IIT Alumni
        iit Alumni Newsletter June, 2013      
Uttarakhand Relief Fund
Message From PanIIT USA Chairman  

Dear fellow alumni,


Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who are suffering through this painful tragedy.


Following is an excerpt from today's New York Times on the current situation.

"Rescue operations in the flood-struck parts of Uttarakhand are nearly finished, and almost all of the stranded pilgrims have returned to their homes. What they leave behind are half a million people who have no way to earn a living as tourists stay away from the entire state.

The floods that began on June 16 destroyed the towns near tourist hotspots like the Hindu shrine Kedarnath in the district of Rudraprayag, and killed at least 1,000 people, with 3,000 still missing. Yet most of Uttarakhand is still open for business during what is normally the state's high season for tourism."


In response to this tragedy, the Pan IIT USA board passed a unanimous resolution that PanIIT USA supports the IIT Roorkee - Uttarkhand Relief Initiative. IIT Roorkee - Uttarakhand Relief Initiative has been launched to mobilize resources in an effort to support the victims of this disaster.

This initiative is being spearheaded by IIT-Roorkee Alumni Association of North America and IIT Roorkee Heritage Foundation and IIT Roorkee.

All funds raised from this initiative will be sent to "IIT Roorkee - Uttarakhand Reconstruction Fund" which is managed by IIT Roorkee and will be used towards relief and reconstruction efforts by IIT Roorkee in Uttarakhand.


The President and the Executive Committee of PanIIT USA is taking necessary actions to bring expert help to the relief effort.  If you want to volunteer your expertise, please send an email to newsletter@iit.org and we will connect you to the proper authority. 
I am personally counting on every alumni in USA and Canada to rise to the occasion and show support.






Praful Kulkarni

Chairman, PanIIT USA 

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      PANIIT India 


Dr Romesh Wadhwani, winner of the India Abroad Award for Lifetime Achievement 2012, 


IIT Bombay alumnus, billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr Romesh Wadhwani, was awarded the India Abroad Award for Lifetime Achievement 2012 ... "For his remarkable philanthropy; for being an accomplished entrepreneur and for giving back so generously to the country of his birth, and indeed the world. 








WHEELS and Habitat for Humanity International Partnership


Finalizing a working partnership, Habitat for Humanity International and the WHEELS Global Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday June 6, 2013 in New York City's Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The two organizations will collaborate to provide shelter for the needy on a large scale. Stressing the desperate global need for low-cost homes, the two signatories agreed to combine the strengths of their respective organizations to raise funds for this worldwide effort.


WHEELS Global Foundation is a non-profit organization spawned by a group of IIT alumni in Washington DC, known as the Capital IIT Group. Their goal was to promote innovative solutions to common problems faced in several dimensions worldwide. WHEELS stands for Water, Health, Energy, Education, Lifestyles, and Security, and each of these dimensions are addressed by the foundation. Gulab Bhavnani, Program Director, explained that "affordable housing for the needy is a key Lifestyles track project. Thus, the collaboration with Habitat for Humanity provides a great opportunity for us to provide innovative solutions to common problems." Bhavnani and Robert Nathan, Lifestyles Leader, provided their signatures on behalf of WHEELS Global Foundation.


Habitat for Humanity is a globally-recognized organization, and has built thousands of homes in India. As a result, it has developed unique experience in utilizing locally available building materials and local labor. Its experience can now be transferred to providing shelter in underserved communities in North America.


After the signing of the MOU, nearly 300 attendees gathered in the ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in NYC for a reception dedicated to launch Habitat for Humanity International's IndiaBUILDS campaign.






Best South Asian American women entrepreneur in 2013




Smita, first and foremost on behalf of the entire PanIIT community, I congratulate you for being awarded the Best South Asian American women entrepreneur in 2013.
How does it feel to be recognized as an outstanding Entrepreneur?


Smita: This is a great honor bestowed by the South Asian Community and I am very thankful, excited and humbled that they chose me. However, I have been able to achieve success because of the people I work with, both my colleagues, and my clients. Their faith in me and their assistance have been instrumental in making me successful.

What has been some of your biggest successes in recent times?

Smita: Recently, conceiving of and establishing 2 new business practices at Amritt:
1) Technology Scouting practice as well the      
2) Business & IT process re-engineering practices.
The results from initial clients and consulting have been outstanding. We are looking forward to offering these to many of our corporate clients.


What were some of the challenges that came your way and how did you overcome that?

Smita: Gaining the respect as a Woman in a Leadership position

Be forceful, assertive and act as if you did not hear the objections or see the discrimination. Act as a senior leader and communicate well.

Being taken seriously for "entrepreneurial" ideas. Get all your facts researched and be ready to answer questions that can be posed. Rehearse answers and do not get caught in an argument - Be clear and concise and learn to communicate assertively.


Hate to be politically incorrect, but what are addition challenges women face in the entrepreneurship journey?

Smita: Being taken seriously for their ideas and execution in some professional fronts

Managing work and family balance. A woman is supposed to be efficient in her profession but at the same time she is a "mom" and a "wife" and a "daughter" too. Children come first by nature for most woman - entrepreneur or stay at home mom .. but, once the support of the family is there, it all works out.


Let us go back to your IIT Days.  What are the key learning that you took from IIT that has helped you in your career journey.

Smita: Doggedness. To keep at a thing/problem until it is solved. If the problem exists then there has to be a solution somewhere

Self -confidence and Perseverance: We are smart - so if we do not get something - it may require more time and effort to reach it - but it is not impossible.


What would be your advice to other women entrepreneurs?

Smita: Believe in your ideas and yourself - if you are convinced then don't worry what advisors or others say - just get it done.

Work hard and still enjoy the journey

Things balance themselves out with some schedule adjustments and organization. Family is never a hindrance - fulfillment at home provides you the boost and strength to achieve greater heights


Who has been the most important influence in your life? 

Smita: My dad was a brilliant engineer (from Univ of Roorkee) and very smart management executive. He rose to heights in his job very fast, but he was always very humble. He believed that if you believed and encouraged the people who work with you and gave them respect - they will give their best for you and help you achieve success in return. I always admired his gentleness and ease with which he could make the people listen to him and wanted to be like him.  


Anything else you want to share?

Smita: We were three sisters and one (youngest) brother. Growing up, my parents never let us underestimate ourselves or be under-estimated by anyone else. This put in the seeds of self-confidence and belief that we can do anything. I am really lucky that my husband has added to that and been my biggest supporter. I am really thankful that I have been able to do what I want, how I want, enjoy the journey and the people I work with.


Smita, again thanks for taking the time and congratulations. 

IIT Campuses

IIT Kharagpur to soon offer Medical Degrees


Soon, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur will be offering medical courses part from the engineering and technology courses that it is renowned for. The central government has sanctioned a 400-bed super speciality hospital on the IIT-Kharagpur campus which will have a medical college attached to it so that the premier institute can start a medical course. 

Once this medical hospital and teaching institute starts functioning, the IIT will offer Medical Council of India (MCI) approved courses such as MBBS, MD, MS and DM. IIT Kharagpur, in association with the University of California and Johns Hopkins University, will develop a teaching module which will comprise elements of modelling, simulation and virtual reality in-addition to conventional medical wisdom to produce a new breed of tech-savvy doctors. In the first phase, the main focus will be on postgraduate courses. 


Read full article



IITs undergoing silent revolution to create robust technical research ecosystem and governance


A silent revolution is underway to convert IITs from mere institutions of learning to also institutions of research. If things go as planned, it could create a robust technical research ecosystem that feeds into and off industry.

The electrical engineering department of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, has seen some of the world's best engineering minds pass through its classrooms. They include entrepreneur Gururaj Deshpande, Stern School of Business professor Arun Sundararajan, IBM fellow Jai Menon, MIT professor Anant Aggarwal, and several others.





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Website makes getting in touch with IITians easier
New Delhi: Want to befriend an IITian? Thanks to a website people can now make friends with graduates from the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology. 

Dateiitians.Com is the brainchild of three graduates from IIT Kharagpur -- Layak Singh, Kinshuk Bairagi and Nikhil Kaushik. 
While Singh is the chief of operations and business management, the other two are co-founders of the portal that now boasts of 7,000 users, 35 per cent of whom are girls. 

The website, which was launched in February, aims at bringing quintessential geeks to one platform and introduces them with others and share information.
 IIT 2013 Global Conference





IT 2013 Global Conference being held in Houston Dec 6-8, 2013 continues to make tremendous progress. The IIT 2013 Conference's theme is Inspiring Innovation for Tomorrow.

This conference is focused on five threads that will weave a tapestry of innovations for this not-so-distant future. These five are Sustainability, Technology, Energy, Education and Life Sciences (STEEL). Conference team continues to make great progress in signing up sponsors and speakers. The current program includes luminaries, and business- and thought-leaders who will illuminate various braids of STEEL. Latest additions to star speakers include Blake Irving, Vinod Khosla, Peter Diamandis, Ashok Belani, Bharat Desai and many others.

In short, it will be an exciting conference, giving you ample opportunity to network, learn, inspire, innovate and also, have fun. So, please make plans to attend the IIT 2013 conference, where fun, funda and future mix!

For further details, please visit www.iit2013.org or email Witty Bindra @ chairman@iit2013.org or outreach@iit2013.org

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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 21400+ 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.

Recently, the whole IIT community came together to support IIT Bombay Heritage Fund for a noble goal of securing donation worth $10K from Chase Community Giving contest, where engaging fellow IITians through Linkedin played a key role.  Congratulations IIT Bombay Heritage FundThank you all who should IIT Tempo and voted.  


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