IIT Alumni
        iit Alumni Newsletter May 2015


In This Issue

Table of content




4. Guru Funda


5. Nostalgia


6. Chapters News


7. Upcoming Events


8. Resources 


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Obama nominates IIT alumni Sanjita Pradhan to key post

 PTI, Washington Updated: May 09, 2015 13:24 IST


US President Barack Obama has nominated an IIT alumni to his advisory commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).


Obama on Saturday announced the nomination of Sanjita Pradhan, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Technology, along with other nominations for several key administration post.


"These men and women bring extraordinary dedication to their roles and will serve the American people well. I look forward to working with them," Obama said while making the announcement.


Pradhan, a Nepali American, is currently serving as an executive officer of the Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs at the Iowa Department of Human Rights, a position she has held since 2013.


Read full article at Hindustan Times



IITs led multi-stakeholder group shares USD 100bn financing framework for Ganga

By: Web Desk | New Delhi | Published on:May 8, 2015 2:38 pm


The blueprint was a collective output of a IITC+ that has more than 150 national and international members.


Dr Tare stressed the need to focus on developing Urban River Management Plans (URMPs) for the various strands of the Ganga River Basin.


In the first major workshop after submitting the Ganga River Basin Management Plan 2015 (GRBMP) to the Government of India earlier in January, the IIT Consortium (IITC), responsible for preparing the master plan, shared a draft blueprint to finance the rejuvenation and restoration of River Ganga at India International Centre in New Delhi on Wednesday.


The blueprint was a collective output of a multi-stakeholder group, IITC+ (IITC Plus) that has more than 150 national and international members. IIT Kanpur and Oval Observer Foundation, which is one of the working group members of the IITC+, organized the workshop jointly.

Presenting a plan to a diverse group of audience, Dr Vinod Tare, Professor at IIT-Kanpur and Coordinator for GRBMP, outlined that the policy requires a paradigm shift in the approach to addressing the underlying problem.


Read full article at Indian Express



Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan invests in speech recognition company Uniphore Solutions

Sindhu Hariharan, TNN | May 7, 2015, 02.33PM IST


CHENNAI: Uniphore Software Systems, a Chennai-based speech recognition solutions company and an IIT Madras incubatee, closed its Series A round of funding on Thursday.


The round saw investment by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan along with existing investors. The amount of funding remains undisclosed.


Umesh Sachdev, co-founder and CEO of Uniphore, said the funding would be used to fuel Uniphore's global expansion plans especially in the US market and also to develop their technology.


Read full article at Times of India 



campusnews   Campuses News


IIT students developing underwater robots

PTI | May 11, 2015, 11.13AM IST


 KOLKATA: Students at IIT Kharagpur are working on an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (UAV), which is more intelligent than drones and can perform assigned tasks under water like searching for debris of a flight crashed in the sea.

At the Centre for Robotics, students have already developed 'Kraken 3.0', a prototype UAV which can go as deep as 10 metres in a pool of water just like a submarine.

"We pre-program it so that it can do specifically assigned tasks like under-water surveying, identifying lost objects or debris, picking them up, etc. It can also be used for conducting repairs under the hull of a ship," Abhay Kumar, who is leading the team of students, told PTI.


Armed with strong censors and cameras to detect its surroundings, the 1.3-metre-long under-water robot is a six-thruster model which can rotate itself in five directions.

Drones can't be used under water because their wireless technologies do not work inside water.

"Once an UAV is under water it has to take its own decisions. Therefore it has a higher level of intelligence than drones. A powerful on-board computer is part of the machine," Kumar said. 

Read full article at Times of India


IIT-B wins National Intellectual Property awards in two categories

Yogita Rao, TNN | Apr 28, 2015, 04.57PM IST


 MUMBAI: IIT-Bombay won the National Intellectual Property awards for 2015 in two categories. It won the top Indian academic institution for patents, best commercialization of patents based in India and the WIPO Users trophy. The award was presented by minister of commerce and industry, Nirmala Sitharaman, to Devang Khakhar, IIT-B director, Prasanna M Mujumdar, dean (research and development) and Padma Satish, chief technical officer, at an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Indian Patents Office (IPO), last week in New Delhi.


The Indian intellectual property office in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, confers the annual IP awards on outstanding innovators, organizations and companies in the field of patents, designs, trademarks and geographical indications on the occasion of World IP Day every year.


Read full article at Times of India



Indo-Russian academic body: IIT-B to lead move


By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published on:May 10, 2015 2:22 am


The aim is to set up a common platform for exchange programmes for students. The Association will facilitate research collaboration between leading universities of the two countries.


An Association of Institutions of Higher Education will be set up for improving academic ties between India and the Russian Federation.


A Memorandum of Interest (MoI) was signed Friday night between the President of India Pranab Mukherjee and President of the Russian Rectors' Union V A Sadovnichy in Moscow. IIT Bombay will lead the efforts from the Indian side.


The aim is to set up a common platform for exchange programmes for students that is expected to ensure better exchange of research facilities between the two countries.


IIT Bombay Director Devang V Khakhar, said, "The Association will facilitate research collaboration between leading universities of the two countries, and facilitate faculty and student exchange."


The programme coordinated by IIT Bombay in Moscow had other Indian participants from the IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and the National Centre for Biological Sciences.


Read full article at Indian Express



IIT brains now in the making of mobile app to check pollution

Posted by: Nithyajith Updated: Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 14:55 [IST]


Kanpur, April 8: The brains behind the making of National Air Quality Index are heading towards their next mission.It was the joint effort made by the professors and students of IIT Kanpur that resulted in the launching of National Air Quality Index.Thrilled by the greatest achievement, the team is now on a mission to develop a mobile app that will take the index to the smartphones. According to the members of the team, the project focus on impacts of air quality among the health of locals.


The National Air Quality Index launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, April 6, is an effort to check increasing air pollution in the country. Effort to check air pollution: PM Modi launches national air quality index in 10 cities. The index will be operational in 10 cities. It will also provide citizens to understand easily about the pollution level in the air on a daily basis."The idea was to not only say that the air quality is poor or very poor but also its associated possible health impact. It is particularly important for those who have some respiratory, heart or lung diseases," NDTV quoted Prof Mukesh Sharma of the Civil Engineering Department as saying.

Read full article at One India

Dreams take wing in IIT backyard

Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey, TNN | Apr 20, 2015, 12.17AM IST


KHARAGPUR: If you thought the Indian Institute of Management-Kharagpur (IIT-Kgp) is just an efficient machinery to manufacture technocrats, a small piece of land at a corner of this hallowed campus will change your perception. There's no scientific lab here and no professor dictates engineering notes to attentive students. Instead, a happy cacophony fills the air. It is a campus within a campus, the compound of Disha Seema Centre, a school for underprivileged children first perceived by Hansa Nandi, the first woman to pass electrical engineering from the institute.


Twenty years ago, during her stint at Durham College in Canada, Nandi - now 70 - decided to share her privileged life with slum children around the institute. She discussed her dream with G S Sanyal, the then IIT-Kharagpur director who was also Nandi's teacher, and the ball set rolling immediately. Sanyal's successor, K L Chopra, took it ahead and leased a portion of the campus to Nandi.


Read full article at Times of India


This IIT graduate turns trash into toys

TNN | May 6, 2015, 02.20PM IST


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: This post graduate from IIT Delhi could have comfortably worked in a lucrative architecture firm, earning good money. Instead, he chose to listen to his heart and make toys out of trash for a living.


Subith K S, the 37-year-old designer, a native of Malappuram, was the centre of attraction among the children at a summer camp in Lenin Balavady as he made toys out of ordinary material and they all wanted to try a hand at making toys.


This nature lover was invited by the MBS Youth Choir to conduct a workshop on toy making from throw away stuff as part of the second edition of three-day summer camp titled Sangeetha Chola held at Lenin Balavady.


Read full article at Times of India



Video news


How IIT Grads Helped a Kanpur Mechanic's Son to Get Into MIT | Read

PUBLISHED ON: April 10, 2015 | Duration: 2 min, 42 sec





Insights   Guru Funda

In conversation with Mr Shyamal Roy, author - Impact Of IIT Alumni in USA


Please tell us briefly about your book and the genesis of spark to write it?
The coffee-table photo book "IMAPCT Of IIT Alumni in USA" is a photo essay about the inspirational contributions made by alumni of the Indian Institutes Of Technology living in the USA.  Using text and 46 metaphoric photographs this book captures in a nutshell the vast domain and profound depth of effects made on humanity by IIT alumni in USA in areas of innovation, education, corporate management, entrepreneurship, and giving back.
This book is not because of a sudden spark of inspiration.  Instead it is a result of several years of thoughtful consideration about the challenging subject and how to tell the story that will appeal not only to IIT alumni but also their children, fellow Americans, and the next-generation of IIT alumni.

Overall goal has been not only to brand IIT but also brand India as the country from where we came from - I treat America as my father that provides the opportunities but India will always be my mother that provided the knowledge, inspiration, and spiritual strength to make a difference.

Your favorite excerpt/story from the book? Or Your favorite inside peek into the book that is a must-read?
 "What is common between a fisherman in Alaska making a cell-phone call from his boat to find out the best available market price, the instantaneous information you get when you touch the screen of a tablet computer, the price of petrol at the pump, an old man regaining sight after a laser assisted eye-surgery, the super smooth acceleration of a groundbreaking electric car, proud parents making digital video recording of the first steps taken by the baby that they can watch on HDTV, or when you take a "selfie"?  
They are all possible due to contributions made by IIT alumni in USA".
What message about does the book convey about IIT Alumni contributions in USA and what one can learn from it?
This book celebrates the shining difference made by over 50,000 graduates of Indian Institutes Of Technology who came to the shores of America. To describe the phenomena I have showcased a few exemplary alumni in this book.  
In this artistic endeavor I have humbly attempted to capture the human success that is achieved when brilliant minds from the largest democracy in the world meet the opportunities available in the oldest flourishing democracy in the world. 
This book is intended to help the reader to learn about the accomplishments and profound heritage of the IIT alumni in USA.

How do you think your IIT life/education prepared/influenced you and contributed to your success as a writer in a non-traditional field?
My life as a student in IIT and thereafter as a musician and photographer has always been full of freedom to do what I want to do to get answers to my relentless quest for understanding my relationship with the fellow human being and the Cosmos.  I was very fortunate also to learn photography and guitar techniques under the guidance of masters when I lived in Paris. 
I believe my photography gives the viewer a mental pleasure because of the technique of creating "expressionistic landscapes" that I developed while I traveled in 36 countries and lived and worked in 6 countries.

What advice will you share with IITians who want to pursue creative fields?
 "Art is bought - it is never sold"
"Impact Of IIT Alumni in USA": Information about the new book is available under Books at http://www.shyamalroy.com. Alumni who are coming to the Global Leadership conference can purchase the book at the conference. Those who are unable to attend the conference can pre-order the book from the site - the book will be mailed to their address. 




The Four-Year Transformation: A note to those entering college

by Ravi Bollina, IIT Bombay, 2000




Each one of us is the sum of all of our life experiences put together. This world and life are dynamic. Everything exists in a state of flux. Our experiences keep on adding up as we move through life. You are young (relatively speaking), dynamic and have impressionable minds, embarking on this journey of life. These four years at college will be your "transformative" years. Most of us who have been through this phase of life would agree about the "transformation process" and relish the nostalgia associated with the college years. Some of us would say, "Those were the best years of our lives" when we meet at Alumni meets. So how can you make the best of these years at their university?


These years are where you are free to dream and transform yourself and the society at the large. Let me narrate a small incident from my IITB years. The year was 1996, when I first entered the college in a city, which was then called Bombay. I still call it Bombay. I was awestruck by the shear size of the campus, new languages being spoken around me, new faces, and different food in the mess than what I ate at home. I don't recall fond memories of the mess food ("mess is a mess" no matter where in the world I guess). But mess food is another story. In my second year I befriended Bhimaraj, who later became one of my best friends during my college

years. Bhimaraj was in my department but in a different hostel, and was the mountaineering secretary of the Institute. During one of the chat sessions at the coffee house, he said he was organizing a hike and casually said " join us" it will be fun, to which I said yes. So the day of the hike was Saturday, we woke up at 4:00 AM

in the morning, that's right 4 AM, never did I wake up that early even studying for an exam up to that point, and now only to go on this hike. We all gathered (about 15 of us) at the YP gate at 4:15 am, and took autos to the Khanjurmarg station. The first local to Karjat arrived around 4:30 and we were on our way to the hike. I was

excited and did not know what to expect on the hike. My vision of a hike up to that point was of strolling along a meadow with flowers chatting away with friends. Got of the local at Karjat and took a bus to the nearest village to start our hike. The vision of green in the sahayadri range during monsoon is one of the most beautiful sights to behold. At the foothills started our hike up the mountain that was in front of us, initial excitement was great, and we were talking and walking along the trail. As time went by the trail became steeper and the conversation also trickled out. Tiredness seeped into our legs and we are just dragging ourselves up the mountain. It started to rain, and we were now on slippery slope walking up, I had a scare and

was wondering why did I even sign up for this? Well those thoughts gave way to hunger and anxiety. Slowly but steadily, my mind focused on reaching the top in one piece. The hike gave me time to think, and focus on the task at hand, treading the slippery slopes carefully to reach the top. Finally, like what seemed like forever, we

reached the top. There was a moment of tremendous joy and exhilarating feeling of achievement. We all plopped down, for a magnificent view of the valley and once again started our happy conversations and silly jokes.


The valley was mesmerizing with the lush green and the rain, which fell in streams and was dancing in the wind. We ate the few biscuits we had packed, and after spending some time admiring the beauty of the mountains, we decided to head back down. The way down was trickier compared to going up, however all of us reached down safely, and began our way back to the campus. We reached the main gate around 7 PM. We all shared our memories, and drank sugar cane juice to celebrate the hike. Well, this apparently was a tradition that has been carried on by previous trekkers over many years. With a joyful heart we all headed to our hostels.


In the following years, I was lucky to be a part of many hikes. In the ensuing years after graduation and travelling around the world, I have been on hikes in the Appalachian Mountains, Smokey Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, the Austrian and Swiss Alps, Korean Alps. Although all of them were thoroughly enjoyable, my first

hike always brings a special joy when I think of it. It was possible because of saying yes to go on a hike with relative strangers and overcoming the inner fears and anxieties. This hike transformed me in many ways, and made me love nature and being on a trail has become one of my hobbies and leisure time activity. This is just

one such incident; there are innumerable situations, some funny, some stupid, some boring and some exciting, which are a part of the transformation. Create your own memories and stories to cherish in the future by making the most of every moment of life in the college years.


It is this very state of flux during the college years and beyond that presents opportunities and allows for innovation - that allows us to be creative. Thus, drop the pre-conceived notions and be open to new ideas, thoughts and adventures. Try something you haven't done before. Listen to others who have a different point of view and try to understand their view. Make new friends, learn new languages, play new sports and travel to new places. Time is a limited commodity. Manage your time well, balance class work with overall development of the mind, body and spirit.


One of my favorite quote of Swami Vivekananda: The Earth is enjoyed by Heroes - this is the unfailing truth. Be a hero, always say, " I have no fear". Having no fear and being open to new ideas will transform you into a nextgen leader. 
ChapternewsChapters News


Please send your chapter news to support@iit.org



EventsChapters Upcoming Events


IIT Alumni of Greater Houston will be continuing our Career Insights series with our next event focusing on the Management Consulting Industry.


Management consulting firms partner with organizations to solve some of their more complex challenges. If you are looking to understand what management consulting firms do, what it takes to join a management consulting firm, and what skills are required to be successful in this industry, then join us for this upcoming event.


The panel discussion will begin with an introduction by K. Ramesh, Deputy Dean of Academic Affairs, Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.


Date: Saturday, May 23, 2015

Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Location: Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business, Tiered Classroom 312



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Please forward missing information to support@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 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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