News - 2009
- Across institutes, alumni get together to rekindle old memories. But rarely, in India at the least, have they actually done something significant for their alma mater. The 1984 batch of the Indian IIT-Bombay, made a difference when it got together for its silver jubilee last week. The ex-students left a legacy as a special "thank you" to their teachers. Many of these teachers, who retired before 2003, are aged and do not have adequate medical insurance. The students chipped in to do their bit for them.
- 25 years on, IIT alumni launch healthcare plan for retired faculty ... on the occasion of Alumni Day, the Class of ’84 chose three initiatives for a project that also includes a nature park. Meanwhile, a group of 160 alumni from the 1975 to 1985 batches presented old mess workers with Rs 1 lakh each under “H4-HATS” or Hostel Alumni Team Stewardship – a programme aimed at paying back mess workers (current and past), improving infrastructure facilities at H4, and increasing interaction between alumni and students.
- To the naked eye, reunions are ground for reacquainting - an extra-curricular outing where old boys meet as older men, where backs and bottoms are slapped, campus memories dredged out, old infatuations remembered and nicknames called out. But a degree below the bonhomie, subtler dramas unfold. Gangs regroup and sotto voce evaluations are made. The '70s and '80s alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, did not have that last pleasure at their reunions, given that there were fewer than 10 women in a batch of 300 in those days, and technology had no time for tarts. But that didn't make the reunions any less interesting.
- Q&A with Ganesh Natarajan in the Wall Street Journal | Varun Nagaraj presents an Executive Viewpoint on VirtualStrategy.com | Vivek Khandelwal of VoiceTap and GetaFixx | Mindteck (India) Limited announced the appointment of Ramesh Ajjampur as Senior Vice President
- The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are gearing up to complete the implemention of the scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribe (ST) and other backward classes (OBC) quota requirement for faculty positions from next year. IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Bombay and IIT-Roorkee, for instance, have started the advertising and selection process for these reserved faculty positions.
- Young robot enthusiasts from across the country are gearing up to showcase their skills in the annual national-level robotics competition, Tricks, at IIT Bombay. It is an initiative of the robotics start-up incubated at IIT Bombay's Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) called robo.in.
- At the Copenhagen summit, India is being represented by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh (Class of '75). He said that India's approach to the December 7-18 climate summit "is anchored in the sanctity of the troika - the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the Bali Action Plan".
- IIT Bombay's team won the PanIIT Bay Area Diwali Dhamaka on October 3, Saturday, yet again. IITB has won the trophy 4 out of 7 times (and was a close runner-up on 2 occasions). The PANIIT Diwali Dhamaka involved cultural competition between the 7 campuses. Each campus had 15 min to perform on the theme “Credit Crunch”.
- 'Innovations' is an annual event organized by the Pune Chapter of IIT Bombay Alumni Association to foster innovation in the society. The event showcases selected novel ideas in practice, and provides a platform for the innovators to disseminate their ideas to a wider and well-connected audience. Innovations-2010 is being held on 9th January 2010 at Pune. Meet the innovators, watch their innovations in action, listen to sucessful innovators who have scaled up their ideas to commercial success. Be there!
- The Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) has, for the second year running, been ranked as the number one business school in India by Eduniversal, a unit of the French consulting firm SMBG. IIMB and IIMA were followed by eight other colleges which got "4 Palmes" for being "Top Business Schools, internationally known". They are the IIM Calcutta, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi--Department of Management Studies, IIT Bombay-Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, IIM Lucknow, Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, and XLRI, Jamshedpur.
- Six students from the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at IIT-Bombay have developed an interactive dustbin that actually approaches people and tells them to put trash into it. The device has three sensors programmed to detect the nearest person, align the wheels towards him/her and ask the person to put garbage lying around into the bin.
- Figures from JEE 2009 reveal that 137 seats meant for candidates with physical disabilities (PD), got wasted. The reason is that not enough disabled candidates qualify, and these seats cannot be converted into general seats. "Unless the rules are changed and the IITs are allowed to transfer the vacant PD seats to general or non-PD seats within the category, we will not be able to stop this loss," said Anil Kumar, JEE 2010 chairman, IIT Bombay.
- DRDO’s Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) and Idea Forge, a small start-up company incubated by IIT Bombay, are pitching Netra as a device for “anti-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations”. It’s a small eye zooming in the sky to gather real time intelligence on the ground. This unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), shaped like a spider and weighing less than 1.5 kg, is only a speck when flying at a height of 50 km but it can give real time inputs to the team that is controlling it on the ground. It was exhibited at the College of Military Engineering in the city on Tuesday and Wednesday at a workshop to combat Improvised Explosive Devices using technology. The UAV was also presented before the Ministry of Home Affairs at an exhibition in Delhi last month. In February, it will be showcased at the Defence Expo in Delhi.
- Sachin Sapatnekar ('87), Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Henle Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota, will serve as General Chair of the 47th Design Automation Conference (DAC) and lead the Executive Committee ||| For ISKCON Bangalore, is about the size of a good-sized company and its president, Madhu Pandit Dasa ('81), has no less a daunting task than the CEO of a commercial enterprise. Of Iskcon's many multi-crore projects, the best known is Akshaya Patra, the mid-day meal scheme for schoolchildren. ||| Good Earth is a virtual winery owned by Girish Mhatre ('71), an IIT Mumbai alumnus who left India in 1971 after finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. During the last couple of decades he has been traveling to Italy and France, visiting various wine regions and wanting to "make wine in India that I can be proud of." ||| Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, president of University of West Georgia, is a star on the higher education scene. Now in his 16th year at UWG, Dr. Sethna is the first known person of Indian origin ever to become president of a university anywhere in America. He is also the first person of any ethnic minority to become president of a college or university in Georgia other than of a historically black institution.
- That the economy is turning around can be felt on the campus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, where the placement season looks promising. More companies, including foreign blue-chip ones, are back at IIT-B, with offers of higher salaries than last year. The average pay packet on offer has also gone up by 30 to 60 per cent over last year. Companies have increased their intake and the profiles have improved said Ravi Sinha, head of placements, IIT-B.
- The tech chieftain leading India's effort to issue biometric national ID cards to its 1.2 billion people says the first challenge he faces isn't technological -- it's political. Nandan Nilekani ('78) has spent much of his time delivering PowerPoint presentations to parties whose support he needs -- from banking and telecommunications regulators to state and municipal agencies -- each with a different idea about how to collect the information.
- Students stake it all for an entry into the IITs. Will an 80 percent cut-off in the board exams act as a spoiler? Abhisekh Kumar scored 76 percent in his 10+2 exams and graduated from IIT Bombay with a cumulative grade point average of 8.34 ranking third in his batch. Kumar’s career graph would have turned out differently had the cut off for IIT JEE aspirants been 80 percent in the 10+2 exam ... a suggestion made earlier this month by Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister for HRD.
- Avenues 2009, the annual two-day business festival of the Shailesh J Mehta, School of Management, IIT Bombay, based on the theme 'People, planet and profit' reflected the creative and intellectual spirit of the management students. It was a great experience for the management students to organise the events, get sponsors and run the show smoothly and live up to the expectations of the participants.
- Karuna Jain is the first woman to head a B-school in India. Head of the Shailesh J Mehta School of Management at IIT-Bombay, she is excited about the growing number of women at the helm of banks and financial institutions. She questions the rationale of creating new IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) when they are already faced with a faculty and fund shortage. The biggest challenge she faces is getting good faculty.
- Pranav Mistry (IDC '05) is PhD student at MIT's Media Lab has designed SixthSense | Pramod Chaudhari's ('71) company Praj conferred the 'Forbes Best Under a Billion Company' in Asia for the second consecutive year | Nikunj Jhaveri ('86) quoted in Conde Nast Traveler
- U.S.News & World Report's World's Best Universities: Engineering and IT Universities ranked IIT Bombay as #1 in India and #30 in the world. These rankings are based on data from the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings, which were produced in association with QS Quacquarelli Symonds.
- An Ivy League degree may get you a job as an investment banker or VC, but it won't increase your odds of becoming a successful entrepreneur ... Vivek Wadhwa looked at the background of 317 immigrants who started tech companies ... Delhi University graduated twice as many Silicon Valley company founders as did IIT Delhi. And that both Osmania and Bombay University trumped nearly all of the IITs.
- The world celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Internet ... it was 40 years ago that computers at the University of California, Los Angeles and Stanford connected for the first time. At 10.30 pm on October 29, 1969, Charley Kline and Bill Duvall — the first two hosts on what would become the world wide web — sent the first computer-to-computer message. In 1988, India first joined the internet, making this the 21st year that our country has known the world wide web on ERNET, the Education and Research Network, connecting eight academic institutes in India via e-mail. The first links were in Mumbai between NCST and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
- CV Murali ('89) releases his second novel - Prisoners of Hate | Vivek Khandelwal ('10) on Tata Jagriti Yatra 2008
- The progressive British rock band Porcupine Tree will be playing on December 21 at the Mood Indigo festival in IIT, Mumbai ...
- Mood Indigo, popularly known as Mood-I of IIT, Mumbai starts from December 21 and will go on till December 24. The theme for this year's most awaited festival is 'Pirates'. The major crowd-puller is being touted as Porcupine Tree. Yes, it's the same English band that won the Grammy Award Nominee (for 2007) and is now coming to India for the first time to perform at Mood-I to an enthusiastic audience. Aditya Gandhi, media correspondent for Mood Indigo '09, says, "In its 39th edition this year, Mood-I gets bigger and better than ever before. With the intense competition, fun-filled workshops, whacky informals and scintillating pro-shows, MI'09 promises to have something in store for everyone."
- Pratham USA appoints Arvind Sanger ('84) as Chairman of the Board | Dr. RR Navalgund ('70) - Director of India's Space Applications Center | Meet the men who advise India's PM - Nandan Nilekani ('78) | Jairam Ramesh ('75) - Standing up for environmental responsibility | Bharat Desai ('75) on Forbes list of self-made stars | Dr. PJ Dilip Kumar ('77) appointed Director General of Forests
- Avenues 2009, the annual business festival of the IIT Bombay School of Management, will be held on October 31 and November 1. The theme for Avenues 2009 -- which will see management vents, competitions, workshops and seminars -- is 'People, Planet and Profit', a concept where social, economic and environmental considerations collectively appraise corporate performance. Avenues 2009 will have a talk series, Alankar, which will feature Rediff.com founder and chairman Ajit Balakrishnan, actor and activist Rahul Bose, former Sebi chairman M Damodaran, founder of Genesis Film Productions Prahlad Kakkar, and others.
- The reported proposal of the Union HRD ministry to raise the HSC marks cut-off for applying for the entrance test for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) has found support among IIT directors, staff, and alumni. Bharat Seth, a member of the IIT Bombay faculty, said the "coaching class culture" is unhelpful and prepares students to master exams without understanding the fundamentals. "We need a system which doesn't make students dependent on these classes," he said.
- IIT Bombay has made a significant contribution to international standards in wireless communications, a first by India. The development has been made possible by Tata Teleservices -- IIT Bombay Centre for Excellence in Telecom (TICET), which is part of the government's Telecom Centres of Excellence (TCOE). Set up in the public-private partnership mode, IIT Bombay is collaborating with Tata Teleservices which is funding Rs12crore over five years.
- HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said that the percentage of marks in Class XII exams under the revised criteria for appearing in the JEE will be decided by a committee of IIT Directors by January next year. Another five-member committee has been set up, under the chairmanship of Anil Kakodkar, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, that will suggest reforms to make these elite institutions global brands.
- In an attempt to get some of its best minds to reconnect with the institute at a professional level, the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) has now decided to create chairs for the purpose. "At the Pan IIT meet this month, our director (Devang Khakhar) announced that we will create chairs to enable our alumni, who are either working as faculty or are engaged in high-end research and development work in the industry, to come here and participate in our teaching and research activities," said AQ Contractor, dean of alumni and corporate relations at IIT-B.
- The average pre-placement salaries offered to students of India's foremost technology schools (IITs) are lower by about half this year as compared to the same time last year, according to sources. The average salary for students passing out this year has significantly dropped from Rs9 lakh earlier to Rs5 lakh, said officials at IIT Bombay. The students from IIT Kharagpur face an even graver situation with their salaries dropping 65% to Rs 4 lakh.
- The 7th global IIT conference with the theme -- entrepreneurship and global economy -- took place from October 9 to October 11. The conference, which was giving out for the first time a number of awards, saluted the late Rajeev Motwani, Stanford Professor and an entrepreneur with a vast clout and also to a handful of current IITian leaders, including Padmasree Warrior, chief technology officer of Cisco. She was recently declared one of the 50 top women leaders in the world by the Financial Times.
- IIT Bombay has climbed up from a position of 174 in 2008 to 163 in 2009. However, IIT Delhi has gone down from its 154th place in 2008 to 181 in 2009. Although India is represented in the top 200, only by the IITs in Mumbai and Delhi, mainland China now has six universities in the overall ranking, as well as five from Hong Kong. There are other success stories in Asia, where universities have been on an upward curve. The continent has nine universities in the top 50, while the Japanese universities of Nagoya and Tohoku, and the National Taiwan University have all broken into the top 100.
- Hailing the role the Indian Institutes of Technology have "played in the growth of India and the United States" and expressing his "immense respect" for the academic and humanitarian work carried out by the IIT alumni, former US President Bill Clinton made an impassioned plea to them to continue their work in making the innovative technology create a better world.
- The IIT hat will add another feather as the IITians share their minds with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, during the largest entrepreneurship conference of PAN IIT in Chicago, from October 9 to 11. The former President will address the challenges and opportunities in today’s key global issues such as public health, education, and climate change with a focus on transforming ideas into action.
- The IIT faculty on Saturday managed to convince the directors and Prime Minister's principal secretary TKA Nair that without flexibility the IIT system will lose its novelty. While the directors agreed to set up two committees to look into their demands, Nair promised to convey the concerns of the faculty to PM Manmohan Singh.
- The standoff between the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry and the IIT faculty finally came to an end on Friday with the Ministry announcing that its pay notification order was in “nature of norms” and had “enough flexibility” to “deviate from the existing norms in exceptional cases to promote excellence”.
- Romesh Wadhwani ('69) ranks 277 in the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans this year || Hari Nair ('72) - Global Director of Whirlpool Global Consumer Design || OEM newsmaker Q&A: Compact Power's Prabhakar Patil ('72) speaks out | IIT Bombay incubated firm SECLORE in DRM agreement - Vishal Gupta ('00), CEO
- The faculty shortage at IITs concerns us all. We are already helping IIT Mumbai, and now we want to focus on other IITs too. Mumbai IIT alumni Rabiz Foda, who was instrumental in creating FAN (or faculty alumni network) to recruit alumni for teaching assignments at Mumbai, said, “Our aim is to help IIT faculty from abroad.
- Self-governance is the norm followed by all the world-class universities, technology and management institutes, and other centres of higher learning abroad. Government should only provide funds, lay down norms for accountability and strict adherence to the social justice principle, set high benchmarks for timebound progress, and leave institutional governance entirely to the boards or senates of IITs, IIMs, NITs, universities, etc.
- IIT faculty members across the country have been agitating and held a "hunger strike" to press for their demands, including better salaries and removal of conditions on recruitment and promotions.
- Following a "raw" deal by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), which issued a notification on September 16 that deprived them of an immediate pay rise and ignored other demands for enhanced allowances, IIT faculty has decided to draw inspiration from the movie Munnabhai MBBS and send a mail to the HRD ministry every day, outlining the work it does, including research, teaching and industry work. Occasional videos will also be part of this exercise.
- The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, plans to conduct a faculty recruitment drive in Chicago, Illinois, next month as part of its Faculty Alumni Network (FAN) 2009 event. The event is being held on October 11 and 12 in conjunction with PanIIT 2009.
- To help facilitate cost-effective solar thermal power generation, IIT Bombay plans to develop a megawatt-scale solar thermal power facility, which is being sponsored by the ministry of new and renewable energy.
- IIT Bombay students have come up with an effective way to conserve energy as well as spread awareness on the subject. Techfest 2010, the 13th edition of IIT Bombay's annual international science and technology festival, has launched a new initiative, where all the 13 hostels of the institute will compete with each other in conserving the maximum amount of energy.
- President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Arun Majumdar as Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, Department of Energy. He said, "These individuals have proven that they will bring skill, dedication and expertise in these important areas to my administration, and I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years."
- Intel announced key executive changes which include Sunil Shenoy ('80) | Lodha Developers appoints Mr. Kishore Tidke as COO
- Arjun Divecha was named chairman of Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo & Co., effective Oct. 1. Mr. Divecha, company board vice chairman and head of its emerging markets equity division, replaces Jeremy Grantham, who will remain a board member and continue as GMO's chief investment strategist.
- Bharat Desai ('75), Chairman of Syntel, interviewed on India Infoline || Dr Raja Marathe ('68) has been making rain in Nanded || Beerud Sheth ('91) - Is GupShup the Facebook of Bharat? || Parrikar ('78) in running for top BJP post?
- Visualise this. Six-year-old students who visited BangaloreIT.com last year, surprised visitors by showcasing their skill at operating computers. Nothing unusual, except that these children hailed from the Ittamadu village on the outskirts of Bangalore. The village, situated 40 km from Bangalore in Bidadi Taluk of Ramanagaram district, has undergone a transformation of sorts since the Bangalore chapter of the IIT Bombay Alumni Association stepped in.
- Faculty members across all Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) plan to go on hunger strike to protest the HRD ministry's failure to reexamine salaries recommended by the sixth pay commission.
- Eureka 2009, an initiative of IIT Bombay's Entrepreneurship Cell (E-Cell), was launched on September 1 at IIT Bombay, where entrepreneurship is the buzzword now. The event, aimed at generating entrepreneurs who can lead ventures, will accept entries for a month. This will be followed by selection of the top 50, who will be allocated mentors.
- Beerud Sheth ('79), CEO, and SMS GupShup, “... delivering such vital information in a timely manner, via SMS to people in Mumbai would be a great value addition" | Subodh Kulkarni ('85) appointed SVP & CTO of Imation | Sudheendra Kulkarni ('80) leaves BJP, joins Mamata's ministry
- The HRD ministry has now allowed non-PhDs to join the IITs as lecturers. What's more shocking is that at least 10% jobs have been reserved at the lecturer's level ... making it tough for IITs to attract talent at the level of assistant professor is another clause that mandates the tech schools to take only those with three years' experience.
- In an unforeseen effect of RTI, globally respected IITs have been stuck in a spiral of low cut-offs in their joint entrance examinations (JEE) for the last three years even for general candidates.
- Hewlett Packard (HP) Labs and IIT Bombay are working together on developing a search engine which can provide relevant information on the searched queries, within a short period of time.
- Hundreds of faculty members of IIT Bombay and Roorkee went on mass casual leave on Monday to protest disparities in pay package approved by the Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) under the Sixth Pay Commission. Over 200 professors of IIT-Bombay held a silent march on the Powai campus. Over 400 professors of IIT Delhi followed suit. IIT-Madras and IIT Kharagpur professors had gone on leave, on Friday.
- Amar Bhide ('77) OpEd in the Wall Street Journal proposing ... "Let’s Break up the Fed", and on CNBC debating Roger Altman about the Ben Bernanke reappointment.
- A study has found that between 1999 and 2008, IISc produced nearly 13,000 research papers. IIT Kharagpur has produced 7,300 papers, followed closely by IIT Bombay (7,228), IIT Delhi (6,520), IIT Kanpur (6,234), IIT Madras (5,715), and IIT Roorkee (3,471). The National Institutes of Engineering (NITs) are sadly, nowhere in the picture as far a research is concerned.
- Over 200 professors of IIT Bombay went on mass leave demanding pay parity with government scientists. "IIT professors are losing Rs 23 lakh in their career compared with the government scientists and other officials of similar rank," Somya Mukherjee, Secretary of Faculty Forum IIT-B, said. The salary hike demand is also to attract faculties to join IITs, he said, adding the government has announced setting up of eight new IITs across the country and 8,000 professors are needed for that.
- Nomura names Birendra Agarwal ('87) as MD and CIO || Jairam Ramesh ('75) taps IIT Bombay to conduct environmental impact study
- Techfest, the Annual International Science and Technology Festival of IIT Bombay, has expanded its wings to reach out to the East with the preliminary round of its flagship event being organized at NIT Rourkela. Techfest Nexus is the initiative of Techfest tospread the culture of Robotics across the country by providing the students with a regional platform. NIT Rourkela is one of the 5 Centers where Techfest will conduct its prestigious event.
- Anirudh Dhebar ('73) appointed to Board of MOLEX / Dheeraj Kacker ('93) and Peeyush Rai ('93) launched Canvera, an online digital photography company
- As part of its expansion programme, the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) plans to enroll 8,250 students by 2014-15, of which 66 per cent would be in post-graduate courses.
- In its efforts to become a leading institution for postgraduate teaching and research, IIT Bombay has initiated a comprehensive review of the PhD programme this year aimed at making it more effective, productive and attractive.
- President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States, will speak at the Seventh Annual PanIIT Global Conference 2009 to be held in Chicago. He will speak to attendees about innovative ways to address challenges and opportunities in the critical areas of education, energy & climate change, and public health, with a focus on transforming ideas into action.
- Zishaan Hayath ('05) wins Fantastic Five (The South Africa Chapter), India’s first online travel reality show /// Purushottam Mishra ('03) has established an organisation Future and Light for Young (FLY) /// Web 18 announced the appointment of Keshaw Sinha ('95) as VP & Head, Technology at Web18.
- Government subsidies can only cater to a minority of colleges and universities ... IIT Bombay has a budget of Rs 120 crore a year, of which Rs 100 crore comes from the central government. With 5,000 students, this means a subsidy of Rs 2 lakh per student per year. This is not sustainable and is the key reason why the government system has not expanded. The private sector has to step in, and it has.
- The number of students recruited by MNCs through campus selection has gone down significantly in the prestigious IITs in 2008. Last year, 593 students were selected from IIT Bombay but only 381 students of the institute have been selected by MNCs this year.
- Barron's interviews Arjun Divecha ('79), the portfolio manager of GMO Emerging Markets III Fund. Excerpts: ... emerging markets were hurt twice by the current crisis, from a drop in exports and from a decrease in the availability of cheap foreign credit. However, with savings rates increasing in many developing countries, there is less reliance on foreign capital than there once was.
- Startups incubated at SINE in IIT Bombay continue to make news including TRI Technosolutions and SMS GupShup.
- IIT Bombay was ranked 36th in Engineering in US News & World Report's World's Best Colleges and Universities rankings based on the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings for 2008.
- India won’t bend to demands from the Obama administration or threats from the U.S. Congress to adopt legally binding caps on its carbon emissions, the country’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh ('75) told visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ... Ramesh joined Hillary Clinton during a conference on climate change in Gurgaon. Ms. Clinton was in Gurgaon to visit the ITC Green Centre Building that showcases environment-friendly practices in India.
- President Obama has awarded the PECASE award to Harmit Singh Malik, Ph.D. ('93) ||| Sanjay Bhargava ('78) on Universal Financial Access (www.ufa-india.org) in the Wall Street Journal ||| IIT Bombay alum Swami Pragyapad, a member of the international faculty, The Art of Living
- In six months' time, the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) will have created a Wikipedia-like portal that enables users to create content and interact with each other on its discussion forum. The wiki will give all students access to the IIT's course content, apart from providing them a forum to interact with their counterparts across India and be part of a knowledge-sharing exercise.
- IIT Bombay has been ranked 174 in the Times Higher Education list of 200 top higher educational institutions in the world. Harvard University tops the list. IIT Bombay has moved ahead from 269 in the last survey. However, a close look at the survey shows that the two IITs did not make it to the top 100 due to two indicators: international staff and international students. In the case of an indicator like peer review, IIT Delhi scored 64 and IIT Bombay 74.
- The University of Alberta has signed a partnership agreement with IIT Bombay, the leading science and technology institution in India. The agreement will focus mainly on research collaborations in energy and health, but will also allow for some student and faculty exchanges.
- President Obama's CTO Aneesh Chopra will join over 3000 IIT Alumni from across the world to participate in the PanIIT 2009 Global Conference in Chicago. Leaders from industry, academics and government sector will address challenges and opportunities in key areas such as Alternative Energy, Healthcare, Digital Infrastructure and Climate Change.
- India gets Info czar ... Infosys co-chairman Nandan Nilekani ('78) will steer an ambitious scheme to provide a Unique Identification (UID) number to all Indian citizens. Mr. Nilekani will have the rank and status of a Cabinet minister, joining Jairam Ramesh as the second IIT Bombay alumnus in the Union Cabinet.
- Cream of the crop: 69 of top 100 JEE rankers pick IIT-Bombay ... of the top 100 JEE-2009 rankers, considered the elite group among engineering aspirants around the country, 69 students preferred to join IIT-Bombay over any other IIT.
- IIT Bombay was ranked #1 in a recent survey of colleges in India. For many years now, it has attracted some of the best students, faculty and recruiters. At least 50% of the students in the top 100 list in the high-stakes Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) usually pick IIT-B, adding to its stature as a Mecca for aspiring engineers.
- Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan on the sidelines of the launching ceremony of 'Agni', the Formula Student 2009 car of IIT Bombay Racing team.
- Fifty eight years after the first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was founded in Kharagpur, the IITs at Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Mumbai, and Roorkee have a lot to be proud of. IIT graduates hold important positions in academia and industry in India and abroad. 60 Minutes, an American TV newsmagazine, focused on undergraduate education at the IITs and hyperbolically described them as "Harvard, MIT, and Princeton" put together, and Business Week ran a cover story on undergraduate education at the IITs. The 50th anniversary of IIT Bombay at Mumbai prompts us to see how well they have met their goals and to discuss the opportunities ahead.
- The beautiful score for Doctor Zhivago that won an Oscar in 1965 will always be fresh and alive, thanks to Debasish Mahapatra’s ('97) efforts of digital remastering. He is the first and the only Indian to receive the CEDAR UK award in 2002 for this endeavour. But with the launch of the Limca Book of Records 2009, Mahapatra’s achievement has spread throughout the country.
- Himanshu Agrawal from Origami Mitra Club along with nine students from IIT-Bombay spent 12 hours folding one sheet of paper-35 feet x 35 feet - to create a 20-feet high origami giraffe which sets the world record for the Largest Origami Giraffe.
- The blame-game has begun in the Bharatiya Janata Party. Sudheendra Kulkarni ('80), who undid the BJP's election campaign in 2004 with the 'India Shining' slogan and fashioned the 2009 campaign which has taken the BJP to a low of barely-above-100 mark, has written an article for Tehelka. Anil Chawla, his classmate at IIT Bombay, has circulated an 'open letter' by way of a rejoinder to Sudheendra Kulkarni's article.
- The convocation hall at IIT-Bombay was filled with the anxious faces of those who were hoping to get placements and branches of their choice after they got rank-listed in IIT-JEE 2009. Around 500 candidates from the OBC category turned up on the first day of the counselling session held on the IIT campus. This time, IIT-B officials have come up with the idea of getting second and third-year IIT students to act as counsellors. Around 50 students from IIT-B are currently counselling the candidates on career-related issues.
- - Adil Zainulbhai the McKinsey India Managing Director marvels at how Indian entrepreneurs are now setting the standards for project execution because they can do it cheaper and faster.
- IIT Bombay recently joined hands with Intellectual Ventures (which has drawn criticism for being a "patent troll" — those who acquire patents not to develop products but to pressure companies to pay licensing fees) to seek support in marketing and licensing patents the institute holds.
- Applied Materials has signed an MoU with IIT Bombay to pump in $1.5 million over the next three years for cutting-edge research in the areas of semiconductor technology, including on the development of state-of-the art flash memory, photovoltaic and electrochemical energy conversion devices.
- Jairam Ramesh ('75) has been appointed as Minister of State of Environment and Forests with independent charge in the new UPA Ministry. He is a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha representing Andhra Pradesh.
- The Karkares of Pune are feeling celebratory because one more member of the family has got admission into the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). "I'm glad our entire family has studied in IIT," says Shrikrishna Karkare.
- A little over 10,000 students have cleared the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) out of the 384,977 candidates who took the exam on April 12. Like last year, IIT Bombay zone again boasts of the maximum number of candidates (3,379) to have cracked the JEE and forty-six candidates from the zone figure in the top 100 on the merit list. The IITs have implemented a 10% relaxation in the cut-off for the OBC category vis-à-vis the general category.
- IIT Bombay has developed a low-cost Geographic Information System (GIS) software which can be used for resource management by community development programmes, government sectors, NGOs and industries.
- Fifty eight years after the first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was founded in Kharagpur, the IITs at Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Mumbai, and Roorkee have a lot to be proud of. Many IIT graduates hold important positions in academia and industry in India and abroad. The 50th anniversary of IIT Bombay at Mumbai prompts us to see how well they have met their goals and to discuss the opportunities ahead.
- IIT Bombay has been ranked highest among Indian varsities at #30 followed by IIT Kanpur at #34 in the first regional ranking of Asian universities from QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd (QS), the compilers of the Times Higher Education - QS World University Rankings.
- Nandan Nilekani ('78) has been named to the 2009 TIME 100 - The World's Most Influential People ... A middle-class kid from a small town, he rose to become a co-founder and co-chairman of Infosys Technologies and a key player in India's growth story.
- Nilekani argues that instead of suffering famines and the revolution that doom-mongers prophesied in the 1960s because of the huge growth of its population, India is positioned to benefit from the higher growth rates in gross domestic product that typically characterises a young working populace. More provocatively, Nilekani believes India has better prospects than China, whose one-child policy will, he observes, lead to a rapid ageing of its population, thus creating problems for its economy.
IIT Bombay alum Prof. Deepak Phatak (PhD '81), Head of KreSiT, has been named along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Opposition leader L K Advani, business tycoons Mukesh and Anil Ambani, corporate czar Ratan Tata and star cricketer Sachin Tendulkar among the 50 most powerful people in India by American magazine BusinessWeek.
Sign up for tweets from IITBHF and IITBAA at http://www.twitter.com/iitbombay.
- Engineering seems to be a hot subject this year over 3.98 lakh students will take the IIT-JEE across the country as compared to 3.2 lakh in 2008. On April 26, will be All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), which will witness even a bigger number 10 lakh students will take the exams from 1,460 centres in India and abroad. According to Central Board of Secondary Education officials, the AIEEE, which is the largest competitive examination for a single day in the world, is conducted for admission in various national-level institutes like NITs, IIITs, deemed universities and government-funded institutions.
- IITs won't fix blunders in JEE question paper ... On the basis of the model-answer sheet that was made public after the 2008 test, there were five major mistakes in maths questions, which could have cost a candidate 18 marks even if he had solved those problems correctly. Administrators did nothing on Prof. KD Joshi's shocking disclosure, as a difference of even one mark could have dramatically changed the ranks of the candidates, and the options that would have been available to them in terms of branches and institutes.
- The Indian Institutes of Technology mentoring new IITs starting this year will have to double up as moneylenders to the new ones at a time when they are struggling to make their own ends meet. A financially stretched central government has asked IIT Bombay and IIT Roorkee to tighten their own belts to fund the start of new IITs in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, respectively, The Telegraph has learnt. The human resource development ministry has turned down requests from the two mentor IITs for funds to start the new institutes after the government’s finance wing objected to releasing money.
- IIT Bombay has come out of its shell to do a Stanford University in India. For the first time on April 4, the premier institute will display its cutting edge technology for the benefit of 100 companies from across the country. "There is misconception about IIT-B that it does not do enough research," said Prof Krithi Ramamritham, Dean for Research & Development.
- Alumni in the news ...
- Gagan Goyal (BTech '04 ME) founded Rhizo, a startup clean tech venture, that had to be shut down. What followed was the launch of robo.in, a series of workshops designed to make students interact with robots.
- R "Venki" Venkateswaran (BTech '88 / MTech '92), like many other CXOs is an IIT alumni. In conversation with Muntazir Abbas, Venkateswaran reflects on various facets of his life including his professor at IIT Mumbai who continues to inspire him till date.
- Namita Dalmia ('06) is one of five selected as the first-ever class of Reliance Dhirubhai Fellows by the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is a research associate with the National Knowledge Commission, an advisory body to the Prime Minister of India. An avid outdoorswoman who hails from Faridabad near Delhi in northern India, she completed a 10-day trek in the Himalayas in May 2008.
- N.V. Tiger Tyagarajan (BTech '83 ME) has been appointed Chief Operating Officer at Genpact, a process management company.
- N.V. Tiger Tyagarajan appointed Chief Operating Officer at Genpact, a process management company.
- Activist against sex-selection and female foeticide, Sabu George ('80) warned of the consequences of a skewed sex ratio which can ruin generations.
- Pradyumna Vyas (MDes '84 IDC) is the new Director of the National Institute of Design (NID) ... a mechanical engineer, Mr. Vyas has a Master of Design degree from IIT Bombay.
- Dr Kamal K Sharma, a Ph.D in economics from IIT Mumbai, in a free-wheeling interaction with India Infoline - "Strategy is more or less common for companies. We consider ‘flawless execution’ as one of our strong points."
- Talvinder Singh, a final-year student of aerospace engineering from IIT-Bombay, has launched a web-based helpline (iitjeehelpline.com) to help students with their queries.
It's a digital prototype called "sixth sense" that is currently being evaluated by major companies ... the brain behind this device is the 28-year-old Indian-born Pranav Mistry (MDes '05 IDC), a researcher at the Media Lab at MIT.
Godrej Industries entered into partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) for a Mega Global Initiative titled "Ten Great Ideas to change the world in the next 50 years". Godrej will award prizes worth Rs 50 lakh for 10 best ideas and help convert ideas to reality and the competition is open for world-wide participation up to May 30. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of Godrej Industries Adi Godrej said, "Godrej is happy to partner with this unique project which can bring positive change for the people of India."
Nandan Nilekani (BTech '78 EE) is on a book signing tour for "Imagining India", visiting New York, Boston, Chicago, Bay Area, Los Angeles and Seattle (April 3) ... more. He was also interviewed on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and on the Charlie Rose show.
Thinklabs, founded by a group of IIT Bombay alumnus in the field of educational robotics, is launching a venture called RoboCAMP in Bangalore. It will be a summer camp that aims to offer a wholesome robotic learning system.
At IIT-Bombay, mechanical engineering students have designed a racing car, Vayu, for the Formula SAE. Vayu, which weighs 250 kg, has already travelled to the US to compete against other hot wheels. Now, the students are looking to develop a data acquisition board’, which would provide information on acceleration, bumps on the road and any other details a racer, needs to optimize speed. Meanwhile, a team led by IITB faculty member Shashikant Suryanarayan has developed India’s first steer-by-wire car, which doesn’t use a steering wheel but actuators to control the car.
RK Misra, an IIT-Kanpur alumnus has received nearly 600 e-mails from IITians after joining the BJP on Saturday. The Bangalore chapter of IIT-Bombay's Yahoo group entered the debate vigorously on March 24. "I felt let down that RK Misra joined the BJP," said Dr. Samir Kelekar, IIT-Bombay alumnus. Saumil Majumdar, one of the moderators of the IIT-Bombay's Bangalore alumni Yahoo group opined, "What he has done is commendable."
Students at IIT Bombay feel that a slightly upgraded hospital in the campus could make their life a tad easier as many suffer from sports injuries and have to go to the public hospitals every now and then. On Sunday, a student of IIT Kharagpur succumbed to head injuries sustained while playing basketball as the campus hospital lacked emergency medical facilities. Students also said that they used the hospital mostly to procure medical certificate that saved a day's attendance. "Except for that pink slip, we rarely go there to seek help," said a third year student of mechanical engineering.
Help for those about to attempt the Indian Institutes of Technology's joint entrance examination, or IIT-JEE as it is known, is just a click away. Talvinder Singh, a final-year student of aerospace engineering from IIT-Bombay, has launched a web-based helpline (iitjeehelpline.com) to help students with their queries. Assistance will be provided from an academic and a coaching class owner. The website will soon evolve to become a social networking site for students, where IITians can chat, blog, get their queries solved, and their anxieties and fears resolved.
From finding out the latest buzz on campus, the coolest places to hang out to listening to popular lectures, now all this will be a click away for students of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. A group of five students recently kickstarted IIT-B's very own campus radio, a web-based LAN radio which aims at catering to the interests of the institute students and faculty. "The shows will include campus, city, national and international news, music, reviews of websites, information on books to read, gadgets, movies to watch, places and restaurants to hang out and extra-curricular activities.
- Moon mission man wows fellow IIT-ians! When Chandrayaan Mission Director George Koshy took the stage, the anticipation was palpable. With skill of a master storyteller, Koshy began reliving India's greatest space research achievement in front of 400-odd fellow IITians at the golden jubilee celebrations of IIT-Bombay being held in Bengaluru.
- News reports from the IIT Bombay Golden Jubilee valedictory function:
- IIT Bombay alumni are playing lead roles in India's upcoming Lok Sabha elections. While Sudheendra Kulkarni ('80) is leading the policy team for the BJP, Jairam Ramesh ('75) is the election coordinator for the Congress. And IIT Bombay alumnus Ajit Shukla ('02) is the President of the Bharatiya Punarnirman Dal (BPD).
- A party floated by former IITians and other professionals will field its candidates from 40 parliamentary constituencies across the country in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. "Bharat Punarnirman Dal (BDP) will contest from at least 20 seats in Uttar Pradesh and 40 seats across the country on the issue of good governance, restoration of ethics in politics and opposition to caste based reservation," party national president Ajit Shukla told reporters here. Shukla, who has done his M Tech degree from IIT Bombay, said Ravishanker Bharat, a chartered accountant by profession and an MBA degree holder, will contest from the Lucknow parliamentary constituency.
- It may just be possible to have your own robot that will take care of your home cleaning and stir up a hot coffee when you wake up. If things go according to plan, one could write an algorithm and instruct small robots to do things tailored to one’s needs. IIT Bombay has tied up with Microsoft for this purpose. "Nex Robotics", a company floated by two IIT Bombay professors and some students, has developed 12 prototypes of intelligent small robots that can climb stairs, crawl through walls and work as you want them. The low-cost robots developed at the Embedded Real Time System (ERTS) lab of IIT Bombay are priced between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 and come with a robotic platform software called Microsoft Robotic Studio (MSRS).
- The "In a Planet of Our Own" event is scheduled to be held at Mumbai, India from 16th to 22nd of March 2009 and is being hosted by the Industrial Design Centre (IDC), at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Mumbai. This international event is aimed at creating design awareness on sustainability and simultaneously offers a platform for interaction for the design community.
- After resisting reservation in faculty for more than a year, IITs are likely to be exempted from it. At the meeting of Council of IITs on Wednesday, IIT directors were informed that the SCs and STs (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill, 2008' had been passed in Lok Sabha and was awaiting the upper House's nod. The legislation exempts 47 institutions, including IITs/IIMs and other institutes of excellence, from giving reservation in faculty.
- Alumni in the news ...
- The annual international science and technology festival of IIT Bombay - Techfest 2009 - a three-day long event kick started on Jan 24 and saw a mix of some exciting stuff. Eliminations were held for Robowars - the inter college combat robotics competition. Other major highlight was Energize where participants had to build machines capable of running solely on renewable sources of energy, or producing electric power using the same. Ravi Venkatesan, chairman, Microsoft India, made a return to his alma mater to talk about Microsoft.
- Alumni in the news ...
- Shantanu Gangal is not merely among the handful who cracked the Common Admission Test on Friday, he’s also one of the few who scored an astounding 100th percentile. And yet, this 22-year-old may not join any of the hallowed IIMs. The post-graduate student from IIT Bombay got a job offer from Boston Consulting Group early last month.
- The HRD ministry has invited the directors of the seven older IITs to ratify their own appointments, under a cloud following a Madras High Court order challenging their selection. Of the seven older IITs - in Kharagpur, Mumbai, Kanpur, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati and Roorkee - only the current director of IIT Bombay has been appointed after inviting public applications. But he, too, wasn’t put in the post by the council.
- The Indian Institutes of Technology are considering starting combined masters and doctoral courses for engineering and science students to entice potential researchers to stay in the country. A senior IIT Bombay administrator said the institutes had been contemplating the combined courses for "some time now ... there is now greater consensus," the official said.
- As reservation for backward category students rises in the Indian Institutes of Technology, competition among them has also stepped up. In fact, of the 3.95 lakh applications that the IITs received from aspirants wanting to take the Joint Entrance Exam in April, close to 40% candidates - 1.55 lakh - belong to the reserved categories.
- Of the 600 students graduating from IIT Bombay this year, more than 140 have signed up for interviews to be taken by new venture firms on Sunday. Sixteen of these young firms, including Maharaja Games, Pagalguy.com, IWeb, Hidden Reflex, Redb-us.in, Zice and Naaptol.com, landed at the Powai campus on Saturday. And, their aim was to convince the freshers of how important they would be for the development of these new-venture groups.
- Industry's loss can be academia's gain. Universities which until last year lost out to corporates when it came to hiring IITians can now able to get the candidates they wanted. Among the many universities shopping for faculty members is the Alfaisal University in Saudi Arabia. It has landed up at IIT Bombay, Kanpur, Chennai and Delhi and offered an annual compensation of 1.3 lakh Saudi riyals (approximately Rs 17 lakh), apart from housing and other facilities, to students who will soon complete their master's or PhD.
- The government has approved a site at Mhow near Indore for setting up an IIT in Madhya Pradesh. The site is about 25 km from Indore and has all the necessary facilities. IIT Indore will start functioning from 2009-10 academic session. IIT Bombay will mentor the institute ... IIT Bombay is also mentoring IIT Gujarat.
- A revolutionary hygiene powder for poultry farms, cost-effective solar concentrator, software programmes on ayurveda and languages and a host of other pioneering technologies with commercial potential were unveiled at a symposium here on Saturday. The two-day symposium ‘Innovations: Ideas in Practice - 2009,’ in its third year, aims at promoting domestic innovations and entrepreneurship. The Pune Chapter of IITB-aa and IIT Bombay Alumni Association, along with the Indus Entrepreneurs are organising the event in association with city-based Persistent Systems and Praj Industries.
- Students of the newly-commissioned Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gandhinagar will soon be able to attend lectures by faculty in IIT, Mumbai. "We will also have a library where the lectures will be recorded for future reference", said UV Yajnik, dean of the academic faculty and student affairs at IIT, Gandhinagar.
- Do Chakra View and Mahawar sound familiar? As the names suggest, they take off on the Mahabharata and are the titles of board games the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) of IIT Bombay designed earlier this year. Funskool India, the Chennai-based toy and game manufacturer, is producing and marketing these games. Four have been launched already and another two are in the pipeline.
- Even as Mood Indigo, the annual cultural festival of IIT Bombay remained unaffected by the terror attacks, the annual science and technological festival of IITB, Techfest 2009, to be held from January 24 to 26 has seen some sponsors and participants, many of them foreigners, backing out. For the first time Techfest conducted one of its competitions outside India at the University of Moratuwa - Sri Lanka and also at Dubai.