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IT Alumni News
A Tribute to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
We, the global alumni of the Indian Institutes of Technology, express our deepest condolences, tribute, respect and gratitude to India's beloved 11th President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam on his passing away suddenly on July 27, 2015 in Shillong, Assam. We understand, acknowledge and deeply appreciate his dedication to the use of science and technology to better the lives of common man and place India squarely among the most advanced nations in the fields of space & nuclear research and defense technology. He strongly believed in the use of technology as a non-linear tool for societal and economic transformation of India. He led an exemplary life of a scientist, a true patriot and a great humanitarian that merits emulation by all particularly the young. He has influenced and ignited many minds to bring India into the 20th century and beyond. His ascending life trajectory from humble beginnings in a small fishing hamlet to occupy the office of President of India and beyond is a nothing but legendary. His simplicity, humility and openness endeared him to everyone and earned him the sobriquet of "People's President". His unique and natural ability to get along with people from all walks of life made him acceptable to one and all.
He was very proud of being honored by IIT KGP with the prestigious Honoris Causa Award in 2008. He kept himself associated with IITs and would not miss any opportunity to visit the IIT campuses to give inspiring lectures and meet and interact with the students. He was a sought after research guide to graduate students at IITs. His keen interest in literature, music, arts and world awareness made him a an ideal human being and a world citizen. His concern for India's poor made him seek practical applications of science and technology to bring in urban amenities to India's villages. His single minded devotion to develop and change India for the better through the younger generation is well admired and appreciated. Anyone who was fortunate to come close to him was touched by his love, humility and spirituality. He will be dearly missed by all of us. We will pay ultimate homage to him through our daily endeavor to follow his teachings and pledge to continue his good work to bring laurels to India and make the world a better place.
A video dedicated to Dr. Kalam produced by IIT KGP students.
India-born (and IIT Alumni) Sundar Pichai is new CEO of Google
Chidanand Rajghatta,TNN | Aug 11, 2015, 05.50 AM IST
WASHINGTON: India-born Sundar Pichai was named CEO of Google on Tuesday by the company's founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin in course of a re-organization that created a mother company called Alphabet.
Pichai, 43, a Chennai native who went to IIT Kharagpur and later to Stanford and Wharton, will take charge of a slimmed down Google (quickly dubbed Google Minus) that Larry Page said will be stripped of companies "that are pretty far afield of our main Internet products," which will all go into Alphabet. Page will be CEO of Alphabet.
The new mother company will include, besides Google, units such as Calico (which focuses on Longevity), X lab (which incubates new efforts like Wing, Google's drone delivery effort) and units dealing with life sciences (such as the one working on smart contact lens that detects blood sugar level). Google's investment arms, Ventures and Capital, will also be part of Alphabet.
"We've long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes. But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant," Page said in a blog explaining the rational for the restructuring, adding that the "new structure will allow us to keep tremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities we have inside of Google."
The entire IIT alumni community is proud of Sundar's achievements. Sundar is 2013 PanIIT Technology Leadership award winner, an award that is given to the best in Technology Leadership among IIT Alumni. We wish him the best and his accomplishments will inspire all IITians.
to see Sundar's acceptance speech video from 2013 PanIIT Leadership Awards.
ET Startup Awards 2015: Anu Acharya has made her mark with DNA testing, wins 'Women Ahead'
ET Bureau Aug 14, 2015, 05.47AM IST
An entrepreneur who started her journey in the telecom and IT sectors, Anu Acharya, 43, is well-regarded for her contribution to genomics research, mainly through her molecular diagnostics company Mapmygenome. Acharya, an alumna of the IIT-Kharagpur, grew up with dreams of becoming a physicist. But her first job after she graduated from the University of Illinois - with postgraduate degrees in physics and management information systems - was with telecom software company Mantiss Information in the US. She later joined consulting firm SEI Information, where she helped create a networking website for entrepreneurs.
In 2000, Acharya founded Ocimum Biosolutions in the US as a genomics outsourcing platform providing research as a service to scientists. Ocimum raised equity investment of $17 million in 2007 and eventually acquired three companies, including a line of biorepository from Germany's Gene Logic, integrating MWG Biotech's microarray business and Isogen's oligonucleotide business in the Netherlands.
This marked Ocimum's transition from a bioinformatics platform to a lab-next-door. Acharya was Chief Executive at Ocimum till 2013, before turning her attention to her new venture.
Mapmygenome, which Acharya founded in 2011, is a rare enterprise engaged in developing genomics solutions for predictive diagnosis and prognosis, using DNA testing. The company raised $1.1 million in a pre-Series A funding round earlier this year from Rajan Anandan, Google's VP and MD for South East Asia and India, and Satveer Singh Thakral, Chief Executive of Singapore Angel Network, and others.
Read full article at ET
IIT Madras ALUMNUS JAYANT BALIGA (1969-BTEE) AWARDED RUSSIA'S GLOBAL ENERGY PRIZE FOR 2015
As you all know our alumnus Dr. Jayant Baliga had earlier been awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Obama in October 2011. This year Dr. B. Jayant Baliga who is the Director of the Power Semiconductor Research Center at North Carolina State University, is being awarded Russia's top technology award in recognition of his work in energy management, which has brought about huge increase in efficiency and major savings.
The award was presented to Prof. Baliga on 19th June 2015 by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony in St. Petersburg, Russia.
You can view pictures and videos of the event on the Global Energy Prize website given below. Watch exactly from 20.27.00 of the video.
Baliga invented the digital switch, or the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor, while working at the General Electrical Research and Development Center in Schenectady, New York, in 1983. The IGBT switches energy hundreds of thousands of times a second, raising the efficiency of any equipment manifold.
Scientific American magazine has called him among the "Eight Heroes of the Semiconductor Revolution," and President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest form of recognition given to an engineer by the United States government, in October 2011. Dr.Baliga is also the 2014 recipient of the IEEE Medal of Honor, a rare distinction.
Baliga, who teaches at NCSU as a "Distinguished University Professor," said that his invention combines two streams of electronics and electrical engineering and has possibly saved the world around $24 trillion by raising efficiency, according to one detailed calculation.
Livspace raises $8 million from existing investors
Avik Das,TNN | Aug 11, 2015, 06.00 PM IST
BENGALURU: Home decor and design startup Livspace said it raised $8 million from existing investors, which include US-based venture firms Helion Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners and Singapore-based Jungle Ventures.
Livspace allows customers to choose and personalize their interior home design on their platform based on colour, material and style.
The company, which counts IIT Kanpur alumni Anuj Srivastava as its chief executive officer and founder, has already raised $4.6 million from the investors in December. Its other founders include Shagufta Anurag, founder of architectural design consultancy Space Matrix and Ramakant Sharma, former vice president of engineering of Myntra.
Gokul Rajaram, who joined Livspace last month as a special advisor, was also part of the funding, the Bengaluru-based company said on Tuesday. Rajaram, dubbed the "Godfather of Google's AdSense," is also the product engineering lead at San Francisco-based payments firm Square.
The funds will be used to expand across metros in India, enhance design content and technology, hire senior level talent across verticals and build innovative mobile and designer oriented products, Livspace said.
Read full article at
IIT-Bombay team ready with a natural system to treat Powai lake water
Written by Anjali Lukose | Mumbai | Updated: August 2, 2015 1:40 am
In the next six months, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) are looking at treating water from Powai lake through their natural "constructed wetland" treatment system.
The constructed wetlands use the natural processes of exchange between the root, soil and surrounding microbes to treat organic and inorganic pollutants present in sewage, in a controlled environment.
Through this technology, Canna, a flowering plant sourced from a roadside marshy pool in Panvel, has been able to reduce the biological oxygen demand (BOD) from IIT-B's raw sewage by up to 86 per cent since 2013, according to Shyam Asolekar , professor at the Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering (CESE), IIT-B.
The 13m x 3m x 0.6m pilot 'constructed wetland' abuts the lake near the sewage well of the campus. At the same spot, the researchers hope to create a wetland four times the size as a test plant to show the possibility of in situ treatment of water from Powai lake. The logic is simple, says Asolekar. "We know plants absorb water and use up the nutrients in it and in the case of waste water, the pollutants are nutrients for the plant. We settled for Canna as it removes maximum pollutants in the least amount of time. In waste water treatment, bringing water to the treatment plant is the most expensive part. In our case, the system uses natural plants, pumps operated using solar energy and requires minimal construction. The plant is situated right next to the lake and can be further used in nullahs, eliminating the need to carry water to the treatment plant," he adds.
Read full article at
IIT Kharagpur inviting alumni back to the classroom
PTI | Aug 11, 2015, 10.52 AM IST
KOLKATA: IIT Kharagpur is now asking its alumni to come back to the classroom once again - for learning new things as well as teaching younger students.
Facing shortage of faculty, IIT is launching various distinguished alumni faculty schemes which would allow an alumnus to teach at the alma mater for sometime.
"We want our top ex-students to return to IIT for taking some classes for a short period. The kind of exposure they can provide the students on certain topics, even we cannot give them. They will bring in new flavour to the class," Prof Siddhartha Mukhopadhyay, dean of alumni and international relations, IIT-Kgp, said.
As part of alumni inreach programme, he said they are coming out with schemes like distinguished alumni faculty scheme, scholar in residence, innovator in residence, etc to invite top ex-IITians get back to the classroom for sometime but in a different role.
The innovative move will also help counter shortage of faculty in the IIT, he admits.
IITs have failed to maintain the ideal ratio of having one teacher for every ten students. Kharagpur is short by about 40 per cent and needs to recruit around 450 faculty members more for its 10,000 strong student community.
Read full article at TOI.
IIT to set up centre of excellence in manufacturing
Somdatta Basu,TNN | Aug 8, 2015, 05.38 AM IST
KHARAGPUR: The Indian Institute of Techonoogy Kharagour will set up a centre of excellence in manufacturing along with Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) to turn the dream of 'Make in India' conceptualised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi can turn into a reality. The centre will be set up at the initiative of Lord Sushanta Kumar Bhattacharya who led the WMG - an organ of Warwick University over the last 35 years. Warwick University was founded by the support of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The centre of excellence will be unique in its initiative because it will not require any funding form the government or from the institute. The private manufacturing in want of technological knowhow will approach the centre and the institute in lending the expertise will get the required funding. So it is expertise and the technological superiority that is being untilised for the development of the research and development of the companies. In this way the centre of excellence will be mutually beneficial.
Bhattacharya who was the chief guest at the 61st convocation of the country's first IIT said on Friday, "At Karagpur we can see manufacturing advance in everything whether it be high profile Rs 20 crore advanced bullet train research centre or cost effective Rs 500 non-invasive blood pressure monitoring system. Like my students at WMG, here also the students have developed their own racing car- 'Teamkart'. You will know that a modern formula one car consists of some 80,000 parts. It relies on advance data analysis and aerodynamics, consists of most advanced materials from lightweighting to nanocomposites and requires absolute precision in engineering and logistics".
Read full article at TOI.
Kerala's first IIT starts functioning at Palakkad
Updated: Monday, August 3, 2015, 19:32 [IST]
Palakkad (Kerala), Aug 3: Scripting a new chapter in the higher education sector in Kerala, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) started functioning from a temporary campus on Monday. The IIT-P campus was opened at a function here with Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani addressing the students through video conferencing.
The official opening ceremony of the campus would be held later this month, official sources said. In her address, Irani urged students to ensure that society benefits from their activities in the campus.
IIT-Palakkad offers four B-Tech streams - Computer Science and Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering - in the initial phase. As many as 117 students, mostly from Uttar Pradesh, have been admitted to the new campus. Classes began in a temporary campus near Valayar here and it would be shifted to a 500-acre permanent campus in Puthussery in the district in three years, after completion of land acquisition process and construction of buildings, the sources said.
Cyber security centre to come up at IIT-K
Abhinav Malhotra,TNN | Aug 11, 2015, 01.25 PM IST
KANPUR: A first of its kind cyber security facility, the Centre for Cyber Security and Defence of Critical Infrastructure, would soon come up at the computer science department of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur with help from two Israeli universities.
It would aim at saving critical infrastructure such as sensitive database of banks, railways, power industry, telecom and AADHAR from cyber attacks or hacking. The cyber security experts of IIT-Kanpur would assist the Central government so that the database of the country facing vulnerability from hackers in Pakistan and China does not fall in their hands or other foreign governments.
The experts believe that in the cyber age, threat from arms and ammunition is less in comparison to the cyber attacks.
IIT-K director Indranil Manna said, "The senate of the institute had last month approved the setting up of a cyber security centre, where a team of faculty members would be engage in cyber security research. The idea of setting up a cyber-security centre was proposed by Sandeep Shukla of computer science and engineering department."
Read full article at TOI.
IIT Inks Pact With Centre to Set up Ocean Observatory
By Express News Service Published: 12th August 2015 06:15 AM
BHUBANESWAR: The Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar (IITBBS) has signed an MoU with the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) for establishing the Bay of Bengal Coastal Ocean Observatory in Puri as a national facility.
The MoU was signed by Director of IITBBS Prof RV Raja Kumar and Secretary, MoES Dr Shailesh Naik.
The Ministry has approved a grant of `9.23 crore for starting development of the observatory while the Odisha Government had earlier agreed to provide land for the project.
The agreement is a significant step towards building an important research facility for understanding air-sea-land interactions, prediction of extreme events, marine seismology and sea-level rise due to climate change and ocean acidification.
The observatory - first of its kind in the country - can also be used to monitor ocean, earth and climatic parameters and systems.
International organisations such as Woodshole Oceanographic Institute, USA, National Oceanographic Centre of University of Southampton are going to partner in this venture.
This IIT has green, smart campus
JBS Umanadh in Hyderabad, August 9, 2015, DHNS
It took over seven years to build the campus for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad. The 576-acre campus abutting Mumbai highway at Kandi near Sangareddy, about 40 km, can be others' envy because of several unique and eye-catching features. The smart campus will be self-sufficient in energy and water conservation and can accommodate 30,000 staff and students and is surprisingly expandable.
The IIT-H started in 2008 at the Eddumylaram-based Medak Ordnance Factory (ODF) and now has its new campus. "The shifting caused minimal disruption to the class work. The campus at Kandi is fully residential and the equipment from the laboratories have been shifted to the new campus. The IIT-Hyderabad is designed in such way that even future expansion of the infrastructure will cause no disruption to the running of the institution," says Prof KVL Subramaniam, Dean (Planning) IIT-H.
The IIT Hyderabad campus, which has over six lakh square feet of office and residential space, is built in a modular model so that academic, residential and recreational activities do not overlap. The buildings have unique radiant cooling systems, so that interiors of the academic and residential areas are kept cool without spending a fortune on power and other utilities. Radiant cooling system is not new to India as many kings, including Golconda kings, had used the technology to keep the interiors cool.
IIT Jodhpur looks to become a solar thermal research hub
Sourav Roy | July 10, 2015 at 12:45 pm
An experimental facility to test different solar thermal technologies and benchmark them against each other will come up at IIT Jodhpur in the next two years at an estimated cost of Rs 120 crore. The premier institute had signed a memorandum of collaboration (MoC) in this regard with IOC and BHEL in 2011.
"Lots of work have been done since then, but absence of a facility to test different technologies had been strongly felt," said Director of IIT Jodhpur, CVR Murti. Emphasising on the need for such a unit, he said technologies to harness light from the sun are well developed and commercialised worldwide. "But technologies to harness heat from the sun (solar thermal technologies) are at a nascent stage," he said. According to PTI, he said a detailed project report (DPR) has been prepared by an Israeli consulting company for the development of the proposed prototype testing facility. "The draft of the DPR has been submitted and has been tabled at a two-day workshop of solar thermal technology for expert suggestions and review," said Murti.
IIT Alumni Dominate "Business in India" Event in California
Friday, June 5, 2015
8:00 - 10:30am
Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Business Journal hosted a panel discussion entitled "Doing Business in India: Opportunities under Modi" and the fabled Biltmore Hotel, site of the original Oscar awards. Half the panel was IIT Alumni reprising three different IITs. Kharagpur alumnus Praful Kulkarni, CEO of GKK Works and former chairperson of Pan IIT USA was the moderator. India business expert Gunjan Bagla was the featured consultant, as the Managing Director of Amritt Inc. Bagla is a Kanpur alumnus and former President of Pan IIT USA. Representing industry was Ravi Tilak, a Bombay alumnus who runs Almex with facilities in Pune and California.
Kulkarni's California architectural firm was responsible for the design of IIT Bhubhaneshwar. Bagla was asked about the top mistakes that American companies make in approaching India: he asked the packed audience not to treat India as China 2.0, explaining that India runs to its own beat. He also cautioned attendees not to assume they understand how Indian business think and prioritize, just because Indians understand and speak English. Tilak was quite upbeat about today's India, saying that he had found plenty of government officials in India who are helpful and sympathetic to business needs.
Several leaders of the IIT Alumni community also attended the event, including So Cal chair Pramod Kunju (Madras), Arun Kiri (Delhi, and Smita Goel Bagla (Kanpur and Roorkee).
Following questions were discussed by the panel:
What has changed in India's business climate over the past year? What remains the same? And what is the outlook ahead?
What are the basic questions business leaders should ask in evaluating whether the Indian marketplace is right for their company?
What kind of So Cal companies are
from the Indian economy today; What are the new opportunities for such companies expected to be enabled in India under Modi over the next couple of years?
What are common mistakes that American businesses make in first dealing with India?
What makes India such a natural partner for US Businesses?
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Book by an IITian
IMPACT Of IIT Alumni in USA by Shyamal Roy
Shyamal Roy, (IIT Kharagpur 65) is a photojournalist, who has produced a coffee-table photo book titled "IMPACT Of IIT Alumni in USA".
Seventy two exemplary alums representing all IIT campuses are featured in the book to illustrate the outstanding contributions made by the IIT alumni like yourself in areas of innovation, education, corporate management, entrepreneurship, and giving back.
The views and opinions expressed in the book are those of the author. PanIIT USA has not directly or indirectly been involved in the selection of the alumni or the content. This is NOT an official PanIIT book.
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IIT Alumni - Join us on LinkedIn
IIT Alumni Linkedin Group has emerged as a very vibrant resource for our community. We are now 27500+ strong and growing. The group is a great way to connect with fellow IITians living in your area, working in your industry or from your batch. It is great resource to find employers, employees, contacts or customers via qualified introductions on an opt-in basis. The members are finding it as a great place to discuss their ideas or to promote their products.
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