous batches’ seniors have been asked to look for new opportunities." link.jpg

    • Indian Express "Hot Seat" Interview ... "Being from an entrepreneurial family, Samir Gulve, MD, Avaya India, and VP, Avaya Global Communication Solutions (GCS) division, has always been fortunate in getting inspiration and motivation at the right time." link.jpg

    • ... the "brain drain" seems to be reversing: According to placement figures at IIM Bangalore, 75% of this year's graduating class opted for jobs in India. Pradeep Shekhawat graduated from IIT Bombay and is just finishing his MBA at IIM-B. After graduating, he does not want to go back to the U.S., at least for the time being. link.jpg

    • Mnemonics, a memory tool that helps people by giving associations of words, has been there from the ancient Greece but the idea of a dictionary only for mnemonics is broached for the first time by: Amit Aggarwal, an IIT Mumbai pass out. Mnemonicdictionary.com uses mnemonics to revolutionise the way we learn and remember new words wherein the content is contributed by users. link.jpg

    • Battery Ventures announced promotions on its investment team ... Ramneek Gupta has been promoted to Partner, and is moving to open the firm's Bombay, India office. link.jpg

    • SecondSpace, Inc., an online marketplace for second homes and recreational retreats, has appointed Satbir Khanuja (BTech '89 MetE/MatSc) as the company's president and chief executive officer (CEO).link.jpg

  • ... the return of the native. In a clear reversal of the brain drain syndrome, highly qualified Indians who have studied and worked abroad are coming back home to be part of their country's education system and knowledge pool. Prof Supratik Chakraborty of IIT Bombay was happy to find out that he would be able to do the same kind of work in India that he had planned to do abroad after doing his PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford. link.jpg

  • The Center for Excellence in Nanoelectronics (CEN) at IIT Bombay is doing advanced work in NAND Flash, molecular switch with DNA interconnects and disposable organic sensors with on-chip electronics. "Scaling of NAND Flash to smaller cell sizes is critical to advancing storage densities and bringing out more portable electronic devices," said Prof Souvik Mahapatra, a faculty member working at the center. link.jpg

  • The government will table an amendment to the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, to make the new IITs eligible to award degrees to students. The new IITs, started this year, are operating as societies at present. To be an institute with power to award degrees, the names of the new IITs have to be incorporated into the existing Act. Six new IITs have been started in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Orissa, Punjab and Gujarat from this year. Academic activities in these institutes are either run by mentor IITs or in temporary campuses. link.jpg

  • Students queued up in large numbers outside IIT Bombay for a blood donation camp as part of the institute's cultural festival Mood Indigo, which will be held from December 20 to 23. The festival's stamp this year is "RETRO: Reborn to Rock''. Ishank Gupta, core group member of the festival, said, "Through the blood donation campaign, called Khoon Chala, we want to tell the world that the youth is capable of rocking and reaching out to the country. On day one, we had over 450 IITians donating blood." link.jpg

  • The economic slowdown in the United States might hit the recruitment of IITians this placement season. Though students on IIT’s Powai campus are worried about losing out on some of the popular US companies for jobs, professors are positive about retaining most of the companies from their prestigious recruiter’s list. Some of the professors, however, feel that the slowdown in finance companies will encourage more students to go for core technical jobs, which is a positive outcome. link.jpg

  • Research and innovation in the area of biosciences and bioengineering at IIT Bombay is all set to get a major fillip, thanks to the Wadhwani Research Centre in Biosciences and Bioengineering (WRCBB) which is soon to be established at the institute. IIT-B signed a memorandum of understanding(MoU) with the Wadhwani Foundation to initiate the set up of WRCBB on Wednesday. Romesh Wadhwani, founder of the Foundation and an IIT-B alumnus of the class (electrical engineering) of 1969, said, "I hope that my gift of $5 million will be a catalyst for accelerating IIT-B’s progress in becoming a world class centre for research and innovation, so that in time it can be viewed as the best worldwide." It was during the IIT-B Golden Jubilee conference 2008 at New York in July that Wadhwani had announced his gift of $5 million to his alma mater. link.jpg

  • For IIT aspirants, there's a word of advice from the horse's mouth: "Do not compromise on reasoning. For, relying on readymade formulas without knowing the reasons makes it more of a game of luck." IIT Bombay's Prof K D Joshi, who has been associated with setting of maths questions for JEE for the last twenty years, wants the aspirants to know the subjects thoroughly instead of focussing on problems only. link.jpg

  • Nexus India Capital announced an investment in SEDEMAC Mechatronics, a company providing energy efficiency solutions for the automotive and renewable energy markets. SEDEMAC is founded by Prof. Shashikanth Suryanarayanan, a high-energy, entrepreneurial professor from IIT Bombay who obtained his PhD at University of California, Berkeley. The company was incubated at SINE – IIT Bombay's on-campus incubator. SEDEMAC has developed electronic control modules, which increase the fuel efficiency and reduce emissions of small engines. link.jpg

  • India has made major scientific and technological contribution to the new atom smasher also called the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which went live at the experimental facility near Geneva in Switzerland. Towards the scientific side, two Indian teams are participating in different experiments. Each of these collaborations is huge with 1000-2000 scientists from 125-150 top class institutions from 20-30 countries participating. Each full detector costs around $400-500 million to build and the R&D and fabrication takes around a decade. Prof. Raghav Verma of Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai representing Indian scientists has carried an Indian flag, IIT sources said. link.jpg

  • Risk. A scary word, especially in these scary economic times. Yet there is an elite band of super-successful global entrepreneurs and change makers who have always thrived on this four-letter word, battling uncertain times and uncharted waters to set up world class companies, challenge old worlds and create new ones. Meet Bharat Desai, Chairman and CEO of Syntel ... then there’s Ramesh Vangal, an intrepid serial entrepreneur from New York ... Kasim Mookhtiar had earlier pioneered diabetes and obesity programs at Bristol-Myers Squibb in the United States. These are just some of the thousands who form the U.S. alumni of IIT Bombay, which recently celebrated its 50th golden jubilee anniversary in New York. The roster of these Bombay boys reads like a Who’s Who of the business world, and includes Nandan M. Nilekani, Co-Chairman of Infosys Technologies, Jairam Ramesh, India’s Minister of State for Commerce and Power, as well as Victor Menezes, the recently retired Vice Chairman of Citigroup Inc. link.jpg

  • Air India Corporate Magazine and Khabar ... "The Bombay Boys" ... It’s the Private Power Club of today’s global warriors … It is one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, a secret society of the truly brainy, a gurukulum of the wise. Nandan M. Nilekani, Co-Chairman of Infosys Technologies, and Bharat Desai, Chairman of Syntel, are members. So is Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Power, and Victor Menezes, the recently retired Vice Chairman of Citigroup Inc. They, along with a select band of global samurais, belong to the Order of IIT– Bombay, one of the most prestigious educational institutions in India and one which is fast becoming an internationally recognized brand. This year the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay celebrates its 50th anniversary. Tellingly, the occasion is being marked not only in India but in the US too. link.jpg

  • For RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi (BTech '69 CivE) who has been in forefront of taking up several public causes and fighting against a corrupt establishment this new posting is going to be a real challenge. Ever since the news that he has been selected for the post of the Central Information Commissioner, Delhi came out, his phone has not stopped ringing-right from ordinary citizens who had taken his guidance for filing RTI queries to civic activists called up to congratulate him. "My philosophy and ideals will not undergo any change. Infact , if the system try to co-opt me, I may call it quits as I am only responsible to the people of this country ,'' Gandhi says. The 61-year-old former IIT alumnus, who was awarded the Nani Palkhiwala award for civil liberties this year, had used the RTI act effectively for better governance and accountability in public life. link.jpg

  • At the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) Teachers’ Day celebrations, professors and students listened with rapt attention as chairman and chief mentor officer, Infosys Technologies Ltd, NR Narayana Murthy fondly reminisced his teachers and advised students and others on the role teachers could play in putting students at par with other great nations. link.jpg

  • India's multi-billion IT sector would continue to fare well despite a slowdown in the US economy, Infosys Chief Mentor N R Narayana Murthy said on Friday. Murthy was Chief Guest at a function at the IIT Bombay. He also released "Monastery, Sanctuary, Laboratory - 50 years of IIT Bombay", a book on the institution's five decades of existence. IIT Bombay is celebrating the golden jubilee of its foundation this year. link.jpg

  • Students of IIT-Bombay will soon be swaying to the tunes of tabla and sitar maestro, Pandit Nayan Ghosh. This will be subsequent to the initiative taken by the authorities of the institute, who are planning to start courses on appreciation of classical music, and also to restore their seven-year-old gurukul, Dhrupad Sansar. Manjul Bhargava, the youngest professor at Princeton University in US, an adjunct professor at IIT-Bombay and also an avid tabla player, has decided to revive the music programme on the university campus by roping in Ghosh. "We are also planning to start a formal course in music appreciation with the humanities cell from the next semester itself. It is for the first time that the IITians will get to do a course in music appreciation."link.jpg

  • The government has replaced an officer who blew the whistle on the Narendra Modi government with a civil society nominee as one of the four new information commissioners under the RTI Act. Bowing to pressure from L K Advani, who is part of the selection committee in his capacity as leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, the government put RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi (BTech '69 CivE) in place of former IPS officer R B Shreekumar who had blown the whistle on the Modi government in the context of the Gujarat riots. The most controversial appointment is however of personnel secretary Satyananda Mishra, who heads the very department that administers RTI. link.jpg

  • Finance Secretary Duvvuri Subbarao will take over as the new governor of the Reserve Bank of India on 5 September when the current governor Y V Reddy's term expires. An alumnus of IIT Kanpur and a 1972 batch officer of the Indian Administrative Service belonging to the Andhra cadre, Subbarao was secretary to Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a Humphrey Fellow, Subbarao also holds a doctorate from Andhra University. link.jpg

  • TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) Mumbai announced the launch of their new Special Interest Group (SIG) focused on building a Clean Technology ecosystem in India. The SIG is sponsored by Nexus India Capital, India’s leading venture capital fund with offices in Menlo Park and Mumbai. The CleanTech SIG aims to bring together entrepreneurs, industry, academia, consultants, investors and policy makers in the areas of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Water Management and Recycling, and Sustainable Agriculture. Given the need for affordable and mass deployable energy and water solutions, this is an apt time to create a platform which energizes all the stakeholders and involves them in finding solutions for problems resulting from green house gas emissions, a depleting water table and a wide mismatch between energy supply and demand. link.jpg

  • IIT Bombay scientists have developed an inexpensive web-enabled device that can enable doctors to remotely measure lung function in patients with asthma and other disorders, and to quickly instigate medical attention in an emergency. Vivek Agarwal, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, and his student N. C. S. Ramachandran’s system is an easy to operate spirometer that can be quickly hooked up to an internet connection through built-in web and data encryption software. link.jpg

  • A year ago, when IIT-B came up with innovative ideas to turn the Ganpati festival into an environment-friendly event, the BMC accepted them. It has, however, done nothing to implement them. The ideas are too "radical' ' for Mumbaikars, said a BMC official. "They are untouchable concepts though they are truly environment friendly.'' Making idols from Powai lake sediments, reusing the same idol for five years and crushing the idols to use the material for bricks and tiles are a few of the "untouchable' ' ideas. Mayor Shubha Raul, who has been pushing for a green Ganesh festival, says the mandals are not ready to accept the changes though they can bring about a revolution. "The beaches are so polluted that one cannot step into the water. Yet we don't mind immersing our Ganesh idols there," she says. link.jpg

August 2008

  • In its efforts to collaborate with premier international universities for research and development, IIT Bombay is planning to associate with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US. “IIT Bombay is looking at some kind of association with MIT. But talks are still at a nascent stage. However, what is encouraging is that the MIT alumni in India are very excited about the possible interaction of their institute with IIT Bombay,” said professor Pradipta Banerji, dean of alumni and international relations at IIT Bombay. In recent times, IIT Bombay signed a number of memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with international universities for facilitating faculty and student exchange as well as joint research projects. The list includes Monash University, Rice University, University of Southampton and University of Cambridge, to name a few. link.jpg

  • In countries like India, great maps and comprehensive local data are hard to come by. And traditional mapping approaches are stretched to the limit in such environments, where infrastructure and local businesses are evolving at a furious pace. This need inspired Google India to design and build Google Map Maker, which enables users everywhere over to create rich, deep maps and fresh local data. "I will leave you with a map of IIT Bombay link.jpg, the alma mater to many of us in Google India. When I spent a few hours mapping IIT Bombay - the place I lived in, the school I went to, and the streets I played on, it turned out to be a surprisingly satisfying experience that reconnected me to a place that is home to many of my memories" ... Lalitesh Katragadda, Software Engineer and creator, Google Map Maker. link.jpg

  • An evaluation error in this year’s IIT Joint Entrance Examination math paper has slipped through undetected, possibly robbing thousands of students of crucial marks. IIT Bombay math professor Kapil Dattatraya Joshi has complained that students who ticked the right answer to a multiple-choice question were denied marks and those who didn’t awarded them. The question carried four marks — a score capable by itself of taking students to within a mark of the math subject cut-off of five. Only on clearing subject cut-offs are students eligible to be considered for IIT seats. The results this year also revealed that math scores of around 6,700 general category students selected were separated by just 87 marks — translating into an average of 77 students on every mark between the topper and the last entrant. link.jpg

  • Highlighting the use of technological intervention for development in interior Maharashtra, IIT Bombay (IIT-B) has created a master plan for the Rahata block (Ahmednagar district) comprising 58 villages and two towns. "A number of districts in interior Maharashtra do not have access to facilities like water and electricity, though they may have natural resources that can be exploited. We’ve created a plan for a bunch of villages. We are calling it a model block,” said IIT-B Dean of Research & Development Krithi Ramamritham. The project is being funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). link.jpg

  • Students associated with entrepreneurship cells in colleges hold "passive " job portfolios, that of organising seminars and competitions . But, for the first time this year, the e-cell of tIIT Bombay is supporting a start-up that is to be launched by the institute alumni. The start-up - Lifeinlines - is a social networking project. "Launching Lifeinlines by the e-cell of IIT-Bombay will redefine the concept of an entrepreneurship cell. Earlier, e-cells would just conduct workshops and motivation lectures and business plan competitions. For the first time, we are going out of the way to launch a startup of our alumni," Cyrus Vesvikar, IIT-Bombay e-cell media manager, said. Ankur Gattani from the class of 2005 and Manindar Gulati from the class of 2003 came together for Lifeinlines. link.jpg

  • PanIIT, an umbrella alumni organization of all seven IIT institutes, announced the names of global leaders and sponsors who would be participating for the much awaited annual IIT Global Conference – PanIIT 2008. The fifth consecutive annual global conference will be held on December 19th- 21st, 2008 in Chennai on the sylvan IIT Madras campus. Global leaders for the 2008 Global Conference includes the founder of Mittal steel, L.N. Mittal, Carlos Ghosn, Co-Chairman, President and CEO, Nissan; Bob McDonald, COO, Procter & Gamble; Prof. C.K.Prahalad, Professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of business; the Honourable Finance Minister of India, Mr. P. Chidambaram and Stephen Cohen, a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution. link.jpg

  • As India is facing a shortage of engineering teachers, to tackle this problem, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) is planning to initiate various programs. As a part of this move, aimed at introducing its high quality course and innovative teaching skills to the faculty staff in engineering colleges around the country, IIT-B has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Wipro, one of major IT companies in India which has initiated Mission 10x, a program to nurture talent pool across the engineering faculty in the country. link.jpg

  • The Indian Institutes of Technology are considering dropping Kota — the coaching capital for IIT aspirants — as an admission test centre amid suspicions of mass cheating in this year’s entrance exam. The Rajasthan town may next year not be allowed to host the IIT Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) its coaching classes have mastered, top institute officials said. The proposal may be officially discussed as early as tomorrow when IIT directors meet to plan for the 2009 exam, sources said. The meeting of the IIT Joint Administrative Board — the highest policy-making body for the JEE — is in Kharagpur. link.jpg

  • The number of engineering students going for advanced studies remains alarmingly low despite setting up of new institutions in the country, a study has found. About 2.3 lakh students graduated in engineering in 2006, while only 20,000 master degrees and 1,000 Ph.Ds were awarded that year, according to the study 'Engineering Education in India', conducted by two professors of IIT Bombay. Doctorate degrees in engineering are less than one per cent of graduate engineering degrees. The percentage of is much higher for most of the other countries like the United States (9 per cent), Britain (10 per cent) and Germany (8 per cent). In the research front, India is far behind China. While 19 per cent of the research publications are from China, India's contribution is only eight per cent. V S Ramamurthy, Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT Delhi, who attended discussion on the findings of the study, said that "quality" was missing in the engineering stream. The study was conducted by Prof Rangan Banerjee and Prof Vinayak P Muley of IIT Bombay and was sponsored by Observer Research Foundation. link.jpg

  • When IIT Bombay implements the 9 per cent OBC quota for the first time this year, there will be a larger space crunch in hostels. In the past six years, the number of students at the country’s premier technology institute has increased by 28 per cent and is rapidly approaching the 6,000 mark. This increase means that at the end of three years, as the OBC student intake fulfills the 27 per cent criteria, there will be a shortage of infrastructure, especially in hostels. "When I entered as a fresher in 2005, all second, third and fourth year students were given single rooms. As second year students in 2006, we were made to double up because of a shortage of rooms, and 60 of us were sent to hostel 13 which was newer and had more space," said IIT-B Hostel Association General Secretary Ashwin Soni. In the single rooms where students are doubled up, there is a meagre 4-5 inches of space between beds, hardly enough for students to move about. The small size of the rooms also makes it near impossible for any new additions - even cupboards and tables - and students who have individual PCs have no place to put them. link.jpg

  • The catchphrase is once again an eco-friendly Ganesh festival as the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and residents of Powai focus on protecting the Powai Lake that literally turns into an immersion tank for thousands of idols of the Hindu deity each year. The activists are banking on idols made with mud sourced from the banks of the water body rather than the colourful Plaster of Paris images that are immersed at the end of the 10-day festival. "IIT Bombay along with the campus residents and those from neighbouring areas will celebrate Navsrujan Ganesh Mahotsav 2008 in its unique, signature style from August 24-31," says Jaya Joshi, public relations officer, IIT. link.jpg

  • IIT Bombay will unveil a coffee table book chronicling its history on September 5. The institute, in its golden jubilee year, has documented its history for the first time. Written by one of its faculties, Rohit Manchanda, Monastery, Sanctuary, Laboratory narrates the not-so-popular incidents that IITians have witnessed in the past 50 years. The award-winning author enjoyed meeting faculty and alumni who were a part of the institute’s formative years. Manchanda said he came across several startling facts like the canteen being used as a venue for board meetings and annual share-holders gatherings. The institute had also conducted an online survey for students, staff, and faculty to get some interesting first-hand experiences. link.jpg

  • The 13 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) battling a severe faculty crunch are set to go on a global hunt to appoint "quality young teachers". "Faculty crunch is a real problem, and all the IITs are worried about it. We will soon go on a global hunt to get fresh young quality teachers," IIT Kanpur Director Sanjay Dhande said. All the seven old IITs are facing a shortage of teaching staff between 15 to 25 percent. At IIT Delhi, against a sanctioned strength of 556 faculties, the elite engineering institute has just 448 teachers for a student strength of 5,300. The situation in IIT Roorkee and Guwahati are even more grim. With six new IITs opening this year as part of the government's plan to boost the country's higher education, the faculty crunch is going to aggravate further. link.jpg

  • The six new IITs will not have any SC/ST student this year. The 66 vacancies for them (19 for SCs and 47 for STs) will now be filled next year, over and above the prescribed quota. No decision, however, has been taken on the 68 vacant seats in the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad and 14 empty slots in IT-BHU (IT school in the Benaras Hindu University). Meanwhile, preparatory classes in the old IITs will be larger than previous years. The number of students admitted to the year-long preparatory course is based on the vacancy of reserved category seats in each discipline in each IIT. As three of the total four seats reserved for Scheduled Tribe students in the chemical engineering stream at IIT-Delhi fell vacant, three ST students will be admitted to the preparatory course. link.jpg

  • President Pratibha Patil speaking at the 46th Convocation of IIT Bombay, called on engineers of premier Indian institutes to develop modern equipment to combat terror. Industrialist Ratan Tata was conferred a degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa). IIT-B conferred 1,604 degrees this year, the highest in the history of the institute and an increase of 8.2% over the total number of degrees awarded last year. Two hundred of the degrees were PhDs.

  • The management-engineering combination has become possible at the IIT Bombay from this year after the institution recently revamped its academic year requirement by reducing the mandatory credits for the Bachelor of Technology (BTech) programme from 330 to 252, thus allowing students to squeeze in a minor area of their interest ... students can choose from a range of 17 minor courses, including management, CompSci, EE etc. Apart from minors, students can also pursue an honours degree, or take up a BTech with honours along with two minor programmes. The same combination is also offered to students pursuing five-year dual degrees. link.jpg

  • The IITs are yet to implement the reservations policy among their faculty, a month after the human resource development (HRD) ministry asked them to do so "with immediate effect". And seven months after the ministry, which oversees education, asked all Central universities to reserve 27% of staff seats for other backward classes (OBCs), that process has not begun. The reasons vary, from confusion over the edict to legal challenges, but the main problem is that finding educators is hard enough - and finding them from less privileged classes is even harder. "In any case, we struggle to fill up the existing vacancies. With almost half of the vacancies for teachers going to reserved categories, it might just get more difficult," said Juzer Vasi, deputy director of IIT Bombay. link.jpg

  • Seclore Technology, incubated by IIT Bombay has entered into a strategic alliance with Datamatics Technologies Ltd (DTL). The alliance will help Seclore to strengthen its market presence as DTL has an existing rich customer base and a strong focus on the BFSI segment. DTL is one of the largest service providers for IBM FileNet in India, and this alliance will enable it to extend its offerings and include information security in its focus. link.jpg

  • India's Gems Lose Out in $2 Billion Industry ... India's caste-based affirmative-action program in higher education isn't leveling the playing field. The economics of a talent search are loaded against discovering gems that lack the polish of tutoring. It's an irony that in a country where returns on higher education have probably never been higher, many of the IIT seats reserved on the basis of caste haven't been filled this year. A big part of the problem is that the IIT entrance test has now become an estimated $2 billion industry. This creates an unfair system. Students from poor families who can't afford private coaching stand a small chance against their more affluent peers who start preparing as early as the seventh grade to get ready for a test they won't be taking for another five years. As M.S. Ananth, Director of the IIT in Chennai, told the Times of India newspaper recently, coaching classes are producing masters of "pattern recognition." "With this, you can't get students with raw intelligence," he said. link.jpg

  • Gujarat's first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) opened in the Vishwakarma Engineering College campus in Chandkheda area on Saturday with 103 students, with only eight girls among them. Classes will begin Monday onwards and initially the faculty will come from Mumbai. Director of IIT-Bombay Ashok Misra who also heads the new IIT here said, "IIT-Gandhinagar has been chosen by many students. The merit list in Mumbai's chemical engineering branch closed at 4,300 rank while Gandhinagar has gone beyond this number". At the outset, this IIT will offer only chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering branches. According to Misra, chemical engineering was given priority given the many chemical industries in the state, which make prospects for these graduates brighter. link.jpg

  • Getting into the IITs just got a tad easier. With the increase in the pool of seats, the final cut-off score dropped to 180 as compared to last year's 206 out of a total of 489 marks. Similarly, the cut off for reserved category students —Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) — fell from 126 to 104. "In the JEE, the lowest score is not zero. It stretches to negative 38," explained IIT-Bombay JEE chairman N Venkatramani.link.jpg

  • The IITs, which have already been lowering admission levels for SCs and STs, now feel that with the number of seats for these categories going up, while general category seats stay constant, a larger population of students will have to be taken in, probably at rock-bottom scores. IIT-Bombay director Ashok Misra, who had pointed this out to the Veerappa Moily Oversight Committee, feels the issue has been completely overlooked. “To take in so many reserved category students, admission criteria will have to be relaxed''. link.jpg

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • Imran Khan should actually have been Imran Anil Pal. His father, Anil Pal (BTech '80 EE) was a classmate of director Mansoor Khan, Imran’s mother’s brother at IIT Bombay. link.jpg

  • Hundreds of former and present students, including many faculty members of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), have protested acceptance of sponsorship by an alumni group from US-based Dow Chemicals for a golden jubilee conference in New York July 18-20. Addressing the media in Mumbai Monday, Janak Daftari, an IIT-B alumni, said: "A group of IIT-B alumni, mostly from Silicon Valley, in total disregard to the sentiments and the callous practices being followed by the firm in their (alumini's) origin country, has gone ahead and under the aegis of IIT-Bombay Heritage Fund are organizing a two-day golden jubilee function in New York between July 18-20." link.jpg

 

July 2008

  • Over one thousand people - friends and alumni of IIT Bombay - came together to celebrate 50 years of IIT Bombay. It was the largest alumni event for an Indian university, outside India. During the conference, as much as $7 million was pledged through private donations from IIT alumni, including $5 million from Romesh Wadhwani, founder of the Symphony Group. link.jpg

  • IITBAA announces elections for 4 positions on the Board of Directors ... nominations are due by Aug 4 and online voting will take place from Aug 14-20.  The Annual General Meeting be held at 5 pm on Aug 23 at the PC Saxena Auditorium. link.jpg
    IITBAA Annual Report for 2007-08 ... link.jpg

  • Payback time: Old boy gifts IIT-B $5m ... The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) has received one of its largest private donations from an old boy in New York. At an alumni gathering in the Big Apple, Romesh Wadhwani, founder of the Symphony Group, gifted his alma mater a purse of $5 million (about Rs 22 crore) to set up a research centre in the area of bio-sciences. link.jpg

  • Concerned over the quality of teachings in IITs, a panel of alumni of Indian Institutes of Technology has suggested that the institution should work more cooperatively and each one need not have all the faculties. The panelists expressed apprehension that as the number of IIT increases, the quality could suffer because of standard of students joining them as also of teaching faculty. The panel discussion was held Saturday as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the IIT Mumbai. link.jpg

  • Indian Institute of Technology - Mumbai Director Prof Ashok Misra is leaving the institute in October to join Intellectual Ventures, a private company which seeks to create invention capital network by developing a large patent portfolio. Prof Misra announced his decision at the Golden Jubilee Celebration of IIT-Mumbai, here, saying he considered this forum to the best place to make his departure known. Misra has been Director of the premier institute since May 2000 and is serving second term. link.jpg

  • Alumni of prestigious IIT Bombay have decided to celebrate their alma mater's 50th birthday with a Golden Jubilee Conference in New York. The three-day conference, ''Looking Ahead: The Next Fifty Years'', will begin from July 18 and will feature eminent speakers like Ronen Sen, Ambassador of India to the United States, Jamie Dimon, CEO, JP Morgan Chase, Frank Wisner, Vice Chairman, AIG. Former US Ambassador to India. More than 700 people from over 325 organisations have already registered for this event, which features networking, knowledge-sharing and thought leadership on various subjects such as globalisation, energy, technology, career development, and social entrepreneurship. link.jpg

  • IIT Bombay has entered into a collaborative research program with Semiconductor Research Corp. and Applied Materials, Inc. to advance NAND flash memory technology. NAND flash is one of the most rapidly evolving technologies today, enabling a large variety of portable electronic devices from media players to navigation systems to solid-state drives for laptop computers. This international research effort is focused on providing breakthrough technology that can lead to a broad range of significantly smaller and more powerful portable electronic devices in the next five years. link.jpg

  • Ashok Misra, Director of IIT-B, told TOI that Professor D S Misra had not been detained by the CBI. D S Misra had, however, moved out of his campus residential quarters soon after a CBI raid on his house because he was besieged by the media. Meanwhile, highly-placed sources in the IIT said the consultancy project D S Misra was doing with a Singapore-based diamond company was above board. They further explained that the controversy arose because the firm had split into two and the partners started quarrelling over the rights to the patented technology. D S Misra had reportedly helped develop a cheap technology to purify black diamonds into white ones. link.jpg

  • Of the top 100 JEE rank holders, about 15% have opted for electrical engineering despite securing seats in computer science. "The perception is that computer science as a branch is limited. An electrical engineering graduate can opt for computer science at the post-graduate level, but the reverse is not possible." Of the 50 top 100 JEE rankers who got into IIT-Bombay, 44 took up computer science and engineering. But this year, of the 54 top 100 students, 10 have ditched computer science and engineering and chosen electrical engineering as their first preference. link.jpg

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay or IIT-B has reason to cheer. It's been the top choice for the top 100 students who've taken the IIT-JEE four years in a row. IIT Bombay is the most favoured destination for the top 100 IIT Joint Entrance Exam rankers. That's according to records kept by the Joint Entrance Examination Commitee. Experts say it's the location in the country's financial capital - Mumbai and the record placement figures that's kept IIT Bombay on top of the "most wanted" list of students. link.jpg

  • The cream of the country's young brains continues to hanker after IIT-Bombay. The institution has retained its position as the most sought-after IIT in the country, with Delhi and Madras a distant second and third respectively. A number of factors have been responsible for this: from geography to gastronomy and placement records to what coaching classes tell students. Of the top 100 JEE-2008 rankers who have been admitted to the IITs this year, more than 50% preferred IIT-B over any other IIT. This was followed by Delhi — where 27 of the top 100 — have been admitted. While Bombay and Delhi have maintained their positions over the years, IIT-Madras has overtaken IIT-Kanpur this year. link.jpg

  • Defending the autonomy of world-class institutes of excellence, nearly 200 students and professors of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) staged a candlelight march to protest the government's direction to reserve 49.5 percent of faculty positions in IITs for socially backward classes. The protest, which started a little after 8 p.m., continued for an hour with 45 professors and more than 150 students holding candles and walking around the IIT campus. The "silent protesters" said they were against 49.5 percent quota - 27 percent for other backward classes (OBCs), and 22.5 percent for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes - in the IIT faculties. link.jpg

  • Buoyed by its success in pushing through a quota for OBC students in higher education, the government has now ordered IITs to introduce - with "immediate effect" - quotas in the teaching faculty for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and OBCs. IIT Directors, not surprisingly, were livid with the decision, though none of the four TOI spoke to were willing to go on record. The high quality of IIT faculty has built the institution into a globally respected brand. Said an IIT-Delhi professor: "It is hard to imagine that even teachers will now use the caste flag to get in." link.jpg

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • India Infoline interviews Sudhir Rangnekar (BTech '71 ChE), Managing Director & Group CEO, is in charge of overall operations, financials, and human resources for Sical Logistics Ltd and its group companies.

    • Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) announced key changes in the management committee of the company ... Hemant Bakshi (BTech '86 ChE) replacing Kakkar as Executive Director, Sales and Customer Development in the Management Committee. link.jpg

    • India's first online single music release, 'Ek Kaagaz' is the result of collaboration between Devika and Delhi-based Pralay Bakshi (BTech '96 Che). Pralay Bakshi is currently the Station Head for Fever 104 FM, Kolkata. link.jpg

    • CNBC-18 - Want to become a successful manager? Nandan Nilekani, Co-Chairman – Infosys said the desire was to create a company that was different from multinationals and put the employee at the center of it. He told CNBC-TV18 that Infosys was a calling and they were committed to it. link.jpg

    • Rediff.com India Limited has invested an undisclosed sum in Vakow.com, a fast growing SMS content sharing social community started by IIT Bombay alumni Rahul Gupta and Amit Upadhyay. link.jpg

    • Aster Data Systems announced that CEO and Co-Founder, Mayank Bawa (BTech '99 CSE) has been chosen to participate in a key panel session on database analytics at GigaOm’s upcoming Structure 2008 Conference. link.jpg

    • NASSCOM Chairman Dr Ganesh Natarajan speaks about Bill Gates, Microsoft's past, present and future, and also about what made Gates a great businessman. He is an alumnus of IIT Bombay and the Harvard Business School. He was named 'CEO of the Year' by the Asia Pacific HR Conference in 1999 and received the Asia HRD Congress Award for Contributions to the Organisation through HR in 2005.link.jpg

June 2008

  • In an attempt to reduce the carbon dioxide emission levels from coal-based power projects, the government has asked the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and India’s largest power generation utility NTPC Ltd to work together in finding ways to use bacteria for clean-coal technology. link.jpg

  • Have quotas really worked? How do students from the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/ST), inducted on the basis of lower qualifying marks, fare in terms of performance and salaries at the IITs and the IIMs? According to information provided by IIT-Powai in Mumbai, 21 SC/ST students were asked to terminate their undergraduate BTech course in 2006-2007. In the last three years, the number of reserved category students terminating their courses at Powai has risen quietly. In 2005-2006, the institute had asked 20 SC/ST students to pack their bags. A year earlier, in 2004-2005, 19 students left without completing the course. Between 2003 and 2007, the yearly average dropout number for IIT, Powai, is a high 16 students. link.jpg

  • The smooth and flawless launch of eight nano satellites developed by universities from across the world along with two Indian spacecraft in one go by the April 28 path-breaking flight of the four stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), while helping put ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) on par with front-ranking international space agencies, has brought into sharp focus the growing popularity of nano, micro and mini satellites. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Mumbai and Kanpur are also planning micro satellites for launch by ISRO. link.jpg

  • IIT-Bombay plans to increase the number of faculty chairs to 50 from the current 20 by the year-end. Each chair, the institute estimates, can provide a top-up salary of Rs 20,000 per professor. Recently, Rahul Bajaj and Naushad Forbes committed one chair each at IIT-Bombay. The institute already has chairs from Larsen and Toubro and ICICI Bank among others. "There are only two ways of increasing the salary for the faculty: either the human resource development ministry increases it or we have new means of creating chairs. We have decided to go the other way. Earlier, we used the chair money to give salaries to the professors. But now we use it to give their top-up salaries," says Ashok Misra, director, IIT-Bombay. link.jpg

  • In a bid to increase private sector investment for its incubation projects, the country's premier engineering institute — Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay — has recruited an investment banker as Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), its incubation centre. Sushanto Mitra, the newly-appointed CEO of SINE, has spent several years as an investment banker. His earlier stints include working at Techcap India and Meghraj Financial Services India. "We are looking at a plan that will institutionalise private sector investment into these companies," says Mitra. IIT-B Director Ashok Misra expects SINE to contribute Rs 4-5 crore to the institute's exchequer. link.jpg

  • The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, has instituted 14 chairs for professors. This is part of the institute’s attempt to recognise existing professors and attract new ones. The chair professors will be paid more than regular professors. This is one of the initiatives planned by IIT-B to tide over faculty crunch. The institute is short of 100 professors and is looking to increase faculty by 50 per cent over the next five years. "Student numbers will rise by over 50 per cent in the next three years,” said professor Devang Khakhar, dean of faculty. “We are planning to hire at least 300 teachers." link.jpg

  • The late 1990s saw a sharp decline in the number of doctoral students graduating from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT). But this year is seeing the start of what could be a new trend. In fact, the number of students who will complete PhDs from IIT-Bombay this year will cross 200. Never in the history of the IITs have so many doctoral students graduated from a single institute in an academic year. link.jpg

  • Innovation is not the only forte of IITians. Their latest experiment with the Right to Information (RTI) has helped about 1,200 IIT research scholars in matters as varied as hiking scholarships and finding out the reasons for the spurt in suicides in IIT-Kanpur as well as felling of trees in the IIT-Bombay campus. Arvind Kejriwal, RTI activist and Magsaysay Award winner, described this as the real magic of RTI. IIT-Bombay student Amit Jariwala asked his institution the reasons for the delay in giving the stipend. His RTI application prompted the IIT to install new software to ensure that the students get the stipend of Rs 5,000-Rs 6,000 per month on time. link.jpg

  • The Indian Institute of Technology's (IIT) Industrial Design Centre (IDC) is already attracting investors with its new flush of designs created by students. Bharat Electronics Limited took up IDC's electronic voting machine (EVM) idea and mass-produced the gadget to be used first in 1998 elections. This time around, one finds a household cylinder on which you can read the gas level, a mobile phone for your grandmother which sends automated messages every time her pressure dips and a personal water vehicle on the students' list of creations. "Some of these solutions are sought after internationally as well. We would be delighted to take up their ideas, and if they fit well with our strategies, we will be more than willing to set up pilots with them," said Banmali Agarwala, executive director, strategy and business development, Tata Power Co Ltd. link.jpg

  • Everybody wants to be at IIT Bombay ... For a large number of the top-ranking candidates of the joint entrance examination (JEE), IIT Bombay continues to be the most preferred destination. This was evident on the second day of counselling at the Powai campus, which was attended by close to 500 students (around 330 from the general category and over 150 from the scheduled castes). IIT Bombay again topped the wish list of the vast majority of students. The reasons for this are many: some says it’s the institute’s location in the country’s financial hub; for others it’s the vibrant campus life and international exposure. But for most, IIT Bombay is the place that guarantees good placements. link.jpg

  • If you score 7% in your Class XII mathematics paper, you fail. But if you score 7% in your IIT-JEE mathematics paper, you can still make it. That's exactly what happened in the 2007 entrance exam, an RTI query has revealed. The top 7,202 general category candidates who qualified in the 2007 joint entrance examination, with an aggregate cutoff of 206 marks, included those whose score in one of the subjects was as low as 12 (mathematics), 22 (physics) and 18 (chemistry). These details have come to light from the fresh data supplied last month under RTI by IIT-Bombay on JEE 2007, which had been organized by it. If such poor performance in individual subjects could not stop candidates from making it to the all-India rank (AIR) list, it was thanks to a radical change in the 2007 examination in the procedure for calculating subject-wise cutoffs.link.jpg

  • In a unique solution to the persistent problem of faculty crunch, the batch of 1982 of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) on Monday presented a ‘Legacy Gift’ of Rs 3 lakh to each of the faculty members who recently joined IIT-B. The Class of 1982 of IIT-Bombay had pledged Rs 4.3 crore to address faculty compensation at their alma mater. link.jpg

  • The India Semiconductor Association (ISA) has announced the winners of Technovation Awards 2008. Prof. Juzer M Vasi, deputy director, IIT Mumbai won the TechnoVisionary Award for his outstanding contribution in the field of semiconductors. link.jpg

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • Pralay Bakshi (BTech '96 ChE) has been appointed as Station Head for Fever FM Kolkata. Bakshi is a chemical engineer from IIT Mumbai, with a PG Diploma in Business Studies from the London School of Economics. link.jpg

    • Ankit Mehta (Dual Degree '05 ME), Rahul Singh and Ashish Bhat turned an idea into a company called IdeaForge Technology and were soon inducted into IIT-B’s incubation centre, the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), which supports start-ups during the initial phase when they are most vulnerable, as they transform into real companies. link.jpg

    • Vishal Gupta (BTech '00 EE) saw the opportunity in his final year's thesis at IIT Bombay and converted it into a business plan. Gupta figured out a way to match fingerprints without matching the entire image. The core technology is called IntelliPush ... IntelliRADAR is used in companies across a spectrum of industries. One of them is Quintet Strategies, a hedge fund in Connecticut with over $300 million under management. link.jpg

  • This year, 44 graduating students (masters programme) of Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at IIT-Bombay took up “socially purposive” projects such as developing an inexpensive explosive detector that can be used by a common man. These projects are on display at the largest ever Design Degree Show, which started on Monday. Selective and sensitive detection of explosives is crucial in countering terrorist threats, particularly at high in-transit areas in the city. “What is available at present is expensive and cannot be deployed at all places. The challenge was to develop a system that can be used by a common man and implemented with ease,” said Manojkumar AG, graduating student of IDC. link.jpg

  • The government had announced that it would start six new IITs by July this year. But three of them at Rajasthan, Andhra and Bihar are facing starting trouble and three more are still on paper. With a tight deadline of less than two months, there is still nothing on-ground regarding the three new IITs in Gujarat, Orissa and Punjab. Ashok Misra, Director, IIT Bombay which is mentoring the new IIT in Gujarat said, "With regard to the new IITs, no funds have been allocated so far. We will have to hire new faculty. It's a greenfield project. Nothing really exists on ground there. So, we will have to see how we can attract new faculty to those areas, to that IIT." link.jpg

  • Brushing aside objections over brand dilution, the government has reportedly begun work on modifying the IIT Act, 1961, to ensure that the eight new engineering institutes it is setting up come under the premier Indian Institute of Technology umbrella. With the government's plan to set up engineering institutes in Rajasthan, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab, besides converting the institute of technology at Banaras Hindu University into an IIT, the total number of IITs will increase to 16. "I am surely in favour of the government's idea of creating new quality institutes like the IITs but they should be given a different name so that a different branding can be created," said Ashok Misra, Director, IIT Bombay. link.jpg

  • The Government of India held a high-level meeting with IIT and IIM directors to gauge the preparedness of their institutes for implementing the OBC quota in the current academic year. The meeting between directors of the Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management and HRD Ministry officials went into details about the infrastructural requirements for increased students. "This meeting was basically about the preparedness and what are the areas that require more attention," a senior ministry official said. link.jpg

  • IIT Bombay BTech and dual-degree programme students will not be able to opt for foreign internships from the academic year beginning 2008-09. As part of its course curriculum, the premier institute has decided to make it mandatory for students to enrol with an Indian company or institution for an internship if they want their course credits (the degree). link.jpg

  • India awarded 230,000 engineering degrees in 2006, but only a small fraction of these engineers are actually employable by industry, leading education experts and industry executives said. A majority of these graduates come from tier-III and tier-IV colleges, which have very poor infrastructure, they added. On the other hand, tier-I and tier-II colleges, namely the IITs, IISc and the NITs produce, less than 1 per cent of engineering graduates, 20 per cent MTechs and 40 per cent PhD in India, said Prof Rangan Banerjee of IIT Bombay at a panel discussion on ‘India’s leadership in manufacturing role of engineering education’ in Mumbai. link.jpg

  • There is an urgent need to launch a 'National PhD Initiative' in a mission mode to increase the engineering and science PhDs output and realise India's potential of becoming a global technology leader, according to a study on higher education. The study carried out by IIT Mumbai professors Rangan Banerjee and Vinayak P Muley of the Department of Energy Science and Engineering, said a series of initiatives are required to attract our brightest students to pursue research and reach international standard in order to meet our future requirements. 'National PhD Initiative' is urgently needed to increase the number of engineering PhDs from the present abysmal 1,000 a year to at least 10,00 a year for the future success of Indian industry and growth of engineering education in India. link.jpg

  • Third offering from IIT passout flies off shelves ... Putting the notion that book reading is a dying hobby to rest, the latest tome penned by Chetan Bhagat has been flying off the shelves of bookstores. link.jpg

May 2008

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • Business communications applications provider Avaya on Tuesday said it is expanding its research and development operations in Pune. The company has also announced the appointment of Sam (Samir) Gulve (BTech '83 CivE) as Managing Director of Avaya India and Vice President of Avaya Global Communication Solutions division. link.jpg

    • Two Indian-Americans were among seven people selected by the Asian American Heritage Council of New Jersey for its 2008 achievement awards. IT entrepreneur Dr Rajan Vaz (BTech '75 ChE) will receive the President's Award. link.jpg

    • Deutsche Bank appointed Anurag Mahesh (BTech '90 ME) as head of global investments and sales in Asia Pacific to boost its private banking business in the region. link.jpg

    • Altera Corporation announced that Krish A. Prabhu (MSc '75 Phys), will join the company’s board of directors on May 13, 2008. Mr. Prabhu most recently served as chief executive officer, president, and director of Tellabs. Prior to Tellabs, Mr. Prabhu spent 17 years of his 28-year career at Alcatel. link.jpg

    • The man who made Aamir Khan a star ... One of the best things Aamir Khan said he did during the making of Jaane Tu ... Ya Jaane Na was bring cousin and ace director Mansoor Khan back to Bollywood. "You went to IIT, then dropped out; went to USA for further studies and then dropped out of that as well. Then, you made your first film, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and then after Josh in 2000, you disappeared and took up farming. Why do you keep moving on one thing to another?" link.jpg

    • The Sona Koyo Group on Tuesday announced the promotion of Kiran Deshmukh (BTech '75 MetE/MatSc) as the Deputy Managing Director of Sona Koyo Steerings Systems. Deshmukh served as the Chief Operating Officer of the company for five years. He is a graduate in Metallurgical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology-Mumbai and has 33 years of experience in automotive components manufacturing. link.jpg

  • A Bihar boy, Shitikanth, has topped this year’s Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) conducted for admissions to the premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). In all, 8,652 candidates passed the exams. This year 311,258 students appeared in what is considered as one of the most gruelling under-graduate entrance exam. About 840 out of 78,159 girls qualified, while of the 72,116 OBC students 1,134 passed. Similarly, 690 SC and 159 ST candidates cleared the exam. There are 6,872 seats in IITs at Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Chennai, and Roorkee besides the three new IITs proposed by the Central Government.link.jpg

  • In April, the IITs had announced that the 2008 Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) scores would be used to also admit students to the three new IITs coming up in Bihar, Rajasthan and Hyderabad. However, what came as a bonanza for students was that the IITs have decided to start campuses in Gujarat, Punjab and Orissa as well from this year. Sources said the "sudden" decision followed a directive from the HRD ministry. The six new IITs translate into over 700 more seats. This year, of the 3.11 lakh students who took the exam, 8,652 have been declared qualified to seek admissions to 6,872 seats in the 13 IITs. link.jpg

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is to soon launch its new branch in Gujarat from the next session ... IIT Bombay, which set up its extension centre at Government Engineering College (GEC), Chandkheda, six months ago, will support the state education department in the entire process of setting up a full-fledged IIT here, including faculty recruitment. The IIT will function from GEC Chandkheda - the institute from where IIT Bombay currently conducts 12 short-term courses under its continuing education programme. link.jpg

  • Embers from the fiery debate over the International Organisation for Standardisation's (ISO) acceptance of Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) file format as an international standard refuse to die out in India. The IIT Bombay, has taken strong objection to the fact that despite a "No" to OOXML by a majority of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) members, the software giant "continued to make representations to the top Indian leadership pressuring them to change the Indian vote". Deepak B Phatak, who represented IIT Bombay along with three other professors, has written an open letter to all BIS members, expressing unhappiness over Microsoft's "accusation" that his institution and the National Informatics Centre (NIC), among others, have an "ODF alliance" bias. link.jpg

  • The Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), through its Global Research Collaboration program, announced a collaborative effort between the Indian Institute of Technology at Bombay (IIT) and Applied Materials, Inc. to advance NAND flash memory technology. NAND flash is one of the most rapidly evolving technologies today, enabling a large variety of portable electronic devices from media players to navigation systems to solid-state drives for laptop computers. This international research effort is focused on providing breakthrough technology that can lead to a broad range of significantly smaller and more powerful portable electronic devices in the next five years. link.jpg

  • Roadblocks for admission of OBC candidates in post-graduate courses including in IIMs and IITs were on Friday cleared by the Supreme Court which lifted the Calcutta High Court order staying implementation of the 27 per cent quota for them in Central educational institutions. The court stayed all proceedings relating to OBC quota that are pending in the High Courts of Delhi, Calcutta and Bombay and issued notices to those petitioners, including Delhi-based Youth for Equality, on the Centre's petition seeking transfer of those matters to the apex court. link.jpg

  • Agreeing to implement OBC reservation from this year, heads of more than 80 central educational institutions — including IITs, IIMs and NIITs — voiced concern about the problem of faculty and resources they would face in expanding seats. It is also clear that these institutes would have to start implementation from their own resources, and the government would compensate them only after the cabinet clears the extra funding to these institutes. Sources said heads of IITs and other institutes voiced maximum concern about implementation. link.jpg

  • "A look at globalization and IT spending"  ... CNBC's Billionaire Summit featured Bharat Desai (BTech '75 EE), President and CEO of Syntel, one of the sponsors of the 2008 Golden Jubilee Conferencelink.jpg

  • IIT Bombay has launched a Mega Global Initiative to discover "10 Great Ideas to Change the World in the next 50 years." This initiative was launched by noted industrialist Mr. Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Group and a member of IITB Advisory Council, along with Prof Ashok Misra, Director, IIT Bombay, at a gala event at IITB’s Powai campus in Mumbai. link.jpg

  • There is some good news for India, which has long been struggling with the problem of brain drain. The reputation of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) coupled with India’s technology visibility is attracting talent back into the country. IIT graduates are credited for their leadership role in establishing the booming Indian tech industry. Freedom to work is the major reason why S Janardhanan, Assistant professor of electrical engineering at IIT, left his job with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. "No matter how good you are, you will always be a foreigner in a foreign land," says Janardhanan, an IIT Bombay graduate. link.jpg

  • Last year after IIT Bombay restricted internet usage in its hostel rooms, it's counterpart in Delhi has now gone ahead and rationed net usage on their campus. Delhi's decision follows the same reasons - students missing out on morning lectures after downloading movies, games and entertainment till the wee hours. Unlike IIT-B and IIT-M, Delhi has placed a limit on the data students can download on their hostel computers. According to student affairs dean Anurag Sharma, it has served two purposes: improved internet speed and restricted students from downloading heavy movie and gaming files. link.jpg

  • CoCubes is an Indian startup founded by two fresh IIT Bombay graduates. CoCubes is attempting to address the large labor market of fresh college graduates. Every year nearly 12 lakh students graduate from Indian undergraduate universities. Most students graduate and then hunt for jobs. The lucky few have formal recruitment events at their college campuses. CoCubes is building an online platform enabling colleges and companies to host the recruitment process online. link.jpg

  • An air of confidence, tinged with nervousness and urgency filled a room of restless youngsters at IT-D, as they awaited their turn to showcase their business plans to a handful of leading venture capital firms such as Sequoia Capital and Helion Ventures Pvt. Ltd.The winning team from IIT Mumbai called Shuddh Technologies, which has water-treatment technology, is clear it meant business. The founders of this start-up are Yash Singh, 20, from Vadodara and Praveen Sarda, 21, from Nagaur in Rajasthan, who graduates next year. Hellointern.com, the third winner from IIT Bombay, runs an internship portal for engineering and management students and already has 60 recruiters such as Qualcomm Inc. link.jpg

  • Search engine marketing (SEM) is pedestrian. But when an Indian company goes a step beyond, it’s worth a mention. Communicate 2 has done just that by launching ‘reputation management’, to net in top companies as its clients in just a couple of years. For Communicate 2, this was not an easy job. They had to hire the expertise of IIT Bombay. "We worked with a professor there to develop this application called Infocomm." The application tracks all the material about an entity online - be it on blogs or news sites or advertisements of competitors, and then collects the material. link.jpg

April 2008

  • What happens when what is perhaps India's best-known global brand — as represented by the existing seven IITs — goes from producing just a few thousand IITians to many, many more. Is it like a designer label gone pret, accessible to all but special to none? Many academicians and alumni are convinced that is the fate in store if institutes with inadequate infrastructure and lack of quality teachers sprout up across the country. Says Bhamy Shenoy: "Brand IIT will be diluted and individual IITs will end up becoming brands. Today, it doesn't matter whether a student is from IIT Madras or IIT Bombay. But in the future, people would want to know which IIT a student is from." link.jpg

  • Technology (IIT)-Bombay wants to create a national resource centre for solar thermal power generation. “Nearly 50 per cent of households in India do not have electricity. It is estimated that 10,00,000 MW of power will have to be added in the next 10 years. One option worth looking at is solar thermal power,” said Rangan Banerjee, head, Department of Energy Science and Engineering (DESE), IIT-Bombay. IIT-Bombay now proposes to build solar thermal power plants in India in a demonstration-cum-research facility, which would help in developing indigenous capability and serve as a national resource centre and testing facility. link.jpg

  • The IITs could hike their fees soon, Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh Monday told parliament. He told the Rajya Sabha that the Standing Committee of IIT Council (SCIC) has recommended increase in its tution fee for graduate and post-graduate courses. However, he did not specify the amount of the fee hike being considered by the SCIC. Singh is chairperson of the IITs Council. The SCIC had proposed a fee hike from Rs.25,000 to Rs.50,000 per year. Despite doubling the fee, the IITs would still spend about Rs.150,000 on every student. According to an IIT Delhi official, the IIT spends almost Rs.200,000 a student every year. link.jpg

  • naukri.com head Sanjeev Bikhchandani (stated) on TV that IIM Ahmedabad had to lower its entrance level cutoff marks by just a couple of percentage points to accommodate SC/ST candidates for its management course. A call to IIT Bombay revealed similar findings, again off the record. IIT Bombay’s dean had made a presentation where he said the SC/ST candidates there hadn’t scored any worse than the general category students. It flies in the face of a recent data-packed study of the impact of affirmative action in India, by Marianne Bertrand, Rema Hanna and Sendhil Mullainatan (http://papers.nber.org/papers/w13926). The trio from the Universities of Chicago, New York and Harvard looked at the scores of those applying for engineering in one Indian state in 1996. The results are amazing ... the average scores are 480 for the upper caste candidates, 419 for the OBCs (13 per cent lower) and a mere 182 for the SC category (62 per cent lower). link.jpg

  • The immediate implementation of the Other Backward Class (OBC) quota is likely to make life difficult for students living in IIT hostels. In order to accommodate an additional number of students, the authorities may have to cram in more students in every room. IIT Bombay, which has 13 hostels on its campus, is already short of space. Currently, students from first and second year BTech are sharing rooms. However, with the increased student intake of nine per cent in the first year of OBC quota implementation, followed by 18 and 27 per cent in consecutive years, authorities said that henceforth they would be left with no option but to increase the number of students living in each hostel. link.jpg

  • The Dilbert cartoon strip features Asok, the Indian Institute of Technology alumnus, on April 21, 22 and 23 ...more.

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • The Indian prime minister described the widespread practice of aborting female fetuses as a “national shame ... Sabu George (MSc '80 Chem), another prominent campaigner, welcomed the prime minister’s decision to devote an entire speech to the subject, but agreed that the content was "very disappointing." link.jpg

    • Applied Materials, Inc. has appointed Dr Madhusudan V. Atre (MSc '78 Phys) as President of Applied Materials India, responsible for strategy and operations throughout India. link.jpg

    • A group of students at the XLRI School of Business and Human Resources is coming up with a state-of-the-art design centre here to train tribal artisans in making saleable products. "While developing the portal, we realised there was a huge disconnect between what the market wants and what tribal handicraft artists were making," said Kaushal Chandok, an IIT Bombay alumnus. link.jpg

    • Kota coaching classes to get into IIT coaching classes ... students who crack the JEE and make it big in the private sector touch the feet of their tutors in coaching classes. When Devendra Kumar Agrawal, an alumnus of IIT Bombay, got his first job at Texas Instruments, Bangalore, he bought Rao, his tutor in Kota, an expensive suit from his first salary. link.jpg

    • OnMobile Global Ltd, the first Indian company in the mobile value-added services (VAS) space to go public, made its debut on the Bombay Stock Exchange. Promoters of the holding company include founders Arvind Rao (BTech '80 ChE) and other investors. link.jpg

  • Chairman of IIT JEE 2008, Prof N M Bhandari, admitted that the subject-wise cut-offs for reserved candidates may turn out to be less than one mark which was the level to which the bar was lowered last year in one of the subjects for general candidates. The ridiculous cut-offs are thanks to a rather liberal ranking procedure adopted last year by the IIT system, stung as it was by an RTI application seeking statistical basis for the cut-off marks of the 2006 examination. link.jpg

  • A call to IIT Bombay off the record ... IIT Bombay’s Dean had made a presentation where he said the SC/ST candidates there hadn’t scored any worse than the general category students ... it flies in the face of a recent data-packed study of the impact of affirmative action in India by Marianne Bertrand, Rema Hanna and Sendhil Mullainatan. link.jpg The average scores are 480 for the upper caste candidates, 419 for the OBCs (13 per cent lower) and a mere 182 for the SC category (62 per cent lower). If the creamy layer is to be excluded from reservations, chances are there won’t be enough OBCs to benefit from reservations, especially since the Court has said the qualifying marks for admission cannot be lowered by more than 10 per cent. link.jpg

  • The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), is partnering with University of Cambridge for research and exchange of students in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The research activities will be funded through Cambridge Commonwealth Trust that will make an initial investment of Euro 800,000 over a period of five years. 30 students from IIT-B will go to Cambridge over the next three years. link.jpg

  • The three-year-long 27% OBC quota rollout which will also see an increase of 54% in seats for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes has put the IITs, which are already relaxing entry scores drastically to fill these seats, in a fix. The IITs which have already been lowering admission levels for SCs and STs, now feel that with seats for these categories going up, a larger population of students will have to taken in — probably at rock-bottom scores. IIT Bombay director Ashok Misra, who had also pointed this issue out to the Veerappa Moily Oversight Committee, feels that the issue has been completely overlooked. "To take in so many reserved category students, admission criteria will have to be relaxed," he said. link.jpg

  • The sylvan campus in Mumbai's Powai too is slowly peeling off its green cover to meet the demands of expansion. IIT-Bombay chopped down some of its oldest trees recently to construct the new girls' hostel. Permission to pull down more trees has been sought so that a new boys' hostel can be set up. Currently, there are 5,270 students accommodated in 4,200 rooms. Many second-year students share rooms. IIT-B director Ashok Misra said that implementing the 27% OBC quota for undergraduates will put pressure on all fronts — from building larger classrooms to investing more in laboratories, every facility will need expansion. link.jpg

  • "Never happy unless I am pursuing five different interests at the same time." This tagline that welcomes you on his personal blog sums up the character of Ganesh Natarajan (PhD '05 Mgmt), CEO of Zensar Technologies, who took over as Chairman of National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) for 2008-09 on April 7, 2008. Apart from handling these twin responsibilities, Ganesh also chairs the Outsourcing Forum of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in Western India and is part of the CII Western Region Council. He is also an avid writer, traveller, cricket enthusiast and doting father. An alumnus of IIT Bombay and Harvard Business School, Ganesh has been at the helm of Pune-based Zensar Technologies, a BPO firm, for over seven years now and has turned it into one of Fortune's Top 10 global offshore outsourcing companies from India. link.jpg

  • Times of India Editorial ... The directors of some Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) feel that giving the same name to new institutes proposed by the government would dilute the brand image of the existing institutions. They are said to have written to the government to consider giving a different name to the new institutes being set up ... this increased production in no way weakens a brand. It only enhances it. Even in case of the seven IITs we are so proud about, lack of high grade research and development prevents them from making the list of top research institutes in the world. We must not give up the attempt to build more and better IITs. link.jpg

  • Half a century after being kickstarted with foreign assistance, the IITs are now handholding other developing nations in establishing engineering institutes. India’s proudest symbols of excellence in technical education are flooded with requests from countries that want to emulate the IIT model. IIT Bombay has signed an agreement with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to help create "the best technical education institute Africa has ever seen", with five campuses spread across the vast continent. "We, the IITs, were handheld and assisted by other countries in our initial days. Now, it is time we helped out countries in need," Professor Pradipta Banerjee, IIT Bombay’s dean, international relations, told The Telegraph. The joint venture, to be called the Africa Institute of Technology, will have its first campus in Nigeria, IIT Bombay officials said. link.jpg

  • 3.2 lakh students would appear in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) on April 13 for admission into IITs across the country, registering an increase of about 70,000 candidates over last year. There are nearly 4000 seats in these elite institutions. Studying in the IITs could be costlier this year with the elite institutions proposing to hike the fees. The students in all the seven IITs are now paying about Rs 25,000 per annum as fees. It could be increased up to Rs 50,000, he said. "We have proposed a fee hike. But the final decision will be taken by the government," Prasad said. link.jpg

  • The proposed fee hike to Rs.50,000 by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) is unlikely to be rolled back. According to officials of the human resource development ministry, the hike was inevitable as these institutions spend almost Rs.200,000 on a student every year. IIT Bombay had said that it did not have enough money to pay salaries to its staff. link.jpg

  • It is the turn of students of IIT Powai to unveil a home-grown racing car. The car will be participating in the esteemed Formula SAE in Michigan, USA in May this year. The competition will see 120 teams from across the world, making it one of the biggest international engineering design and manufacturing events. The Formula SAE is a prestigious event for engineering and design competition at university level and breeding ground for future car engineers and designers. "The USP of the car is that it is made in India. It is our dream to make a completely Indian car for Formula One in the next ten years," said Shyam Jade, student, IIT Mumbai. The car was unveiled by India's only Formula One car racer Narain Karthikeyan amid fanfare at the IIT campus in Mumbai on Friday night. link.jpg

March 2008

  • Exactly one year ago, officials at the elite IIT Bombay began restricting the Internet in hostels after fearing high-speed access was impeding socialization, replacing talk with instant messaging, virtual gaming instead of the sweaty, heart-rate-quickening variety. Initially, the "LAN ban", as it was dubbed, was between 4.30pm and 7pm, and then midnight and 7am. The action was greeted with protest and much fear about just how a generation that largely grew up on the Internet would manage. A year later, a funny thing has happened: it’s working. link.jpg

  • Google's nationwide contest among computer science students to select 'product prodigies' drew entries from nearly 100 teams. The top prize went to the team from IIT Bombay for "Collaborate-Draw," a web tool that allowed multiple users to jointly work on drawings, charts and blueprints. The first-runner up team was also from IIT Bombay ... "Polls," a tool which helps set up your own online opinion poll, quiz your friends or your community and, most usefully, analyse the results at lightning speed in multiple ways. link.jpg

  • Phosphorus compounds made by scientists in India and the US have shown anticancer activity without using metals. Maravanji Balakrishna and Dulal Panda's team at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, and Tulane University, New Orleans, US, has created metal-free compounds with a view to developing novel cancer therapies. link.jpg

  • Following an invitation from the Union Ministry of Urban Development to participate in policy-making and research on urban development and particularly urban transport planning, the Indian Institute of Technology - Powai is proposing an “urban scenario simulator model” that will use real census data, actual traffic data and other accurate inputs to model the response of a city to various interventions through infrastructure building.link.jpg

  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) announced the locations of eight new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and seven Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) along with 30 Central and ‘world class universities’ to be set up in the country during the 11th Plan period. Out of the eight IITs, first announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his Independence Day speech, one IIT would be set up at Indore in Madhya Pradesh while Orissa, Gujarat and Punjab would get one each. The ministry had earlier announced IITs for Bihar, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Medak district near Hyderabad has been identified for Andhra Pradesh IIT, according to state government official. link.jpg

  • For many women, not only in India but even abroad, wedding bells sound the death knell of a career or education. Sudha Murty’s Gently Falls the Bakula is the story of one such woman - Shrimati, who marries her childhood sweetheart and classmate Shrikant despite family opposition. The marriage works, Shrikant does well in his job in a software company, and is in fact the most successful of his IIT Bombay batch, but somewhere along the way his ambitions begin to take a toll on their life. link.jpg

  • Despite being the leader in technical education in the country, IITs are still regarded less than first grade when it comes to providing business education. Management graduates from IITs have education in a technical environment and are thus expected to do well in the technical department. Hence, they are given second preference which does affect the remuneration of these graduates ... while the remuneration for IIM graduates typically averages around Rs 12-15 lakh per annum, a fresh management graduate from IIT pockets only around Rs 6-7 lakh. link.jpg

  • The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, is gearing up to host the biggest ever gathering of IIT alumni in New York this year to mark the 50th anniversary of its founding. The July 18 through 20 golden jubilee celebration at Marriott Marquis in Times Square will bring Bombay IIT-ians as well as alumni from other IITs from all over the United States as well as from overseas, including India. link.jpg

  • For all its reputation as one of the toughest competitive examinations in the world, IIT-JEE has seen a dramatic fall in standards. Or so it seems from the steep fall in the cutoff marks of each of the three subjects in the last examination as compared with those of the previous one. In 2006, the cutoff marks in maths, physics and chemistry were 37, 48 and 55 respectively. The corresponding marks for IIT-JEE 2007 fell to as low as 1, 4 and 3. The fall in the cutoffs in last year's examination defies logic as the overall performance of candidates actually went up. link.jpg

  • According to the press release of Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay (SJMSOM) ... the average domestic salary increased by 44% from the previous year’s figure of Rs 9.71 lakhs to Rs 13.96 lakhs this year. 90 pc of the batch received offers of above Rs 10 Lakh per annum. The highest international offer was US$ 85,000 by Olam International (Singapore). link.jpg

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • Raghu Raghuram (MTech '86 EE), vice president of products and solutions, figures to have more than a little influence on the direction and shaping of VMware Inc.'s products and services over the next few years. He holds a master's degree in electrical engineering from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay. link.jpg

    • Research and analytics firm Dexterity has announced a refocusing of its business on marketing and customer informatics, and appointed former IIT Bombay alumnus and Accenture USA Partner Anantha Krishnan as Chairman and CEO. link.jpg

    • Ankur Gattani (BTech '06 EnggPhy) has again turned his back on big bucks to pursue his dream. The 23-year-old is the only student in the 2006-08 batch of the postgraduate programme of IIM Calcutta to have opted out of the final placement. Gattani has started a portal, lifeinlines.com, as a first step on his entrepreneurial journey. "You can record little moments of your life on Lifeinlines.” said the IIT Bombay alumnus. link.jpg

    • Mahindra & Mahindra announced the appointment of Mr. Rajan Wadhera (BTech '79 Aero / MTech '81 Aero) as Executive VP, R&D and Global Product Development, Automotive Sector. link.jpg

    • Milpitas, California-based Kovair Software, Inc., a Development Life Cycle and IT Software Management company announced that Mr. Raj Mashruwala (BTech '75 ME) a veteran of Tibco Software who has been COO and Executive Vice President of Tibco has joined the Board of Kovair as one of its Directors effective. link.jpg

    • Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma (MSc '71 Phys / PhD '75 Phys) of India has assumed the office of the Secretary General of SAARC from March 1, 2008. Dr. Sharma had served as Ambassador of India to Vienna. He Joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1973. link.jpg

    • As a small child growing up in the 1950s in the rural village of Ladnun in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan, Dr. Suresh Sethi (BTech '67 ME) had never even heard of the prestigious IIT Bombay. In March, the highly regarded UT Dallas School of Management professor will be named an IITB Distinguished Alum. link.jpg

    • An alumnus of IIT Bombay has announced a potentially perfect way to sort and distribute the massive amounts of data that travel daily over optical fibres to people across the world. Rana Biswas (MSc '78 Phys) says that the new technology, a three-dimensional photonic crystal add-drop filter, shows promise to dramatically enhance the transmission of multiple wavelength channels (wavelengths of light) that travel along the same optical fibre. link.jpg

  • Physicist Basanta Nandi, from IIT Mumbai has emerged as the world's 'hottest' reasearcher for 2007, according to annual the league tables published by academic publisher Thomson Scientific. Usually dominated by Japanese and American scientists, this year the trio of high-energy physicists- Mikhail Kopytine, Basanta K. Nandi, and Thomas Peitzmann - top the list with 12 hot papers each, for the first time edging out Japanese and American authors from the position. Their research is about quark-gluon plasma; in layman terms something to do with the state of the universe before the original big bang. Mikhail Kopytin is from Kent State University, US, while Thomas Peitzmann is from Utrecht University, Netherlands. link.jpg

  • "IIT: Insufferable Indian Tribe" ... There are two distinct tribes in India: the one that went to IIT, and the one that did not. If you are wondering, how to tell them apart, I have good news: you do not have to. They would tell you before you can finish your hello. At times all you need is a glance at them, and they are too eager to blurt out, "I am from IIT, and my name is Raju." The other distinguishing characteristic of this tribe: they are insufferable. But as luck would have it, they are easy to spot from far as well - this is the recommended approach. Their tribal songs are everywhere: their license plates, their T-shirts, their coffee mug, their email signature, poster on their bedroom at home and cubicle at work. The first thing you should notice is that there are two "I"s in IIT, and that is no coincidence. link.jpg

  • PanIIT 2008 will be held in Chennai this year on the sylvan IIT Madras campus. This three day event between December 19- 21st, will bring together IIT alumni comprising policy makers, leading academicians, thought leaders, industry captains and more from across the world to discuss and debate ideas, issues and find solutions to create a better India for tomorrow. link.jpg

  • At a function organized to celebrate IIT Bombay's Golden Jubilee, Anand G. Mahindra, in his characteristic style, invoked the lessons from the Bhagvat to show the institutes of excellence a mirror. He raised questions that IITs need to ask themselves - urging them to discover their dharma – to be constant gardener of India’s technological future – to spread excellence as far as it can go without compromising on quality. link.jpg

  • Until about four years ago, Chetan Bhagat was an investment banker ... while others planned weekend excursions on the golf course, Bhagat, then employed by Goldman Sachs, indulged a passion for writing. Today, Bhagat is still an investment banker, now with Deutsche Bank. But he has also become the biggest-selling English-language novelist ever in India. His story of campus life, "Five Point Someone," published in 2004, and a later novel about a call center, sold a combined one million copies. Only the autobiography of the Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi has sold more. link.jpg

  • Kalpesh Khivasara, a student at IIT Bombay, knows he can get a job at a major company. But faced with being a small fish in a big ocean, Khivasara passed on all the big names at campus placements earlier this year. He chose working for a start-up, where a mix of adrenaline, growth and coffee will likely keep him working past midnight. In a few months, as his batchmates begin drawing eye-popping salaries, Khivasara will go to work for INI Consulting Pvt. Ltd, a company focusing on commercializing new technologies from academic and research institutions.To target students like Khivasara, IIT Bombay plans a start-up job fair at the end of the month. link.jpg

  • The Department of Information and Technology (DIT) launched 'The Nanotechnology Development Programme' under which eight small and medium R&D projects and two major projects have been initiated. Between IIT Bombay and IISc, around Rs 100 crore has been spent to set up the infrastructure and machinery. Applied Materials opened a Nanomanufacturing Lab at IIT Bombay. The company contributed equipment worth $7.5 million. link.jpg

  • The signature campaign for Raj Thackeray by actors Nana Patekar, Sajid Khan and others underlines the groundswell of support for the sons of the soil argument. Even north Indians are admitting it ... "Migrants are more dynamic, willing to take on small jobs, sweat more and are cheaper," says Kushal Deb, an Assistant Professor at IIT Mumbai. But he, a Bengali raised in Hyderabad, has overheard murmurs of approval for Thackeray among Maharashtrians at IIT. link.jpg

  • It’s a shiny, new dance floor, but how many can dance? The Web 2.0 market in India is still struggling for direction and funding, though the start-up scene in the Indian consumer space has been vibrant. IIT Mumbai-incubated Uhuroo has had successful test-runs among scattered workforces in companies like Cap Gemini, L&T Infotech and Arch Pharma. "Three of our 10 enterprise deployments so far are up and running," says Uhuroo CEO, Kaushal Sarda. link.jpg

  • Faculty crunch threatens Brand IIT ... Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg, say top IIT representatives, fearing that the faculty-crunch facing the institution could threaten Brand IIT. Their plea comes as the Centre looks to establish more IITs across the country. Over the years, the five older IITs and two recent ones have worked hard to establish higher levels of education, says IIT Bombay’s Director, Professor Ashok Misra, adding that the new technology institutions should not be called IIT. There is a need for several more technology institutions in the country and the IITs could incubate and support them in terms of resources and so on, he explains. He added that Brand IIT comes with its trademark qualities. The IIT brand name should be limited to the time-tested institutions, delivering quality education, Prof Misra said. link.jpg

  • Houston, the world’s energy capital, is used to thinking big. Now Houston has met its match in India. When Ashok Misra, Professor and Director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay visited Rice University in May last year, he proposed that it should engage with India’s IITs. Eight months after Misra’s journey to Houston, David Leebron, president of Rice University, travelled to Mumbai to attend the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of IIT-B and signed a memorandum of understanding for joint research and student exchange as part of Rice’s second-century objective of growing as an international university. link.jpg

  • The government’s plan to establish a National Knowledge Network by interconnecting all knowledge institutions in the country through an electronic digital broadband network is expected to give the much-needed boost to research and development activities in India and help it catch up with the pace of research happening in other countries. With such connectivity, critical mass between institutions will now happen,” said IIT Bombay R&D Dean Krithi Ramamritham. link.jpg

  • Three more Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) would come up in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan in fiscal 2008-09, Finance Minister P Chidambaram announced in Parliament. While allocating Rs 344 billion for the education sector – an increase by 20 per cent over – he remarked that the new IITs will start soon. While IITs coming up at Patna in Bihar and Medak in AP is expected to start from the next session in 2008-09, the Rajasthan Government is yet to provide a suitable site for its IIT, considered as a premier engineering institution in the country. link.jpg

February 2008

  • The Indian industrial and manufacturing boom cannot be sustained if core engineers, especially chemical engineers, do not enter the field they are trained for, according to Ashok Misra, Director, IIT-Bombay. "On behalf of IIT Bombay, I am talking to industry leaders to ensure that engineers are paid as well as software or management professionals." link.jpg

  • While professors and staff-members at IIT-B now have something special to look forward to thanks to the Alumni Centre being planned, the institute has embarked on a major drive whereby its roping in all faculty members to "reconnect" with their former students. office bearers from IIT-B’s Student Alumni Relation Cell (SARC) which has been playing a vital role in alumni networking, may attend the New York Alumni Meet in July 2008. link.jpg

  • About five years ago, students looking to go overseas for an international degree had few options - it was US, US or US. Increasingly, for a variety of non-technical courses, the student population is looking at destinations cheaper or closer home. Parents, say consultants, are picking Singapore or Australia over the US. Jai Nithani, third-year mechanical engineering student from IIT Bombay, says he is intent on going to America after his BTech from the Powai college. link.jpg

  • At a time when corporate slowdown is hitting headlines, IITians are happy that the effect of the weakening dollar has not made any impact on their pay packets. Salaries during placements at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) this year, has gone up 10-20 per cent. At IIT-Bombay and Kanpur, the highest offers were made for $92,000 per annum and $90,000 per annum by Mercer Oliver Wyman -- a Boston-based financial consulting firm and Lime Group, a US-based financial and technology conglomerate, respectively. link.jpg

  • IIT Mumbai’s Professor Pradipta Banerji says there are some inherent biases in international rankings, for instance they look at research funding in dollar terms, whereas it is much cheaper in India. Some of the factors that have pulled down IITs are now being addressed, at least in Mumbai, says Banerji. link.jpg

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • EMC Data Storage Services India has named Sundar Balasubramanian as general manager, strategy and business productivity at the EMC India Center of Excellence (CoE), EMC’s largest R&D centre outside of North America based out of Bengaluru. link.jpg

    • A "Che" has nudged a leading Marxist and India’s premier B-school a little closer to putting their heads together on the common man’s problems. IIM Ahmedabad student Chepuri Sri Krishna (BTech '00 Aero) has persuaded the institute into including in its curriculum a project where students advise MPs on development issues in their constituencies. link.jpg

    • Eight Point Systems, winner of Eureka! 2008, the annual business plan showcase of IIT Bombay, took home not only the Rs. 4 lakh prize money but also a mentor and angel money to the tune of Rs. 50 lakh on Sunday evening. Vaibhav Goel and Puneet Kumar, the team from IIT Bombay, will be funded by Vishal Gondal, CEO and founder, Indiagames.com, in their venture to create a realistic gaming experience for the local market. link.jpg

    • The huge turnout of students for Utsav - an event organised by the World Alliance for Youth Empowerment (WAYE) under the aegis of 'Art of Living' - is reflective of the stress levels that the youth are subjected to these days. The workshop began with Khurshed Batliwala and Dinesh Ghodke (BTech '97 MetE) giving instructions about the breathing techniques and yogasana. link.jpg

  • The Golden Jubilee Extension Centre of IIT Bombay was inaugurated in Gandhinagar by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of Director Ashok Misra on February 7.

  • The Entrepreneurship Summit, a unique initiative by Entrepreneurship Cell of IIT Bombay, serves as a platform for bringing together aspiring and successful entrepreneurs, start-ups, venture capitalists and academicians on a common platform. E-Summit 2008 commemorates the Golden Jubilee celebrations of IIT Bombay with an overlying theme of the "emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem in India". link.jpg

  • Stinking toilets, dilapidated laboratories and old hostels at the IITs may get their first makeover in years with the Centre planning an increase in the funding for the institutes’ day-to-day running. The human resource development ministry plans to raise by 10 per cent the non-plan funds for each IIT and the IISc in Bangalore. IIT Bombay, which receives the maximum maintenance grant among the IITs, will receive over Rs 90 crore for the first year. link.jpg

  • K M Acharya, Special Secretary in Charge of Higher Education in the HRD Ministry, dismissed a suggestion that IIT Mumbai was unable to pay salaries to its faculty, saying there was no such crisis and the government was taking care of them. link.jpg

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • Pramod P. Khargonekar (BTech '77 EE), Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Florida, spoke about the role of the university as a distributor of knowledge that's faced with the challenge of competing in an increasingly innovative and technological global market. link.jpg

    • Many young educated students have given up a lucrative career to pursue a political dream. Ajit Shukla (DD '02 ME), an IIT Mumbai alumnus spearheads the Bharat Punarnirman Dal (BPD), a party of like-minded educated people who are tired of caste-ridden politics. link.jpg

    • Optra Systems announced a partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), to jointly design and implement complete imaging software solutions for the life science and health care industry ... Abhijeet Gholap (MTech '94 BioMed), is CEO and President of Optra.

    • Miction, management plus fiction, is how author, Virender Kapoor (MTech '83 CSE) describes his new book - "My honeymoon with a pinch of salt." He is currently the Director of Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management. link.jpg

    • A husband-wife team of Indian American scientists, Dr Asha and Dr Anil Oroskar (BTech '77 ChE), are set to take their joint venture Orochem Technologies to a new high now with a recent technical, marketing and financial collaboration with Drug Monitoring and Research Institute (DMRI). link.jpg

    • Despite competing against giants like Yahoo! and Google, Bhaskar Ballapragada’s (BTech '89 ChE) company, AdOn Network, has made strides in the online advertising industry, attracting a substantial customer base and recognition for its growth. link.jpg

  • Prof. Ram Puniyani and Mumbai-based Setu Charitable Trust have been selected for the National Communal Harmony Award for the year 2007 in the individual and organisation categories. Puniyani, a former Professor at IIT Mumbai, has been spreading the message of peace and amity through lectures, publications, workshops and meetings and by travelling extensively to different parts of the country disseminating messages of secularism, pluralism and communal harmony. link.jpg

  • Several states are competing with one another to house one or more of the 30 world-class universities mooted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to upgrade the higher education system. The larger blueprint includes an upgrade of the existing eight Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), seven Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and five Indian Institutes of Science ((IISc) and research establishments. Also on the cards are 14 additional IITs and IIMs across the country, for which the human resource development ministry has prepared a blueprint and which has been submitted to the Prime Minister's Office and the Planning Commission, officials said. link.jpg

January 2008

  • Amphibian vehicles, eco-houses, cracking complex codes, building mighty cranes… these and other equally fantastic innovations will be common place at IIT, Bombay during this weekend. For, starting from Friday, IIT would be hosting three-day-long Techfest 2008, Asia’s largest international science and technology festival. Now in its eleventh year, Techfest has become a platform for showcasing cutting-edge research and bringing together some of the best known names from the world of technology. link.jpg

  • After Ratan Tata's 'Nano', now it is time for another revolution, an electric car. The electric car, developed by IIT Bombay, is named 'E-on'. This is a proto-type of the car which does not require petrol and runs at the speed of 30 km per hour. "We have been working on this project for last one year and now ready to run this car on road," said Professor of Industrial and Automobile Design Kishor Munshi. Initially the car will run in the campus of IIT-B, which plans to modify the car in future. Developers are still testing various options to make it better and commercially viable. link.jpg

  • When IIT Bombay kicked off its Golden Jubilee celebrations, ex-students received a package from their alma mater. It was a news capsule on the engineering college they had graduated from. For many, it evoked warm memories of a leafy campus where they had spent their best years. Along with the CD, the institute had also sent them details of the forthcoming celebrations and a donation form. It was like the perfect marketing pitch: the response was "phenomenal". IIT-B has been snowed under with funds in the last five months. To acknowledge each and every donor, the institute is building a 'Brick Wall of Fame'. Every donor of Rs 1 lakh will find his name on this wall. link.jpg

  • The current fund-crunch in the IITs repeats itself from one campus to another. Hefty donations from alumni and corporates are being ploughed into the IITs to build infrastructure and set up research programmes, but this cannot conceal the fact that government grants for regular expenditure on water, power, materials for labs, etc. are not in keeping with rising costs. In the last three year, IIT-Bombay, as a result, has drawn Rs 31 crore from its endowment fund to meet the shortfall in non-plan expenditure. "This is not conducive for an institution that depends on its savings from capital expenses for future growth," said a senior professor. "The money that has been saved over the years is meant for expansion, not for running the institute on a day-to-day basis." link.jpg

  • Elite IITs go bankrupt, no salary for Mumbai staff ... In a recent development, all the seven institutes have written to the Union HRD Minister saying that they are on the verge of bankruptcy - so much so that IIT Bombay does not even have enough money to pay its staff members their salary for the month of January. The Directors say that the resource crunch is nothing new and that they have been withdrawing money from their corpus for a long time now. However, they insist that they cannot keep on doing the same and that they need the financial aid from the HRD Ministry now to keep afloat. link.jpg

  • Taking another step towards becoming a "world-class research university in science and technology", the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) will tie up with four foreign universities - Monash University (Australia), Rice University (USA), University of Southhampton (UK) and University of Cambridge (UK) - to collaborate on research. link.jpg

  • In order to maintain "brand value", Directors of two Indian Institute of Technologies have suggested that the proposed additional IITs by the HRD Ministry should not be given the same name. "There is no need at all to name the new institutes as IITs," said Ashok Misra, Director - IIT Mumbai at the New Delhi Chapter of the institute's Golden Jubilee outreach programme. "You don't go about building new Oxfords and Cambridges," he stressed ... echoing Mishra's sentiment, IIT Delhi Director Surendra Prasad said he had serious concerns about the brand value of IIT. "I see no issues in setting up new technical institutes. But there are issues when it comes to calling them IITs." link.jpg

  • The IIT Academic Advisory Council’s Standing Committee will shortly make a presentation to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry on the financial needs of the seven IITs, where it will ask the government for over Rs 160 crore (around 20 crore for each IIT) to facilitate the expansion and research programmes at the seven IITs. MS Ananth, Director IIT Madras, says: "We are running in the red ... we have been using our corpus money towards this end and will request for at least Rs 20 crore from the government."link.jpg

  • The world’s smallest wearable cardiac monitor, a toffee-sized silicon locket, is almost ready at IIT Bombay. While the tiny computer that can store a week’s electrocardiogram (ECG) data awaits a manufacturer, it is already in demand. IIT engineers borrow it, rig some adjustments and the locket meant to monitor a heart without hospital visits measures tremors in buildings instead. "I would be the first to buy one for my mother. The basic device is like plug-and-play," said IIT’s professor Rakesh Lal, of the School of Bioscience and Bioengineering, who conceptualised the project with professor S. Mukherji. link.jpg

  • Industrialist Naushad Forbes appealed to the prestigious institutes such as the IITs and IIMs to learn from the "US experience" in the 1950s and 60s of building a research culture and using competition throughout the system. "It will be difficult and painful but we can create a better scenario by implementing it," Forbes, Managing Director of Forbes Marshall said after inaugurating a vice-chancellors' conference at the IIT-Bombay today. Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodakar inaugrated the three-day conference being held as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of IIT Bombay attended by vice-chancellors from across the world. link.jpg

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • Canaan Partners, a $2.3 billion global venture capital firm, announced Harish Gandhi (BTech '92 EE) has joined the firm as Executive Director in Canaan's India offices. In his new role, Gandhi will work to strengthen and expand Canaan's technology investments in the Indian market and will work hand-in-hand with the country's top entrepreneurs to build tomorrow's leading international companies. link.jpg

    • Berkeley Researchers Make Thermoelectric Breakthrough in Silicon Nanowires ... "This is the first demonstration of high performance thermoelectric capability in silicon" said Arun Majumdar (BTech '85 ME). Dr. Majumdar, who was recently appointed director of Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) and is a member of the Materials Sciences Division, is an expert on energy conversion and nanoscale science and engineering. link.jpg

    • Texas Instruments announced that Sameer Pendharkar  (BTech '83) will receive the 2008 Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award. The Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award, established to acknowledge achievements by young investigators in medicine, engineering, science and technology innovations, will recognize Pendharkar for developing innovative power management semiconductor technology to improve the reliability and safety of automotive systems, extend battery life in consumer electronics and improve next-generation video capabilities. link.jpg

    • i-smart cards in your wallet ... Abhinav Dapke (MDes '98 IDC) has designed the M++CARD which is capable of storing between 10MB and 30MB of information ... a business card with memory may well sound like straight out of a James Bond flick. Having received a few sales enquiries, Mr Dapke is on the lookout for manufacturers. link.jpg

  • Delhi University has been ranked among the top 500 universities of the world by the prestigious Times Higher Education Supplement, QS World University Ratings 2007. It has been ranked 254 ... it has left behind even the prestigious IITs in the rankings. IIT Bombay has been ranked 269th, while IIT Delhi figures as 307 in the list. link.jpg

  • Noted social activist Shailesh Gandhi will be awarded the third ''Nani A Palkhivala Civil Liberties Award'' for preservation and protection of civil liberties in the country. A panel of judges, comprising Justice M N Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice S N Variava and Justice Sujata Manohar, decided upon Mr Gandhi's name. Mr Gandhi has also been associated with the propagation of the Right to Information Act (RTI). The award will be presented here on January 11, Friday at Tata Theatre, at NCPA, at 6.00pm. Mr. Soli Sorabjee is delivering the Memorial Lecture on "Judicial Activism - Boon or Bane."

  • Former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam will launch PanIIT’s "Entrepreneurship Movement". The mission will be launched by simultaneously mentoring 1000 entrepreneurs in 16 different cities of India on Jan 26th, 2008. Mentors include B Muthuraman (Tata Steel), Pradeep Baijal (Ex-TRAI), Pramod Chaudhari (Praj Industries), R N Khanna (Controls & Switchgear), Saurabh Srivastava (Indian Angel Network), Ashank Desai (Mastech), Pradeep Gupta (CyberMedia) and over 200 successful IITians. link.jpg

  • The batch of 1982 of IIT Bombay had something to gift their alma mater for the new year. Alumni handed over a cheque of Rs 4 crore to the premier engineering institute. With the interest earned on the corpus, every year 25 incoming faculty members at IIT-B will be offered a bonus of Rs 1 lakh for three years. Each year, the Legacy Project sees alumni celebrating its silver jubilee reunion by pledging to take up a project for the institute. link.jpg

  • Alumni in the news ...

    • An IIT Bombay alumnus is working on electric cars that will not only be environmentally friendly, but also give their owners a chance to make lots of money. Ajay Prasad (BTech '83 ME), currently a member of University of Delaware research team, has revealed that the new system is called "vehicle to grid" (V2G). link.jpg

    • M Natarajan (MTech '70 ME), Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, and Secretary, Defence (R&D), will be the recipient of the prestigious CV Raman Birth Centenary Award and a gold medal for outstanding achievements in the field of defence research and development and strategic systems. The award will be conferred on him by the prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on 3 January during the annual session of the 95th Indian Science Congress.

  • Conversion of research activity into entrepreneurial ventures is gradually gaining importance in India. And for academicians like professor A Q Contractor, currently the head of the Chemistry Department at IIT Bombay, such a platform has given a "new lease of life" to his ideas and a chance to "serve the people" ... after the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) was initiated in 2004 at IIT Bombay, it gave a boost to his plans to start a company. Dr S Bhat from Bhat Bio-Tech India Private Limited showed interest in the technology being developed by Professor Contractor. Eventually, the two decided to incubate a company, Polymeric Sensors Private Limited, with SINE. link.jpg

  • Professors and staff-members at IIT-B now have something special to look forward to thanks to the Alumni Centre being planned by the institute as part of its Golden Jubilee programmes alongside the initiatives of the Alumni Association (IITBAA). A building housing a full-fledged alumni centre was announced during the Alumni Day celebrations on Sunday. "We are planning to construct a ‘Wall of Fame’ in which each contributing alumnus will be recognised with a name plaque on a brick," said Prof. D B Phatak, convenor of the golden jubilee celebrations. Also, to recognise the efforts of its faculty members, IIT-B will institute chairs for professors and fellowships for assistant and associate professors who "register outstanding performance ... we hope to have 100 such chairs and fellowships whereby top-up salaries will be given for a three-year duration."link.jpg

  • IITians are helping farmers find answers to their crop problems. And they do this with SMSes. Standing in the middle of his vineyard with a laptop in hand, 30-year-old Sandeep Khode is perhaps the face of the new techno-savvy Indian farmer, who gets expert agricultural advice by posting queries online at www.aaqua.org. "This site helps me get good advice and is also a great way to keep a tab on the market," says Sandeep Khode, a grape farmer. A brainchild of IIT Bombay, aaqua (Almost All Questions Answered) does just what its name suggests, with advice on everything from how to improve your crop to tips on marketing the produce.link.jpg

  • Scientists and students at IIT Mumbai have claimed to have developed a unique mobile nano device which can record the heart beat of a person constantly for 12 hours. "We have developed a silicon locket at IIT. It will record ECG for 12 hours in one change of battery. The standard mobile interface will help the user send the SMS to the doctor about the latest ECG. This is going to help the patients immensely," Prof V Ramgopal Rao of IIT Mumbai said. link.jpg


60 Minutes60 Minutes on IIT: "... the smartest, most successful, most influential Indians who've migrated to the US seem to share a common credential:They're graduates of the Indian Institute of Technology, better known as IIT. Made up of seven campuses throughout India, IIT may be the most important university you've never heard of ... This is IIT Bombay. Put Harvard, MIT and Princeton together, and you begin to get an idea of the status of this school in India". link.jpg

INDIA'S WHIZ KIDS (Business Week int'l edition)
 
bizweek1.jpgInside the Indian Institutes of Technology's star factory
Victor J. Menezes, the 49-year-old newly appointed co-CEO at Citigroup's corporate and investment banking branch, vividly remembers his grueling college years in India--and Professor M.S. Kamath's electrical engineering class in particular. Menezes recalls Kamath as ''the most dreaded professor'' on campus 30 years ago at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. His class was the hardest to get into. And once in, students wondered what hit them. Kamath's grading system was a punch in the nose for students who fancied themselves as the best and brightest in India. Often, only one student per test got an A - the top scorer. The second-best score got a B. Everyone else got Cs, Ds, or Fs. But Kamath had his reasons. Now retired and living outside Bombay, he brushes off his legendary reputation as a campus terror: "I used to tell my students, IIT is a center of excellence. I don't want you to be third-rate products" ... morelink.jpg

 

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