IT BHU Chronicle: December '06 edition
Arun @ Dec 19, 2006

Published on December 15, 2006
The Chronicle December, 2006 issue.
Vol.2006 : Issue 0012
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From the editor’s desk
Arun @ Dec 16, 2006

This issue contains the news of remarkable achievement by our alumnus Prof. P. Ajayan (Metallurgy 1985) who was listed by Scientific American Magazine among the top 50 people who influenced the world. This rare achievement award was given for his pioneer work in the field of nanotechnology.

On the eve of 3rd International BHU Alumni Meet (Jan 2007), chronicle asks some question to Prod. D. P. Singh, Professor Emeritus (Mining dept.) and Chairman of the Coordination Committee for the Alumni Meet. This issue also contains interview with Colonel (Retd.) Satish Dewan, who changed the perception of NCC training during 1990-1993, and made the training interesting for our students.

We have also covered the news about 3rd death anniversary of Satyendra Dubey (M. Tech Civil 1996) who was murdered in Bihar 3 years ago while fighting corruption. We have also provided an introduction to some of our alumni who have left comfortable corporate life and are engaged in social services and upliftment of the poor. In addition, there are some interesting news from or institute and campus.

We need more news. Please send us news, events, articles, information, etc, at:

Thanking you,

The Chronicle Team

Sad demise of our alumnus, N.S.Sivaramakrishnan (Electronics, 1991)
Arun @ Dec 15, 2006


With deep sorrow we announce the death of our alumnus Sivaramakrishnan (ECE 1991) on December 15th. He was popularly known as Siva among his batch-mates. He was suffering from lung cancer since May 2004. It is a loss to entire IT community. May his soul rest in peace.

We have received the following message from Noornie Karthik, Siva’s younger brother:

“Shiva breathed his last on December 15th Morning at 9:10am in Kolkata. The dreaded cancer got the better of him after two and a half years of battle since diagnosed.

Shiva did get to meet some of his BHU friends when they called on him after they heard about him thru this chronicle. My sincere thanks to all who prayed for him.

Please find attached a recent snap taken of Shiva in October 2006. He looks and tired frail here due to the multiple chemo treatments he had undergone by then.


The news about Siva’s illness was published in chronicle Nov. 2006 issue.

Chronicle requests all batch-mates, friends and others who wish to offer tributes to Shiva, to send email to Tributes and memoirs will be published in Jan. 2007 issue of the chronicle.

They can also contact Noornie Karthik at

Remembering Satyendra Dubey
Arun @ Dec 15, 2006



Satyendra Dubey was an alumnus of our college, who lost his life 3 years ago while fighting corruption in his native state Bihar. He was murdered on 27 Nov, 2003 by mafia after he exposed deep-rooted corruption in construction of the Golden Quadrilateral Project.

Satyendra did his B. Tech (Civil 1994) from IIT Kanpur and M. Tech (Civil 1996) from IT-BHU. His brother, Dhananjay Dubey (Electronics 2006) is also an alumnus of our college.

An article immediately after his death appeared on website:


Article in


Satyendra Dubey: A forgotten hero?
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | November 27, 2006 20:31 IST

There was no formal function held in Patna and Gaya to remember whistleblower Satyendra Dubey on November 27, his third death anniversary. It was just another ordinary day.

In 2003, Dubey, a 31-year-old project director with the National Highways Authority of India, was shot dead near the Circuit House in Gaya after he exposed deep-rooted corruption in construction of the Golden Quadrilateral Project. The incident shocked the nation.

Dubey, a native of Bihar, was eliminated by people who feared that he will expose their corruption. It was proved beyond any doubt that Dubey was killed soon after he wrote a letter to the Prime Minister's Office and blew the whistle on the contract mafia.

Though he requested that his name not be made public, vested interests leaked his name.

When Dubey was killed, several promises and assurances were made to keep his memory and his cause of fighting against corruption alive.

But now it appears that Dubey's martyrdom was forgotten by people of his home state, if not others.

Soon after Dubey was killed, it was a readymade issue for politicians to blame each other to take some advantage out of it.

When Dubey was killed, the National Democratic Alliance was in power at the center and Rashtrita Janata Dal-led government was in power in Bihar.

But even after becoming Railway Minister in 2004, Lalu has not pushed the CBI probe into the killing of Dubey.

Documentary on Satyendra Dubey is produced
Arun @ Dec 15, 2006




‘Documentary is a reminder of his sacrifice’
Vandana Kalra

Mumbai, November 27: When 31-year-old IIT graduate and National Highways Authority of India employee Satyendra Dubey was brutally murdered in 2003, it created a furore in the media. The public was outraged that an honest professional got murdered while assisting the government in fighting corruption. A sustained investigation and campaign by The Indian Express triggered public interest and posthumous awards for the martyr followed.

Now the campaign will get a new lease of life with Mumbai-based filmmaker Minnie Vaid’s documentary, Satyendra Jayate, a film chronicling the life of Dubey, right from his childhood, to his years in IIT. The film was premiered at 10.30 pm on NDTV 24X7, on Dubey’s third death anniversary on November 27.

“The movie is not about who killed Satyendra Dubey, but a reminder of who he was and why we should not forget him or his sacrifice,” says Vaid.

So while details about his letters to the PM telling him of the corruption find space in the 45-minute film, so does his personal life, where Vaid has on camera Dubey’s childhood friends, neighbours, school teachers and family members which include his four sisters and one brother. “We wanted to get to know Dubey,” says Vaid and goes on to reveal, “Now everyone at IIT looks up to him. Children studying in his school may not have seen him but want to grow up and emulate him.”

The task was not easy to accomplish. Although it was shot in six days flat, it took Vaid more than two years to arrange the funds for the movie that were collected by the S K Dubey Foundation under the aegis of its director Ashutosh Aman.

The only footage available of Dubey, was him dancing at a friend's wedding. Getting officials to talk on camera was tough. “I was chasing NHAI officials for weeks and finally managed a sound byte from GC Mishra, who replaced Dubey in the project. Also, the CBI officials refused to comment on camera,” says Vaid.

However, Vaid managed to get interviews with the accused, Mantu Kumar, Uday Kumar, Pinku Ravidas, currently lodged in the Beur jail. “Surprisingly, we managed to get them on record when they had gone for hearing in the special court,” she says.

Vaid hopes to screen the movie at various international and Indian film festivals including the Pan IIT festival next month, the premier on television will be done with a condensed 24-minute version. “The efforts,” Vaid says, “are directed at reviving public interest and getting due justice in the case.”

Video-Trailer of “Satyendra Jayate”, a documentary on Satyendra Dubey.


Link : 5500 Registrations and Counting
Arun @ Dec 13, 2006
Thanks to the hard work done by Paresh Gupta (Ceramics 2007), Nitin Kalra (Ceramics 2008) and other volunteers, there is a dramatic increase in the number of registered students/alumni for our organization, The volunteers went door-to-door and convinced students to register themselves. As can be seen from the link below, the total registration jumped from 5,000 just a month ago.

The volunteers who helped the cause are:

  1. Vivek Khare (Ceramics '07)
  2. Vidit Sinha (CSE '10, B.Tech)
  3. Divyanshu Singh (CSE '10, B.Tech)
  4. Yogendra Kumar (ECE '10, B.Tech)
  5. Saurav Verma (ECE '10, B.Tech)
  6. Abhishek Verma (EEE '10, B.Tech)
  7. Mayank Jain (EEE '10, B.Tech)
  8. Shivesh Narayan Pandey (Min '11, M.Tech)
  9. Manan Gupta (Min '10, B.Tech)
  10. Apoorva Joshi (MST '11, M.Tech)
  11. Shivam Tiwari (APC '11, M.Tech)
  12. Mandeep Singh (APP '11, M.Tech)
  13. Geet Mehta (APP '11, M.Tech)
  14. Vineet Sharma (APM '11, M.Tech)
  15. Rahul Golwalkar (APM '11, M.Tech)

The increase in number of registered alumni will help us to plan the alumni projects in the future. Besides, they will also receive an electronic copy of chronicle each month as soon as it is published. Alumni are also requested to become active members in the local chapters.

We encourage other alumni who have not registered yet, to come forward. You can register by visiting the home page of our website and register. You may also spread the word to others. Any student/alumni/faculty of our institute can become member.

Our next goal is to get at least 200 people registered from each batch. No doubt a daunting task but with we are sure that with your help this can be done. The efforts will focus on particular batches at specific times and would be a coordinated effort between the alumni volunteers, student volunteers and members of the specific batches.

We will be focusing on 1990 ~ 1994 batches in the first round and then go back in lots of 5 batches each. Each effort would be for 2 ~ 3 months. So by February '07 end we hope to have 200+ member each, of 1990 ~ 1994 batches connected with the rest of us through

Current Statistics of the classes in focus

1990 10 8 13 7 13 7 8 7 2 1 79
1991 4 8 5 10 25 8 10 8 5 1 84
1992 2 7 10 8 12 13 19 7 1 3 83
1993 4 12 4 10 9 8 10 4 13 6 83
1994 2 22 6 14 23 8 15 8 6 7 112

Arun @ Dec 13, 2006


Update on 3rd International BHU Alumni Meet on Jan 6-7, 2007 (IBAM 2007)
Arun @ Dec 13, 2006

The countdown for IBAM 2007 has begun with less than 30 days to go for the big event. We are now fine tuning the preparations which are nearing completion.

The University is proud of its Alumni many of whom have been instrumental in placing BHU on the world educational map. Thus we have decided to recognize their yeoman service by instituting 10 “Distinguished Alumni Awards”. We have already requested the Faculties to send in the names of the prospective awardees. We plan to float this on our website also and I want to take this opportunity to invite nominations for this Award from our Alumni. The nominees should have displayed outstanding acumen in the field of their choice.

The International Seminar on “Education in the 21st Century and Mahamana’s Vision” is evoking tremendous response. The tentative programme for the two days will be as follows.

head.JPG feet.jpg


Saturday, January 06, 2007

10.00 a.m.-11.30 a.m. Inauguration & Inaugural Lecture
11.30 a.m.-12.00 noon High Tea
12.00 noon-1.30 p.m. Session –I: Engineering & Technical Education
1.30 p.m. -2.00 p.m. Lunch
2.00 p.m. -4.00 p.m. Session-II: Ethics and Human Values
4.00 p.m. -4.30 p.m. Tea
6.30 p.m. -8.00 p.m. Cultural Programme

Sunday, January 07, 2007

9.30 a.m.-11.00 a.m. Session-III: Malaviya ji : Builder of Modern India
11.00 a.m.-11.30 a.m. Tea
11.30 a.m.-1.00 p.m. Session-IV: Medical Education at BHU
1.00 p.m. -2.00 p.m. Lunch
2.00 p.m. -3.30 p.m. Session-V: Women Education and Empowerment
3.30 p.m. -4.00 p.m. Tea
4.00 p.m. -5.30 p.m. Valedictory Session
6.30 p.m. -8.00 p.m. Cultural Programme

The Souvenir of the Meet is now ready and going into press as we are writing this. The first print run will be of 3000 copies.

The Registration process is now coming into its own with the momentum gradually picking up. The registration fee has been kept unchanged at Rs 500/= or US $ 100/= per person.

Many of our Alumni had expressed a desire to stay on campus during the Meet. Thus adequate arrangements for Accommodations have been made not only in the University Guest Houses, but also in the Hostels and vacant quarters. This is in addition to the rooms booked in the Kashi Mumuksh Bhavan, Jain Dharmashalas, Jangambari Math and some centrally located hotels of Varanasi.

The payment for the accommodation at actual rates will however be over and above the Registration Fee.

The Hon’ble Vice Chancellor has constituted a Prominent Citizens Committee to establish close synergy between the campus and the city during the preparations for the Meet. This will financially and logistically strengthen our hands.

I want to request all our Alumni through the chronicle to register themselves before end of this month. This will help both us and them to avoid rush at the nth hour.

For details, please visit:

Please accept our best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year too. Your Alma Mater hopes to welcome you in 2007.

Prof. D.P. Singh,
3rd IBAM-2007

Professor D. P. Singh
Professor Emeritus
Department of Mining Engineering
Institute of Technology
Banaras Hindu University
Varanasi 221005
Formerly, Vice-Chancellor
APS University of Rewa, Lucknow University,
UP Open University, Allahabad
Phone +91 542 2315871, 91 9335386770

Update on IIEST front
Arun @ Dec 13, 2006

It seems that process of converting selected colleges (including IT-BHU) into IIEST is temporarily under hold. This is because there is a resistance from the respective govt. to completely hand over their colleges to central govt., as required for upgrade to IIEST.

As per the agreed time-table, the process of converting a college into IIEST in expected to be over by around March 2007, and admission should start to the IIESTs by next year.

Following news report is pertaining to IIEST debate:

Cusat at a crossroads

On the other hand, govt. is setting up 3 new IITs in the backward area of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.

3 New IITs likely in five years

Each IIT will be set up at a cost of Rs. 2,500 crores each.

Disclaimer- The above views are my personal views, and do not reflect that of our institute.
Yogesh Upadhyaya (chemical 1977)

Professor of Pharmaceutical dept. in the list of Who’s Who
Arun @ Dec 12, 2006


Dr.Vikas Kumar honored in Marquis Who's Who
Tuesday, 07 November 2006


Dr. Vikas Kumar

The exemplary achievements and distinguished contributions to the scientific community at a global level, have earned a place in three publication titles of Marquis Who's Who for Dr. Vikas Kumar, Reader in Pharmacology, Department of Pharmaceutics, Institute of Technology (IT), Banaras Hindu University (BHU). This honor has been bestowed to him with the selection of his biography in Marquis Who's Who in the World, in its 23rd Edition (2006); Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare (2006-07 edition) and Who's Who in Science and Engineering (2006-07 edition). In this selection,

“Dr. Vikas had to compete very hard with the leading personalities of the world. Inclusion of biography in Marquis Who's Who is based on a very rigorous review of nominations, multistage screening and on-line interactive procedure.”

Dr. Vikas had to compete very hard with the leading personalities of the world. Inclusion of biography in Marquis Who's Who is based on a very rigorous review of nominations, multistage screening and on-line interactive procedure. This is highly esteemed sources for current biographical information audience.

Dr. Vikas holds doctorate degree in Pharmacy from the IT-BHU beside holding basic degrees in Pharmacy viz. M.Pharm., B.Pharm. and D.Pharm from elsewhere. Dr. Vikas also worked with R&D Centre of Indian Herbs Ltd, Saharanpur as Scientist-C where he was instrumental in setting up of laboratory devoted to behaviour and other neuropharmacological studies in rodents. After working with Indian Herbs, Dr. Vikas joined Lupin Research Park based at Pune. There, Dr. Vikas was one of the active team members responsible for performing efficacy studies and documenting the reports for filing Investigational New Drug (IND) Application on LL-4218 (an isolated herbal fraction for the treatment of Psoriasis). Dr. Vikas has published more than 30 papers in peer reviewed national and international journals. Dr. Vikas has also published one chapter in an international book ‘Hypericum’ under a series ‘Medicinal and Aromatic Plants-Industrial Profile’ published by Taylor & Francis, London; simultaneously published by Taylor & Francis Inc., New York, USA and Canada (ISBN 0415369541). Dr. Vikas is also member of various reputed professional organisations in India and abroad as well. Dr. Vikas is recipient of Semi Khatib Gold Medal and “Servier Young Investigators’ Award” (1999) instituted by Institutet de Researches Internationales Servier, France.

Born in a small town Palwal (Faridabad, Haryana) his academic pursuits have taken him in year 2004 to his post doc mentor Dr. Jochen Klein at Texas Tech University, School of Pharmacy, United States with an objective to investigate the active constituents of St. John’s wort and Ginkgo biloba for elucidating their mechanism of action(s) related to neurodegenerative diseases. Beside USA, Dr. Vikas have also visited Canada, Germany and France to enhance his professional experience at various capacities. Dr. Vikas at the age of 33 years is feeling proud on his lifetime decision for serving his Alma Mater since March 2006!

Sify’s former Vice President, Dipan Bhattacharya
Arun @ Dec 12, 2006


Sify’s former Vice-president, Dipan Bhattacharyya, joins MIH India as CTO

Oct 24, 06
exchange4media News Service

Multinational media company Naspers-promoted MIH India, has appointed Dipan Bhattacharyya, former Senior Vice-president, Enterprise Solutions, Sify, as its Chief Technology Officer. He will be joining them from next week. Bhattacharyya will be a key driver for the technology driven company. Senior sources close to the development have confirmed the appointment.

Bhattacharyya had joined Sify as Vice-president in June 2000. He had worked there for five years. Prior to joining Sify, he was with GE Capital as Vice-president, IT.

Bhattacharyya, who has 15 years’ experience in the industry, was earlier with Citibank India as Assistant Vice-president, Technology. He holds a B.Tech degree from Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, and an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

Arun @ Dec 12, 2006


Prof. P. Ajayan (Meta 1985) is figured among the group of top 50 people who influenced the world-as published by Scientific American magazine
Arun @ Dec 12, 2006

ajayan.jpg The December 2006 issue of Scientific American contains the list of top 50 research, business and policy leaders whose work in 2006 has potential to influence the well-being of the mankind.

Prof. P Ajayan (Metallurgy 1985) and current professor at RPI, Brooklyn, New York is among them. At rank 41, he is among the two Indian researchers figured in the list. Prof. Ajayan was selected because of his exemplifying work in the field of nanotubes and nanotechnology. As the magazine writes about him:

Material Progress

40. Natalia Dubrovinskaia, University of Bayreuth (research)
41. Pulickel M. Ajayan, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (research)
42. Antoni P. Tomsia, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (research)
43. Daniel E. Morse, University of California, Santa Barbara (research)

Carbon was also the material chosen by Pulickel M. Ajayan at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and his colleagues to create super-resilient springs. The researchers used a foam made up of carbon nanotubes to devise springs that combine the properties of stiffness and compressibility. Stiff materials take a lot of force to squash but often break after their limits are exceeded, while compressible substances often buckle easily but can rebound to their usual shape afterward with little to no damage. Repeatedly compressing a cushion normally squashes it, with a loss of springiness. But the nanotube foams remained elastic even after 10,000 squeezes, a property that could make the material suitable for artificial joints or vibration dampeners.

At times scientists have drawn inspiration from nature to come up with novel materials. Modern ceramics are strong but brittle, but mollusk shells exhibit strength while retaining intrinsic toughness because of their finely layered mother-of-pearl, or nacre. Replicating the intricate architecture that gives nacre its material properties had proved extremely difficult because the dimensions of its components vary from nanometer to micrometer scales.

Other links:

An interview with Prof. Ajayan is also published in The entire interview is published in this issue of chronicle.

Prof. Ajayan receives MRS Medal

Prof. P. Ajayan is one of the three MRS Medalists for 2006. The award is given by Material Research Society, Boston (

He gave his Medal talk on Nov. 27 on the topic of “Controlled Assembly of Carbon Nanotube Architectures.”

Rediff interview with Prof. P. Ajayan
Arun @ Dec 12, 2006


Nanotech holds key to the future
December 15, 2006

Nanotechnology is the new frontier of scientific research. President APJ Abdul Kalam is advocating new initiative on the research in the field of nanotechnology. As Prof. CNR Rao, chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister, said recently: 'We missed the semiconductor revolution in the early 1950s. We had just gained independence. But with nanoscience and technology, we can certainly be on an equal footing with the rest of the world.'

In its December 2006 issue, the Scientific American magazine published a list of 2006 Scientific American top 50 awards. The award lists the top 50 people in the field of research, business and policy making, who have influenced the world.

Pulickel Madhavapanicker Ajayan, the Henri Burlage Professor of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Research), Troy, New York, is among this list of top 50.

He graduated in metallurgical engineering in 1985 from the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (IT-BHU), Varanasi.

He has worked under the world-renowned Japanese nanoscientist, Dr Sumio Iijima. He was cited by Scientific American magazine for his pioneering research in using nanotubes to create super-resilient springs. guest columnist Yogesh K Upadhyaya talks with Prof Ajayan to find out more about nanotechnology.

Welcome. Please explain nanotechnology in brief to us.

Nanotechnology will be one of the most significant enabling technologies in the future. It will cover materials, devices, biotechnology and more. Nanoscience and nanotechnology are based on the length scale 'nano,' which is a billionth of a meter. In that sense it differs from other major technology areas such as information technology and biotechnology, which are based on broadly defined functions.

It is curious that this length scale 'nano' has become so important. The single most important reason is perhaps our incessant need to miniaturise our technologies and the transition from the existing 'micro' technologies to smaller sizes takes us to the nano regime.

Electronics is a real driver here since this area has a clearly defined roadmap for miniaturisation and the next frontier for them is nanotechnology. Interestingly biology also has strong origins in the nanoscale; DNA, proteins, et cetera. . . all have nanoscale dimensions and these are the essential building blocks of life.

I tend to call nanotechnology 'god's own technology,' reminiscing my own origins from the state of Kerala, which is often called 'god's own country.'

There is also another aspect that makes nano fundamentally exciting and that has to do with change of physical properties in many systems as the size becomes smaller. It does not happen at all sizes, but at some point as we go down in size, there is a transformation of quantity into quality; in other words material behaviour changes from its bulk character to something different.

Typically, properties this size -- where the transition occurs -- fall in the nano scale.

What are the applications of this technology? How it can benefit us?

Well, there has been a wide range of possibilities in the application arena with nanotechnology. A large amount of resources has been utilised (in terms of funding for science as well as entrepreneurial interest in developing nanotechnology based products) worldwide over the last couple of decades and we will see the fruits of these investment in the near future.

As I mentioned, electronics industry has been in the forefront pushing this technology the most since their road map comes into the nano scale (for devices, interconnects, etc.) earlier than any other technologies. I would imagine that almost all the components on computer chip in the future will be based entirely on technologies enabled via nanotechnology.

There will also be many other industries, other than microelectronics, that will benefit from nanotech. To name a few, alternative energy, healthcare and medicine, sensor technologies, materials manufacturing that include sporting goods, aerospace and transportation, smart coatings, etc.

One has to think of two ways that nanotech can influence future industry and society. One, there will be the short term value added propositions using nanotech that will enable improvements of existing technologies. Addition of nanomaterials to enhance the mechanical properties of composites used in aerospace is a good example.

There are several more of these and although the processes that enable this value addition could in some cases be challenging, these are not the revolutionary, often times categorised as disruptive technologies based on nanotech. The real impact of nanotechnology in my mind will come in the long term, based on innovations that will lead to disruptive technologies.

Electronics based on single molecules, quantum wires, spin transport, new targeted drug delivery systems based on smart nanoparticles, sensors built from nano-electro-mechanical systems are examples of this revolution that we will see in our life span but not in the immediate future. There is an enormous amount of knowledge base that is being created by scientists today that will lay the foundation of this nanotech revolution.

What are the obstacles in applying the technology for commercial use?

There is always going to be a lag time between research and development of new technologies. Almost all big technologies (e.g. silicon electronics, lasers) have gone through this period of incubation before blossoming into commercial products.

What differs here is that nanotechnology has a much broader profile and the lead time could vary depending on what specific area we are targeting with nanotech. This will also dictate the factors limiting the use of nanotech. Manufacturing, cost, integration issues, and competing technologies could all be limiting factors to the fast implementation of nanotech in commercial products. In some cases, science and integration issues are being worked out for nanoscale components (e.g. performance metrics for use of carbon nanotubes as interconnects replacing copper or interfacial engineering needed to produce high strength nanotube polymer composites).

Engineering and assembly of nanostructured building blocks to make mesoscale architectures that can be integrated into practical use is another challenge.

More research will be needed to address such issues. In some cases, manufacturing and costs are the main impediments and scale up of processes to obtain bulk amounts of material remain the bottleneck. For example, large scale manufacturing of single-walled carbon nanotubes is still challenging even after more than a decade of research and development in this area.

Please provide us the historical background for this exciting frontier of nanoscience.

The basic idea of nanotech and possible applications has been proposed for a long time (several decades). People often quote the famous talk by Richard Feynman who said that there is plenty of space at the bottom, as the beginning of nanotech. Manipulation of matter at the atomic scale and building things bottom up with ultimate control have been talked about in the scientific community for a long time.

However, the real excitement started when people started creating structures in the nanoscale with controlled dimensions using scalable techniques in relatively simple ways.

Inorganic nanoparticles, fullerenes and nanotubes, nanowires etc. were made in laboratories, characterised and manipulated and the knowledge thus created defined a new field with a lot of prospect for new technologies and applications. The newly developed instrumentation (atomic resolution electron microscopes, scanning probe instruments, etc.) and powerful computational tools contributed to the understanding of nanoscience and development of nanotechnology.

What inspires you as a nanomaterials scientist? What do you see as the immediate challenges and prospects for nanoscience research and its exploitation?

The fact that one day we will be able to manipulate matter at the atomic scale and build structures and devices with atomic scale precision, inspires me as a nanomaterials scientist. It is also the fact that this is pretty much the last frontier in material manipulation.

The challenge is to bring some real applications based on nanomaterials technology to the marketplace so that the field doesn't lose its momentum. The exciting prospects are in the long run. One day, I envision that a lot of technologies, from electronics to drug delivery, will be based on the foundations that we lay today on nanotechnology and nanomaterials.

What is the state of research in this field?

Nanotech research is being carried out worldwide in universities, national labs and industries alike. There are a large number of fundamental research projects undertaken mostly at universities and national labs dealing with understanding the basic science behind nanostructures, nanodevices and nanosystems.

Most major universities have strong nanotech effort and several of them have large centers dedicated to nanotech research. At my own institution (RPI) we have a center for nanotechnology and nearly twenty faculty members are involved in research in this area.

The United States, Japan, China and Europe are putting their bets on nanotech and putting enormous resources into the development of this technology.

Industry research has been targeted to look at nanotechnology opportunities for enabling their already existing technologies and making them more efficient (e.g. field emission displays using carbon nanotubes at Samsung laboratories) or to look at new and disruptive technologies that would change the entire landscape of their product lines (e.g. IBM working on nanodevices for future electronics). There have also been small startup companies looking at nanotechnology enabled products, for example in areas such as sensors, pharmaceuticals and energy storage devices.

What steps should India take to involve universities / institutes in nanotechnology?

Some of the premier institutions in India (IISC, IITs, National Chemical Laboratory, National Physical Laboratory, etc., to name a few) are already working in this area but the resources available to make the real impact is lacking, in my opinion. We are far behind most countries with serious research endeavours, in nanotech funding.

The infrastructure is important if we want to succeed in this effort and the lack of availability of research infrastructure to the research community at large has hampered the enthusiasm. Moreover a good planning document and long term sustained plans to create the nanotechnology infrastructure in India is missing.

There are quite a few conferences today in India focusing on nanotechnology, but the tangible results from these have been dismal. We need to have concerted efforts from the funding institutions, universities, national labs and industry to identify areas where we can make real impact and utilize resources carefully in those areas. As far as I can see India should exploit nanotech opportunities in the alternate energy and health care sectors.

Education and training of students is equally important. This is easy to do since there exist a remarkable pool of talent in India but there has to be progressive thinking in universities with regard to modernizing curriculum and the educational system. This is not just for nanotech but for science and technology in general.

Finally, tell us more about yourself.

I was born and brought up in Kerala and did all my schooling in Kerala. My high school (Loyola School, Trivandrum) made a strong impact on me and made me realize that learning is the most exciting thing one can ever befriend. I went to IT-BHU for my undergraduate study in metallurgical engineering. My interest in science was developed here and was motivated by many of the teachers I had.

As most of us did, I came to the USA to do my PhD and went to Northwestern University (Evanston), which was a truly spectacular school. I was involved with electron microscopy and small metal particles (this was before nanotechnology became popular, and nano was not such a common word then) and received my PhD in 1989.

I went to the NEC Corporation in Japan as a post-doctoral fellow, where I had the fortune of working with the group of Dr Sumio Iijima who first reported carbon nanotubes in 1991. That became my research field and has remained that way since then.

After staying for several years in Europe (Uniersite Paris-sud, Orsay and Max-Planck Institute, Stuttgart), I returned to the US in 1997. I have been at RPI since. Our work today focuses on engineering of carbon nanotube based architectures and pursuit of various applications for these materials.

I am married to Poornima (MBA in finance and interested in fashion design) who brings structure to my life. I have two lovely daughters (Anakha and Ahi, who are 11 and 3, respectively). It was nice talking to you.

Thank you. Thanks to for giving me an opportunity to talk about the subject

Rajeev Bajaj (CHE 1987) - Entrepreneur with a different beat
Arun @ Dec 12, 2006

Rajeev Bajaj is currently the President and CEO of SemiQuest, a company he founded in 2005. Rajeev is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and did his graduation in Chemical Engineering from IT-BHU in 1987 and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995. Previously he has worked at Sematech, Motorola, Lam Research and Applied Materials in various engineering and management positions.

Rajeev has recently released "Geek Rhythms," a self-made debut album that is a rap-turous paean to engineering. The album contains four techno/rap songs about entropy, computers and, of course, engineers. Bajaj also included instrumental versions of each song on the album so enthusiasts can look up the lyrics on his Web site ( and sing karaoke.

Rajeev's brainchild has captivated a cluster of intellectual listeners. An article in Seattle Time said "There's gangsta rap. And now there's geeksta rap. It's all because of Rajeev Bajaj". A former co-worker from Bajaj's days at Motorola exudes in an review that this is "the best thing to happen to geeks since Bill Gates."

For Chronicle, Rajat Harlalka (Electrical 2005) took the opportunity to speak with Rajeev Bajaj to learn more about Geek Rhythms.

Rajeev Bajaj.JPG

For the personal history profile, please Click here.

Q-1: Welcome, sir Welcome, sir. Please provide some background info about you to our readers.

I was born in Delhi and did all my schooling there. I attended Rosary school thru 10th grade and then joined Bal Bharti Public School to complete high school. I chose Engineering early on as a career due to influence of one of my teacher’s Mr Mishra. He was a graduate of IIT Kharagpur and really opened up the world of Engineering for me. I was fortunate to be short-listed in JEE and chose Chemical Engineering at IT-BHU. I joined KTI technologies in Nehru Place, Delhi after graduating but soon found that I needed a higher degree to do the things I wanted to do with my career. I was admitted to MS program in Chemical Engineering at UT-Austin and stayed on to complete my PhD.

Q-2: You have been associated with numerous semiconductor manufacturing technology firms and also have founded SemiQuest, in Fremont, Calif. Please tell us something about it.

I always wanted to start my own business and even as I went through my education, starting my own business was my main goal. At UT-Austin, my MS and PhD projects were focused on developing new polymer for microelectronic packaging. A friend of mine Rahul Jairath (BS, ITBHU ChE 87) was at Sematech as an assignee from his company, National Semiconductor. We collaborated on a paper on a semiconductor process called CMP (Chemical Mechanical Polishing), which led me to join Sematech for research and development. At the time, CMP was a very new technology pioneered by IBM and was fast gaining acceptance by all semiconductor companies. So that was a great opportunity and I got to be a part of growth of this amazingly new technology. This also enabled me to choose my jobs, which covered the whole spectrum from process engineering at Sematech and Motorola (where I learned how CMP was a part of larger process sequence to make semiconductor chips) to developing advanced applications and tools at Applied Materials. All that brings me to SemiQuest where we are developing consumables for CMP process. Our first product is a CMP pad, which is made of polymers.

Q-3: Besides technology, you have been recently founded another company that is in a totally different field: RLPK Records. Please tell our readers something about it.

So RLPK Records is an interesting experience for me. The idea for music was quite simple and conceived in fun – to make music centered around engineering education. I had intended the music to be playful and fun so I chose to have the songs produced in Hip Hop format. I brought in Rikki Madan as music producer, from the band Euphoria and he in turn brought in Jasz Kohli as lead vocalist, and soon we had a team to make a music album. The name of the company RLPK Records represents (Rajeev, Laura, my wife, Priyanka my older daughter and Katerina my younger daughter). As an idea, Geek Rhythms has attracted a lot of attention – and we have received wide media coverage. We have also added an animation video based on the song from the album, “Enjoy the Ride”. So I am planning on the next step for RLPK Records and working on the next album, which should improve the reach of this music.

Q-4: Tell us about your first album – Geek Rhythms.

Geek Rhythms is a musical experiment in fusing highly technical content like engineering with music. It had always seemed a bit paradoxical to me that in US, engineering was viewed as “geeky” and engineers as socially inept individuals. Besides that engineering does not have much of attention or “image” for lack of a better word. So at more than one level, it seemed like a good place to experiment. Geek Rhythms attracted a lot of attention specifically because it was a unique experiment and was covered in technical engineering magazines, entertainment magazines and lot of newspapers across the country. During the process, I have firmly believed that all coverage is good coverage and while most coverage has been positive, I have welcomed criticisms. I plan to make a follow on album and will fine-tune the approach as I move forward.

Q-5: From chemical engineering to semiconductors to start-ups and now music. Please tell us about your experiences and the different kind of challenges faced.

Well Chemical Engineering to Semiconductors was a smaller change than you would expect. My graduate work was in polymers and developing plastic packaging for commodity semiconductor chips. We were working with Texas Instruments on the project, so I knew that aspect and I had taken some graduate courses in Semiconductor processing. As I mentioned, so when my friend approached me for some collaboration, it was a lot easier to transition my learning in polymers into semiconductor processing. Having said that, I took several courses in the first year of the job to get current in the industry. As for start-ups, there is always opportunity to start a business, the main thing one has to be cognizant of is “are you ready for the opportunity” and that involves both the market conditions and your own tolerance for risk and uncertainty.

Having spent ten years in semiconductor industry with companies in various aspects of business, I felt I was ready for the challenge. I was clear that in my start-up I wanted to stay close to my strength, so SemiQuest focuses on making CMP consumables. I understand the industry, the application and customers so that is the easy part. I had to decide early on how the manufacturing side of my product was going to work – choosing India was an easy choice given the tremendous opportunity, but I had to work on teaching my partners a lot about semiconductor industry requirements of quality etc. Second challenge is the team, attracting and recruiting good talented people to be a part of your project is a significant task. Finally there is the process of raising capital to scale the business. So all in all I must say, it has been a great experience so far and I have learned a lot and hope to continue to do so.

Music side, I must say again, has been a great experience with respect to taking an idea to completion, positioning and attracting interest to the idea and finally to take the second step with another music album. I am quite excited about it.

Q-6: After the success of Geek Rythms, do you plan to go for another album.

Yes, as I mentioned before, I am planning on a second album. I am working on getting my plans together for the focus and shape of the album – so perhaps sometime in the near future I will be able to share some more details here.

Q-7: Any memories from IT-BHU that you would like to share with us.

When I think back of my days at IT-BHU, some images immediately come to mind – it was the first year and several other students and I were being ragged on the rooftop of Morvi (!) Hostel. I was asked to sing and I broke into a song from Andha Kanoon – then the latest Amitabh Bacchan movie. Seniors asked me to stop immediately and told me to stay away from music, so in making the album Geek Rhythms I kept their advice and hired a professional singer. There are other things that we so much a part of daily life at IT-BHU - ice cream coffee at mandir, chai at Mochu, who also used to stay up late with us during our exam week. An important element of hostel life was time, opportunity and fellow students/friends to get into lot of discussions on several topics. I made associations and friendships for life in those 4 years.

Q-8: Thank you sir. We hope information provided by you will be useful to engineers who want to become leaders of corporate world.

Follow your dreams and don’t be afraid to try anything. When you start working towards what you really want to do, you will find help and support from many unexpected sources.

Sunil Khanna (ECE 1976) appointed as Managing Director, Emerson Process Management, India
Arun @ Dec 12, 2006
Sunil Khanna (ECE 1976) has been promoted to Managing Director, Emerson Process Management, India and will become a member of the Emerson Process Management A-P Leadership team.

Sunil joined Emerson Process Management in July 2004 and has been a key management team member in India leading our Sales and Operations activities. Prior to joining Emerson, Sunil held the position of Vice President, Automation Technologies for the Petroleum, Chemical and Life Sciences verticals in ABB. Sunil has a Masters in Electrical Engineering from IIT-Kanpur in 1978.

sunilphotp3.jpg His bio-data is attached here.

The announcement about the news is attached here.

Emerson process Management is world-wide process control and management company with annual sales of $20 billion. It supplies world renowned Delta-V process control program, among other products. For more company details, visit

Alumni in Social services
Arun @ Dec 12, 2006


In this article, we try to honour our alumni who are engaged in social services. In many cases, they left their comfortable corporate career and fully devoted their life to the upliftment of the poor or to other social causes such as providing education to the poor, fighting for environmental issues, providing disaster relief, etc. Once in the social service, they have not turned back in their tireless effort. Indeed they are the unsung heroes of our society.

We have just attempted to provide an introduction of social groups, which are either founded or run by our alumni. Readers are requested to contact the group directly. In case of any additional help needed, please contact us at We hope their selfless work will inspire others.

Alumni in Social Services
Arun @ Dec 12, 2006

1) KashiUtkarsh

KashiUtkarsh is a social service group formed by students of 1997 batch of ITBHU. Starting from two it has now grown to 30 strong people. The students have identified slums in Varanasi where they work for the social, mental and physical upliftment of the downtrodden & the needy. They do so by visiting these people every Saturday & Sunday giving them their time & energies to infuse some enthusiasm in them.

The various areas in which KashiUtkarsh works are: Child Education, health checkups, general health & hygiene, employment, self help groups, basic education of mess workers, blood donation camps etc. Students voluntarily contribute some amount every month (added to their mess bills) which is used to manage the expenses incurred by the group. When a large amount is required for some projects, students seek alumni help to make them a success. Some of these projects have been heart operation of a 6 yr old child [amount 1lakh], Day boarding school for basti children (recurring cost 10K per month), etc. After 9 yrs of continuous efforts and a lot of achievement the basti people also have high hopes from KashiUtkarsh. We want our alumni to know about it and strengthen the movement to take it forward.

Prof. B. B. Bansal (Mechanical Engineering Dept.) is the Patron of the organization.

For more details, please click here.

Mail us: kashiutkarsh[AT]

(Photo below: Students studying in Varanasi slum area)



This social service organization is devoted to the upliftment of rural mass in Haryana. It was started by Abhay Chawla (ECE 1987). He worked in the corporate world for 12 years. Six years back he was invited to travel with a state govt. official in a backward area of Haryana state (female literacy 8.78%, male literacy 30.76%), where what he saw made him to take a decision to jump into the area of rural development.

The group is involved in spreading primary education and literacy to the boys and girls in rural area. The project is centered in Tauru Block. The block is in backward area and suffers from endemic poverty, poor female literacy rates of approximately 8.78% and an average family size of 9 -14 members.

" Society" is a Gurgaon based NGO run by Engineers. Our main focus is on literacy in Haryana. It is a grassroots type organization and engages directly with the community and work to get all children, especially girls in the age group 4 to 14 into the formal schooling system. A substantial part of their effort is directed to improving the quality of education imparted in government-run schools and in providing the necessary opportunities to promising students among them. This program has been running successfully for the past 2 year. The group has got over 500-1000 out-of-school children admitted into formal schools by motivating the parents and children themselves. The society has formulated a charter on Non Negotiables in Education.

The group is also engaged in other social services such as educating society on the environmental effects of burning of garbage. Attached article is devoted to this issue.

For more details on garbage burning issue, please click here.

The following are web links:

Email: gurgaonharyana[AT]

(Photo below: Garbage burning-a generic problem in our cities)


3) Sambhavna

This organization is involved with providing medical care to the victims of December 1984 Union Carbide, Bhopal gas victims. It also deals with other issues such as: corporate liability, industrial pollution, environmental health etc. The trust was started by Satinath Sarangi (M. Tech. Metallurgy 1978).

The Sambhavna group runs two organizations: Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA) and Sambhavna Trust.

Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA) was set up in June 1986 to collect and disseminate information on the disaster, provide support to different survivors’ organizations, initiate national and international campaigns and make legal and extra-legal interventions. BGIA went on a campaign tour in 1989 to campaign against the unjust settlement between Union Carbide and the Government of India in USA, England, Ireland and The Netherlands.

Email: justiceinbhopal[AT]
Web site :

The Sambhavna Trust is a registered public charitable trust set up in June 1995. Its primary objective is welfare of the survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal through medical care, research, health education and information dissemination. The seven trustees include medical researchers, scientists, editors and activists who have long been involved with medical and other aspects of the disaster. A five-member International Advisory Group consisting of doctors, researchers, writers and activists from different countries provides support to the Trust.

Email: sambavna[AT]
Web site:

For more details on BGIA and Sambhavna Trust, please click here.

Satinath Sarangi can be contacted at: sathyu[AT]

(Photo below: Patients waiting at Sambhavna Clinic, Bhopal)


4) Asha for Education

The organization deals with providing education to needy students all over India. It was co-founded by Sandeep Pandey (Mechanical 1986). Apart from Asha for Education, he is also involved in other social activities such as environmental issue, peace among different countries, etc. His years of dedication brought him the 2002 Ramon Magasasay award-the Asian equivalent of Nobel Prize. Pandey quit a lucrative career overseas to found an NGO-Asha-for educating under-privileged children. He did his M. Tech at IIT-Kanpur and doctorate from University of California-Berkley.

To date, Asha has supported more than 500 different projects spanning 22 states in India. Almost $7,000,000 has been disbursed to these projects since Asha's inception. In 2005 alone, Asha chapters raised and disbursed more than $1.6 million to over 300 projects.

Chronicle is grateful to Nidhi Chaudhary, Director of Publicity, Asha for Education for providing valuable information about the organization.

For more details on Asha Project Info, please click here.

For more details on overview of Asha, please click here.

Web link:
To contact Sandeep Pandey: ashaashram[AT]
To contact Nidhi Chaudhary: pr[AT]

(Photo below: Timbaktu-Andhra Pradesh School Project)


5) Association for India’s Development

Association for India's Development (AID) is a volunteer movement committed to promoting sustainable, equitable and just development. In solidarity with non-violent people's struggles, AID supports grassroots organizations in India and initiates efforts in various interconnected spheres such as education, livelihoods, natural resources, health, women's empowerment and social justice.

Anirudha Vaidya (Electrical 1991) has been a long time volunteer with AID and currently serves on its Board of Directors.

For details, please visit the website:
To contact Anirudha Vaidya: asvaidya[AT]

(Photo below: Kondh Tribals in Andhra Pradesh “Marching for Food”)


6) All India Movement for Seva

AIM for Seva was founded by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, an eminent scholar of Vedanta and Sanskrit, with Mr. R. Venkataraman, the former President of India, as its Chairman. AIM for Seva is a secular organization which does not discriminate based on caste, creed, or religion. It also enjoys the blessings of all traditional Hindu spiritual leaders who have united as a single body, the Acharya Sabha.

In a short span of 5 years, AIM for Seva has started several integrated community development projects helping more than 3,23,900 Indians in 17 states; sowing firmly the seeds of a nationwide movement. The development projects include projects for education, women’s programs, healthcare and environment. The group has done appreciable work for the victims of last Tsunami December 2004 in south India.

One of our alumni, Jaishankar Narayanan (Chemical 1992), is joint secretary of the organization. The organization has Head Office in Madras.

For details, please visit the website:

To contact Jaishankar Narayanan: jai[AT]

(Photo below: Students home at Bachodi, Karnataka)


This Student Home was constructed with support of residents of New Zealand. It caters to tribals living in highly forested area of Bachodi that is about 5 hours from Hubli in Northern Karnataka. Eighty-nine students living in this student home are studying in near-by school from classes 1 to 8.

Arun @ Dec 12, 2006


Interview with Prof. D.P.Singh
Arun @ Dec 12, 2006

Our University is planning to celebrate 3rd International BHU Alumni Meet with a grand scale. The Meet will be held at our campus on January 6-7, 2007. To get the first-hand information about the preparation for the meet, Yogesh K. Upadhyaya talks to Prof. Devendra Pratap Singh. Prof. D. P. Singh is the professor Emeritus at Mining dept. of our institute and also the Chairman of the Organizing Committee.


Bio-data of Prof. DP Singh is attached here. Download file

Question 1: Welcome, Sir, Please tell us about 3rd International BHU Alumni Meet.

The 3rd International BHU Alumni Meet, (IBAM), the third in this tradition has immense, historical and emotional significance because it is being hosted for the first time at the Karmasthali of Mahamanaji- the BHU campus. The previous two Meets were held in the Year 2001 in New Delhi and 2004 at Mumbai. The idea of hosting a BHU Alumni Meet on a regular basis was born in the Year 2000. It was felt that our Alumni should meet at least once a year nationally and once in three years internationally to renew old links and forge new ties. As you know Alumni Associations are immense sources of support to their Alma Mater academically, administratively and financially. I hope the 3rd IBAM scheduled for January 6-7, 2007 on the campus of your Alma Mater will be an opportunity for you to reaffirm you ties with your parent institution.

Question No.2. How the preparation for the meet is going on?

The preparation for the 3rd IBAM started in right earnest many months ago, with the establishment of a full fledged “Alumni Cell” in the Central Registry on par with the other administrative Units of the University. Our first circular giving the basic details about the Meet and the International seminar on “Education in the 21st Century and Mahamana’s vision” has been sent to over 7000 Alumni. The details along with the brochure are posted on our website /Alumni Meet. The 2nd circular is already on its way to all our Registered Alumni.

We are expecting the Meet to be attended by over 2000 delegates and guests. We hope that attending the Meet will be a Unique experience for our Alumni. The hub of all activities will be the Swatantrata Bhavan. We plan to host a two day exhibition at the venue which will not only showcase the achievements in various Faculties but will also have a commercial component. There will be special stalls displaying the traditional handicrafts and wares of Varanasi which are bound to interest any visitor to our city. We plan an exhibition cum auction of works of the students of fine arts of our University too at the venue.

The four major publications to be released on this occasion are “Mahamana Ke Vichar- Ek Chayan”, “Mantra Pushpanjali,” Mahamana Sandesh” and of course the “Souvenir”. Some rare photographs connected with the history of BHU are being published for the first time in the Souvenir, adding immense value to it. We plan to gift a complimentary copy of each publication to our delegates.

Question 3: What a visitor can expect at the Meet?

It would be very nice if our Alumni could register for the Meet well in advance as this will help us make the arrangements accordingly. As I have mentioned before all the details are posted on and can be accessed by clicking on Alumni Meet. The Registration fee of Rs.500/- per person includes the cost of the kit and break fast, Lunch and dinner on both days.

Limited accommodation is available in the University Guest Houses, Hostels and vacant quarters. We have also made arrangements for stay at Kashi Mumuksh Bhavan, Jain Dharmashalas & Jangambari Math in addition to various hotels of Varanasi. In case you want to make your own arrangements, even then the details are available on our web site about the leading hotels of Varanasi.

Our Organizing committee is organizing day trips to places of interest in the campus and city in addition to tours to Allahabad, Gaya & Ayodhya on extra payment. Both the days will end on a Musical note with performances by invited artistes and faculty members in every oeuvre –vocal, instrumental &dance.

Question 4: You have held very challenging assignments in you career span, including technical assignments, Vice-Chancellor of a couple of universities, among the governing board of IITS, etc. Which assignment you enjoyed the most and why?

I look on my years as a teacher at the Department of Mining Engineering, BHU as the most rewarding intellectually and most satisfying emotionally. I think it was a god gifted opportunity to be given the chance to shape the destiny of so many students. I had the good fortune to be a part of the evolution of the department into a Centre of Advanced Studies in my specialization Rock Mechanics. I am happy that the Department is rich in academic and research programs (like QIP & FIST to name a few) and I continue to be associated with it in my capacity as a Professor Emeritus.

I would say that my term as the Vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University was administratively one of the most challenging assignments held by me. A lot of time effort and care went into re-establishing this University on the academic map of India.

When I look back on the years I have spent in the academic and administrative field. I consider myself blessed for having chosen this profession. After all it is our students who are the knowledge creators of tomorrow.

Question 5: Please tell us about your educational background and your days while studying at our college.

I was a student of the college of Mining and Metallurgy, BHU during 1956-60. I cherish very special memories of my teachers Prof. Daya Swarup, (Principal of the College) and Prof. M.P Netarwala (Head of the Department, Mining Engineering)

I feel that a successful teacher touches our soul and shapes the way we grow as human beings. Prof. Netarwala, a perfect gentleman, a most qualified academician and an excellent teacher comes to my mind immediately when I think of a role model. I have always tried to follow in his footsteps as a researcher, teacher and administrator.

The years as a undergraduate student at Dhanrajgiri hostel are memorable for the opportunity I had to interact with students from all over India.

I spent four years at the University of Melbourne as a Post graduate and Research student and was awarded the M.Eng.Sc & Ph.D degrees from this University. Again I was fortunate to have Prof H. Duncan as my Professor and Head of the department. His affectionate guidance ensured that I felt at home even in a new country. In fact I look on my years at Melbourne as an extension of my student days at BHU.

Question 6: Currently there is a trend for students in core engineering disciplines (such as mining engineering) to start the career in unrelated field such as programming/software engineer in an IT firm. What is your opinion about it?

I am observing with some concern the recent trend of students to choose a career in a field unrelated to their core degree. I personally feel that this is not a good trend. The prosperity of a nation depends on the successful tapping of its mineral wealth. Our country at this juncture desperately needs Mining Engineers who can identify and utilize the vast mineral reserves of India for it industrial growth.

Further, the future of Mining Engineering is very bright in our country. The coming years will see an explosion in the number of Mega Steel Plants and large Power Houses. Already there is a growing realization in the country that the export of Iron and other ores should be stopped. The thrust now is not on mere export of raw material but on value addition. Similarly “King Coal” is set to make a come back with a bang. These developments reassure me that Mining Engineering will be the most sought after discipline in the coming years.

Question 7: Thank you, Sir. It was nice talking to you.

I want to utilize this opportunity provided by the Chronicle to invite all our Alumni to the 3rd IBAM. Ultimately it is your presence in large numbers at the Meet which will make it a resounding success and will make us feel that our efforts have been rewarded. I can be contacted at dpsingh[AT]

NCC can be a fun- Interview with Colonel (Retd.) Satish Dewan
Arun @ Dec 12, 2006

For the students of our institute, the period of 1990-1993 was the golden era for taking part in NCC training. It was during this time that students enjoyed a variety of interesting military training under the leadership of Colonel Satish Dewan, the NCC officer.

Yogesh K. Upadhyaya tries to found out more detail about the person behind the sea-change in NCC training. The following is the excerpt of the phone interview with Satishji:

Q.1: Good evening Sir, please tell us history of NCC at our institute.

The NCC training was started with the establishment of engineering college at Banaras Hindu University. In 1923, a British army officer started NCC unit at the engineering college. His aim was to recruit engineers for the Indian army. It was among the first NCC unit to be established on the campus of an engineering college.

Q.2: What prompted you to change the way NCC is being taught at the campus?

I was posted in J & K at Baramulla for anti-terrorist operations, when I received the order to join as NCC training officer at IT-BHU in 1990. I accepted the challenge. Upon arrival, I found that students were simply not interested in NCC activities, and during my first year of posting, no one joined the training. This prompted the govt. to think about winding up the training at our institute. Desperately, I sought the advice of Prof. T R Anantharaman, then Director of IT. He advised me to start new activities to generate interest among students.

Accordingly, I chalked out a plan for action. I took students to the firing range of Cantonment Area of Varanasi, where they had opportunity to engage in live firing practice for two months. They loved the fun so much that they requested only training for firing, without any routine physical parade. I also started para-sailing at the university air-strip, behind our college. The students practiced the new art by tying themselves at the back of a moving jeep, and then releasing the rope connections, once they achieve sufficient speed needed for sailing. I also took them on bicycle tour to Khajuraho from Varanasi.

All this training had a very good effect on students. They now learnt that NCC can also be a fun. This unique experiment also received some exposure in news media. By 1993, a record number of about 200 students (mostly from first year) participated in NCC training.

Q.3: Please tell us about your career after you left our college.

After I left IT-BHU in 1993, I studied for one-year diploma in business administration in New Delhi. Then I was transferred to Meerut army base as DAG (Deputy Adjunct General), and finally I retired from the army in 1997. After retirement, I started my own institute in Meerut for personality development, career guidance and English speaking.

In 2001, Maha Rishi Mahesh Yogiji wanted me to do the same work for their group of 50 schools in Western UP and Uttaranchal. I was posted as Director of schools at NOIDA Ashram, where I worked for 2 ½ years.

For the past few years, I devote my time between my New Delhi residence and with my son in Chicago.

Q.4: Thank you sir. We hope this interview will of great interest for our students and alumni, particularly from 1990-93 era.

Thank you very much. Any interested ex-student can contact me at

Now submit your semester fees via SBI ATMs
Arun @ Dec 11, 2006

IT-BHU Takes Another Step Forward
By Ankit Khanna, 2nd Engg. Physics

IT-BHU has tied up with SBI for the purpose of collection of fees from the students. The fees will now be deposited through ATMs. All one has to do now is go to his nearest ATM, access his SBI account, go to the services menu, select university fees in the submenu, then select IT-BHU and type in a few details and the fees will be debited automatically from the account. This is much more convenient than the previous procedure of depositing fees via demand draft or by cash at ICICI banks.

In order to familiarize students with the new procedure a mass demonstration was held on 2nd December.

Astronomical calculations in ancient India
Arun @ Dec 11, 2006

Astronomical calculations in ancient India based on scientific research
December 7

“THE ASTRONOMICAL calculations made in ancient India and recorded in Puranas and other texts were not mythical but were based on scientific research which is corroborated even by the modern science”, said eminent historian and epigraphist, Prof. TP Verma.

He was delivering a lecture on “The Science of Manvantara” organised by the Jnana-Pravaha, Centre For Cultural Studies and Research in Samne Ghat area here on Wednesday.

Prof. Verma, former head of the Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology Department in Banaras Hindu University (BHU), said that ‘manvantara’ represented by an intelligent being called Manu, is an astronomical unit of time denoting one cycle of life on earth, which is equivalent to 30,84,48,000 years.

“During this period, the Sun with its planets completes one circle of our galaxy, which is termed as Parameshthi-Mandala in our ancient literature. A period of 14 such cycles of ‘manvantaras’ is estimated as whole life of the earth”, he said, adding, “Notably, modern science believes the earth to have come into existence 4.5 billion years ago, which is endorsed by the Atharva-Veda”.

“Such complicated and precise astronomical calculations also establish that script and art of writing in ancient India was in vogue long before it is now believed to have been”, he said. Prof. Verma further informed that according to ancient Indian calculations, Shri Krishna was born in 3210 BC, which was the junction period of Dvapara and Kali Yugas.

Presiding over the lecture, renowned Sanskrit scholar, Prof. KD Tripathi observed, “It is the high-time when we should again revert back to our ancient tradition and try to make deeper probing of our rich and vast knowledge recorded in our literature and which has now become mysterious for us”. “We are deeply impressed by the researches done in the western world and accept blindly, but we are unaware of the fact that we already possessed such knowledge, which unfortunately we lost due to our ignorance”, he said.

National conference on Pediatrics at IMS-BHU
Arun @ Dec 11, 2006

Pediatrics conference from today
HT Correspondent
Varanasi, December 6

THE PEDIATRICS department at the Institute of Medical Sciences, in collaboration with the National Neonatology Forum, will organise a four-day conference on ‘Comprehensive new born care’ at BHU from December 7 to 10.

Head of Pediatrics department (IMS-BHU) and organising secretary of the conference, Prof BD Bhatia said that the aim of this conference was to inform the pediatricians about the recent advancements in new born care, as India contributed 30 percent to the total infant deaths in the world.

“Out of 26 millions births each year, an estimated 1.2 million infants die in neonatal period in India”. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar accounted for 50 percent total neonatal deaths in India”, he said and added that an integrated effort was required to bring down infant deaths in India. Vice-chancellor of BHU Prof Panjab Singh will inaugurate the conference on December 8 whereas IMS director, Prof. Gajendra Singh will preside over the inaugural function.

President of National Neonatology Forum, Dr NB Mathur and secretary, Dr Satish Saluja said there had been a steady decline in infant mortality rate (IMR) in India in the last few decades. IMR was 140 per thousand births in 1970, whereas in 2000 it declined to 40 per thousand births

Article on Switched Ethernet by P. G. Menon, B. Tech (ECE)
Arun @ Dec 10, 2006



26 November 2006

Switched Ethernet Brings Packet Data to Metro Rings

Switched Ethernet over Sonet is emerging as a viable way to migrate to packet-switched nets while preserving the current infrastructure.

By Rajive Dhar and P. G. Menon
Apr 02, 2002

Excerpts from the article:

As Internet usage continues its growth, carriers continue to see a steady increase in packet data traffic on their metro networks. Cable providers, or multiservice operators, are experiencing similar trends, with further expansion into business-customer segments only amplifying the trend.

Since packet data is more efficiently transported using packet switching rather than circuit switching, the sheer economics of efficient data transport are forcing carriers to reconsider their current network model, which caters extensively to circuit-switched voice. To avoid the expense of laying new rings for packet data, carriers now have the option of using packet-switched Ethernet services over their metropolitan-area networks based on circuit-switched Sonet (synchronous optical network). Two ways to accomplish that are multiplexed or switched Ethernet-over-Sonet, with the switched version now emerging with clear advantages in terms of scalability and cost.


Adding Sonet/SDH features that enable 99.999 percent reliability, private-line-quality latency and jitter limits, sub-50-ms service failover capabilities, and full media protection to a service-delivery solution gives carriers capabilities that fundamentally change the model for delivering high-bandwidth, high-margin services. With these solutions, Internet access traffic from many customers can be aggregated to a shared service path in 64-kbit/s increments, thereby significantly increasing overall network efficiency.

Rajive Dhar is director of Atoga Systems. He has a BSEE from the Regional Engineering College in Kashmir, India; an MSEE from Syracuse University; and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Rajive can be reached at

P.G. Menon is co-founder of Atoga and has a BS in electronics and telecommunications from BHU-IT, Varanasi, India, and an MSEE in computer engineering and operation research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.). P.G. can be reached at

Article about carbon nanotubes published by Sunil Pal (Meta 2002) & Prof. P. Ajayan
Arun @ Dec 10, 2006


The article is published from a group of researchers from RPI, New York. It includes Sunil Pal (Meta 2002), Prof. P. Ajayan (Meta 1985) and others. It is published in the magazine, Nature Nanotechnology. It was part of PhD program for Sunil.

Click Here to navigate to the personal web page of Sunil Pal.


Abstract from the article:


Journal home > Archive > Letter > Abstract
Letter abstract
Nature Nanotechnology 1, 112 - 116 (2006)

Subject Categories: Carbon nanotubes and fullerenes | Electronic properties and devices | Synthesis and processing

Direct growth of aligned carbon nanotubes on bulk metals:

S. Talapatra1,2, S. Kar1, S. K. Pal1, R. Vajtai2, L. Ci1, P. Victor1, M. M. Shaijumon1, S. Kaur1, O. Nalamasu1 and P. M. Ajayan1,2


There are several advantages of growing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) directly on bulk metals, for example in the formation of robust CNT–metal contacts during growth. Usually, aligned CNTs1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 are grown either by using thin catalyst layers predeposited on substrates1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or through vapour-phase catalyst delivery7, 8, 9. The latter method, although flexible, is unsuitable for growing CNTs directly on metallic substrates. Here we report on the growth of aligned multiwalled CNTs on a metallic alloy, Inconel 600 (Inconel), using vapour-phase catalyst delivery. The CNTs are well anchored to the substrate and show excellent electrical contact with it. These CNT–metal structures were then used to fabricate double-layer capacitors and field-emitter devices, which demonstrated improved performance over previously designed CNT structures. Inconel coatings can also be used to grow CNTs on other metallic substrates. This finding overcomes the substrate limitation for nanotube growth which should assist the development of future CNT-related technologies

  1. Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, New York 12180, USA
  2. Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, New York 12180, USA

Correspondence to: S. Talapatra1,2 e-mail:

Digital literacy to be developed by IT-BHU as a lead institute
Arun @ Dec 10, 2006



November 08, 2006
SAKSHAT - A FREE PORTAL FOR EDUCATION (to provide a one-stop solution to educational requirements of learners from Kindergarten to PhD)

(India Business Insight Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Sakshat is a free educational portal launched by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India to ensure that no one is deprived of education for economic or social reasons. This portal will provide a one- stop solution to educational requirements of learners from Kindergarten to PhD (K to 20).The website is developed at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and the portal at National Informatics Centre (NIC). Some renowned institutions have come to provide expertise and knowledge in various challenge areas. IISC Bangalore and IIT Chennai will develop low-cost low-power-consuming access devices for broadband connectivity while IIT Delhi and IIT Kharagpur will develop virtual laboratories and pedagogical issues.

Digital literacy to empower illiterates to derive benefits from the scheme will be developed by IT-BHU Varanasi and IGNOU will be in charge of contact coordination and facilitation. The website can be accessed at;;;

Copyright 2006 Silverline Information Systems Pvt. Ltd. Source: Financial Times Information Limited

IEEE International Conference to be held in cooperation with IT-BHU
Arun @ Dec 10, 2006


Call for Papers: HiPC 2006
Wednesday, Mar 08 @ 08:48 PST

The 13th annual IEEE International Conference on High Performance Computing (HiPC 2006) will be held in Bangalore, India, during December 18-21, 2006. It will serve as a forum to present the current work by researchers from around the world, and act as a venue to provide stimulating discussions and highlight high performance computing (HPC) activities in Asia. The conference has a history of attracting participation from reputed researchers from all over the world. In addition to technical sessions consisting of contributed papers, the conference will include invited presentations, a poster session, tutorials, and vendor presentations. Further information about HiPC 2006 and the HiPC series of meetings is available on the conference website.

HiPC 2006 will focus on all aspects of high performance computing. Topics of
interest include but are not limited to:

  • Parallel and Distributed Algorithms
  • Languages and Programming Environments
  • Load Balancing, Scheduling and Resource Management
  • Fault-Tolerant Algorithms and Systems
  • Scientific/Engineering/Commercial Applications and Workloads
  • Cluster and Grid Computing
  • Peer-to-peer Algorithms and Networks
  • Heterogeneous Computing
  • Wireless and Mobile Computing
  • Communication/Sensor Networks and Embedded Applications
  • Emerging Computer Architectures
  • Scalable Servers and Systems
  • Power-Efficient and Reconfigurable Architectures
  • Compiler Technologies for High-Performance Computing
  • Operating Systems for Scalable High-Performance Computing
  • Performance Evaluation and Analysis

Authors are invited to submit original unpublished manuscripts that demonstrate current research in all areas of high performance computing. The proceedings will be published by Springer-Verlag, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, and will be available at the conference.

Best paper awards, sponsored by Infosys, will be given for outstanding contributed papers in two areas: (a) Algorithms and Applications, and (b) Systems. Further details about the call for posters, workshops, tutorials, and exhibits as well as submission guidelines will be available at HIPC.


  • IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Parallel Processing (TCPP)
  • European Association for Theoretical Computer Science
  • IFIP Working Group on Concurrent Systems
  • National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM)
  • Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology (MAIT)


  • Indian Institutes of Technology
  • Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
  • Software Technology Parks of India
  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India

Arun @ Dec 10, 2006


BHU caught in UP political crossfire
Arun @ Dec 09, 2006


BHU caught in UP political crossfire

Sumit Pande

SAFFRON AGENDA: BHU is caught in a political crossfire just ahead of UP polls.

New Delhi: The run-up to the crucial Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections seem to be kicking up much storm, with political rivalries in the state overshadowing all other concerns.

Caught in the political crossfire are the citizens of the state, public figures and even institutions.

Banaras Hindu University, once the seat of educational excellence in India, is the latest to be involved in a political battle after the University registrar issued show cause notices to 116 teachers for attending an RSS function in the city.
The issue has now snowballed into a political crisis. "Just because its an RSS function, so this dispute," Kalyan Singh Former CM, UP

For the Congress, it’s a ticklish issue, especially with the recent civic polls in the state indicating that the BJP has regained some lost ground among the upper castes and no one knows it better than the Congress MP from Varanasi, Rajesh Mishra.

"VC should be held accountable. How did he allow this meeting to be conducted on the university premises?" Mishra said.

But the HRD ministry, busy with its detoxification drive, has backed BHU authorities on the issue.

“The step must have been taken under specific rules by the BHU administration,” said Minister of State for Human Resource Development, M A A Fatmi.

With polls just round the corner, the Congress not only has to regain its lost minority votes, but also has to make a dent into the BJP's upper caste vote bank.

But in a state where just about anything and everything can be converted into a political contest of sorts, the latest crisis could well be one that could swing fortunes as the race for UP battleground hots up.

Caste System Outdated- lecture on ‘India and the Constitution’
Arun @ Dec 09, 2006

Caste system outdated: SC judge
HT Correspondent
Varanasi, November 18

THE CASTE system is today an outdated feudal institution which is proving to be a curse on our nation as it is obstructing our progress. It must, therefore, be quickly destroyed.

Justice Markandey Katju, Judge of the Supreme Court expressed these views. He was delivering a lecture on ‘India and the Constitution’ at the inaugural address of 4th Refresher Course in Law at UGC-Academic Staff College in Banaras Hindu University here on Saturday, he said `the caste system is totally outdated today and has to be quickly destroyed if we wish to progress’.

‘In fact it has already been destroyed economically because the son of a ‘badhai’ (carpenter) now does not become a ‘badhai,’ he comes to the city and becomes an electrician or motor mechanic, and if given a better opportunity may even become a clerk, lawyer or a doctor.

In this way people today are no longer following their father’s profession and this has largely destroyed the economic foundation of the caste system’, he said.

But he warned of the vested political interests that are deliberately fostering and sustaining caste system for their vote banks.

He hoped that the people would see through this caste bank politics and would unite to do away with it rather than letting it become all pervasive. Doing away with the caste system would lead to equality that is the need of the hour, he elaborated.

Vice-Chancellor of BHU, Prof Panjab Singh presided over the function whereas noted law expert and former Vice-Chancellor of Gorakhpur University, Prof RK Mishra was the guest of honour on the occasion.

Prof Mishra said that law cannot be understood with legal materials alone as it requires sound understanding of other subjects also.

Director of academic staff college, Prof Kumar Pankaj welcomed the guests whereas dean of law faculty, Prof MNP Srivastava told the audience about the faculty. Prof BN Pandey told about the refresher course whereas course coordinator, Dr AK Pandey proposed a formal vote of thanks.

Religion being misinterpreted- seminar on ‘Changing Faces of Terrorism to Religious Fundamentalism’
Arun @ Dec 09, 2006

Religion being misinterpreted
HT Correspondent
Allahabad, November 18

FORMER DEAN of the BHU School of Law Prof RP Dhokalia on Saturday said that religion was being misinterpreted to promote fundamentalism.

He said, “The essence of every religion is love, and the goal of education should be the transformation of human mind.”

He was addressing a seminar on ‘Changing faces of Terrorism to Religious Fundamentalism’ organised by the Allahabad Chapter of the International Law Association, regional branch, India, at Judge Guest House.

He said cause of terrorism was hatred and injustice and added that the function of the law was to see that justice was delivered.

Elaborating his view, Prof Dhokalia said symbiosis of modernity and spiritualism with proper education could produce enlightened citizens.

“The release of spiritual energy of man will work for the betterment of humanity and liberate him from political and moral anarchy, violence and terrorism.”

Terming India as laboratory of diversity, Prof Dhokalia said, “Whole humanity is one and all religions give the message of love,” he said.

Speaking on ‘International Terrorism: A Quest for Legal Controls’, Prof VS Mani, director, Gandhinagar National Law Univesity, Gandhinagar, Gujarat narrated the development of laws and steps taken by the United Nations to check international terrorism.

Prof BC Nirmal of the Banaras Hindu University also delivered lecture on ‘International Terrorism’.

In his presidential address, the Chief Justice of the High Court, Justice AN Ray said terrorism was not an isolated act, it was a situation of the world where wars were permitted against a nation. “One should know what is one’s legal and philsophical support if one wants to get rid of terrorism,” Justice Ray said.

Earlier, former chairman of Bar Council of UP Shashi Kant Gupta introduced the guest speakers.

Delivering the keynote address, Justice BS Chauhan, executive chairman of ILA said there should be continuous dialogue to find out root cause of terrorism.

Advocate General SMA Kazmi objected to the use of word Islamic terrorism. Quoting the Holy Quran, he said Islam never taught killing of innocent people.

“Call the terrorists as criminals, but don’t term them as Islamic as by giving this you are strengthening them and embarrassing crores of Muslims.”

Citing several examples, Kazmi said that the West, too, was responsible for fanning terrorism. Justice Dilip Gupta delivered the welcome address.

Five equations that changed the world
Chronicle Editor @ Dec 09, 2006


The famous book titled “Five equations that changed the world: The power and poetry of mathematics” is written by Michael Guillen, a journalist in 1995. The book tires to provide a simplified view of the five fundamental equations, which made the progress of mankind possible.

The equations are:

1) Newton’s law of universal gravitation:


This equation is used for finding gravitational force of attraction between two masses, particularly planets and other heavenly bodies. This has opened up the understanding of astronomy.

2) Bernoulli’s equation for hydrodynamics


The equation states that the sum of velocity, potential and pressure heads is constant. The above equation is for incompressible fluid flow only, but compressible fluid flow is also derived from the Bernoulli’s theorem. The theorem is the basis of various hydrodynamics and aerodynamics equations, understanding and designing of fluid flow, pipe sizing and pressure drop calculations, etc.

3) Faraday’s law for electromagnetic induction


The equation relates emf (volts) with magnetic flux (webers). This principle is used for design of electric motors, generators, transformers and other electric machines.

4) Clausius’ Second law of thermodynamics

The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.

The second law of thermodynamics is an expression of the universal law of increasing entropy. Its understanding has helped us design internal combustion engines, control chemical process and heat transfer equipment.

5) Einstein’s theory of relativity


This most famous equation states the relation between the amount of mass destroyed and energy produced. Its most notable use is in the design of nuclear reactors and bombs.

The author tries to portray the above equations as poetry of the nature. However, it tries to over-simplify the equations and their origins. For example, it states that Einstein derived his equation from the kinetic energy equation KE = 1/2 mV2 which is simply not true.

Still the book is interesting to read. Some parts of it can be read free either on or on The links are provided below. However, browser is disabled, i.e. you can read, but can not copy or print the pages. For Google, one can read different pages by logging in at different times.


1) Wikipedia



A rare material and a surprising weapon
Arun @ Dec 08, 2006


An article in New York Times on chilling fact about Polonium-210 material:

A Rare Material and a Surprising Weapon
Published: November 25, 2006

If substantial amounts of polonium 210 were used to poison Alexander V. Litvinenko, whoever did it presumably had access to a high-level nuclear laboratory and put himself at some risk carrying out the assassination, experts said yesterday.

Polonium 210 is highly radioactive and very toxic. By weight, it is about 250 million times as toxic as cyanide, so a particle smaller than a dust mote could be fatal. It would also, presumably, be too small to taste.

There is no antidote, and handling it in a laboratory requires special equipment. But to be fatal it must be swallowed, breathed in or injected; the alpha particles it produces cannot penetrate the skin. So it could theoretically be carried safely in a glass vial or paper envelope and sprinkled into food or drink by a killer willing to take the chance that he did not accidentally breathe it in or swallow it.

“This is wild,” said Dr. F. Lee Cantrell, a toxicologist and director of the San Diego division of the California Poison Control System. “To my knowledge, it’s never been employed as a poison before. And it’s such an obscure thing. It’s not easy to get. That’s going to be something like the K.G.B. would have in some secret facility or something.”

In a quick search of medical journals, he could find only one article describing the deliberate use of a radioactive poison to kill. It was from 1994, he said, published in Russian.

Polonium is extremely rare in nature. Named by its discoverer, Marie Curie, after her native Poland, it occurs in trace amounts in uranium ore and has been found in minute quantities in plants like tobacco, as well as in humans who had eaten caribou that ate lichens growing near a uranium mine.

But making the “significant quantities” described in Mr. Litvinenko’s body by the British Health Protection Agency would require a nuclear reactor that could bombard the metallic element bismuth with neutrons.

“To most chemists, this is astonishing,” said Dr. Andrea Sella, a lecturer in inorganic chemistry at London’s University College. “This is not available commercially. It is present in food, but only in the kind of trace quantities that can be detected by ultrasensitive analytical techniques. It is one of the rarest elements on the earth’s crust and also one of the most exotic.”

He added: “This is not the kind of weapon that any kind of amateur could construct. It would require real resources to do it.”

Robert C. Whitcomb Jr., a health physicist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said polonium had industrial uses and could be produced in commercial or institutional reactors.

“It would take sophistication,” he said.

Polonium 210 does its damage by emitting alpha particles, which have enough energy to tear apart the genetic machinery of cells, killing them outright or causing them to mutate into tumor-producing forms. It gives off 5,000 times more alpha particles than does the same amount of radium.

Alpha-emitters are not picked up by normal radiation-detection devices, a British expert said, so it would be relatively easy to take the substance across a border.

The particles disperse through the body and first destroy fast-growing cells, like those in bone marrow, blood, hair and the digestive tract. That would be consistent with Mr. Litvinenko’s symptoms, which included hair loss, inability to make blood cells and gastrointestinal distress.

It is also a better match than the symptoms caused by thallium, a heavy metal that was first suspected when Mr. Litvinenko fell ill after eating at a sushi bar on Nov. 1. Polonium is so radioactive that it gives off heat, and tiny amounts have been implanted in satellites to make heat and electricity. It was also used in the Soviet Union’s Lunokhod moon rovers.

British authorities said they would monitor and take urine samples from anyone who had been in close contact with Mr. Litvinenko, including hospital staff members who cared for him.

But they said there was little likelihood of danger from exposure to the polonium. Some of it would have passed out through Mr. Litvinenko’s digestion, and the rest would presumably be lodged in his tissues.

“Normal hygiene and cleanliness practices in hospitals should have reduced the likelihood of any significant intake” by hospital staff members, said Dr. Pat Troop, chief executive of the Health Protection Agency.

Burial should be safe, Dr. Cantrell said, because the ground would contain the alpha particles; but cremation might theoretically be dangerous because it could disperse the polonium back into the air.

Stephen Grey contributed reporting from London.

Aishwarya Rai and Abhisek Bacchan in Varanasi Temple
Arun @ Dec 08, 2006

KNOT OR NOT: Aishwarya’s presence at a family function of the Bachchans in Varanasi sent the rumour mills working overtime (AP Photo)



Video-Aishwarya Rai and Bacchans family visits Sankat Mochan Temple in Varanasi



Arun @ Dec 08, 2006


About ITBHU Chronicle
The ITBHU Chronicle is a monthly publication of ITBHU Global Alumni Association (IBGAA)
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The Chronicle is published by The Chronicle Team
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