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        iit Alumni Newsletter February, 2014      


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Bharat Ratna conferred on Sachin Tendulkar, CNR Rao

Himanshi Dhawan, TNN | Feb 4, 2014, 08.40PM IST 



NEW DELHI: Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and eminent scientist Prof C N R Rao were conferred the country's highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna by President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday. 

Prof Rao, head of the scientific advisory council to the PM, said, "It is fantastic. It is more important than anything. Nothing compared to India honouring me," 79-year-old Rao told reporters after the award ceremony. He added that while India was doing reasonably well in the field of science, other countries like China and South Korea were doing better. He supported PM's statement that larger investments were required in the field.


Read the full article at Times of India



NRI scientist AJ Paulraj wins tech 'Nobel' (Marconi Prize)
Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN | Jan 23, 2014, 12.18AM IST
WASHINGTON: An India-born engineer-scientist who was disdained by the Indian system despite his yeoman contribution to the country's naval defence, and whose subsequent work in the United States is at the heart of the current high speed WiFi and 4G mobile systems, has been awarded the 2014 Marconi Prize, a Nobel equivalent for technology pioneers.
The Marconi Prize comes just three years after Paulraj was honored with the other
major Telecom technology award - the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal for his
work on theoretical foundations of MIMO.
Read the full article at Times of India. Other links



Indian scientist Anil Rajvanshi gets Florida University award
IANSNov 18, 2013, 08.52PM IST
WASHINGTON: Distinguished Indian agricultural scientist Anil K. Rajvanshi has been selected for the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the University of Florida, one of America's leading universities.

Rajvanshi, director of the Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) at Phaltan, Maharashtra, is the first Indian to receive the award.


This is the highest recognition for the university alumni, for making "a positive difference in their communities".

Rajvanshi has been given this award for his pioneering work in rural development done at NARI since 1981 when he went back from the US.


Read the full article at The Economic Times


Anil Rajvanshi's short bio: www.nariphaltan.org/shortbio.pdf

IITRoorkeeSpotlight on IIT Roorkee Campus
Campus pictures 
Some facts about IIT-R that you probably didn't know

Compiled by Sanjay Keswani (IITR -'87)


  1. IIT Roorkee is the oldest engineering college in India; it started in 1847 and was named Thomason College of College of Civil Engineering in 1853 after the founder Sir James Thomason(College of Engineering, Guindy is older but it did not become a college till 1859).
  2. The institute has a history of being a family affair with many generations having attended it. In fact, having the grandfather, father and the son(daughter) celebrating their 75th, 50th and 25th graduation anniversary is not unheard of.
  3. The India Army Corps of Engineers received training at Roorkee between 1934 and 1943 before relocating to its current location as School of Military Engineering in Dapodi near Pune.
  4. Student dining messes had butlers till the early 1990s - they were referred to as "Butlet-Ji".
  5. As part of student initiation a.k.a ragging, proper dining etiquette was imparted including the ability to put the bowl into a plate with a fork!!
  6. Roorkee students were familiar with Lattes and Cappuccinos much before it was the fad - coffee paste (Nescafe with Sugar) with milk was served in every breakfast.
  7. The Beatles have stayed off-campus twice (at Motel Polaris  - 1970 and 1972) on their way to Hardwar.
  8. The Convocation Hall was a Second World War Hangar.
  9. The Main Building has been in at least two Bollywood movies - Satyakam - where it was supposedly the Medical College Dharmendra's character went to, and more recently Paan Singh Tomar, where it was supposed to be the Army command of the contingent Paan Singh was a part of.
  10. On clear days you can see the snow-capped Himalayas from the campus.
  11. Only campus that offers rowing (in the Ganga canal) as an extra-curricular activity.
  12. It has over 13 Billiards tables on campus (part of the British heritage).
  13. A copy of the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays printed in 1623 of which there were only 250 copies made, was discovered in the IITR library by its chief librarian M.S. Rana.
  14. Vinita Gupta, a 1974 University of Roorkee alum, is one of the first Woman Distinguished Alumni (DA) among all IITs.


Featured IIT Roorkee Alumni


This month we focus on IIT-Roorkee. We highlight two alumni - Roopa Gir and Naveen Jain. Roopa, as a woman IIT alum has experienced first hand, the changing role of women in Technical Institutes and the workforce. She was one of the first women to enter the Geophysics department at IIT Roorkee in the 1970s. She and Naveen need little introduction. He is a tech entrepreneur based in Seattle who blazed the trail for countless others that have since followed.



Roopa Gir - breaking molds and blazing trails


Roopa Gir is the president of iEducateUSA, a non-profit organization that is revolutionizing math and science education in underserved and underperforming schools. iEducateUSA was showcased at the recent IIT 2013 conference, where she served as the conference advisor, and was instrumental in bringing the conference to Houston. In her professional career she has served over 31 years in the Oil & Gas Industry, with roles ranging from engineering, to marketing, to corporate & business development. Almost 16 of those years were spent overseas across Southeast Asia and Europe. As Director of Corporate Technology Watch and Scientific Advisor to Schlumberger, her last 5 years were focused on evaluating technologies relating to shale gas extraction. She continues her involvement in the industry as advisor to various existing and early-stage oilfield companies.


Roopa grew up in a family where education and arts were both given importance. In addition to her studies, she learned two classical forms of dancing (Bharatnatyam and Odissi), and continued to give performances until the late 1970s. Her passion for the arts remains today, with her serving as Vice President of Samscriti, an organization that promotes Indian art and culture in Houston.


Pioneers and explorers have always paved the way for those who follow, and their experience is a roadmap of success or failure to be followed or discarded. Roopa was the first female to seek admission in geophysics at IIT Roorkee. She was initially refused admission because of "concern for her safety"on long geological field trips. Not giving up, she overcame the university's concerns and became the first woman student in geophysics, continuing on to graduate with a gold medal in 1974 for standing first amongst all students in her year.


After a brief stint as assistant professor at Delhi University, Roopa was awarded the French government scholarship in 1974 (only one awarded per year in Geophysics) to pursue a PhD degree in Applied Geophysics. She obtained her PhD from L'Institut de Physique du Globe, Universit� Louis Pasteur, France with "mention tr�s honoree." She subsequently began her career in Schlumberger as a Senior Development Engineer in Houston, Texas.


Roopa eventually became the first female Scientific Adviser within Schlumberger. She has also been recognized with the "Performed by Schlumberger" awards and a special "Never Give Up" award. The chairman Andrew Gould quoted her example as one of the successful women in science and technology in his keynote speech at a conference in Berlin, Germany. Among other honors, she was one of only 15 women from around the world to be invited by the United Nations' Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, to give a speech, at a UN Expert Group Meeting. She presented a joint paper with Andrew Gould as a key note address at a joint SEG/SPE conference in Jakarta, Indonesia on "Maximizing the Economic Performance of Oil and Gas Fields through Technology and Teamwork: Key elements for Creating Growth." She was recently invited to give a commencement speech at the University of Strasbourg.


There were many challenges along the way, especially working in the oilfield where women were extremely rare. Balancing work and family life was another challenge. At one point, she chose the technical ladder instead of the executive ladder which allowed more time with her son during his early years. Roopa believes that certain qualities drive success, including strong communication, tenacious zeal, an affinity for taking risks, and above all being a dreamer.


Roopa has always believed that the greatest satisfaction in life comes from giving back to the community. As a result, Roopa is on the board of several charitable & mentoring organizations, including AICAPD, TiE Houston, IAPAC, UNA, Samscriti and iEducateUSA. AICAPD is a unique pilot of 3 schools for children of migrant laborers in Bhonsi village, Gurgaon, where the school moves with the kids, hence the name "Innovation mobile School". Seed is another project in Haridwar district that was initiated by Roopa and supported by Pan IIT India and IIT Roorkee. She is also actively involved with the IIT alumni, having served as president of the IIT Alumni of Greater Houston (IITAGH), and Vice President and Secretary of PanIIT USA. During her tenure, the PanIIT chapter development was launched. She chaired the first large scale national meet for IITR in Las Vegas. Finally, she is actively involved as an editor of PiTech Magazine, the Pan IIT flagship publication showcasing technologies of the IITs and people of Indian origin.



Naveen Jain on Life, the Universe and Everything (with apologies to Douglas Adams)


Naveen Jain is a busy man. An IIT-R '79 alumni, he got his MBA from XLRI . So far, he has started two highly successful companies (Infospace and Inome) and ventured into Space Exploration (Moon Express). If that wasn't enough, he is also the Co-Chairman of "Education and Global Development" at the X Prize Foundation where he is focused on finding entrepreneurial solutions to address the global challenges in education, poverty, agriculture, health, and clean water. In addition, Mr. Jain is a trustee of the board of Singularity University an interdisciplinary university whose mission is to educate and inspire leaders to address humanity's grand challenges through innovative technologies. And when he is done doing all that, he also finds time for his philanthropic activities.


His love of entrepreneurship thrives in his three children (23, 19, 16) all of who are engaged in their own entrepreneurial pursuits. He regularly blogs at forbes.com and his personal website is naveenjain.com.

He took time with us to talk about some of the topics that are important to him.

On Education

Our education system is not broken, it has just become obsolete.

When I think of all the tremendous, seemingly impossible feats made possible by entrepreneurs, I am amazed that more has not been done to reinvent our education system. I want all entrepreneurs to take note that this is a multi-hundred billion dollar opportunity that's ripe for disruption. We conveniently place the blame on problems that stem from budget cuts, teacher layoffs, inadequate technology in our schools and our education policies. We need to recognize the fact that our education system continues to address needs of a bygone era. It simply does not cater to the present or future needs.


Our education system was developed for an industrial era where we could teach certain skills to our children and they were able to use these skills for the rest of their lives working productively in an industry. We are now living in a fast paced technological era where every skill that we teach our children becomes obsolete in the 10 to 15 years due to exponentially growing technological advances. We need a new way of thinking about equipping our kids with the tools to succeed in this new age.


On Success

How do we measure success? Success, of course, is very personal; there is no universal way of measuring success. What do successful people like Bill Gates and Mother Teresa have in common? On the surface it's hard to find anything they share-and yet both are successful. I personally believe the real metric of success isn't the size of your bank account. It's the number of lives where you might be able to make a positive difference. This is the measure of success we need to apply while we are on our journey to success.


On Innovation

The 10,000 hour hypothesis doesn't work for innovation any more.

I believe that people who will come up with creative solutions to solve the world's biggest problems -  ecological devastation, global warming, the global debt crisis and distribution of dwindling natural resources, to name a few - will NOT be experts in their fields. The real disruptorswill be those individuals who are not steeped in one industry of choice, with those coveted 10,000 hours of experience, but instead, individuals who approach challenges with a clean lens, bringing together diverse experiences, knowledge and opportunities.


On Children

Being a father has been, without a doubt, my greatest source of achievement, pride and inspiration. Fatherhood has taught me about unconditional love, reinforced the importance of giving back and taught me how to be a better person.

Children are like sponges. They absorb everything that they see around them. Like it or not, they mimic the good and bad things about you. One of the biggest challenges for many of us in the Pan IIT community is how to instill good work ethics and values in our children, who are by any objective metric, privileged.


The only way in my opinion that works is to be as good a model as you can. If working hard is an important value to you, then you need to constantly work hard and make sure your kids see that. If creating opportunities for others is important to you, then you need to be creating opportunities for others.


Editor's Note: Entrepreneurship is a passion of Naveen. A passion that he seems to have passed on to his children. But as they say, the proof of the pudding is in eating it. You can see the validation of his approach with fatherhood in a blog post by his daughter Priyanka on The Huffington Post (you can read it here). With four entrepreneurs in his family, clearly something in Naveen's approach to fatherhood seems to be working.


IITcampusesCampuses News


How IIT Gandhinagar Is Disrupting Higher Education In India

Entrepreneurs |1/15/2014 @ 2:15PM |



There was no billion-dollar endowment, no resident faculty and no leafy campus. But this academic startup was keenly aware of the nature of the global economy, how it must prepare its graduates, and how it must organize itself to be relevant in this global innovation economy. Even though nobody on campus said this to me, it was clear that their strategy could itself be a disruptive innovation in the higher education model.


Read the full article at Forbes.



Hiring foreign teachers will now be easier for IITs
PTI | Dec 26, 2013, 06.59PM IST
NEW DELHI: Giving a big boost to the IITs plan to hire teachers from abroad, the home ministry has relaxed the income criteria for grant of employment visa to them.

With this, IITs can hire faculties from abroad with a salary of $14000 per annum as per the revised norms. Earlier, visa was not allowed to those who would get a salary of less than $25,000 per annum.

"We have already informed the IITs about the relaxation in norms," said an HRD ministry official, adding the new norms would help these institutes tide over the faculty shortage to an extent.
Read the full article at Times of India.


IIT-Madras launches online study material
TNN | Mar 1, 2014, 03.11AM IST


NEW DELHI: HRD minister MM Pallam Raju on Friday launched the Massive Open Online Courses of IIT-Madras that comprises distance education courses for a large number of participants through internet, video, text material, problem sets and will also provide an interactive platform for students and teachers.

Over four million engineering students can look forward to quality online distance education material rolled out by IITs in association with partners such as Nasscom and Google.

The "unique" part of the entire initiative is that students can get the chance to learn from the best professors. It's aim is to provide IT industry-ready and job-ready courses to the students and emphasis has been given on foundation skills in IT and engineering proficiency programme, professors associated with the programme said, addding over four million students would be benefitted from it. One has to visit onlinecourses.nptel.ac.in and sign up for the programme that are of 10 weeks duration and the first offering has been prepared by IIT Madras. 
Read the full article at Times of India.


Courses from 3 IITs, IISc are in global top 50
Hemali Chhapia, TNN | Feb 26, 2014, 01.09AM IST 
MUMBAI: Four Indian universities, including the IITs at Delhi and Mumbai, are among the global top 50 in at least one of the 30 disciplines covered under the QS World University Rankings by Subject.

IIT-Delhi achieved the country's highest position, ranking 42nd in electrical engineering. IIT-Bombay was 49th in electrical engineering and 50th in civil engineering, IIT-Madras 49th in civil engineering and the Indian Institute of Science 46th in materials science.
Read the full article at Times of India.
IIT-Delhi achieved the country's highest
position, ranking 42nd in electrical


IIT Kharagpur creates record, more than 1,000 students get jobs  
PTI | Jan 2, 2014, 05.54AM IST
KOLKATA: Kharagpur has set a record among all IITs with more than a thousand of its students securing cushy jobs in the first phase of campus placements, officials said today. Around 1,010 students of the Kharagpur campus accepted job offers in the first round of placements which ended in December. At IIT Mumbai, there were 900 offers while IIT Delhi got about 750 offers and IIT Kanpur had around 700 offers.
Read the full article at Times of India.  
GurufundaGuru Funda

A PanIIT Exclusive: "Message from Umang Gupta"




4 things I learned from a career in tech start-ups


Nothing in my childhood would have suggested that I'd grow up to be a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. In fact, the opposite was more likely.


I was raised in newly independent India by leftist parents who inculcated in me a strong desire to serve my country either through politics or social activism. But when I became a teenager, I became fascinated with technology, and I was admitted into the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kanpur. There I learned computer programming on one of India's early mainframe computers, and from then on I fell in love with all things digital. I also became aware of a world outside of India that I wanted to explore. So like a lot of other Indian engineering students of that era, I came to the USA to pursue an advanced degree (in my case an MBA), and decided to stay and make a life here.


My first job was with IBM in sales, and that gave me a great grounding in business. But I really became enamored of starting my own company when I read a fascinating article in 1976 about the invention of the microprocessor, and the potential for what it might mean for the then largely mainframe dominated computer industry.


I got my main chance to join this exciting new world when in 1981, I ran into a little company then called Relational Software, Inc., which had developed a database software package called Oracle for early DEC minicomputers. The entrepreneur running that company offered me a job as one of his early sales and marketing employees.


Well, one thing led to another, and I was soon hired as employee #17 at Oracle, working for Larry Ellison, and writing Oracle's first formal business plan. Shortly thereafter, I became a vice president in charge of Oracle's first forays into the microcomputer and PC business. I learned a lot about starting and building a business from Larry, and I will forever be grateful for that. My entrepreneurial career over the next 30 years would not have been possible without the three years I spent at Oracle learning my craft from one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time.


Three years after I joined Oracle, I spotted an opportunity to start my own company, and I took it. The PC had been introduced in 1980, but notwithstanding its designation as a "personal computer" it was largely being used as an office productivity tool to replace typewriters, calculators, and filing cabinets. What made the early PC so successful was software companies of that era who made word-processing, spreadsheet and database packages. Local area networks (LANs) had just been invented, but very little software existed to truly take advantage of these PCs all hooked together in a corporate setting.


So in 1984, I left Oracle to co-found a company called Gupta Technologies that built a SQL database server for PC LANs. Our Gupta SQL System software also included an application development tool for Microsoft Windows and SQL connectivity software. We called that type of network configuration "client-server software," and by the late eighties I found myself helping to usher in what came to be known as the client-server computing revolution.


Building and running Gupta Technologies was an absolute blast for me. For the first eight years after our founding, we doubled each year with very little venture capital funding. We were soon considered one of the hottest companies in the software industry and took our company public in January 1993. For a while we thought we would be the next Oracle. But that was not meant to be. Very quickly, the entire client-server tools business became a crowded market with many new entrants, Oracle modified its successful mainframe and minicomputer database software to run on PCs, and Microsoft got into the business with its own Windows based SQL Server product.


And then the Internet came along, which represented an even bigger blow for our business. By 1996, the ideal corporate application had changed from being "client server" to "Internet based." The technology revolution I had helped to start was over, and I didn't have the heart to carry on any more. I decided to sell all my shares in Gupta Technologies and to leave the company. Before leaving, I even changed our corporate name so I could separate myself from the company I had founded.


It was the hardest thing I ever did. For the first time in my life I felt like a failure and I didn't know what I was going to do next.

During the next year, I went through a deeply introspective period and I became I obsessed with figuring out what I'd done wrong. I vowed to myself that the next time, if there was going to be a next time, I would build a "business to last." My experience at Gupta Technologies taught me the first and most important valuable lesson of my Silicon Valley career: that technology is a ticket to the game but not the game itself.

Silicon Valley is full of many visionaries who build a hot new business based on a revolutionary technology, but their companies do not survive when technology or market trends change. To build a business to last, an entrepreneur, especially a "techie" type, has to realize that innovation comes not just from inventing new products, but can also just as easily come from introducing new business models and new ways to market those products.


I quickly caught up with the latest technology trends on the Internet that I had missed out on during my tunnel-vision days at Gupta Technologies. I also started to make angel investments in many startups of that era, and in 1997 one of those investments was in a little company called Keynote Systems located in San Mateo, not too far away from my home.

The company had built some interesting technology to measure the performance of Internet websites and to determine problems that might have been caused due to Internet backbone delays. But Keynote's business model was still uncertain at that time, and I quickly realized that while the company's software was not all that differentiated from many other systems management tools, we could apply an "on demand" service model to the business and make it truly valuable to up-and-coming e-commerce websites.

In effect, we would measure the real-time response time and reliability of any website on the Internet from multiple cities across the world, including of multiple competitors within the same industry or of multiple players in a product supply chain, and make this data available on a monthly subscription basis to enterprises who needed to assure themselves of their e-commerce website's technical performance and quality.


Before we knew it, Keynote was a hot Internet startup that became known as the "JD Powers of the Internet." We had more than 2,000 corporate customers across the world subscribing to our performance metrics. Though we did not know it at that time, we would also have the distinction of becoming one of the world's first "software as a service" (SaaS) businesses before the term would become popularized.

But in in the fast moving technology world, the ability of your organization to react speedily to change is just as crucial as your personal ability to anticipate the future. This was the dot-com era, and we were running a hot Internet start-up during the mother of all technology bubbles. In Silicon Valley there is a saying that goes: "if the wind blows hard enough, even turkeys can fly." While Keynote clearly had real revenues, real customers and a viable business model, I didn't fool myself into thinking I knew how our technology or business would unfold in the future. Instead I just made sure we were prepared to seize chances when they came to us.


When the chance presented itself for us to go public in August 1999, we took it way before we were showing any profits. A few months later in February 2000, when the stock market was still hot, we did a secondary offering and obtained a valuation of more than a 100x revenues. Even though the stock market bubble burst a few months later, we found ourselves in the fortunate position of having $350 million in cash on the Keynote balance sheet, and a lot of happy VCs and early investors. No question about it - I was clearly applying the lessons I learned from my Gupta Technologies days to make sure Keynote did not get left behind many of those turkeys!


The aftermath of the Internet crash of 2000 was a searing one for Silicon Valley and Keynote was no exception. Many of our customers went out of business, our revenues started to plummet precipitously, and our losses grew larger each month. While we did not have any danger of running out of cash, we did face an existential question at that time: Do we sell Keynote? Or, failing that, simply shut down the business and return the substantial amount of cash on our balance sheet to our public shareholders? Or do we try and rebuild the business, thereby risking more cash in what might be a doomed effort anyway?


There were no buyers for Keynote at that time, since at that time no one knew how far and how deep the downturn would go, and how much our revenues would decline. I was also haunted by the memory of how, during Gupta Technologies' decline, Larry Ellison had made me an offer to buy the company at what turned out later to be a pretty good price, but I did not want to sell my baby, and I had said no. After all, I had risked the future of my company many times during its first eight years as a private company and I had always managed to make it bigger and more valuable. So why would I sell to Oracle then? With the benefit of hindsight, I can say that I should have sold the company when we still had the chance.


This time around I did not want to make the same mistake again with Keynote. I had learned an important lesson by then: "Know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em."


As it turned out, we did not shut down Keynote but decided to rebuild it. Over the next 12 years, we steadily regrew the company. We introduced new products for our corporate Internet customers and also expanded into the mobile monitoring and testing space through a couple of well timed acquisitions. By 2013, Keynote had grown to more than 4,000 customers, and revenues had tripled to more than $125 million with very respectable profit margins of around 20 percent.


A few months ago, we sold Keynote to Thoma Bravo, a private equity company, for around 3x revenues and a 50 percent premium above its public share price. That's a far cry from the 100x revenue valuation of our bubble days, but a pretty decent outcome for our shareholders - and yet also a good purchase for its new owners, who are looking to grow and build even more value into it.

Which brings me to the last important lesson I have learned and applied consistently at Keynote: Your company's destiny is not your destiny.

I ran Gupta Technologies like it was a mission, not a company. And even when it went public, I always thought of it as my baby. After all, it had my name on it.


With Keynote, I made sure from the beginning to recognize that my job, like any parent, was to give the company its roots and wings, and like any parent when the job was done, I would have to separate my own life from the company's life. Today, Keynote is a solid, stable company that is a leader in its space, but still has a long way to go before it will have fulfilled its potential.

During our early days of Keynote I was fond of saying, "In a trillion dollar e-economy, surely there ought to be a billion dollar company devoted to testing and measuring the online experience." I still believe that.


My own fondest wish would be, a decade or two from now, to look at a far bigger Keynote than today and say, with some nostalgia, "I had a hand in building that!"


Short Bio: Umang Gupta is a well-known Silicon valley technology visionary, entrepreneur, company founder, and public company CEO. After having spent more than 40 years helping to build the enterprise software industry, among other things being credited with writing the first business plan for Oracle in 1981, Umang is now devoting his time exclusively to the fledgling online education industry as an investor, board member and advisor.



ChaptersnewsChapters News & Events

PanIIT Education Summit, March 29, 2014 Sunnyvale, CA


Pan IIT Alumni Association brings to you thought leaders who are driving the spread of primary education in India. Come and share your thoughts on how to enhance the quality of such education using technology. The outcome could go a long way in benefitting millions of children who seek a better future for themselves.


The purpose of this PanIIT Conference is to engage IITians in helping to improve the quality of K-12 school education in India. With the spread of free high quality teaching content from many non-profit organizations such as the Khan Academy, and the push of government to make available low cost tablet computers across all schools, it is time for IITians to come up with imaginative software solutions to meet the unique needs of India and to improve literacy across the land.

DATE & TIME:   March 29th, 2014 (Saturday) from 2pm to 7pm
VENUE: Netapp, Building 3, 495 East Java Drive, Sunnyvale, CA 94089

For more information and registration, please visit http://tickets.indolink.com/php/buyTickets.php?event=2200

PAN IIT 2014 International Conference, June 6-8, 2014 Toronto, Canada


This year's Pan-IIT is being held in Toronto in June 2014. Toronto is the financial hub of Canada, as well as one of the most cosmopolitan and livable cities in the world.



Pan-IIT 2014 will be one of the largest and most important conferences for those seeking the best of what North America and India has to offer from a Canadian perspective. The program features insights into trends in the industry, entrepreneurship and academia. You'll also get involved in deep discussions that are about the application of innovative solutions that lead to transformation.


Head to Pan-IIT 2014 in Toronto, which takes place from June 6 to 8, at Toronto's International Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre. While you are here, discover Toronto and stretch your visit to see Niagara Falls, play golf and drive further north and discover Canada's beautiful summer.


Plan now, see video clip:  http://youtu.be/hv-PFSgHbhg



The top 5 reasons why you should register for Pan-IIT 2014 Toronto:




Hear world-class keynotes: There will also be top-notch keynote speakers on the stage.


Directors from Indian Institutes of Technology and their leadership teams will be available to discuss on how to strengthen partnerships with Indian Institutes of Technology.


Hear about Canada's offerings in Entrepreneurship direct from leaders. Pan-IIT 2014 Toronto is the venue for Accelerators, Incubators, Venture Capitalists, Entrepreneurs and Universities.


Meet your fellow alumni and expand your circle of friends, influencehttp://www.iitsine.org rs, and professional contacts. Pan-IIT 2014 Toronto provides an invaluable opportunity to interact with your peers, compare experiences, bounce ideas, and see and hear industry thought leaders, technology experts and leaders from the academia up close and personal.


The theme of Pan-IIT conference sums it up: Innovate, Integrate and Transform. You will walk away with ideas that'll help you discover Canada, its relation with USA and India in a new light. See the list of speakers and more details of the program at www.paniit2014toronto.org and register today !



IITSINE annual gala on March 29, 2014.


Founded in 1996, IITSINE (Indian Institutes of Technology Society in New England) is the first IIT chapter formed in US. Every year IITSINE holds its annual social gala in the month of March. This social event is open to all members, their families and friends. The gala is a very popular event where cultural programs are presented by children and adults, as well as games are held.



This year the gala will be held in the evening of Saturday, March 29, 2014 at St. Brigid Keilty Hall, 1981 Mass Ave, Lexington, MA 02421. IITSINE Executive Committee would like to cordially invite all of you, your family and friends to this wonderful event. Please register for the event at http://www.iitsine.org starting on February 1st or sending an email to Raj Laad (raj_laad@yahoo.com).







VolunteeringatPanIITVolunteering at PanIIT USA
Pan IIT USA is supported by thousands of enthusiastic and engaged volunteers. Many volunteers invest their time organizing reunions events or serve on national boards and committees. Others invest their time in improving their local communities and are the brand ambassadors for the IITs in the USA. In every instance, their efforts help keep them connected and energized.


Caring, engaged alumni are vital to the strength and prominence of Pan IIT USA. You decide what type of activity is of personal significance to you-every contribution of your time and treasure is welcome. Engage in networking and professional development opportunities with about 60,000 alumni residing in North America. Participate in the social, volunteering, and community activities of the regional, cultural, or special interest of your choice.


Here are some of the initial steps you can take to get involved -


  • Join an Alumni Chapter


There are 12 alumni chapters and online alumni communities around the country. Join the tens of thousands of alumni nationwide by volunteering and networking with local alumni.  Find a complete list of all the alumni chapters and online alumni communities below.


  1. IIT Society in New England
  2. IIT Alumni Canada
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  4. IIT Alumni of Greater Houston
  5. IIT Alumni Association of North Texas
  6. IIT-GNY (Greater New York, NY-NJ-CT-PA)
  7. PanIIT Pacific Northwest Chapter
  8. Pan-IIT of Tennessee
  9. Pan-IIT Southern California, Los Angeles
  10. IIT Southeast USA
  11. Cap-IIT Alumni Asociation, Greater Washington DC


  •     Start an alumni chapter
The Alumni Chapters Program and Online Alumni Communities offer alumni the opportunity to stay involved with and connect to the fellow alumni. Alumni chapter volunteers are instrumental in bringing alumni closer together, while enriching their own lives and the lives of future IIT alumni. Please contact Pan IIT USA (newsletter@iit.org) for assistance in forming a new chapter in your area.

There are many ways for alumni to connect with their alma mater through the Pan IIT USA Association. We hope by staying informed and involved, IIT alumni are inspired to support the IITs in India and ensure their continued excellence. Pan IIT USA Executive Committee is committed to partnering with you to create vibrant organizations. We look forward to your successes.


Witty Bindra,

Vice President, PanIIT USA

NewbooksBooks by IITians
What I did not learn at IIT
by Rajeev Agarwal
How I Wrote and Published My First Book - A note from the author


My first book, What I did not learn at IIT, was published last year by Random House in India. I had never planned to write a book. I never even thought that I had anything to say that was book material, let alone get a book published. Since then, my book has become my business card. My book helped me gain credibility and opened doors. In the process of writing my book, I clarified my thinking and I had to refer to many new books. I encourage every IITian to write a book.

Since my book was published, a lot of people have asked me about how to write a book. It is very easy to write a book. My book is about all of the things I learned after my wonderful education at IIT. I know all of you can contribute to that discussion.


From a publisher's point of view, a typical non-fiction book requires about 50,000 words. All I had to do was write 1,000 words or 4 pages every day. Even with edits and rewrites, at 1,000 words per day, I was done with my book in about three months.


Once I had written what I wanted to say, I worked on improving my book's readability.


Here are my techniques for writing an easy-to-read book.


1.       Kept the reading level between 8th and 9th grade. Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal write their front pages at an 8th grade reading level. To keep my book to that writing standard, I used the simplest words I could. I kept my sentences brief. Out of 4,000 sentences I counted only 20 that were over 15 words long. Microsoft Word has a feature called the "Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test" that allows us to understand a document's reading level.


2.       Wrote in specifics. This is a powerful writing technique. When I explain why saving for retirement at an early age is a great idea, I show the effects of compound return. I even added an appendix showing the year to year effect of compoundreturn for more curious readers. Writing in specifics both adds authority and removes ambiguity.


3.      Used "I" statements. This is also a powerful writing technique and is based off of Gestalt psychology. By grounding my book in my own personal experience, I increased its authenticity.


4.       Read my drafts out loud. Reading out loud forced me to look harder at what I wrote. By verbalizing, I caught writing errors that my eyes missed.


In his book APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur), Guy Kawasaki discusses in detail how to write, publish, and market a book. I encourage all of you to consider using APE as a starting point. If you are interested in learning more about my book writing experience, please send me an e-mail.


Rajeev Agarwal is the Founder and CEO of MAQ Software. He is also the author of "What I did not learn at IIT" published by Random House in India. E-mail Rajeev at rajeev@maqsoftware.net.



The Female Struggle
About the book
This is the story of Anita, a woman, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a daughter-in-law and a mother. Though this is set in India, you will see resemblance with women around the world. Struggling women, with little or no support from their own families, trying to bring their kids up in a world, that is ready to take advantage of them.

An indifferent husband and in-supportive in-laws, challenges galore, will Anita ever be successful in her quest to provide the right values to her children and help them grow up as good humans? Read "The Female Struggle" to find out Anita's story.
About the Author
Arun Trivedi is an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur (India) and an engineer from IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Kharagpur (India). He is passionate about two things, namely (i) Business process design and improvement and (ii) women empowerment and enablement. Arun works with a "Big4" consulting company, PwC, based in the US, where he manages large scale business transformation projects.

Arun lives in San Jose, California (USA) with his wife, Sangeeta and two daughters, Hritika and Rishika ages six and three.

Remember, you help a socially challenged woman when you buy a copy of this book.


How to buy this book

The book is available worldwide on www.amazon.com in both kindle and paperback editions.

The book is also available on Barnes & Noble (bn.com). In addition, the book is available on flipkart and bookadda.com in India.


About Avika

Every single purchase goes a long way in making a difference to a poor tribal woman. Avika is an NGO that works for the betterment of poor, tribal women. More information is available on their website:



The book on Social Media

Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFemaleStruggle

+1 on google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102956350825340586674



Life, Odds & Ends


About the book

"Life is an interesting puzzle that we all solve in our own ways". . . Here, four such puzzles take the form of stories in which friends, lovers and partners navigate the labyrinths of modern life.


A friend asked, "If Aliya is so good, how come she got involved with three men?" You may want to figure out "why?" - In "Drawing Parallels".


"Soul-mates" defines the connect between two childhood friends, Mira and Kusuma, in spite of the orthogonally surprising turns taken by their individual lives.


In "Context", a workplace friendship with Som, Kabir and Aman impacts Rituraj's promises to his wife.


"My World" finds Rumi navigating the pulls of family, career and self.


About the author

Anvita, a multidimensional IITian [IIT Madras alumnus], believes in living life to the fullest. Between her professional activities as a former AVP, an entrepreneur, now speaking at conferences and writing technical publications - and the joys and demands of domestic life - she enjoys her passion for creativity, imagination, and self-discovery. "Life, Odds & Ends" is her first work of fiction.


More details

"Life, Odds & Ends" was launched at IIT Madras, during Saarang 2014, pics at -

Like it on FB to stay tuned on updates - https://www.facebook.com/LifeOddsEnds
RecepieRecipe of the month
The Bhatia Bun Omelette - a mainstay of Roorkee life in the 70s/80s/90s
By Sanjiv Sinha (IIT-R '89)


Nostalgia is a funny thing. It can make even polyester shirts appear cool! So it was with some trepidation that I ordered a Bun Om, Bun Omelette for the unitiated, at the Bhatia Tea Stall at Roorkee in Dec 2011 - about 22 years after graduating. Bhatia's was the go-to place for us who went to Roorkee in the 80s through the mid-90s for late night/early morning nourishment. Bhatia Sahab's Banana Shakes and Bun Oms nourished many of us through our years at IIT (University of Roorkee at the time). But this was before the fences went up.


Sometime in the late 90s it appears IITR got a "Fence Grant". Anything that could have a fence, got one. Main Building? Check, Library, Check, the entire Campus? Check. The amorphous campus that Roorkee used to be where you couldn't precisely know where the campus ended and the city began, was no more. IITR became a walled city.


Now, since there is only one point of entry/exit after 10PM, Bhatia Sahab's business shuts down early and it is no longer a late night hangout. However, the Bun Oms I am happy to report are as fabulous as ever and the Kaddu Sauce (that mystical Ketchup like substance you eat them with) lives on.


Bun Oms are clearly an obsession with me and something I have tried to recreate over the years. For those you salivating at this point, here's my take on Bhatia's Bun Om. No, it does not achieve the Bhatia level of greatness, but it turns out pretty well.



1 egg

� onion - chopped fine

� tsp shredded ginger

� tsp garam masala

Some chopped cilantro (optional)

Green chili chopped fine (optional, to taste)

Salt to taste

Chat Masala (THE secret ingredient)

A white bread bun



1. Beat the egg and mix in everything except the Chat Masala.

2. Fry the omelette on a frying pan TIP:for extra fluffy omelette, cover the pan with a lid while cooking.

3. Flip on to a bun that has been cut in half.

4. Generously sprinkle Chat Masala on the omelette.

5. Put the cut top of the bun back on the omelette and pan fry both sides of the bun in the frying pan for just a little while.

6. Serve with ketchup (mix in some hot sauce for an extra kick).


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Please forward missing information to newsletter@IIT.org so that we can include it in future newsletters..  Thanks

IIT Alumni - Join us on LinkedIn


IIT Alumni Linkedin Group has emerged as a very vibrant resource for our community. We are now 24000+ strong and growing. The group is a great way to connect with fellow IITans 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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