Latest Issue [July ' 05] of ITBHU Chronicle
Chronicle Editor @ Jul 05, 2005
The Chronicle June, 2005 issue. Published on July 10, 2005 Vol.2005. Issue 0002

Welcome to IT-BHU Chronicle!

Dear readers:

Welcome to IT-BHU Chronicle! It will be published every month by Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. The online edition (soft copy) shall be available on www.itbhuglobal.org/chronicle by the 10th of the following month. (We regret that this first issue has come out a little bit late).

True to its name, The Chronicle will record all important news/events happening around campus. It will also serve as an important link between students/alumni/faculty/administration and the outside world.

The team of IT BHU Chronicle comprises of students & alumni. This team is also responsible for publishing 'Reverberations', the college magazine, once per semester. The current edition is available at Link

We invite articles for September edition of 'Reverberations'.
Send us your articles at reverberations[AT]itbhuglobal.org

With regards to the Reverberation articles, please note the following:

  • The articles should be of general interest, on any acceptable subject, such as short stories, about college/hostel life, engineering education, events/news at IT, puzzles, cartoons, critical review, etc.
  • A cover story titled "Need for revising the curriculum" is being planned.
  • As far as possible, we shall limit one article per person and one page per article, except for the cover story. We may limit the number of articles in each sub-category.

We hope you will enjoy this issue of IT BHU Chronicle. We welcome any comments/suggestions, which can be mailed to chronicle@itbhuglobal.org

With regards,

The Chronicle team


First meeting of New Jersey chapter
Chronicle Editor @ Jul 05, 2005

Report on first ever meeting of New Jersey Chapter of ITBHUGlobal.org:

A meeting was held for get-together of all alumni living in New Jersey and nearby (New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut states) area in northeast USA. The meeting was attended by 11 members.

It was a first ever meeting for the newly formed New Jersey chapter of IT-BHU alumni association, so a great deal of time was devoted to introduce each other and to exchange the news and views about the institute. An overview of alumni activities and projects under implementation were also discussed. Two of the participants were from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while the rest were from New Jersey.

The next meeting is planned sometime around October/November this year. Exact date/venue shall be decided after consultation with members. A large number of members with their spouses/family are expected to attend that meeting.


Update: Hostel Wi-Fi Internet connectivity project
Chronicle Editor @ Jul 05, 2005

The following appeal was sent by Anshuman Singh (EEE1998) to all students/alumni to utilize their contacts with ISP providers for completion of the project, which is on fast track.


Dear All,

The Alumni associations have come up with a project to connect all the IT hostels on campus on a Cat6 and Wi-Fi network. We have a MoU signed between ITBHUGlobal.org and the Institute. The next step in this project is to solicit active participation from ISP's and VPN providers, who can execute & manage this project. We have a RFP document prepared and would like to share the same with the appropriate contact in the bidding organization.

So far we have contacted the following vendors:

1. Reliance
2. Cisco
3. Intel
4. Bharti
5. HCL Comnet

We request all alumni who have contacts in the ISP/VPN provider community to send leads to the RFP coordinators for the ITBHU Wireless Project.

The initial contacts are:

1. Anshuman Singh (anshuman.singh[AT]eee98.itbhuglobal.org)
2. Animesh Pathak (animesh.pathak[AT]cse03.itbhuglobal.org)

The leads would be passed on to the Wi-Fi Project team for further action. In case you wish to become a part of this team do send us a mail. We would be scoping out the financial aspects of the projects based upon the inputs from the various vendors and then we would start our fund raising drive.

More information on this project can be found at

http://www.itbhuglobal.org/projects/

We hope to receive your support for this project.

Regards,
Anshuman Singh
(On behalf of Wi-Fi Project Team)


Library Automation Project [LAP] inaugurated
Chronicle Editor @ Jul 05, 2005
The Institute of Technology (IT) Library Automation Project (LAP) was inaugurated on 14th, May, 2005 by the Director of IT, Prof. S. N. Upadhyay.

The Director, Prof. S. N. Upadhyay inaugurating automated system.

Inauguration



The students using the computers donated for the LAP for browsing the web and also for referring to the library catalogue.

    Students.jpg



Given below is a report on the LAP project by Anshuman Singh (EEE 98).


Dear All:

It gives us immense pleasure to announce that ITBHUGlobal.org, with generous contribution from an IT alum, Mr. Jagadish Bandhole (CSE 95), has been able to sucessfully implement another project aimed at improving the infrastructure at our dear institute IT BHU.

The project aims to automate library processes also provide access to the faculty, staff and students to access the digital library. Towards that end the organisation has donated the ten computers, one wireless access point, two barcode scanners. (Detailed configuration available at the end of this mail)

The scanners were donated by Symbol Technologies where Mr. Shiv Shankar Maurya persuaded his company to donate this hardware for our project.

To augment our efforts the library procured the Server on which the library management software is deployed and a 5KVA Power Backup.

The to computers that have been donated to the Institute as a part of this project would be deployed in the following manner.

Issue Desk [with scanners] 2
Library Incharge 1
Acquisitions 1
Processing Section 1
Access to the students 5
Total
10


Because all the computers donated have wifi capabilities there was no need for any additional wiring apart from the electrical wiring that was to be done for the issue desk and the students access area.

[Please note that the library already has six computers kept in a locked room for internet access. The new computers will augment that capability as well.]

A team of nine students with the help of the alumni coordinator and volunteers have installed KOHA, an open source library management software (www.koha.org) This software is being used at many places around the world and atleast five places in India. Lots of hardwork was put in by the students to deploy the system and to test it thoroughly. The library staff was trained by the students to handle the various tasks.

Now the library catalogue is available online in the Institute at

http://itlib.bhu.ac.in

Currently the system has been fully deployed and data entry is going on for which a couple of students would be staying back in summer vacations to help with the data entry work.

Please join me in congratualting all those who were involved with this project and those who worked really hard to get the project done and those who donated to see that the association had funds to make this project happen.

The Team

Faculty Incharge : Prof. GVS Shastry (Metallurgy)
Alumni Coordinator: Anshuman Singh (EEE 98)
Student Coordinator: Rahul Hari (CSE 06)
Team Members:

Manzar Chaudhary (CER 06)
 Rahul Hari (CSE 06)

Nimish Gupta (CSE 07)
Saurabh Sachdev (CSE 07)

Anshul Kulshrestha (CSE 08)
Vaibhav Saxena (CSE 08)
Anupam Jain (CSE 08)
Nitin Kalra (CER 08)
Vijit Singh Chauhan (CER 08)

Thanks,
Anshuman

Project Statistics

Cost to the alumni organisation: Rs. 2,40,200/-
Gestation Time : 1 year
Implementation Time : 4 months
Data Entry time : Going on : 5000+ books entered so far

People Involved :
Initial Phase
Faculty : 7 members
Alumni  : 2

Implementation Phase
Faculty  : 1
Alumni   : 1
Students : 7

Tasks
Hardware Procurement (Alumni)    : 1 month
Hardware Procurement (Institute) : 2 month
Software deployment              : 1 week.
Testing                          : 2 weeks
Training                         : 2 weeks
Paper work for procurement       : 2 weeks


Highlights
  • Till date this is the costliest project executed by ITBHUGlobal.org
  • The project helped us fine tune payment methedologies to the vendors.
  • Project helped us launch and tune online donation module which is now  available on ITBHUGlobal.org for three more on going projects.
  • We were able to demonstrate that projects could be executed if alumni faculty and students work together.

Future
We would be looking for alumni to donate online subscriptions to the IT library so that we can leaverage the infrastructure built via this project to create big online library which would ease the current space constraints  being faced by the IT Library and is a major hinderance in procuring more books.

Pain points

  • Getting static IP adress and getting the serve name registered in the university DNS
  • The long gestation period for this project.

Hardware details

Clients
Motherboard: intel 845 GVSR (with onboard LAN)
Processor:   intel celeron 2.40 GHz.
RAM: 256 DDR (simmtronics)
Monitor: Samsung 15" colour monitor (Black)
CDRW: Samsung 52X (Black)
Cabinet: Intex
Hard Disk: Samsung 40GB @ 7200 rpm
Mouse: Samsung optical mouse
Keyboard: Intex standard keyboard (Black)
Wi-Fi ethernet card: Dlink DWL 520+ G

Wireless router:
Dlink DI 714AP+ wireless router.

Server:
HP - ML350 Server


Rediff report on Dataquest-IDC-NASSCOM Survey
Chronicle Editor @ Jul 05, 2005

Date: June 28, 2005
Publication: rediff.com
Title: “India’s top 20 engineering colleges”
Link to the article

The article lists survey from Dataquest-IDC-NASSCOM carried out for 118 engineering colleges across India. It lists IT-BHU as 5th in overall category, 1st in Intellectual Capital (faculty, research output, etc) category and 5th in Industrial Interface and HR perception category. It is rated 2nd in North Region.

Please note all college surveys in India are controversial. You may go through over 100 of readers’ comments at the end of the article.


Reforming the Joint Entrance Examination system
Chronicle Editor @ Jul 05, 2005

Date: June 20th, 2005
Publication: The Hindu
Link to the article

Note from the Editor:
As the article may not remain online we are providing the text here.

The Article

LEADING TECHNOLOGY schools of India have very high student selectivity — a fact that has gained belated international recognition. Even Asiaweek magazine, which seldom covered India's achievements, acknowledged this in its 2000 survey of the best science and technology schools in the Asia-Pacific region. It has rated BITS Pilani in the Top 5 and the IITs in the Top 10 in terms of `student selectivity'.

This recognition is well deserved and strongly supported by statistics. According to the websites of IIT Madras and IT-BHU Varanasi, the prestigious Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) "is attempted by over 125 thousand candidates each year [while] the total number of seats available through the JEE-2005 is [only] 4,935." This translates to an acceptance rate of 3.9 per cent — arguably one of the most stringent in the world.

BITS Pilani's student selectivity is equally high: 48,325 students have taken the BITSAT-2005 online admission test but the total number of seats in Pilani and Goa campuses of BITS is only 1,400 — this implies an acceptance rate of 2.9 per cent, which compares favourably with its 97.3 per cent normalized cut-off in 2004.

Not all international observers have praised the high quality of input, and some skeptics have dismissed it as yet another manifestation of India's over-population. For example, in The Simpson’s episode `Much Apu About Nothing', Apu tells the story of how he graduated from CalTech (which apparently stands for the Calcutta Technical Institute) at the top of his class of 7 million! The satire is no doubt hilarious, but India can still be proud of the high standard of input to these institutions — population factor notwithstanding.


Comparable to the best

In many leading universities of the world, the acceptance rates are much higher. For Ivy League universities and Oxbridge, the typical acceptance rate is usually quoted to be about 10 per cent. There seems to be some truth behind this factoid. For instance, Magdalen College, Oxford, attracts 9 to 10 applicants per seat for its highly sought-after courses such as English and medicine.

However, the much-quoted 10 per cent estimate should be taken with a pinch of salt: there are considerable variations between different `top' universities, as well as between different courses and colleges within the same university. Take Oxford's well-known course in PPE (philosophy, politics and economics) for instance. Oxford draws 3.2 applicants per seat on average for this course, but the competition is not the same across its constituent colleges: Balliol college attracts 5.5 applicants per place, while Mansfield college only manages 1.8.

Thus, it seems reasonable to assume that the top 10-15 per cent of those who take the JEE (about 12,000 to 18,000 students) are as meritorious as those who gain admission to the Ivy League schools or to Oxbridge. The relatively low acceptance rate (of 4 per cent) means that every year about 7,000 to 13,000 good students do well in the JEE, but not well enough to secure a place in the IITs. Unfortunately, the achievement of standing 5000th among all those who took the JEE goes unrewarded in India. It cannot even get the student a merit seat in a local engineering college.
However, this is not the case in the United States or the United Kingdom. In the U.S., the SAT entrance test is recognized everywhere — from Harvard to a III-tier university. In the U.K., all universities offer places on the basis of A-levels (school leaving examinations). Some leading universities do conduct additional interviews, but the results of a standard written test are accepted nationwide in these countries.

Will a Ramanujan make it?

This brings us to the question of what happens to all those meritorious students who score well in JEE or BITSAT, but are not within the top 3 per cent or 4 per cent required to gain a place in one of the IITs, IT-BHU Varanasi, ISM Dhanbad, BITS Pilani, or BITS Goa. For instance, 6,543 students have scored 250 or above (out of a maximum possible 486) in BITSAT this year, but only 1,400 candidates will get an offer to join BITS Pilani or BITS Goa. The number of disappointed candidates will be even higher in the case of the JEE, which is taken by roughly thrice as many students.
At least, the BITSAT and the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) do not adversely affect a student's preparation for 12th standard board examinations, on the basis of which merit seats are allocated in the II-tier institutions of his or her State. But the same cannot be said about the JEE. According to Prof. B.N. Banerjee of IIT Kanpur, "Preparation for the school examinations and [the] JEE are mutually exclusive, therefore, about 60 per cent of the intake every year consists of candidates attempting [the] JEE for the second or third time."

If the portrait of the IIT aspirant as a young kid looks dismal, then that of the failed aspirant is even sadder. These students spend a substantial part of their teenage years dashing from one coaching centre to another, and also making their parents poorer by several lakhs of rupees by the end of the exercise. Ironically, the IITs are silent (or vague at best) on how exactly a brilliant student from rural India is supposed to prepare for the JEE, and what options she or he would have if she or he does not get an offer.

Much has been said and written about the bane of the JEE coaching-mania, but honestly, does a Srinivasa Ramanujan, prodigal but poor and studying in a school affiliated to the Tamil Nadu State Board in Kumbakonam, have any real chance of cracking JEE-2005 without attending a coaching centre in Kota? Will he by virtue of his raw intellect get a place to do a M.Sc. in mathematics? Probably in Cambridge, but in IIT Madras? I doubt it. Whether we like or not, coaching institutions are here to stay, as long as the JEE stays in its current format.

There is no doubt the JEE needs to be reformed to reduce the coaching mania, and more importantly to improve the gender and socio-economic diversity in these national campuses. However, the JEE is a time-tested mechanism and deserves full credit for keeping the IIT system well-oiled, and for enabling these institutions to distinguish between the very best and the rest. The IITs cannot be seriously expected to tone down the standard of the JEE as long as India's school-leaving examinations continue to reward the ability to memorize and throw up answers to questions from a prescribed syllabus.

Two possible solutions

Given this reality, can something be done to help the poor students who have to prepare for too many entrance examinations? Many solutions have been suggested, but I would like to highlight two possibilities that can be implemented over a five-year period without too much difficulty.

The first possibility is to aim for convergence between the AIEEE examination and the JEE screening test. According to Banerjee, "[The idea of a] national test [administered by] an organization like the ETS, which will function as an ancillary of the IITs, has been on the cards for years." A single test will reduce the burden of students drastically. Those who score very well in this test can be asked to take a second test for gaining admission into the IITs and the NITs. This two-stage procedure would be similar to the current JEE format of a screening test followed by the main examination. The combined strength of the IITs and the NITs should increase the acceptance rate to 10-15 per cent, making it comparable with the rest of the world. Similarly, deemed universities and private colleges may be encouraged to accept BITSAT or AIEEE scores instead of conducting their own entrance examinations.

The second possibility is to keep the JEE separate from the AIEEE, but to consider the JEE ranks comparable to that of the AIEEE for the purposes of gaining admission to the NITs and other engineering colleges in the country. Such a step will greatly help the thousands of students who come in the top 10-15 per cent of the JEE but fail to make it to the top 4 per cent to secure a place in the IITs. Unfortunately, the plight of many thousands of these students year after year does not receive much attention from the Indian media, which is overly interested in reporting the success stories.
These reforms are likely to increase the quality of student input to the NITs, as well as the gender and socio-economic diversity of the student body in the IITs and the IT-BHU Varanasi. It will help bridge the gap between the AIEEE and the JEE examinations, and bring great relief to students, parents, and teachers alike.

Author: S. S. Vasan
(The author is a Rhodes Scholar, Trinity College, Oxford, England.)


Interested in an integrated B Tech-M Tech course?
Chronicle Editor @ Jul 05, 2005

Date: June 28, 2005
Publication: rediff.com
Link to the article

The press report lists newly started programs at IT-BHU. This was posted as a guide to IIT-JEE2005 successful candidates. It lists five-year integrated M.Tech course (3 programs) and five-year integrated B.Tech-M.Tech dual degree course (5 programs) offered by our institute.


Merrill Lynch official moves to Carlyle
Chronicle Editor @ Jul 05, 2005

Date: June 25, 2005
Publication: Sify.com
Link to the article

Editor's comment
The news item discusses about financial genius of IT-alumni, Mr. Rajeev Gupta (Mech1980).

Excerpts from the article:

New York: Washington-based private equity firm Carlyle Group, which is planning to raise $ 1 billion for a second Asia-focused fund, has appointed Rajeev Gupta to run its Indian buyout business. Gupta, 45, is currently head of investment banking at Merrill Lynch & Company's venture. He is considered a ''leading rainmaker'', The Wall Street Journal has reported.

Gupta earned his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has a bachelor's degree in technology from Banaras Hindu University.


Top grad student streamlines microwave design
Chronicle Editor @ Jul 05, 2005

Date/Edition: June 2005
Publication: The Ring-Canada
Link to the article

Editor's comment
The news item discusses about technical genius of IT-alumni, Mr. Rambabu Karumudi, M.Tech. (Microwave Engineering1996).

Excerpts from the article:
Rambabu Karumudi has come a long way from the small 30-house village in India where he grew up to win this year’s Governor General’s Gold medal as the top graduate student in the faculty of graduate studies.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Nagarjuna University and a master’s from Banaras Hindu University, Rambabu came to UVic to work with Dr. Jens Bornemann, an international leader in the field of microwave engineering.

For his dissertation research, Rambabu created design procedures that will greatly streamline the development of microwave components used in applications as far-flung as cell phones to air traffic control radar to wireless Internet communications.


Pharmacy in India - At crossroads
Chronicle Editor @ Jul 05, 2005

Date: June 16, 2005
Publication: Express Pharma Plus
Link to the article

Excerpts from the Article:

Prof Schroff on the call of Pundit Madan Mohan Malviyaji, Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University started a regular B Pharm course of three years in July 1937. Since then pharmacy education is making rapid strides in India. From handful of B Pharm degree institutions 50 years ago, we now have about 200 degree colleges training more than 10-12 thousand students for B Pharm degree. The number of M Pharm and PhD aspirants in pharmacy has also increased in recently as India has made phenomenal progress in the pharma sector that one may not come across even in developed countries.”


BHU will work for Purvanchal's development: V-C
Chronicle Editor @ Jul 05, 2005

Date: June 12, 2005
Publication: The Daily Pioneer

Note from the Editor
Vice-Chancellor, Shri Panjab Singh of Banaras Hindu University, gave a press interview, in which he discussed about university’s effort to grant IT an IIT status.

(Since the web link does not work properly, entire article is reproduced from google cashed below-courtesy Ranjeet Kumar-cse1998)

The Article

BHU will work for Purvanchal's development: V-C

Ramesh K Singh/ Varanasi

In an attempt to make the Banaras Hindu University a tool for overall development of Purvanchal (eastern Uttar Pradesh), Vice-Chancellor, BHU, Prof Panjab Singh is concentrating on a few selected priority areas so that the BHU can set an example and play a crucial role in the coming years to solve problems such as water scarcity and improving the condition of rainwater harvesting and health services in the region.

The institution is marching towards fulfilling the dreams of its founder and is seriously performing its duty for the society. "We want that all our technological achievements in the field of engineering, agriculture, science etc should reach the users," said Prof Singh, while talking to The Pioneer here on Wednesday evening.

"In this direction, the Vice-Chancellor said: "The university has selected some priority areas and it
will concentrate its energy and efforts to achieve the same. Even if I achieve 60-70 per cent progress in fulfilling the targets during my tenure, it will be an achievement as my successor would not need much efforts to get the same through," said the internationally famous agricultural scientist.

He said that the university had made positive efforts so that its Institute of Technology (IT) could get funds at par with the IITs. "At present, if an IIT is getting Rs 100 crore for its infrastructural
improvement and academic activities including research, Institute of Technology is getting just Rs
2-3 crore," he said.

"The Institute of Technology has presented its position before the Union Human Resources Development Ministry and it is expected that the Banaras Hindu University Institute of Technology will get the status of IIT soon," he said.

When asked how the Banaras Hindu University would give full autonomy to its institution in such case, Prof. Singh replied that he believed that various institutes, faculties and colleges should have autonomy to make progress on expected and targeted lines and goals. "Autonomy is good for an institute's health," he said.

"Health is our other priority," said Prof Singh. He said that he had asked the authorities of the
Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) to prepare a blueprint on which the Union Ministry of Human
Resources Development, Health Ministry and Planning Commission could be approached so that the IMS could get the status and funds equivalent to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

"There is no doubt that Sir Sundarlal Hospital of IMS is the lifeline and only hope for thousands of poor patients not only of eastern Uttar Pradesh but also in adjoining states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh," he said. He said that his priority would be to look into the matter so that the hospital could serve the people in this vast region.

Apart from his hopes and plans for upgradation of these two institutes of the Banaras Hindu University, Prof Singh has an ambitious plan to help the farmers through the Institute of Agricultural Sciences. Once the plan is implemented, the farmers will be able to improve their farm production, improve their economic condition by selecting cash crops and medicinal farming.

Banaras Hindu University has a huge 2800-acre Barkachha Farm in Mirzapur, which is much bigger than the Banaras Hindu University campus, Asia's biggest university which has a campus on 1300 acres of land.

Recently, Prof Singh along with senior university agricultural scientists and others visited the place.

"We want to make it a potential hub for educational and entrepreneurship training programmes ranging from six months to one year so that the youths of the region can become self-reliant," he said.

The university has chalked out a plan to make this farm fertile and a big source of income for running various programmes.


Acknowledgements
Chronicle Editor @ Jul 05, 2005

We are grateful to Mukul Agrawal (ECE 2000) for offering suggestions to improve the format of The Chronicle.

We also appreciate the help of Nitin Mohan (ECE 1999) and Ranjeet Kumar (CSE 1998) for forwarding press clippings.

The photographs for LAP project inauguration were provided by Prof. GVS Shastry (Metallurgy dept)

About ITBHU Chronicle
The ITBHU Chronicle is a monthly publication of ITBHU Global Alumni Association (IBGAA)
Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, UP
Director of the Institute: Dr. K.P. Singh
The Chronicle is published by The Chronicle Team
Editorial Team- Yogesh Upadhaya (Chemical 1977); Anshuman Singh (Electrical 1998);
Animesh Pathak (CSE 2003); Rahul Hari (CSE 2006)
Website: www.itbhuglobal.org/chronicle
Contact us at: chronicle [AT] itbhuglobal.org
Copyright © 2008-2013 by ITBHU Global Alumni Association
Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University
Varanasi 221005, UP