IT BHU Chronicle: June'07 edition
Arun @ Jun 29, 2007

Published on June 20, 2007
The Chronicle June, 2007 issue.
Vol.2007 : Issue 0006
Send news to : chronicle [AT] itbhuglobal.org, news [AT] itbhuglobal.org
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From the editor’s desk
Arun @ Jun 28, 2007

We are pleased to announce that chronicle has completed two years of publication and enters into the third year with this June issue. A brief article followed by FAQ about chronicle is provided in this section.

This issue has a number of interesting articles, including AIBA meeting report. The meeting’s high point was the IT-BHU alumni award of excellence, given to three of our distinguished alumni. The issue also contains a section about college rankings, with recently published college rankings by magazines.

IIEST section contains news articles in which Prof. Abdul Aziz, outgoing VC of CUSAT has complained about state interference in preventing CUSAT from becoming an IIEST. The section briefly mentions about struggle by BEC college and alumni to convert their college into an IIEST.

In IT-BHU news section, we are able to provide more coverage to news about institute, particularly about our Main Library.

We need more news. Please send us news, events, articles, information, etc, at: chronicle [AT] itbhuglobal.org. Please indicate your branch/year.

Thanking you,
The Chronicle Team


Chronicle completes 2 years
Arun @ Jun 28, 2007

We are pleased to announce that chronicle has completed two years of publication. The first issue came out in June 2005.

For html version of the first issue, visit http://www.itbhuglobal.org/chronicle/archives/2005/06/index.html


Frequently Asked Questions about Chronicle
Arun @ Jun 28, 2007

To commemorate the completion of two years of publication, we plan to publish the background info about our magazine and clarify our stand on various issues.

FAQ for Chronicle

Q-1: What is the Chronicle?

The Chronicle is a monthly news magazine published by IT-BHU Alumni Organization. It is published around 20th of each month. The first issue came out in June 2005. The magazine is available online on www.itbhuglobal.org/chronicle. So far the magazine has been published every month, except in Dec 2005 & Jan 2006, when the server (itbhuglobal.org) was down.

The chronicle, as the name suggests, is meant to chronicle (record) the events happening around the IT-BHU institute and IT-BHU community. It faithfully records all events happenings related to our college, our community and engineering education in our country.

Chronicle is emailed to 6,000 registered alumni of IT-BHU Alumni Organization each month. It is open for general public to view. A significant number of readers are from other engineering colleges, and we welcome them.
The magazine team can be contacted at chronicle [AT] itbhuglobal.org.

Q-2: How was the idea of chronicle started?

The idea was started around May 2005, when a group of alumni volunteers expressed the concern about lack of information exchange among IT-BHU community, including students/alumni/faculty/administration. Although discussion forums such as itbhuglobal.org, yahoo groups and reverberations magazine existed, they were lacking mechanism for uniform information collection and distribution within community.

Q-3: How is the chronicle published?

The chronicle is published in a team effort, where each member has his/her pre-assigned task. The work schedule includes, collecting info from the institute and faculty, scanning national/international news media for alumni news and general college & education related news, planning for news and articles for next month’s issue, conducting interviews, and finally uploading on the web server.

The uploading of articles on the server is by MovableType Personal Publishing System. It allows to edit the article, its font & also provide way to upload files and images on the server and has many other features as well for the easy usage.

After the uploading is complete and the issue is ready to publish, an announcement is made on itbhu yahoo groups. The issue is also emailed directly to about 6,000 registered members of IT-BHU Alumni Association.

Q-4: What is the publication policy of chronicle?

The chronicle is an independent publication for the benefits of IT-BHU community, which includes students, faculty, alumni and administration. Although some of the chronicle team members are also active volunteers of alumni association, the chronicle does not reflect the views of the alumni association. It is chronicle’s policy of not to take sides.

Chronicle believes in free information transfer across the society. It publishes news from the public news media where the permission to reprint is not required. Chronicle encourages everyone to freely copy any article, photo or event from its published issues. Its team members are constantly scanning various newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc. to collect news & articles related to our community.

The chronicle aims for being educative, informative and entertaining. It subscribes to 4 golden pillars of journalism, namely: accuracy of news, identifying source, style/structure, and grammar/spelling.

Q-5: How is the interview conducted?

The interview is an important section of chronicle. The idea was started when so many of our distinguished alumni could not get enough media coverage, which they deserved. Because of open format, articles in chronicle gets prominent place in Google search for names/key words. The interview is also meant to inspire our students. It is chronicle’s wish that our students should not only shine in engineering field, but also in management, business, finance, arts, social service, political leadership, etc.

Chronicle conducts 1-2 interviews per month. First the list of possible candidates are selected and approached. If the person agrees, he is provided with a questionnaire to reply. The questionnaire contains about 6-10 questions with hint answers and type of reply expected. This makes the task of interviewing easier. The interview is conducted mostly by email exchange and sometimes over phone. After receiving the reply, a draft is prepared and sent to the person for final approval. We have found that alumni respond well and with open heart for their college magazine than in a public news media.

Q-6: How the chronicle compares with national magazines?

While we cannot compare ourselves with mainstream national or regional news media, we are in a different category. Our aim is to act as a platform for information exchange for our limited community; hence the articles are of that specific interest. Because of this some of the news about our college and about engineering education in India published by us, may not be found in other news media.

However, because of our open format (no login needed), our news are prominently displayed during Google search. Each year, our alumni rank swells by few hundreds, and we believe that when that number reaches a critical mass (say, about 20,000) from the current 6,000, then we shall have the same exposure as any mainstream media.

Q-7: What are the chronicle’s future plans?

The chronicle is among very few monthly news magazines published by alumni of colleges in India. However, we want to take it to next level, by introducing new sections, expanding our coverage, etc. It is our desire to bring it to the level of international alumni magazines such as, Harvard Crimson (http://www.thecrimson.com/) published by students/alumni of Harvard University and Yale Alumni Magazine (http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/index.html) published by students/alumni of Yale University.

It is our wish that we shall continue publishing the chronicle as long as our institute exists. The chronicle, as its name states, will faithfully record all the events around us for the use of future generations.

Apart from itbhuglobal.org, the chronicle plan to publish a copy of its future issues on other web sites.

Q-8: What are the concerns for chronicle?

The chronicle needs more help to achieve its goal. For example, it needs more volunteers to handle increased load of articles, to collect and edit more news, to conduct interviews, etc.

We also need more flow of information from faculty and institute. We need more reporters who can cover events, cultural programs, seminars, etc. and provide us with details.

Q-9: How can I contribute for chronicle?

Any kind of help from anyone will be helpful to us. We need people to send us news about their departments, batches, hostels, branches, etc. Please email to us at chronicle [AT] ithbu.org. Please respond by 15th of a month (but not later than 20th) for news/articles to be included for the issue of that month.
The chronicle team is here to serve you and the magazine belongs to the entire IT-BHU community. We welcome any comments/criticism to improve our publication.

Q-10: Who are the volunteers working for the chronicle team?

The following are the volunteers for chronicle team:

  1. Ankit Khanna (Applied Physics 2010)
  2. Varun Murali (Mechanical 2008)
  3. Sai Santosh (Chemical 2008)
  4. Vikalp Agarwal (Civil 2008)
  5. Arun Kumar Mishra (Electronics 2007)
  6. Pushpendra Kumar (Mechanical 2007)
  7. Sourabh Tripathi (Ceramics 2006)
  8. Arun Tangri (CSE 2006)
  9. Rajat Harlalka (Electrical 2005)
  10. Keerty Nath (CSE 2004)
  11. Animesh Pathak (CSE 2003)
  12. Anshuman Singh (Electrical 1998)
  13. Yogesh Upadhyaya (Chemical 1977)


Chronicle announcement- new sections
Arun @ Jun 28, 2007

In order to serve our readers and to accommodate a variety of news and articles, we constantly update our sections and add new ones, as needed.

In this issue, we have added two new sections. A section called Opinion is added to accommodate personal views. Another news section for National Education is started. In this issue, it contains the news item about the speech of our Prime Minister in which he announced setting up of 30 more central universities.

The Opinion section is being started to publish views expressed by our readers in a wide varieties of topics. The general guidelines for publishing the article under this section are as follows:

  • Any one from IT-BHU community (students/alumni/faculty/administration) can submit the article for publication. Outsiders can also submit articles pending chronicle’s prior approval.
  • The articles can be on any topic of general interest, preferably for students and professional engineers. The topics may include science & technology, business & finance, education, travel, art & literature, etc. The author may provide figures, charts, tables, links, etc. as required.
  • The articles shall be about 600 to 800 words long. Please submit your articles by 10th of a month, for publishing it for the same month’s issue.
  • You may submit your article, post a query, etc. by writing to; chronicle [AT] itbhuglobal.org

Dr. S. N. Sarbadhikari (Biomedical 1995) on the panel of Wikipedia’s Citizendium
Arun @ Jun 28, 2007
snsarbadhikari.JPG Prof. S. N. Sarbadhikari, (PhD Biomedical Engineering, 1995, IT-BHU) has joined the panel of distinguished writers and experts on biomedical subject for Citizendium. Prof. Supten is considered as pioneer in the field of bioinformatics education in India. His interview also appeared in the chronicle, August 2006 issue.

citizen.JPG

Citizendium is a new service launched by Wikipedia to invite distinguished writers and panels to write high quality article in their chosen subject of expertise. They will also review articles written by others for the same subject.

Till now, Wikipedia was taking proud in having named as common man’s encyclopedia, as anyone can claim himself as an expert and post/edit any article. However a recent incident (in which a ‘noted’ writer and reviewer on religious subject claimed to have attended Harvard University for theology subject, but later found to be false) gave bad name to Wiki. Hence it is planning to roll out a new service called Citizendium, in which only the approved experts will write an article in their field of expertise only. It will use the new Web 2.0 initiative, which is defined as further use of internet for human interaction and benefit, such as social networking websites and further reach to knowledge base.

Dr. Sarbadhikari has following message for all of us to join the panel of expert writers for Citizendium.

“Now Web 2.0 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0] has taken a new step to harness the tremendous potential of the apparently chaotic market place where the "wisdom of the crowd" prevails. Citizendium [http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Main_Page] is trying to establish a knowledge community which is not anarchist as in many of the very popular knowledge serving websites. I am happy to announce that I have become the first Secretary of the Editorial Council and Chairman, Rules Committee of Citizendium. [http://en.citizendi um.org/wiki/Category:CZ_Editorial_Council_Members].

I would personally request each of you to actively participate in the movement to make accurate knowledge freely accessible to all, by registering as Author/Editor at Citizendium. You would be proud to associate yourself with the strong movement going on.”

With warmest regards
Dr. S N Sarbadhikari, MBBS, PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
TIFAC-CORE in Biomedical Technology,
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham,
Amritapuri Campus, Amritapuri,
Kollam - 690 525

Homepage: (1) http://www.amrita.edu/biotech/people.htm#supten
(2) http://www.amrita.edu/cdh/sarba.htm
(3) http://medicineonearth.com/display.php?id=1642

AIBA meeting
Arun @ Jun 27, 2007

The 5th Annual General meeting of the Association of IT-BHU Alumni (AIBA) was held on May 26, 2007 at India Habitat centre, New Delhi.

The meeting discussed the adoption of 4th AGM minutes of meeting, the approval of annual and financial reports, and to award three of its distinguished alumni the Alumni Award of Excellence 2007-2008.

The awardees were:

  1. Mr. R.P. Singh, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Power Grid Corporation of India
  2. Dr. U. S. Awasthi, Managing Director, Indian Farmers Fertilizers Cooperative Ltd. (IFFCO)
  3. Mr. L.C. Singh, Founder and CEO, Nihilent Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Each of them was given a standing ovation as their respective citations were read out to a full house of their co-alumni.

The events included cultural programs and family dinner.

More details can be found in the secretary’s report posted on itbhuglobal.org website:
http://www.itbhuglobal.org/chapters/geo/delhi/archives/secretarys_report_ag.php

About AIBA

Association of IT BHU Alumni (AIBA), a not-for-profit society Registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, Registration No S44440, is the nodal organization of the alumni of Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University. Our Association is a non-profit organization, and has a wide representation from our alumni senior officials from the government, public, and private sectors, and from various industry flora.

The activities of the association center on our efforts to improve quality of the technical education, viz., institute-industry participation, and alumni participation in education; we also maintain a network of alumni through various events and programs.

The current office bearers of AIBA are:

President- Prof. B. B. Dhar
Vice-President- Debashish Bhattacharyya
Secretary- Rajeev Gupta
Treasurer- Sanjay Sorick

More details about AIBA and awards can be found at itbhuglobal.org website: http://www.itbhuglobal.org/chapters/geo/delhi/

rajeev.JPG

Rajeev Gupta (Chemical 1993) is the Secretary of AIBA. He forwarded background details about AIBA and its award ceremony to chronicle.
Rajeev Gupta,
Managing Director
Resource Development International (India) Private Limited
India Corporate Office: V-12/19, DLF City-III, Gurgaon (Haryana), India-(PIN-122002) Telephones:+91 (124) 4062227, 8, 9 Facsimile:+91 (124) 4060454
rgupta [AT] rdiindia.com


AIBA presents awards to alumni
Arun @ Jun 27, 2007

AIBA.JPG

Selection Procedure

As a means to the recognise the contributions of the engineering alumni of BHU who have participated in the technical resurgence of the country right since its independence and further the cause of technical education in the country, our association has decided to honour “Significant Contributor” every year from amongst the engineering alumni of Banaras Hindu University, on the occasion of its Annual General Body Meeting. The selection of the Significant Contributor this year was done through fairly extensive process spanning 8 weeks. First a jury was constituted having some very eminent people Mr. Kashi Memani (Ex-Chairman Ernst & young), Mr. M.K. Modi (Chairman Modipon). Mr. A.K Sah (ex CMD NTPC), Mr. Chandiok, Mr. Deepak Pahwa (CMD Bry-Air) & Padma Bhushan Dr. Pritam Singh (Director MDI Gurgaon) along with (Mr. SS Kohli ex- CMD Punjab National Bank).

The nomination can be done by any AIBA member /office bearer/IT BHU alumni but it should not be a self nomination.

The process of identifying nominees for this award was through the sponsorship by the existing members. We received 42 Nominations .A predesigned form was sent to all the 42 nominees to capture details of their achievements.

The list of 42 respondents is here.

We received a total fifteen responses out of which 2 nominees expressed their wish not to be considered by Jury for the awards. The Jury finally met on 15th May and each nomination received was thoroughly discussed and evaluated on the following criterion

  1. Level of achievement in his (nominee’s) chosen field
  2. Contribution to the society as a whole
  3. Contribution to Alma Mater
  4. Known Awards/Accomplishments
  5. Innovation / Research Work/ Entrepreneurship

The list of 13 nominees is here.

The citation and brief description for each of the three awardees can be found in the attached PDF file.

The list of 3 awardees is as follows:

Serial No.YearBranchFirst NameLast NameDesignationOrganizationResidence
11967ChemicalUday ShankerAwasthiMDIFFCO Ltd.New Delhi
21970ChemicalLaxmi ChandSinghFounder & CEONihilent TechnologiesPune
31971MechanicalRajendra PrasadSinghCMDPower Grid Corporation (India)Gurgaon, Haryana

AIBA award in news media
Arun @ Jun 27, 2007

The event was covered in news media including print and TV (Doordarshan and Sahara TV) media.

http://www.moneycontrol.com/india/news/pressnews/lc-singh-presented-it-bhu-alumni-awardexcellence/285539

moneycontrol.JPG

LC Singh presented IT - BHU Alumni Award of Excellence

2007-06-07 17:25:02 Source: Moneycontrol.com

The Association of IT - Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Alumni conferred on Mr. L C Singh, Founder and CEO, Nihilent Technologies the Alumini Award of Excellence 2007-08 at a glittering function organised at the Indian Habitat Centre in New Delhi. The other awardees were Mr. R.P. Singh, CMD, Power Grid Corporation of India and Dr. U. S. Awasthi, MD, Indian Farmers Fertilizers Cooperative Ltd. (IFFCO). All the awardees were given a standing ovation as their respective citations were read out to a full house of their co-alumni. The assemblage warmly applauded the singular achievements of these stalwarts in their respective fields and their commitment to the noble task of nation building.

The high-profile list of guests at the function included Mr. Vinod Rai, IAS, Secretary Banking, Govt. of India; Dr. T.Ramasami, Director General, CSIR & Secretary to the Govt. of India and Dr. Ashok K. Chauhan, Founder President, RBEF & Chairman, AKC Group of Companies. The guests were unanimous in expressing their overwhelming appreciation of the rich contribution made by the alumni of the Institute.

Rajiv Gupta, Secretary, Association of IT BHU Alumni said, “IT-BHU has been at the forefront of nation-building from even before independence, when the vision of Mahamana Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya Ji created the Banaras Hindu University and its constituent colleges of technical education. Long before the IITs came into existence, IT-BHU engineers were already leading the way in building the country’s nascent foundations. Naturally the galaxy of IT-BHU Alumni is much larger and it is really difficult to select from the many outstanding alumni who have served the country during its many phases of growth. Yet, we felt we needed to make a start, and the awardees tonight have been carefully chosen by an independent jury of peers”.

Sourced From: Adfactors Public Relations Pvt Ltd


Photos of AIBA meeting
Arun @ Jun 27, 2007

Below please find some of the photos of AIBA meeting. More photos can be found at:
http://www.itbhuglobal.org/chapters/geo/delhi/archives/photographs_of_itbhu.php

AIBA1.JPGAIBA2.JPG
AIBA3.JPGAIBA4.JPG
AIBA5.JPGAIBA6.JPG
AIBA7.JPGAIBA8.JPG

Gaurav Punir (Electrical 2002) clears UPSC exam
Arun @ Jun 26, 2007

We are pleased to state that Gaurav Punir, our alumnus has cleared Union Public Service Commission exam for the year 2006 with All India Rank of 317. We congratulate him for the success.

We also invite our other alumni who have successfully cleared the above mentioned exam, to contact us.

Hindustan Times has a nice news item giving statistics about UPSC-2006 exam:

474 candidates qualify for civil services

Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, May 14, 2007

A total of 474 candidates have qualified this year after cracking the prestigious
civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), it was announced in New Delhi on Monday.

Mutyalaraju Revu from West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh topped the examination, while Anindita Mitra, ranked eighth, was first among the woman candidates.

They were among some 200,000 applicants who appeared for the tests - a selection rate of a mere 0.237 per cent. Of the 474 selected candidates 373 are males and 101 females.

The list of the successful candidates includes 214 general category aspirants, 144 from other backward classes (OBC), 80 scheduled castes candidates and 36 from the scheduled tribes.

A total of 18 physically challenged candidates qualified the October-November, 2006 Main examination and the April-May, 2007 personality test, and they include 13 general category candidates, three OBCs and two scheduled caste members.

The successful candidates generally get appointment in the four categories of services - the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Central Services Group A and B.
"Appointment to the various Services will be made according to the number of vacancies available," the UPSC said in a statement.

The number of vacancies reported by the government is 89 for the IAS, 20 for the IFS, 103 for the IPS and 294 and 27 respectively for Group A and Group B of central services.

Apart from Revu, others who made it to the top 10 of the merit list are: Amit Saini, Alok Tiwari, Prasanth N, Shashank Misra, Vyasan R, Anish Rajan, Anindita Mitra, Aravind Agrawal and Juhi Mukherjee.


Prof. V K Bansal (Mechanical 1971) of Bansal Classes in media article
Arun @ Jun 26, 2007
This coach prepares a success formula for youthful dreams

Link
vkbansal.JPGThis is the profile of Prof. Vinod Kumar Bansal (Mechanical 1971) who started coaching classes called Bansal Classes (http://www.bansaliitjee.com) in Kota, Rajasthan to better prepare students for IIT-JEE and other professional exams. Despite being handicapped, his devotion to teaching is remarkable.


The article:

Muscular dystrophy & warnings of imminent death led Bansal up an unusual path: preparing students for IIT

Kota, Rajasthan: One hundred and fifty students sit elbow to elbow, packed into the long, stuffy hall. They’re in a whirl, trying to keep up with the complicated maths problems in which they’re immersed—and with the wheelchair-bound man before them who just might be responsible for their destiny.

The teenagers, like countless others across the country, aspire to gain admission to one of the Indian Institutes of Technology. And that’s why they have ventured to this dusty town in Southwest Rajasthan to coach with Vinod Kumar Bansal, a controversial businessman who revolutionized IIT admissions and helped rebuild a fading industrial centre by practising a profession centuries old: teaching.

Bansal begins a problem on permutations and combinations by saying, “six newly married couples are enjoying…”

The class erupts in hoots of laughter. Bansal joins in, then finishes the sentence.
“…a birthday party.”
Swiftly moving back to business, Bansal jots down a formula on a transparency projected onto a screen. More than two decades ago, Bansal was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy; today, he cannot stand without support. He zips from classroom to classroom in a motorized wheelchair.

Bansal Classes is situated in a tall office building. To the sharply dressed students trickling in and out of it, it offers rigorous courses in maths, physics and chemistry in preparation for the Joint Entrance Examination, the standard test used to determine undergraduate admissions at the seven IITs in India. More than three lakh students take the test each year; around 5,500 are successful.

To enter Bansal’s classroom, Class 10 students must graduate with more than 75% marks in physics, chemistry and mathematics. They must also sit for an entrance exam devised by Bansal. He says he has never advertised his classes, but his reputation lures in students from all over India, from urban Delhi and Mumbai to the more mofussil Jhansi and Indore.

Of the 3,000 students who took Bansal’s classes last year, 955 gained admission in an IIT. In 2005, of Bansal’s 2,400 students, some 784 got into an IIT.

Bansal’s coaching classes have spawned an imitative movement in Kota, a small town with a population of 1.5 million people, about 250km from Jaipur. The industry now trains an estimated 50,000 youths each year in standardized medical and engineering exams.

As teenagers sans parents enter the boot camp that has become Kota, they attend boarding schools, rent rooms, order food from caterers and restaurants, hang out at juice bars, watch films and frequent playstation cafes. The newcomers and their youthful pastimes have transformed Kota, a once-vibrant textile hub.

Sanjeev Roy (Electrical 1987) has started Bijhar-a social service organisation
Arun @ Jun 26, 2007
Singapore signs up- Bijhar binds Bihar, Jharkhand with roots

Link

This article discusses how Bijhar, a social and cultural organization tries to bring together people of Bihar and Jharkhand states for the better progress of the states. The organization (www.bijhar.org) is founded by our Singapore based alumnus, Sanjeev Kumar Roy (Electrical 1987) and others.

The article:

NILANJANA GHOSH CHOUDHURY
holi.JPG Members of Bijhar celebrate Holi in Singapore. File picture.


Jamshedpur, May 23: Hunger for homeland love among select group of that Indian diaspora gave birth to “Bijhar”, which, four years down the line, is one of the most vocal platforms for Biharis and Jharkhandis staying in Singapore today.

A brainchild of Sanjeev Kumar Roy, former student of St. Xavier’s School, Ranchi, and IIT (BHU), Bijhar, as the name suggests, stands for an association of Bihar and Jharkhand people.

Officially formed in 2003, Bijhar has over 200 members who were either born or at some point of time stayed in either of the two states. “In Singapore, people of Bihar often met informally, but there was no platform as such. It was about a few years back when I came across some like-minded people and Bijhar was formed,” Sanjeev Roy, president of Bijhar, told The Telegraph over telephone from Singapore.

But why Bijhar? Pat came the reply: “Bi for Bihar and ‘jhar’ for Jharkhand. The two might be separated but we are still a part of the same land,” Roy added.

So what started as an attempt to unite Biharis and Jharkhandis in Singapore, fast developed into a socio-cultural platform of people from the two states staying in Singapore.

“We discuss how to improve ties among the two states, observe our festivals and fund NGOs working in the interiors of Bihar and Jharkhand,” said Sudeep Kumar, senior executive of Bijhar, who passed out of Delhi Public School, Bokaro, before moving to IIT (Kanpur) and a job at Tata Motors. Bijhar got even better in October last year when Roy and his group of friends launched their portal Bijhar.org. And, if Roy was the brain behind Bijhar, its honorary secretary Rajesh Anand from Motihari, who completed degree from BIT (Mesra) in Ranchi, and Sudeep Kumar prize their portal.

“Right now we are working with four NGOs for the uplift of the poor and underprivileged,” added Rajesh. Bijhar is helping Children and Mother Earth (COME) of Gorakhpur, Gramin and Nagar Vikas Parishad (GNVP) and Nidan in Patna and Jharkhand Vikas Nyas (JVN), Ramgarh.

The organisation had a discussion with former chief minister Babulal Marandi when he visited Singapore in 2002 on how to strengthen their ties and early this week they gave a nod to the Nitish Kumar government for Bijhar to be part of the Bihar Foundation — an association of Biharis living around the globe.

“Sushil Modi, deputy chief minister of Bihar, was here recently. When he made a proposal, we accepted it readily,” added Roy.

Apart from being a social networking site, Bijhar offers latest updates on Bihar and Jharkhand, a complete gourmet gallery, book reviews, blog, details on festivals and events and several features pertaining to the two states. If that’s not all, the group plans to launch soon their branches in Malyasia, Thailand and other South East Asian countries.

L N Narsimhan (Mechanical 1984) in Times of India article
Arun @ Jun 26, 2007
A freebie for Narsi

Link
lmnarsimhan.JPGRarely any opinion post is written for our alumnus. This is an excellent post written by Chdanand Rajghatta, a columnist for Times of India. It discusses the rise of India and how Indian tourists and people are accepted and welcomed in different parts of the world. The article is so interesting that we decide to publish in full.


Mr. Lakshmi S. Narasimhan (Mechanical 1984) is Atlanta, Georgia based businessman and the founder of Paalm, Inc. (www.paalam.com). He has multi-faceted personality and takes part in local politics, social work and writing, apart from working as a faculty of Georgia Tech University. For more info:

http://www.ipnatlanta.net/narsi/

The article:

27 May, 2007 l 0000 hrs IST l Chidanand Rajghatta/TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Narsi Narasimhan was looking for a beer in an Arab bazaar in Jerusalem last week when a shopkeeper asked his nationality, confirmed he was Indian, and thrust a drink into his hand, saying, "Free beer... for Indian!" How things have changed, Narasimhan, an Atlanta-based entrepreneur, mused a little later with a group of us wandering the Promised Land. Time was when being Indian was a handicap. Now, in parts of the world, it's a badge of honour, and gets freebies.

Many friends attest to such encounters marking a makeover of the Indian image across the world, the odd discrimination incident thrown in. On the other hand, a recent survey of European hoteliers rated Indians as the second worst travellers in the world (sandwiched between the French, at the bottom, and the Chinese, rated slightly better). But the Indian tourist is a relatively new development; long before we turned touristy, we were hardworking itinerants building railway lines and power plants, running health and education sectors, in many countries, probably much better than we do at home.

There are few places in the world unvisited and untenanted by Indians. As i tell my American friends, we are a small country of a billion people. We get around. There are few corners that have not seen an Indian teacher, doctor, engineer, sailor or trader, including in the Second and Third World, which has also been our stomping ground for long, although those who make it good in US and UK dominate diaspora coverage.

But even in the US and UK, one frequently comes across Ethiopian and Jamaican immigrants who will tell you their teacher or doctor was an Indian; or Kenyans and Tanzanians who say their neighbours were fine Indian business families; or Libyans and Algerians who talk of Indian engineering teams which built railway lines and power plants. We honour our physician and programmer hordes who went west, but among our less celebrated envoys are grocers, hotel industry staff, merchant sailors, and construction crews. On a recent visit to the Caribbean one found an entire resort dominated by Indians — from the kitchen up to the front office.

Across many countries in Asia, Africa and Arab countries, Bollywood is the icebreaker. Stories of shopkeepers accosting Indians with songs from Raj Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan movies abound from Beijing to Abuja. Indian cuisine provides another entrie. A Jewish couple i met recently rhapsodised about Indian food, and when asked where they first tasted it, said, "Oh, we lived in England!" A South African soldier we ran into near Gaza was only too happy to talk cricket, having missed the World Cup for more taxing action.

We can attribute all kinds of reasons why Indians are well-received across the world — from what could be our democracy dividend (many Third World and Arab countries admire our success in nationbuilding, however spotty it may be in our eyes) to spiritualism. But it could also be a mere function of demographics — and language. We are the world's largest diaspora after the Chinese (our 25-30 million to Chinese 40-50 million) with a crucial difference — we speak a little more English, variously accented though it might be.

Of course, there will always be the odd bad apple — the Ugly Indian — who brings in the bad reviews. But generally, Indians have come to be regarded as free, smart, hardworking people, which is a lot different from people from many other countries whose name invoke images of tyranny, terrorism, drug trafficking, financial scams, and sex trade. What a relief.

Vanish Talwar (CSE 1999) has following profile set up on Hewlett Packard website in Feb. 2007
Arun @ Jun 26, 2007
Link
hp.JPG Vanish Talwar
vanish.JPG HP Labs
1501 Page Mill Road MS 1135
Palo Alto, CA 94304 USA
Phone: (650) 857-5129
Email: firstname.lastname [AT] hp.com


Vanish Talwar is a research scientist at Hewlett Packard Labs. His research interests are in the areas of distributed systems, operating systems, and computer networks, with a current focus on distributed systems management technologies.

Vanish joined HP in 2001 and HP Labs in 2002. He received his B.Tech degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Institute of Technology- BHU (IT-BHU), Varanasi, India in May 1999, and his MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in May 2001 and May 2006 respectively. He is the recipient of the David J. Kuck Best Masters Thesis award from Dept. of Computer Science, UIUC, and is an elected member of Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi.

His PhD work is on application model-driven resource management that investigates techniques and mechanisms to provide application QoS guarantees while maintaining efficient utilization of resources in utility systems. His MS work is on a secure architecture for supporting User Identification and User Mobility.

In addition, Vanish has also made contributions in the area of automated management systems for next generation data centers, specifically in automated service deployment and automated change management. In the past, he has also had a stint in Embedded Linux and Embedded Java Virtual Machines. He is currently investigating manageability architectures for next generation blade systems.

Abhijit Avasthi (Metallurgy 1993) interview in Agencyfaqs!
Arun @ Jun 26, 2007
Abhijit Avasthi is Group Creative Director of a well-known ad agency, Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai. This interview appeared in Agencyfaqs!, a magazine catering to advertisement and media relations industry.

Mr. Abhijit has scaled many heights including working as part of jury for media competition and international media festivals.

For full interview:

Link

Excerpts from the interview:

agencyfaqs.JPG

onrecord.JPG
abhijit.JPG Piyush and Prasoon Pandey are better than any training programme.
Abhijit Avasthi group creative director, O&M


Q1. You have worked in various fields before settling upon advertising. How did you decide this was the profession for you?

A. Advertising happened to me purely by accident. I couldn’t have planned such a devious route! (Laughs) After completing my engineering from the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (ITBHU) in 1993, I joined a steel plant. For some reason, I didn’t like the job and I quit it. Then, till 1996, I tried my hand at many other things such as dealing in textile dyes, exporting playing cards and match-boxes from India, and trading in saris. By this time, I had left engineering far behind and I never did have an inclination for doing an MBA. So, I was kind of groping with what to do and what not to. I knew I enjoyed lateral thinking and I was well read.

Having grown up with them around, I used to hang out with Piyush (Pandey) and Prasoon (Pandey) and we used to talk on every topic under the sun. One fine day, Piyush suggested, “I’ve seen that you have a fertile imagination and you really enjoy discussing ideas. Why don’t you give advertising a shot?”

So, I went to Enterprise Nexus and applied. They liked what I did and hired me. I was really lucky to have an established bunch of seniors guiding me. Besides Mohammad Khan and Rajeev Agarwal, who gave me a lot of freedom, my immediate boss, Zarwan Patel, was really encouraging and helpful. And I was also fortunate to have found my art partner in Raj Kamble at a very early stage in my career.

“One fine day, Piyush suggested, 'I’ve seen that you have a fertile imagination and you really enjoy discussing ideas. Why don’t you give advertising a shot?'”

Q2. Have your experiences in various fields given you the advantage of understanding the consumer more deeply?

A. Yes, it has definitely helped me. Most people get into advertising when they are 20-21. I started late at the age of 25-26. But all the years I spent working on other things before entering the profession of advertising, have paid dividends. I have been very lucky also to travel, which has helped me a lot in advertising. My dad was in the Indian Air Force and, because of the nature of his job, I got to see a lot of places. Even during my engineering days at Banaras, I got to travel immensely because of college festivals. In fact, the other day I was calculating and I felt so good about the fact that of the 28 states in the country, I have visited 22 already.

Interview with Shiv Shukla (Chemical 1986)
Arun @ Jun 25, 2007

Mr. Shiv Shukla (Chemical 1986) is CEO of MECS Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., a company specializing in design and construction of Sulfuric acid and other related plants. It is amazing to see our alumnus shining in non-IT/hardcore engineering field. We hope this interview will be useful to students as well as professionals alike.

For chronicle, Yogesh K Upadhyaya interviews Shiv Shukla about his success:

shiv.JPG
Shiv Shukla with his wife

Q-1: Welcome Mr. Shiv Shukla. Please tell us about your background.

I did my graduation in Chemical Engineering from IT, BHU in 1986. I got a job in SAIL through campus interview and joined at Bhilai Steel Plant as a trainee for very short duration of two months. I was very much interested in working in a refinery or petro-chemical company. So I moved to Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and joined as a GET. I got best possible training as a chemical engineer by starting my career in a refinery.

I worked with BPCL for 3 years before changing the track and joining DMCC (Dharamsi Morarji Chemical Company). I started as a process engineer and my role use to be process design of sulfuric acid plants and equipment, plant commissioning, de-bottlenecking, trouble shooting etc. Later on I moved on into handling projects and marketing & sales of projects. I developed software for design of sulfuric acid plants and equipment. I spent lot of time in my career on sulfuric acid projects.

I changed jobs in between and worked with different companies. At one point of time before joining Monsanto-DMCC, I was running my own business of engineering consultancy for sulfuric acid plants. But that did not last to sustain my interest and it did not generate enough money to meet my financial needs. So, I joined back the joint venture between Monsanto & DMCC in 1998 as marketing manager and went on to become head of marketing. That’s when I did my MBA from School of Management, IIT Bombay while working with Monsanto-DMCC as marketing head.

Before I could complete my MBA, I was given responsibility of running the organization and became a CEO. Those were my final semester in IIT. A job as a CEO and finishing my MBA was really demanding on my time, nerves. I was handed over the reins of company, while it was having troubled times. We had accumulated losses over past several years and balance sheet was not very healthy. When I became a CEO, I had to immediately address the cost issues and restructure the entire organization. I had to ask some people to go as they were not in a fit with new structure. Today, many of the storms have passed. We have grown and for last three years we have consistently doubled our turnover each year and gone from accumulated loss to good bottom-line position. Today, we have good measure of reserves and company is in good financial health.

Q-2: Please provide details about your company, MECS Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.

MECS Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. called as MEPL is a 100% subsidiary of MECS Inc., USA. It was started in 1996 as a joint venture between Monsanto and The Dharamsi Morarji Chemical Company Limited (DMCC). Monsanto had a fully owned subsidiary namely Monsanto Enviro-Chem Systems Inc. (MECS), a world leader in sulfuric acid. DMCC was the local Indian company manufacturing sulfuric acid, which had an external project division. The name of the company changed to MECS Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. (MEPL) in June 2006. MEPL operates as an EPC company doing Sulfuric Acid, oleum, liquid SO3, liquid SO2 and related chemicals, Phosphoric Acid projects in India and abroad.

MEPL’s parent company MECS Inc., as a premier global technology and EPC company has teamed up with its clients, licensees and suppliers to provide world class solutions to the sulfuric acid industry. MECS Inc. worldwide is a global company and has designed and built more than 800 sulfuric acid plants in 50 countries.

MECS has offices in Europe, South Africa, South America and Hong Kong and a 100% owned entity in India. The entire MECS group turnover is about US$ 300 million, whereas the turnover of MEPL in India is about Rs. 600 million.

Q-3: What is the technology behind Sulfuric Acid manufacturing process? How it has evolved over the years?

Sulfuric acid is manufactured by contact process. During the early 20th century in Germany, development of vanadium catalysts to replace platinum encouraged the use of the catalytic contact process.

Advances in catalyst technology have reduced the SO2 emission levels in these acid plants. These days we can design and build plants with less than 1 kg SO2 emission per ton of sulfuric acid produced. While as many countries have very strict norms for emission of SO2 (sulfur dioxide), SO3 (sulfur trioxide), acid mist, but some countries in Africa still allow single contact plants to be built. There are predominantly three kinds of feedstock for Sulfuric Acid manufacturing viz. Sulfur, Smelter off-gases coming out from metallurgical plant, spent acid. Sulfuric acid production involves generation of SO2 gas, conversion of SO2 to SO3 and then absorption of SO3 into sulfuric acid being circulated in absorption tower.

MECS has always been at the front edge of technology development for sulfuric acid plants. A major technology is its Heat recovery Process (HRS) for sulfuric acid plants. In this process almost 90% of energy generated during acid manufacturing can be recovered as steam and subsequently converted to power. In fact, some of sulfuric acid plants operate as a power plant with sulfuric acid being treated as a bye-product. Sulfuric acid plants can be designed in a wide variety of capacities ranging from as small as 30 tpd (tons per day) to as large as 4500 tpd. Generally in India we have 300 tpd as a typical capacity, while as in many developed economies capacities tend to be much larger. Typical range of capacity in these nations is around 2000-3000 tpd. Capital investments vary on the size of plants and location. A plant of 1000 tpd plant capacity in India will cost around US$ 25 million. While as the same plant will cost at least US$ 60 million in a developed country.

Q-4: Where are the products used?

Sulfuric acid is the world's largest volume industrial chemical. Sulfuric acid is a very important commodity chemical, and indeed a nation's sulfuric acid production is a good indicator of its industrial strength. The major use (60% of total worldwide) for sulfuric acid is in the wet process for the production of phosphoric acid, used for manufacture of phosphate fertilizers as well as tri-sodium phosphate for detergents.

Sulfuric acid is used in large quantities in iron and steel making principally as pickling-acid used to remove oxidation, rust and scale from rolled sheet and billets prior to sale into the automobile and white-goods business.

Ammonium sulfate, an important nitrogen fertilizer is most commonly produced as a byproduct from coking plants supplying the iron and steel making plants. Another important use for sulfuric acid is for the manufacture of aluminum sulfate, also known as paper maker's alum.

Sulfuric acid is used for a variety of other purposes in the chemical industry. For example, it is the usual acid catalyst for the conversion of cyclohexanoneoxime to caprolactam, used for making nylon. It is used for making hydrochloric acid from salt via the Mannheim process. Much H2SO4 (sulfuric acid) is used in petroleum refining, for example as a catalyst for the reaction of isobutane with isobutylene to give isooctane, a compound that raises the octane rating of gasoline (petrol). Sulfuric acid is also important in the manufacture of dyestuffs solutions.

Sulfuric acid is also used as a general dehydrating agent in its concentrated form.

Q-5: Where are the challenges faced by your company?

EPC business in sulfuric acid is cyclic in nature. We are highly focused on working outside of India, markets particularly in African countries.

In today’s boom time, we are not finding enough of high quality people to manage our growth. Employee attrition is a big problem which we are facing. Our current attrition rate at 20% is very high and this is forcing us to focus more on our processes. We have plans to expand and are likely to double our size in view of our strategic plans for new areas specifically renewable & bio-energy.

We have a business model, in which we execute turnkey projects as well as engineering only projects at the same time. For turnkey projects, man-hour costs are not a major component. But for engineering only projects man-hour costs become very critical.

Also, lack of good infra-structure in our country is posing a lot of problems to EPC companies like us, which are doing turnkey projects outside. Another problem we face is on the foreign currency risk management. We do not have access to sophisticated financial instruments to allow us to hedge our currency risks. We face this problem because our payments are related to project progress and not fixed in time.

Q-6: What will you suggest to someone who wants to make career in hardcore engineering field?

I find it very satisfying to work in a hardcore engineering field, even though it is not as much glamorous. Today most of engineers want to work in soft fields like IT and do not want to dirty their hands working in their own field of specialization.

There are many challenges in hardcore engineering fields and it needs patience & hard work. One has to start at the base and work his way towards the top of pyramid. One has to be good in whatever one is doing, at each stage of his career.

There are plenty of opportunities. The key is in adding value by whatever
activity you are involved with. Other thing is gathering variety of experiences by rotation in performing different roles. As much as wide is your experience, the more you are likely to rise to the top.

With such a huge crunch for people in hardcore engineering field, demand will be there for long time to come. As these sectors of economy do well, companies will not mind paying good salaries to their best people.

Q-7: How do you recall your days during study at IT-BHU? At IIT-Bombay?

IT-BHU was the best thing to happen in my life and I can never forget those four years which I spent in BHU. There was so much to do, so many new things to learn, so much fun. Eating Aloo Sukha in the hostel mess, visiting the Ghats, watching cine-club movies in G-11, Lankating, Thandai with bhang at Godowlia, Old Vishwanath temple, lying on the lawns of Birla temple inside campus & discussing everything under sun, during nights eating bun-maska & coffee at Mochu, eating laung lata at Pahalwan’s shop in Lanka, during summer evenings drinking mango shake for Rs 2, jogging on the tracks, bunking the morning classes to sleep; I remember all those things. It’s still fresh in my memory and there are indelible marks of all these in my mind. There are so many incidents which I remember, writing those can fill up many pages.

I remember many of my professors. Prof. Vijay Shankar used to be head of department and used to teach us Thermodynamics, a subject for which I had special fondness. Something else which had caught my attention was computers.

We had some very good association with professors like S. N. Upadhyay. When we were in final year, we (Bhavnesh, Milind Bhise, Ajay Chavan) did some work for analysis of Ganga water to determine pollution levels. This was done for a campaign which was being run by Prof. Virbhadra Mishra & Prof. S.N. Upadhyay. I remember a time when Prof. S N Upadhyay went with us in a boat from Godowlia to Assi ghat discussing with us which points to draw the water samples from. At the end of boat ride that day, we were treated to some desi ghee gulab jamuns at Assi by SNU. And whom he gave a treat of gulab jamuns. Oh! There are so many fond memories of my BHU days!!!!

Life at IIT-Bombay campus was different from BHU life. IIT-Bombay life was more regulated in terms of studies, working. Those three years when I was doing my MBA from IIT-Bombay, life had become a fine art balancing the work, family & studies. I remember we would have surprise quizzes, presentations, case studies and these would be never ending. No matter what you did, you finish one case study & presentation, next one was waiting for you.

We used to discuss case studies at the Maggi stall. Stall fellow will make so many dishes out of Maggi noodles; Maggi pakora, Maggi noodles, Maggi sandwich. We would be sitting around a table eating drinking soup, coffee or tea and discussing the case presentation.

Today when I look back, I find whatever I learned during those days, the rigor of all those things have prepared me well, to handle anything I encounter in my work life.

Q-8: Thank you Sir. It was nice talking to you.

Thank you. It has indeed been a pleasure talking to you and sharing my thoughts.

Link for MECS Enterprises Private Ltd.: http://www.mecsenterprises.com/

Shiv’s personal website: http://sulphuric.tripod.com/

Bio-Data of Shiv Shukla.

This interview of about 2,200 words is condensed from the original full-length interview of 4,400 words to match chronicle format. The original interview contains much more interesting details about Shiv’s business model, interesting corporate life experience, sulfuric acid manufacturing process, uses, etc. To view the full length interview, please click here)

Contact info:
Shiv Shukla,
Chief Executive Officer,
MECS Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.,
110, LBS Marg, Mumbai - 400 083. India
ph: +91-22-6688 9700 cell: +91-98204 38752
Shiv [DOT] Shukla [AT] mdeel.com

BKIP PHOTOS 033.jpg
BKIP PHOTOS 036.jpg
BKIP PHOTOS 038.jpg

Photos of plant built in Zambia by MECS for Mopani Copper Mines.


Help required for a Study on Brands
Arun @ Jun 25, 2007

(This is an occasional section published to assist our alumni needing any kind of help)

ramendra.JPG

Ramendra Singh (Mechanical 1996) is a doctoral student (Marketing) at IIM-Ahmedabad. His bio-data can be found on his personal page:

http://ramendra2005.googlepages.com/

He runs a blog “Living on the Edge” at http://ramendra2006.blogspot.com

He requests everyone’s help in filling out questionnaire online, as part of his study. The questions are about rating (on 1 to 7 scale) of B2B brands and their personality traits.

The survey is posted on online survey forum, http://freeonlinesurveys.com

onlinesurvey.JPG

Following is the appeal by Ramendra Singh:

“Dear Friends,

Please spare 10 minutes to complete this survey on Brands. Click o the following link. Before submitting, please do make sure you have answered all questions.

http://freeonlinesurveys.com/rendersurvey.asp?sid=ieeb4iozmi8vpa2315326

Thanks and Regards,

Ramendra Singh
Doctoral Student (Marketing)
FPM House # 1, IIM Ahmedabad;
Vastrapur, Ahmedabad -380015,INDIA
# Tel: 91-079-26327901
# Mob: 91-9821509427
E-mail: s_ramendra [AT] yahoo.co.in


Govt. to ask OBC teacher quota
Arun @ Jun 23, 2007

Govt. is asking to all central universities, including BHU, to implement 27% OBC quota for recruitment of lecturer posts. Telegraph is in forefront for publishing national level education related news.

Link

Excerpts from the article:

Enter, central OBC teacher quota
CYRIL SAM

New Delhi, June 25: The 27 per cent quota for Other Backward Classes has been extended to lecturer posts in universities run by the Centre.

The human resource development ministry has asked all central universities and deemed universities to implement the quota for OBCs on the basis of a declaration of intent made after the Mandal commission flare-up.

The Backward Classes Commission, through which the central recommendation must pass, has also given its stamp of approval.

“The government is using the fact that it doesn’t need to go through the legislation route to implement job quotas to bring reservations for lecturers silently,” said Nisha Tomar, the Delhi University co-ordinator for the anti-quota group, Youth For Equality.

Unlike reservation in education — which needs a law — the government can bring in quotas in jobs on its discretion under Article 15 of the Constitution.


Class of 1976 contributes books to library
Arun @ Jun 22, 2007

book.JPG

It is heartening to know that class of 1976 took up Books for Library project for contributing books worth Rs. 2 lacs to our library. We all congratulate the class of 76 for their initiative for a good cause. We hope others will follow the example.

The class submitted a total of 539 copies consisting of 366 titles. The list of books contributed can be seen in this file.

Here is what Ashok Srivastava and Sandip Sen have to say about the project:

“In response to the appeal of Director IT-BHU during our 30 yr Reunion of class of 1976, we collected some money and took up the project of Books for Library. First a list of Books was sought from the Institute. We were pleasantly surprised by a very prompt response from our Director and from our Librarian Shri Navin Upadhyay.

We decided to add to the list provided by BHU with some more content and depth. We expanded and modified the list by selecting lot of books from catalogues of leading publishers; some books being very new introductions. We did mix the selections initially to add books of Mining, Metallurgy and Ceramics which were missing from the original BHU list and then added some new International Student Edition books as well as a few leadership, motivation and competitive exam titles.

This was a joint effort of the batch of 1976. Other active volunteers for this project include Shankar Roychowdhury, Pradeep Shrivastava, Pradosh Chakravarty and UN Dubey

Books worth over Rs 2 Lacs, costing us Rs 1.52 Lacs were dispatched to Library of IT-BHU on 8th June.

We hope that these books will be found useful by the students.

Regards,

Ashok Srivastava (Mechanical 1976)
ashok [DOT] srivastava [AT] gmail.com

Sandip Sen (Mechanical 1976)
sen [DOT] sandip [AT] gmail.com


News update from Library
Arun @ Jun 22, 2007

library.JPG

For the year 2006-2007, the library of IT-BHU spent an estimated amount of Rs. 1.35 crore. The major expenses included books worth Rs. 45 lacs and 60 computer terminals (TFT monitors worth Rs. 25 lacs).

The online link for library is provided on our institute’s official website (www.itbhu.ac.in) . Please go to institute’s website and click on the top bar for library; or go to http://www.itbhu.ac.in/library/about/.

The site contains useful information about library, such as books available, library hours, introduction of library staff, etc.

Please direct all your inputs / suggestions for the library to

1. Librarian: Mr. Naveen Upadhyay -- librarian [AT] itbhu.ac.in
2. Prof. Incharge: Prof G V S Sastry -- gvssastry [DOT] met [AT] itbhu.ac.in


Gyanesh Pandey (Electrical 1999) to start Math Gurukul program in patna
Arun @ Jun 22, 2007

US gurukul in town to coach the poor

Link

The learning organization Math GK is run by a group of young engineers/ professionals in USA. The team includes Manoj Sinha (Electronics 1999) and Gyanesh Pandey (Electrical 1999). Its website (www.mathGK.org) is not functioning properly and links for FAQ and Contact are not working.

Read the excerpts:

PATNA: There is good news for poor school students who are weak in mathematics as the US-based Math GuruKul (Math GK) has set up one such institute here at North SK Puri which is all set to be inaugurated next week.

The main focus of this institute will be to impart quality education to mediocre students to enable them to face the challenge of maths for any exam their career goal requires them to face.

Pandey, who is a professional from the semiconductor industry, holds a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from BHU and a Master's each in electrical and electronics engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York. He has a teaching experience of over a decade. The institute at North SK Puri will start with a maximum of four batches of 25 students each and a possible Super 15 group comprising students who are extremely weak in the subject.

The Math GuruKul was started by two Indian professionals, Manoj Sinha and Mehul Nagrani, in US three years back. The primary aim of this organisation, run by volunteers, (all of whom are engineering professionals of different nationality) is to coach the students in relatively poorer districts of America for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).


Impetus Plans To Recruit 300 Engineering Graduates
Arun @ Jun 22, 2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

http://www.indiaenews.com/pressrelease/20070605/54841.htm

The news item states that Impetus will recruit 300 engineers this year from several leading institutes, including IT-BHU.

From correspondents in M.P., India, 03:41 PM IST

Imeptus Infotech (www.impetus.com) has always been renowned for the exciting careers they offer to talented engineers in the high-end niche of Software Product Engineering. The company has pioneered Outsourced Product Development in India. With a client base of companies in fields as diverse as Digital Media, Telecommunications, Mobile Applications, Web2.0, IPTV, and Internet Advertising, Impetus’ 900+ employees are constantly challenged to create innovative and inspiring new products.

Impetus has been on an aggressive Campus Recruitment drive across the country since April ’07. The company has visited 18 prominent campuses including Delhi University, Jammu University; Dehradoon University, Amity Delhi, MLSU Udaipur, Himachal University, LD College & Rollwala Ahemdabad, DDIT Nadiad, MBM Jodhpur, MNIT Bhopal, SVIM Indore, MIT Ujjain; etc. till date. The company has already selected close to 125 engineering graduates with specialization in Computer Sciences and Information Technology. Impetus is offering a very attractive compensation package and interesting training opportunities to these graduates.

The campus joinees undergo a rigorous and comprehensive Induction and Training program in order to prepare them to handle the demands of their professional life. They get a chance to work on live client projects very soon, and the fast paced work gives them an opportunity to learn and grow much ahead of their counterparts. Impetus also gives a chance to many of its deserving employees to visit the client offices onsire, fairly early in their career.

Ambrish Kanungo, Sr. Manager HR, Impetus says, “We are overwhelmed with the response that we are getting from Institutes and students alike. The youth today is very composed and professional and willing to embrace the opportunities and challenges with immense zeal and fervor. The 250 campus graduates we hired last year are already proving themselves to be indispensable to the organization. We have even way higher expectations from this year’s recruits.”

Impetus is planning to hire close to 300 students this year also and is scheduled to visit leading engineering institutes such as SGSITS Indore, IIT Chennai, IIT Roorkee, IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur, BHU Varanasi , BITS Pilani, BITS Ranchi, Nirma University Ahmedabad, Banasthali Vidyapeeth Rajasthan, MNIT Raipur etc in the coming days. The organization announced a growth of over 70% in 2006-07 and credits the same to its talented employees who are passionate techies, always willing to innovate and learn.


Examination Results available inline
Arun @ Jun 22, 2007

Now university students can remotely log on the university website (www.bhu.ac.in) and view their results, without waiting for mail.

http://dbalumni.bhu.ac.in/xampp/regularresult/result.html

Banaras Hindu University
Office of the Controller of Examinations
University Examination Results

Examinations Results in India -- Brought to you by --Computer Center BHU Please enter your roll number space.JPG submit.JPG


New listing of M. Tech courses
Arun @ Jun 22, 2007

Link (pdf)

The 11-page document contains application form and information brochure for the admission to 2007-2008 M. Tech and M. Pharm. courses of the institute.

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Bengal Engineering College holds press-conference to demand upgrade to IIEST
Arun @ Jun 21, 2007

The Global Alumni Association of Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur, West Bengal ((GAABESU), erstwhile Bengal Engineering College hosted a press conference at Kolkata Press Club on June 7th demanding IIEST (INI) status for the college before its 150th anniversary celebration is over in Nov 2007. The college was established in 1856.

A total of 32 reporters from print and TV media attended the press conference. The news report of the press conference was covered in many media releases. The press-articles can be seen at http://www.becollege.org/news/news_item.asp?NewsID=328


Update on IIEST front
Arun @ Jun 21, 2007

There are three press items on comments made by outgoing VC of CUSAT (Kerala) about state govt.’s politics to retain control over the college and to stall it from becoming an IIEST.

Prof. P. K. Abdul Aziz is an internationally reputed research scholar and his research work includes ecology, agricultural and environmental issues. He was a sharp critic of corruption and govt. interference in day-to-day affairs of CUSAT. He suffered because of his principle. He joined Aligarh Muslim University as Vice Chancellor with effect from June 11, 2007.

According to media reports, HRD ministry is planning to introduce IIEST Bill in the coming monsoon session (July 30 to August 31) of the parliament provided state govts. agree and all issues are resolved.

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Prof. P. K. Abdul Aziz

a) The first is a news item in Newindpress (login required) about Prof. P. K.Abdul Aziz resigning from the post of Vice-Chancellor of CUSAT.

http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEX20070522020326&Title=Kochi&rLink=0

The article:

After Aziz, Cusat may not have full-time VC
Tuesday May 22 2007 12:24 IST

KOCHI: After P K Abdul Aziz is relieved of his charges, Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) is unlikely to have a full-time Vice-Chancellor.

With the Centre’s proposal for upgrading the varsity into an Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (IIEST) pending, the State Government is moving towards handing over the varsity to the Centre, though it is engaged in hard bargaining to make the Centre agree to certain conditions put forward by it.

According to sources, the Centre is likely to concede to certain demands put forward by the State Government, and the demand for a quota for Malayalis in the seats of IIEST is proving to be a bone of contention.

Funds have been allotted for the IIEST project in the 11th Plan, which was launched this April. But Bengal and Kerala are yet to agree to the conditions put forward by the Centre.

Once Cusat is made an IIEST, a director will come in place of the VC, who will be appointed by the President.

‘‘The Centre is not averse to having a nominee of the State Government in the three-member panel to select the director.

The State may also be given five members in the 17-member board of governors, in place of the three members proposed now.

The talks are deadlocked on the demand for a 50 percent quota for Malayali students,’’ sources said.

The Centre is waiting for a consent letter from the State Government to move legislation in Parliament in this regard in the coming monsoon session itself. Hence, the state has to move quickly on the issue.

More than Rs 520 crore is to flow into Cusat in the first five years once it is made an IIEST. If this money doesn’t come, the university is doomed, a professor at the university said.

Already, the State Government is struggling to find funds for the salary for the staff at the university. A meagre Rs 20 crore is set apart by State Government for the university, but even this is not properly granted by the cash-strapped government successive years.

According to varsity sources, around 160 teaching posts are lying vacant for the past few years in departments as the state is not in position to arrange salary for the staff.

The funds for research too brought by professors in their individual capacity from Central and other agencies.

According to sources, the government is considering giving the charge of Cusat Vice-Chancellor to Calicut University Vice-Chancellor Anwar Jahan Zuberi as Cusat Pro-Vice- Chancellor Enasu is a previous UDF Government appointee.

With the Centre’s proposal for upgrading the varsity into an IIEST pending, the State Government is moving ahead with handing over the varsity to the Centre.

b) The second press item is from New Kerala, in which Prf. Aziz raises the concern that the state govt. is preventing CUSAT from becoming an IIEST, because it does not want to give up the control over the institute.

'University syndicates should work without political interference'

http://www.newkerala.com/news5.php?action=fullnews&id=36859

The excerpts from the article:

Kochi, June 7: Outgoing Vice-Chancellor of the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) Dr P K Abdul Aziz today said varsity syndicates should not be a platform for political parties to wield power through their representatives.

Dr Aziz, who will take charge as VC of Aligarh Muslim University on June 11 said, ''Political parties are trying to influence the working of the syndicates by appointing their representatives.'' ''The syndicate should have able people as its members and there was no need to expand it to include more people,'' he noted.

Dr Aziz said the syndicates should be allowed to work independently and efficiently without any political interference.

Regarding the proposed Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Dr Aziz alleged that 'some forces' were stalling the prospects of the institute for fear of losing power in the syndicate.

c) In this press brief, Prof. Aziz states that the state govt. is delaying upgrade of CUSAT to IIEST.

http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEX20070608023513&Title=Kochi&rLink=0

The article:

'Negligence preventing upgradation of CUSAT'
Friday June 8 2007 12:56 IST

KOCHI: CUSAT Vice- Chancellor P K Abdul Azis said on Thursday that the negligence of the State Government was preventing the upgradation of Cusat into an Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST).

He was addressing a meet-the-press programme organised by Ernakulam Press Club. He said the State Government was showing no interest in submitting the letter of concurrence to the Central Government.

The MHRD grant to the tune of Rs 518 crore in that regard was being wasted as a result of the poor response from the government.

“This is the only issue troubling me as I leave Cusat”, Azis said. He has been appointed Vice- Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.

He said that the politics played by the employees of Cusat had affected the smooth functioning of the university and almost all the unions tried to torture him several times.

“There had been a concerted effort to cast aspersions on me that included the Sreelakshmi case and the cases related to the alleged tampering with marks.

“Whenever there is a shift in the government at the state level, the working of universities usually gets affected and it is better for VCs to resign when there is a new government,” he said.

He said he was happy working at Cusat and all the academic achievements that the university received helped in capturing national attention.


Engineering college rankings are out
Arun @ Jun 18, 2007
In this month, rankings of top engineering colleges were published by the following magazines:
  1. India Today (IT-BHU 18th)
  2. Outlook India (IT-BHU 8th)
  3. Dataquest (IT-BHU 10th)
The IT-BHU rankings for the years 2006 & 2007 are as follows:

Year India Today Outlook India Dataquest
2007 18 8 10
2006 9 8 8

Note: In 2007 India Today survey, IT-BHU is 7th in factual parameters (infrastructure, quality of students, faculty strength, academic, etc., but overall rank is low due to perception factor).

About college rankings
Arun @ Jun 18, 2007

This year also the college rankings are out at the expected time i.e. just before the start of college admission process.

It can be seen that college rankings differ from magazine to magazine and year to year for the same magazine for a given college. The reasons are manifold. First, each magazine calculates the parameters (such as students’ quality, faculty strength, infrastructure, job placement, etc.) with its unique formula. Then it mixes the above factual parameters with perception factors (arrived by conducting opinion survey of faculty members across country about other colleges); the ratio of factual to perception differs from magazine to magazine.

However, the main reason for wide differences in results is due to fact that magazines are trying to measure the parameters which cannot be easily quantified and compared. The only parameter which can be accurately calculated is the research output, such as numbers of research papers published, seminars/conferences held & attended, number of patents applied for, international awards received by faculty, etc. This ‘true rankings’ lead to the rush for establishing and declaring research universities in the west in the first part of twentieth century.

Some magazines also resort to the obscure way of handling and generating data. For example, India Today gave weightage to factors such as students care, perception, etc., but there was no mention about these factors in the 6-page questionnaire sent to colleges by the magazine.

However, the effect of college rankings cannot be wished away. It is a useful tool for students, recruiting companies and colleges alike. Students use it to quickly decide about the branch versus institute syndrome, as decision for life is to be made in a few weeks prior the start of admission counseling session. This can be evident from questions raised by students in a new but immensely popular yahoo website-Yahoo! Answers (www.answers.yahoo.com).

The detailed analysis reports on college rankings are bought by hiring corporation from magazine publishers to get background details about colleges from where they plan for campus recruitment drive. The reports help in deciding about which campuses to visit for selection of prospective employees, how many students are to be hired, what salary range to be offered, whether to opt for prime (first day) slot at the opening of campus recruitment season, etc. For example, Schlumberger International (a leading oilfield services provider- http://www.slb.com) recruited engineers in various disciplines for its India operations last year, from several IITs, IT-BHU, ISM Dhanbad and other reputed colleges. Salaries were offered from $75k to $15K per year (Rs. 33 lacs to Rs. 6.5 lacs per year). Barring some exceptions, salaries offered were roughly proportional to the college’s reputation and magazine rankings.

The college rankings can also serve as a useful tool for a college administration to introspect and overcome the deficiencies listed in the magazine reports.

For further reading:

a) Recent news item in CNN News:

Many American colleges balk at U.S. News rankings

Link

Excerpts:

Thacker told CNN that "rankings have reduced students to consumers, education to product, and gaining admission into college a high-priced game that has to be played."

b) A discussion about some of the international college rankings published in Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle (http://chronicle.com) is a highly respected international magazine in the field of higher education. It is published online daily on weekdays and is headquartered in Washington D.C., US.

College Rankings Catch On Overseas

Link

c) yahoo.JPG

Go to http://answers.yahoo.com and enter key words such as IT-BHU, IIT-JEE, AIEEE, etc. to view students’ queries about selection of colleges.


Rankings by India Today
Arun @ Jun 18, 2007

The survey of top engineering colleges in India by India Today-A C nelson-ORG-MARG:

indiatoday.JPG

top25.JPG


Rankings by Outlook India
Arun @ Jun 18, 2007

outlook.JPG

top15.JPG


Rankings by Dataquest
Arun @ Jun 18, 2007
dataquest.JPG

Following the list of top 20 engineering colleges as per June 20, 2007 survey conducted by Dataquest magazine and research firm IDC India, both run by Cyber Media India Ltd.

Rank 2007InstituteScore2006 rank
1IIT- Khadagpur84.43
2IIT- Madras77.91
3IIT-Bombay74.35
4IIT- Delhi74.12
5IIT-Roorkee72.57
6IIT-Guwahati68.84
7IIT- Kanpur66.06
8NIT-Warangal63.212
9IIIT-Hyderabad62.510
10IT-BHU62.18
11BITS-Pilani61.99
12NIT Trichi61.413
13IIIT-Allahbad61.117
14Jadavpur Unversity59.018
15NIT- Calicut58.214
16NIT-Rourkela57.924
17MNNIT-Allahbad57.119
18Thapar University57.020
19BIT-Mesra55.417
20NIT-Hamirpur55.334


The news item for the above survey from livemint.com:

IT hires more from engineering colleges

Link to the article.

Centre to set up 30 more central universities
Arun @ Jun 16, 2007

(With this issue, we are starting a new sub-section called national Education news. It will contain prominent news about national institutes and govt. policies for higher education.)

The Prime Minister has announced the setting up of 30 more central universities. Banaras Hindu University is among the 18 existing central universities. This is a welcome move by the govt. It is to be seen how fast the proposal is implemented.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070623/asp/nation/story_7962355.asp

Centre lines up 30 new varsities
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

New Delhi, June 22: The Centre plans to set up and fund 30 universities across the country to reduce the burden on existing centrally funded institutions and raise the standard of higher education in India, the Prime Minister announced today.

Unveiling the latest chapter of his pet project — transforming India into a “knowledge economy” — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said work on the new central universities would begin within two to three months.

“Work on the modalities for setting these (universities) up has begun, and the ministry of human resource development, University Grants Commission and the Planning Commission are working to operationalise this in the next two-three months,” Singh said in his address at the 150th anniversary of the University of Mumbai.

Only 10 per cent children who complete secondary education go for higher studies — way behind the 40-50 per cent figure put out by developed countries. The government was targeting raising the Indian figure to 15 per cent over the course of the 11th five-year plan, Singh said.

HRD ministry sources said the locations for the new universities have not yet been finalised.

India has 20 central universities — 18 are funded by the UGC — but these are all spread over just nine states, Delhi and Puducherry.

The remaining 19 states of India, UGC sources said, would receive first priority in getting central universities.

Tamil Nadu — which does not have a central university but has considerable clout with the current government — is likely to be the first in the assembly line.


Radiotherapy course at BHU
Arun @ Jun 15, 2007

HT Correspondent
Varanasi, May 28

BANARAS HINDU University (BHU) will introduce a new course of Post Graduate Diploma in Medical Technology (Radiotherapy) at the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) in the next academic session.

Director of IMS-BHU, Prof. Gajendra Singh, informed that the minimum qualification for admission to this course was B Sc (Zoology, Physics, Biophysics and Life Sciences) and added that detailed information about the course could be accessed at the BHU website (www.bhu.ac.in).

“BHU is the first university in Uttar Pradesh to offer this novel course”, he claimed, adding, “The Radiotherapy and Radiation Medicine Department of IMS-BHU has required expertise and infrastructure to start this PG Diploma Course in Medical Technology (Radiotherapy).” He said this job-oriented course would help create trained staff and give them the opportunity to seek employment in both the government and the private sectors. He said, “Radiotherapy plays a major role in the management of cancer patients. Highly sophisticated and complex equipment are used for radiation therapy. This medical science requires use of several types of ionising radiation.”


BHU develops metal for revolutionising defence technology
Arun @ Jun 15, 2007

Link

A news item about Science Faculty of BHU developing nano-material for application in defense and other sectors.

The article:

Varanasi, May 26: Scientists at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) are dreaming of army tanks zipping like racing cars, after claiming to have developed a light-weight wonder metal at the Nano-Technology centre.

The monstrous but stout tanks of the army, besides heavy aircrafts can be made to zoom like racers, if the wonder material 'Multi-Walled Carbon Nano tube-Polyethylene Oxide Composites' (MWNT-PEO) developed by experts at the Centre for Nano Sciences, BHU is applied in defence, aeronautics, automobile and space technology, claimed O N Srivastava head of the team of experts at the Centre.

MWNT-PEO can revolutionise automobile, defence, space and aeronautics industry, Prof Srivastava added.

Carbon nano tubes (CNTs) have attracted considerable scientific attention because of their unique physical properties, and a class of CNT material is CNT composites, in which the nano tubes are embedded within a host matrix material, he informed.

''We have synthesised CNT-polyethylene oxide composites using the solution cast technique. We studied its electrical and mechanical properties at different nano tube loadings and it was found that it has superiority for applications because of its unique properties like rock solid strength and stability in air,'' Prof Srivastava said.

It would be beneficial to make this composite, which may inherit some of the unique properties of the polymer and the conductivity as well as the strength of the CNTs. The elastic modules and tensile strength of an MWNT-PEO were increased by about five and ten folds respectively, he added.

The feat of BHU experts has also provided a base to a researcher at Physics Department of University of Pune Sulabha Kulkarni to develop an ultra light-weight aerogel material using carbon nanotubes and silica.

The strength of this newly developed material could be understood from the fact that only three pieces of it weighing 15 mg can weigh more than seven kilograms in weight of traditional metals. It means the new material could support a weight of about 8000 times of its own body weight, Prof Srivastava said.

The Central University plans to transfer the knowledge about the new material to interested organisations for application in defence, aeronautics, automobile and space industry.

''We hope it will click in the development of light-weight, but fast-paced aircrafts and tanks in future,'' Prof Srivastava, a recipient of the prestigious Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award (Physical Science) in 1988 said.

He said the application of nano materials was already in practice in the US but in India it was yet to begin. ''The use of CNTs would be economical as well as environment friendly.''

-- UNI


Not Bihar, it's UP all the way in civil services
Arun @ Jun 15, 2007

Link

The article discusses the % of students appeared for civil service/UPSC exam from different national universities, including BHU.

Excerpts from the article:

“NEW DELHI: Popular perception is that Biharis dominate the civil services. However, it is Bihar's neighbour, Uttar Pradesh that dominates the civil services year after year. On an average, over 16% of the selected candidates for the civil services each year are from UP. In the latest 2006 civil services examination results, UP maintains its 16% share….

Over 11 universities of UP have candidates appearing for the examination with at least a few making it each year.

But the university that records the greatest success in UP is the University of Allahabad that is the fifth largest contributing university to the civil services. Allahabad university tops in terms of the number of students appearing for the civil services exam. The other big contributors to the civil services from UP are IIT Kanpur, University of Lucknow and Benaras Hindu University, in that order.”


Dr. K.C. Chakrabarty is PNB’s New CMD
Arun @ Jun 15, 2007
Link

New Delhi, June 05, 2007
Dr. Kamalesh Chandra Chakrabarty has joined Punjab National bank (PNB) as its Chairman & Managing Director. Earlier, he was Chairman & Managing Director of Indian Bank.

Dr. Chakrabarty, a Gold Medalist in M.Sc. (Statistics), did his Ph.D. in Statistics from BHU, Varanasi.

He joined Bank of Baroda as Planning Officer in 1978 and progressed to the post of General Manager in a short span. He held important positions in Bank of Baroda.
kcchakrabarty.JPG


He was Incharge of Bank’s corporate planning, MIS, Economic research and IT departments.

He also headed resource management function at corporate office, Mumbai and Integrated treasury function and Bank’s corporate risk management function.

In 2004, Dr. Chakrabarty was elevated to the post of Executive Director in Punjab National Bank and assumed charge as Chairman & Managing Director of Indian Bank on 9th June 2005. Presently, he is also director of United India Insurance Company Limited and member of Management Committee of Indian Bank Association.

Dr. Chakrabarty has also held the following important assignments / positions:
  • Director, Central Depository Service Ltd. (CSDL);
  • Director, BOB Housing Finance Limited;
  • Director, Bareilly Corporation Bank
  • Member, Committee on Direction on Banking Statistics;
  • Member Co-ordinator, Committee of Transfer Price Mechanism;
  • Member, IBA Committee of Economists;
  • Member, Committee constituted by IBA to study the experience of Financial Sector Reforms in select South-East Asian countries.

Social networking websites leading to the road of millionaires
Arun @ Jun 10, 2007

We are all too familiar with the hugely successful social networking websites such as My Space and its sister website Face Book for college students. Also well-known are Orkut and Indian site Sulekha, where one can add his/her profile as well as buy a ticket online for any event.

Suddenly under the Web 2.0 initiative (where the internet sites will have majority of contents provided by users), there is a gold rush to establish the web services to provide social connectivity and networking to web surfers. For example, Anil Ambani (of reliance Communications) has launched a website called Big Adda. Although it seems like equivalent to Tata Motors starting a bicycle factory, but there must be reason (profit) in it. Other India websites are coming up every month, all based on social networking theme. The list includes Mingle Box, You Hull and others. Among the newcomers, Mingle Box has nice format, ease of navigation and is doing good, as per media reports. The site also lists IT-BHU under its campus category
(http://www.minglebox.com/ITBHU).


Although most of the network sites target tech-savvy youth and college students, there are specifics sites for targeted audience. E-choupal started by ITC for Indian farmers, Bharat Students by Northgate Technologies Limited (UK). In an article in Business Standard the company has stated its plan to hire 2,000 college interns across the campus in India to develop its website and provide necessary information. Another interesting website called Tech Tribe and its sister company Front Foot specializes in placing technology professional to hiring companies for well-paid jobs.

As I am aware, several students from our college are already planning in the similar direction. One student plans to have website dedicated to mechanical engineering, where all manufacturers of machines, tools, pumps, etc will advertise and students and professionals can chat with each other. Another student plans to open a website for college students, and the site will offer exchange of old/new text books, provide engineering syllabus of different colleges, etc.

Why there is a rush to open new websites? The answer is best illustrated by Washington Post article: A new Model for getting Rich Online. It states “A decade ago, the Internet dream was to score through venture-capital financing and by raising cash in public stock offerings. Now, people with creative ideas can get rich relatively quickly by permitting advertisers to piggyback on any Web site that attracts a lot of viewers.”

Similar article was recently published by Associated Press: MySpace generation creates a new social networking cottage industry. The article states: “Do a Web search for MySpace and you'll find a wide variety of third-party companies, including sites that offer codes that can add colors or background pictures to your profile page. Other companies offer additional tools for inputting pictures or sending instant messages to MySpace friends. Many of these sites are funded with click-through ads that can make the owner anywhere from $1 to $10 for every 1,000 page views. Since many of these sites get thousands -- or even hundreds of thousands -- of page views, the money can add up.”

Earlier, the terms payment for online ad on a web or a blog used to be based on direct click on the ad; But now it can be based on the number of click on the pages containing ad, web traffic (as measured by installed site meter), quality and reputation of web site, site’s subject relevant to the product, etc. Obviously, the maximum numbers of viewers are possible only in social networking sites.

(By Yogesh Upadhyaya-Chemical 1977)

Chronicle note:

From this issue, we are starting a new section- Opinion. Anyone who is interested in contributing an article, please email to us. The instruction is provided at the beginning of this issue.


Stephen Hawking-the theoretical physicist
Arun @ Jun 10, 2007

stephenhawking.JPG

Stephen Hawking is a British theoretical physicist. He is the greatest theoretical physicist of post-Einstein era. He has explained some of the universe’s mystery such as black holes to general public in a much simplified way by means of book, speech, television programs and others.

Stephen was born in 1942. He is currently a professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Despite being physically handicapped and confined to wheelchair, he continues his search on solving mysteries of physics. His pioneer work includes: study of space and universe including black hole, origin of universe, big bang and string theory, philosophical questions, etc.

Stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease (a degenerative nerve disease) for 40 years that has made him a quadriplegic (with complete paralysis), his body movement is restricted to his mouth and eyes. He can speak via a computerized voice synthesizer that he operates by batting his eyelids. He depends on a diaphragm to breathe, and has very brittle bones due to severe osteoporosis.

His life-long dream of flying in out space under zero gravity was fulfilled in April 2007, when he flew for 4 minutes under such conditions in a zero-gravity plane.

He gave many television programs and posed following question to TV viewers watching PBS (Public Broadcasting Service-a non-profit public service TV channel in USA)

"Where do we come from? How did the universe begin? Why is the universe the way it is? How will it end?

"All my life, I have been fascinated by the big questions that face us, and have tried to find scientific answers to them. If, like me, you have looked at the stars, and tried to make sense of what you see, you too have started to wonder what makes the universe exist. The questions are clear, and deceptively simple. But the answers have always seemed well beyond our reach. Until now.

"The ideas which had grown over two thousand years of observation have had to be radically revised. In less than a hundred years, we have found a new way to think of ourselves. From sitting at the center of the universe, we now find ourselves orbiting an average-sized sun, which is just one of millions of stars in our own Milky Way galaxy. And our galaxy itself is just one of billions of galaxies, in a universe that is infinite and expanding. But this is far from the end of a long history of inquiry. Huge questions remain to be answered, before we can hope to have a complete picture of the universe we live in.

"I want you to share my excitement at the discoveries, past and present, which have revolutionized the way we think. From the Big Bang to black holes, from dark matter to a possible Big Crunch, our image of the universe today is full of strange sounding ideas, and remarkable truths. The story of how we arrived at this picture is the story of learning to understand what we see."

Stephen has written a best-selling book titled “A brief history of time”, which attempts to explain a range of subjects in cosmology, including the Big Bang, black holes, light cones and superstring theory, to the non-specialist reader. The author notes that an editor warned him that for every equation in the book the readership will be halved, hence it includes only a single equation: E = mc². You can view (limited pages) this and other similar books by Hawking on www.amazon.com.

bookstephen.JPG

For further reading:

1) Stephen Hawking in Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking

2) Personal blog maintained by Stephen Hawking
http://www.hawking.org.uk/home/hindex.html

3) PBS website on Stephen Hawking’s TV series.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/hawking/html/home.html

4) Details of Hawking’s zero-gravity flight in April 2007.
http://www.orilliapacket.com/webapp/sitepages/content.asp?contentid=544616&catname=Local%20News&classif=


Mere job tumhare job se….
Arun @ Jun 10, 2007

In the June 11/12 article (in two parts) of the above title on her youthcurry blog (www.youthcurry.blogspot.com), Rashmi Bansal analyses how students select the company and job according to their perception. She explains her point by providing examples of some of the companies who recruit students such as TCS, Infosys and IBM. The article is well-written and has some good comments by readers.

The excerpts from the article:

“Of course TCS does manage to get students. But it's not a top choice. The hot companies to join are the ones who take fewer people: IBM for example. Generally the companies which recruit more selectively pay more. So that's a first level of satisfaction for the new employee………”

“In just 3 short years, the world has changed. When I wrote this column for rediff.com in June 2004, it was still a big deal to join one of the Big Five. Except, perhaps at an IIT.

With the rising aspirations of fresh grads the same jobs have lost their sheen. The net has to be spread wider and wider, to tier 2 and tier 3 colleges, which would not be on the recruitment map at all a couple of years ago.

At a lesser known college it is a matter of pride that 'Infosys picked up 6 students'. The feeling is that of having 'arrived'.

But next year when 60 join, and then 100, the same 'we are being recruited like alu and pyaaz' feeling sets in.

I don't know what the solution is because much of the problem is created by the external environment. Once you know many options are available, you feel less committed to making something work.

Companies recruit extra staff in anticipation of attrition and end up compounding the problem by not having proper roles and jobs for some folks to do.”


CNR Rao bats for change in IIT entrance exam
Arun @ Jun 10, 2007

Link

Dr. CNR Rao points out flaws in IIT entrance examination, which according to him, produces students without any research appetite. Dr. Rao is head of Scientific Advisory Committee to Prime Minister (SAC-PM) and also The Chairman of IIT Board.

The article:

BS Reporter / Bangalore June 15, 2007
Taking strong objection to the manner in which the IITs select candidates every year, CNR Rao, chairman, Scientific Advisory Council of the Prime Minister, today emphasised the need for reducing the burden on students.

"The concept of examination has killed the spirit of innovation among students. Every year, IITs conduct entrance examination and students are exhausted by the time they successfully complete them. They tend to lead a retired life for the next four years (course duration). Where is the scope for innovation? Examinations should only be incidental," Rao, who is also chairman of IITs, said.

Delivering the keynote address at the CII's 'India Innovation Summit 2007', Rao said students were forced to rely on tutorials to prepare for the IITs entrance examination. "This was not the situation when the IITs were started. The entrance examinations are killing the spirit of creativity among students. This is not good for a developing country like ours," he said.

The country seriously lags behind many nations in innovation and obtaining patents. "A small company in Taiwan gets more patents than India as a whole. There is an acute lack of original research work in engineering and technology in the country. Double digit economic growth is possible only when there is a lot of innovation," he added.

He called upon the private sector to develop a world-class university to rival the IITs and IISc. "Industries have the capability to start a university on par with those in the US. Why should you rely on government-aided colleges and institutions for talent? Start an institution with your own expertise, it will enable innovation in a large way for the benefit of the industry as well as the country," Rao said.


IIT-JEE 2007 results declared
Arun @ Jun 10, 2007

Link

This article provides interesting statistics about IIT-JEE 2007 results, which was declared yesterday. The IIT-JEE is held for seven IITs (not six as mentioned in the article), IT-BHU and Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad.

The article:

West zone grabs most IIT seats

31 May, 2007 l 0443 hrs IST l TIMES NEWS NETWORK

MUMBAI: The maximum number of students who have made it to the IITs this year are from the Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi zones, but an unexpected corner of India has produced the topper—Kot Kapura in Punjab.

On Wednesday, the country's premier engineering colleges, the IITs, announced the results of their highly competitive joint entrance exam, the JEE.

Of the 2.51 lakh candidates who braved the JEE this year—a marked decrease of nearly 50,000 from last year—7,200 made it to the six IITs, IT-BHU in Varanasi and the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad. The results showed an overall improvement in performance due to an easier two-paper format, said officials.

The drop in the number of aspirants was attributed to the fact that from 2006, the IITs have allowed students only two strikes at the JEE. The all-India topper, Achin Bansal, is from Kot Kapura, a small town in Faridkot district in north Punjab. "There is no engineering college in my town, so I decided to give the JEE a shot," said Bansal, who plans to join IIT-Bombay.

Nitish Srivastana, who ranked second, is from Dehradun, and Ambrose Birani, who stood third, from Indore. The big shift this year is the jump in the percentage of girls who have succeeded in breaching this traditionally male bastion. This year 587 girls have made it, up from 394 in 2006. The highest-scoring girl candidate, Ankita Sharma from Mumbai, said it was a "don't give up" attitude that got her to the 55th rank.

The JEE-2007 list was released without setting aside seats for Other Backward Classes (OBC) students. Organising JEE chairman H S Pandalai said the Union HRD ministry had asked the IITs to declare the results based on last year's reservation policy.

The seven IITs together have 4,193 seats for the 116 streams they offer at the undergraduate level and the five-year integrated MSc programmes.

Of those who qualified, the maximum were from the Mumbai zone comprising the five western states. While the number of applicants from the zone has dropped, the percentage of successful candidates has gone up dramatically. Of every 100 Mumbai zone students who took the exam, almost five made it.

This year too a number of foreign students took the JEE, but of 120 only six qualified. Foreign students are admitted into the IITs over and above their sanctioned intake.

J M Vasi, deputy director of IIT-B, said that the two-paper pattern was easier on the students and helped them perform better. The IITs will analyse this year's results to decide on whether or not to raise the bar for JEE-2008.

Although almost 18% of the candidates who sat for the JEE this year were OBC students, they were judged as part of the general stream. Quotas for the scheduled castes (15%), scheduled tribes (7.5%) and physically challenged (3%) continue to be implemented.


Colours of Clay
Arun @ Jun 10, 2007
The article “Colours of clay” was published in The Telegraph under Careergraph section. The author discusses on the growing demand of ceramic specialists in the country with focus on career opportunities for young graduates. With increased scope in Steel, Refractory, Cement, Glass and Ceramic ware units as well as in leading government R&D centers, the article foresees the demand outstripping the supply for such specialists.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070621/asp/careergraph/story_7939329.asp

Class act

TUNE IN TO THE LATEST FROM THE WORLD OF EDUCATION

Colours of clay

For those with a knack for art and craft, the sky is the limit. V. Kumara Swamy reports on the increasing demand for ceramic specialists
clay.JPGFrom the pretty china cup to the outer lining of a spacecraft that can withstand extreme temperatures, ceramics dominates almost all spheres of life. In India, a person who desires to make a career in this sector is almost sure to find himself loaded with a wide range of options.

It could be as an entrepreneur or as an employee in a large-scale ceramic ware manufacturing unit, or even in a steel refractory or as a researcher treading unknown territory.

“Options for youngsters in ceramics are enormous,” says Dr Shankar Ghatak, senior scientist with the Central Glass & Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI), Calcutta, adding, “Besides, the opportunities to excel in research are enormous.”

“Our students are snapped up even before they finish their graduation. That is the kind of demand we are talking about for ceramic technology engineers. For anybody who is focussed and ready to work hard, I think the sky is the limit,” says Ashis Bandopadhyay, principal of Government College of Engineering and Ceramic Technology, Calcutta.

According to Manas Kumar Panja, who works for a private steel manufacturer in Surat, the opportunities are increasing by the day. “The demand for ceramic specialists is such that it will take ages to reach the saturation point,” he points out.

Some institutes that offer graduation courses in ceramics (BTech, BE and BSc) are Government College of Science & Technology in Calcutta, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, Regional Engineering College in Rourkela, Faculty of Technology and Engineering, M.S. University in Baroda, PDA College of Engineering in Gulbarga and Anna University in Chennai. Admission to these institutions is through entrance examinations.

“Significant progress has been made in areas related to research, design, development, testing and commercialisation of these materials all over the world. However, challenges abound for making further advancements in the properties of these materials for maximum utility and widespread use,” says Kamal K. Kar, assistant professor, department of mechanical engineering and materials science programme, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Some of the higher educational institutes include materials and metallurgical departments of all IITs, department of ceramic engineering, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Calcutta University (Rajabazar campus), CGCRI Calcutta.

Typically, students who opt for higher studies are those who are interested in doing further research in ceramics. And, be sure, there is a lot to research on. “For instance in India, we can’t make a furnace that can withstand more than 2000 degree Celsius. Unless we come up with a ceramic material that can withstand such high temperatures, we may continue to lag behind,” says Kar.

Besides, there are institutions such as the Indian Space Research Organization, Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Institute for Plasma Research, among others, which are in need of trained experts in ceramics.

The opportunities for someone fresh out of college are vast. “When I had just graduated, there was a flood of offers from various industries, but I chose a steel refractory,” says Panja. According to experts, a student who has just graduated can earn anywhere between Rs 25,000 and Rs 40,000.

“In government institutions like our own, more often than not, students with PhDs are preferred for the ‘scientist’ category. And for anybody who is willing to work hard, the opportunities to excel are mind-boggling,” says Ghatak.

One can even opt to be an entrepreneur. “If a person is enterprising enough, he or she can go ahead and set up a ceramic unit. This has become easier as the government now offers easy loans,” says Bandhopadhyay. “Ceramic specialists could never dream of such prospects before. In fact, during the IT boom, many of those who did BTech in ceramic technology preferred a job in one of the software companies but not any longer,” says Arnab Sengupta, who recently completed his BTech from Government College of Engineering and Ceramic Technology, Calcutta. He took up a job with a refractory in Karnataka, thanks to the placement cell of his college.

A Campus survey of Engineering Students
Arun @ Jun 10, 2007

The survey was conducted by Campus Connect at campuses of engineering colleges to find out students’ job preference, salary offered, etc. The same survey, but with different information is published in Money Control magazine:

Link

The excerpts from article in Business Standard:

Link

Jobs at IT product firms most coveted`

Praveen Bose / Bangalore June 27, 2007

TRENDS: Fresh engineers from technology schools prefer challenging assignments to high salaries, says a survey.

The last two years or so have seen a shift in the job preferences of students graduating from India's top engineering institutions. There is now a greater awareness of information technology product companies among students and a resultant rise in the desire for joining them.

With profit margins at IT services firms and the services businesses of IT firms under greater pressure, this translates into lower salaries than those offered by product firms during campus recruitments. IT product companies pay engineering graduates Rs 5 - 8 lakh a year at the entry-level, while services companies pay Rs 3 - 5 lakh a year.

These are some of the findings of a compensation survey-cum-student perception study conducted by Campus Connect, a division of CareerNet Consulting.

The survey was conducted in over 110 T-Schools and involved over 1,000 students and 30 IT companies. CareerNet is an integrated recruitment consulting firm that offers professional services to the technology, knowledge, BFSI and retail sectors.

At the campus level, 45 per cent of students prefer IT product companies, followed by the semi-conductor, high-end computing and VLSI segments. This is followed by the financial services companies and KPOs. IT services companies are the least preferred, being the choice of just 7.7 per cent male and 19 per cent female candidates.


E-mail to bypass phone charges
Arun @ Jun 06, 2007

In an article published by Indiatimes Infotech the news item discusses about the new phone services coming up to make use of VOIP and to take on Skype. We had discussed about one such company Jajah, in our April 2007 issue. The news companies offer free or very cheap phone calls to many countries; however, they have yet to offer services to/from India.

Excerpts from the two-page article:

E-mail to bypass phone charges

REUTERS [ THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2007 01:49:16 PM]

“PLEASANTON: Jangl Inc, one of a new class of Web-telephone calling companies, is introducing a way to call over the Internet that bypasses traditional phone networks and uses e-mail to provide privacy from unknown callers.

The service allows users to place calls as well as to send text messages or send or receive voicemail -- all via the Internet, rather than voice networks.

It helps consumers place long-distance calls, globally, to anyone with an e-mail address and a phone, for about the cost of a dime.

Jangl, now available in 31 countries in Europe, North America and Hong Kong, is a novel system tied to e-mail addresses, Web links and virtual voicemail that conceals the complexity of remembering lots of different phone numbers…….
The past year has seen the rise of Web-calling start-ups from Jajah to Jangl to Jaxtr to Grand Central -- all inspired by the success of Skype, which so far has wooed 200 million users for free or low-cost calls between computers and phones.

Newer rivals to Skype are seeking to improve on ideas from decade-old dial-around services where callers use complicated phone numbers to bypass long-distance charges. They are using the Web to add sophisticated new features…….
The advantage Jangl offers over other Web-calling alternatives is that calling numbers remain private. Callers who you don't know go straight to voicemail on Jangl's site. Callers you no longer wish to hear from are easily blocked.

For users of social networks like MySpace or Facebook, who are often stereotyped as being shamelessly unconcerned about their privacy, the Jangl service gives them control over who calls them -- similar to how instant message systems like AIM, Yahoo or MSN allow users to keep in close touch with buddies, but help them hide from or block unwelcome contacts.”


Falling standard of education in India
Arun @ Jun 06, 2007

Recently, there are two reports published in Times of India and Indian Express, which deal with falling standard of education in India. The reports try to analyse the cause of the degrading quality in our colleges.

a) The report in Times of India shows interesting statistics about engineering colleges.

(Correction-It mentions 9 IITs, perhaps referring to the 9 colleges-7 IITs along with IT-BHU and ISM, Dhanbad-admitting students through IIT-JEE. There are 20 NITs, including the latest one announced at Imphal, Manipur state.)

The article:

Engineers: Quantity over quality?

26 May, 2007 l 0144 hrs IST l Subodh Varma/TIMES NEWS NETWORK

NEW DELHI: This year, a record 7 lakh students sat for the All India Engineering Entrance Examination, competing for over 9,000 seats in engineering colleges across the country. Last year the number was 5.8 lakh, while the year before it was 3.6 lakh. The great rush for engineering continues but for how long and at what cost?

There are over 1,400 engineering colleges in the country offering more than 5 lakh seats, of which, over 85% are private colleges. And, such is the demand that parents are willing to pay lakhs to get admission into the so-called open seats. However, the number of students successfully passing out from these colleges declined from about 70% in 2002 to 57% in 2005.

A few other facts indicate the chaotic situation prevailing in this sector. Despite the mad rush, several thousand seats go vacant in engineering colleges. Thus, in 2006, over 47,000 seats were left vacant in 7 states. Also, every year, thousands of seats are de-recognised by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the top regulatory body for non-IIT engineering education.

Declining pass-out rates and periodic de-recognition are a direct result of the unregulated growth of colleges. At the top of the heap are the 9 IITs. Then come the 19 National Institutes of Technology, formerly known as the Regional Engineering Colleges (RECs). These top two layers are government run. Then we have the rest of the colleges, mostly private.

According to Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), a top professional body, the mushrooming of private colleges without any regulation in quality has led to a deterioration of standards and skill levels. In most colleges, fresh BTech graduates are working as lecturers. AICTE estimates that there are only 7,000 PhDs and 20,000 MTechs working as teachers, while BTechs number nearly 1 lakh.

Vacancies in college seats are a result of a combination of factors. Colleges with a not-so-good faculty and infrastructure are not preferred. Courses like IT are preferred more over, say, agricultural engineering. In addition, seats reserved for SC/ST often go vacant. Derecognition occurs because colleges initially meet the minimum conditions required for getting AICTE approval but later fall back.

These conditions include faculty strength, qualification, infrastructure, among others. Actually, AICTE only provides the minimum standard for approval. The real test is accreditation by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), which looks at quality of education too. Only about 8% of the engineering colleges are accredited by the NBA.

Over 60% of the engineering colleges are located in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Since most industries are located in these states, absorption rates are better.

There may be a similar concentration within a state, for instance, most of the 236 UP engineering colleges are located in the industrial districts of Ghaziabad and Noida. According to Arun Arya, a second year student in Ghaziabad, "I have come from Lucknow to study here because placement possibilities are better."

However, employment may not at all be commensurate with qualification — several engineers can be found doing data entry jobs or working in call centres. This is because there is a wide mismatch between jobs requiring engineering skills and the numbers being churned out.

In fact, top policy makers are worried that post graduate studies in engineering are abysmally low. Only about 5% of the engineering graduates continue to complete MTech — and, of these only 3% go on to do a doctorate. And, it is not as if the situation is any different in emerging disciplines. Only 4500 of the 1.8 lakh computer engineering BTechs went on to do MTech. This not only causes a severe shortage of qualified faculty, it also blunts the edge in research and innovation.

So, what should be done? INAE prescribes an overhaul of the administration and management structure of technical institutions, boosting faculty strengths, rationalising admission policy and increased interaction with industry. Without these, and a strict watch on quality of education, India could well end up with too many engineers out in the cold.

b) Another report in Indian Express shows that education standard in falling in colleges and universities across the country. It cites statistics from NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) to support its argument.

Higher education, lowest standards

Shubhajit Roy

Posted online: Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 0000 hrs

UGC survey shows 90% of colleges, 68% of universities assessed medium or poor; half of Class XII students never even enter college

New Delhi, June 9: In this season of celebrating toppers and staggering cut-offs in college admissions across the country, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has come up with a startling admission: Over half of the students who pass Class XII don’t even enter the higher-education sector; 90 per cent of colleges and 68 per cent of universities across the country are of middling or poor quality. On almost all indicators, from faculty standards to library facilities, from computer availability to student-teacher ratio, higher education is in crying need for an upgrade.

The “quality gap” in both universities and colleges is alarming: 25 per cent faculty positions in universities remain vacant; 57 per cent teachers in colleges do not have either an M Phil or PhD; there is only one computer for 229 students, on an average, in colleges.

These results of the first-ever official assessment of the higher education system, conducted by UGC’s Bangalore-based National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), have been presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by HRD Minister Arjun Singh. The assessment was conducted on 123 universities and 2,956 colleges across India — an estimated 60% of these institutions were private, the rest government-run.

Institutions participated on a voluntary basis. It was based on seven broad parameters: curriculum, teaching, research and consultancy, infrastructure, student support, management and innovative practices.

The data acquire extra significance given the boom in the higher education sector and the exponential rate of growth expected. The number of universities has risen from 20 in 1947 to 378 in 2006; colleges, from 500 to 18,064 during the same period. And yet, “little more than half, 52.61 per cent, of those who passed the 12th standard get into colleges and universities, the other half drops out,” said UGC chairman Sukhdeo Thorat.

The dropout rate among Scheduled Tribes is maximum (61.5 per cent), followed by Scheduled Castes (51.21) and Other Backward Classes (50.09).
“We followed a rigorous methodology for each institution which, in an average, took as long as seven months,” said NAAC’s director V S Prasad. “This included a self-appraisal, a peer review and an independent monitoring.”

So far, no IIM, IIT or NIT (formerly RECs) have been assessed by the council — these anyways are likely to be Grade A institutions, said Prasad.

The key findings (see charts) are startling:

  • Of 123 universities, only a third is of “good quality,” over a half are B-grade and a sixth C-grade
  • Among 2,956 colleges, only 10 per cent made the Grade A cut; 66 per cent were B-grade and 24 per cent C-grade.

Thorat, present during the meeting with the PM, told The Sunday Express: “We have to focus on bridging the quality gap between A-grade and the rest. There are mainly two reasons for this quality gap: availability and quality of facilities and quality of faculty.”

Thorat says that one key factor behind the quality gap is the under-investment in higher education since 1980s. Between 1951 and 1980, the government spending on higher education sector grew at the rate of 17 per cent, but then it dipped to 10 pc between 1981 to 2003-04.

The result, the UGC claims, is that it’s unable to fund 60 per cent of colleges and 40 per cent of state universities. To “improve the situation”, the UGC, backed by the HRD ministry, has sought Rs 77,779 crore as funds for the XIth five-year-plan. And plans to make NAAC assessment and accreditation mandatory, link funding to performance, expand operations in districts with enrolment less than 10 per cent, increase funds to institutions with higher share of students from the poor and the marginalised sections.

Quality status of the universities and colleges sector

Colleges Assessed by NAAC 2956

Grade A 10%
Grade B 66%
Grade C 24%

Universities Assessed by NAAC 123

Grade A 32%
Grade B 52%
Grade C 16%

qualitygap.JPG


A story about people coming to Varanasi and wait to die
Arun @ Jun 02, 2007
Waiting to die in Varanasi means lonely lives, talk of mercy killings

Link

livemint.JPG

This is an excellent article published in Livemint.com about people who come to Varanasi for the sole purpose of dying. It states that some doctors illegally give injections to some wishful, a type of mercy killing.

Livemint.com is a joint venture between Hindustan Times and Wall Street Journal. It publishes quality news, articles related to business and finance, personal profiles, etc.


The ashrams, where people once came to die, have slowly evolved into old-age homes

Priyanka P. Narain

Seventy-five-year-old Nara-yana Iyer and his 68-year-old wife, Muthulakshmi, wake up early every morning with the hope that the day will bring death.
They have been hoping for 20 years.

At the Shri Shankracharya Swamigal Mutt, Iyer sits on a single cot in his tiny room, one wall covered with pictures and idols of gods, and asks just where Shiva is in this city believed to be blessed by him.

“We pray to Shiva to take our lives. Every day, all day. But Shiva does not listen,” said Iyer. “What to do? It is his will. We don’t give up.”
anoldcouple.JPG Thirty others join Iyer and his wife in prayers at the ashram. And across the city, long considered a place where the cycle of life and death screeches to a halt, an estimated 10,000 death pilgrims also are waiting—in many cases, longer than they expected.

For centuries, thousands have landed in this city to spend their final days. But now, as the average life expectancy of Indians has increased—from 50 in 1975 to 64 in 2000—those who arrive here thinking they have a few days left end up staying years.
This phenomenon has raised ethical questions among doctors about just how much they should treat the sick and elderly who have come to die; it also has helped spawn an underground market of doctors willing to end life for a price in a country where euthnasia is a crime.

It is believed that if a person dies in Varanasi—defined as the old city between the rivers Varuna and Assi—he will be redeemed of all sins by Lord Shiva on the cremation pyre.

Locals say the belief is so powerful that those who do not have the resources to wait for years simply jump into the Ganga or commit suicide.

Others quietly talk about doctors administering mercy killings to residents of the ashrams.

Some doctors don’t mind admitting it, though.

In a phone interview with Mint, Dr Sanjay Yadav at Meridian Hospital in Varanasi matter of factly recounted a fatal injection administered, for a fee, to a 20-year-old who wanted to die. Asked repeatedly about the the legality of such a move, Dr Yadav simply repeated “chalta hai” (it happens). He would only say that the patient was “uncomfortable.”

Familiar with the short cuts by now, Iyer said he does not believe they will lead to his mukti You have to live out your karma.” :

Meanwhile, the ashrams, too, are undergoing a shift. People staying longer means friendships are being struck in and outside the ashram, and children are coming to visit elderly parents on birthdays and festivals. Whereas life once stood still for those who had come to die, now the pilgrims say they have established day-to-day routines and are getting involved in the affairs of the ashrams.

Like 89-year-old R. Shastri: if things had gone according to plan, he says he would have died more than a quarter century ago.

Now, he serves as secretary of the Shankracharya ashram. Shastri arrived in Varanasi with his wife 29 years ago; he was 60, she was 48, and thought he had two, maybe three years left.

A toothless Shastri shook his head and said sadly, “I did not think I would cremate over 50 people who died at this ashram.” Then he sighed deeply and said, “God willing, it will not be long now.”

Standing in the corner, his wife of more than 60 years folded a stubborn cotton sari, refusing to meet anyone’s eyes.

These spaces, where people once came to die, have slowly evolved into old-age homes, a reflection of more children abandoning parents and a lack of adequate elder care across the country, observers say.

Shastri has four sons, who almost never visit him here. “I go to meet them when I miss them,” he shrugs. “So it is all right.”

Iyer said everyone has their own schedule during the day: praying in the morning, bathing in the Ganga, visiting temples of favourite deities around the ashram and returning to pray in the courtyard temple with pictures of Adi Shankarcharya, a philosopher.

Once or twice a week, the dying hopeful assemble in Iyer’s little room to watch television. “When the Ramayana and the Mahabharata were telecast, we used to watch that. Now, we watch Aastha or Sanskar channel,” he said, referring to the spiritual channels.

No Kyunki Saans Bhi Bahu Thi though, he grins, speaking of the popular soap opera.

Indians are living longer now because epidemics and infection are under better control across the country, while there’s also “better awareness of health issues, better nutrition and easy access to medical help,” said Dr O.P. Sharma, a geriatrics professor and doctor in the Capital.

Thus, the residents find a way to look after each other in sickness. Among those Shastri and his wife comfort each day: a 98-year-old woman whose legs no longer work, an 80-year-old blind and deaf woman, an 88-year-old man who is so weak that he can no longer sit up on his bed to eat.

Doctors come in when they fall sick, but very serious illnesses are not treated aggressively, said Dr Vishwanath Pandey at Benaras Hindu University.

“There is this thing that in your Pandey said. “In the end, mind that these people want to die anyway,” doctors only give medicines for pain and flu.”

Iyer says that he and his wife view looking after the dying as their duty and that it will help wash away their own old sins faster. In the process, he said, “we also become very fond of each other. So when someone dies, we do feel a little sad.”

READ MORE ARTICLES BY: Priyanka P. Narain

Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust to develop interactive website with the help of IT-BHU
Arun @ Jun 02, 2007

Link

'E-darshan' of Kashi Vishwanath temple!

Varanasi, June 12: Offering prayers at the world famous Kashi Vishwanath temple could just be a mouse click away for the 'Shiv Bhakts', if yesterday's decision of the Trust managing affairs at the revered shrine is implemented fully.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust, which manages the affairs at the temple met yesterday and cleared the decks for the development of an interactive bilingual (Hindi and English) website of the temple which holds the promise of ushering 'virtual darshan' of one of the 12 'jyotirlingas' to cyber-savvy Shiv Bhakts across the world.

''The successful e-darshan of Tirupati Balaji temple, Siddhi Vinayak and the Vaishno Devi shrines through interactive websites has prompted the Trust to go for similar virtual darshan of Kashi Vishwanath also,'' Additional Chief Executive Officer of the temple Radheyshyam Pathak said here today.

''Attempts were on to rope in the services of computer experts and web developers from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to prepare a blueprint for the ambitious exercise in a fortnight time.

After drawing the blueprint the work will start on the project,'' he added.

Detailing about the entire idea of making the revered shrine go digital, Mr Pathak said ''the interactive website will not only provide e-darshan of the jyotirlinga, but will also provide detailed information about the 11 other jyotirlingas.'' Besides, the State Bank of India's e-banking facility will be used for the website to accept donations, gifts and other offerings from citizens from across the globe who cannot make it physically to the shrine.

Arrangements will also be made to send back the 'prasad,' 'gangajal' and even the 'bail leaves' offered at the Jyotirlinga through the donations by concerned citizens.

''It will be a two way exercise by first accepting gifts and offerings from the Shiv Bhakta's through the Internet and then sending them their due prasad,'' Mr Pathak said.

Even visuals of the early morning Mangala Arti, Bhog Arti and the Shayan Arti -- the three prime Artis at the temple -- will be a mouse click away.

After visualising the 'jyotirlinga' and the three 'Artis' through the website, the citizens will also have the option of booking in advance their attendence at the Mangala Arti by using the SBI e-banking facility.

Mr Pathak also admitted two years ago a similar decision was taken by the Temple Trust, but owing to administrative glitches it was yet to be implemented.

He, however, said new divisional commissioner Nitin Ramesh Gokarna was serious about launching the entire project as quickly as possible.

-- UNI


Uploading of video on YouTube
Arun @ Jun 01, 2007

http://www.usaweekend.com/07_issues/070610/070610techsmart.html

This informative short article is published from USA Weekend, the largest circulating weekly newspaper supplement in USA. The commercial part is removed.

usaweekend.jpg

TechSmart

Easy uploading

YouTube-friendly devices make video-sharing simple.

Sharing video on YouTube is all the rage, but pocket Spielbergs soon realize that it's not just a matter of click and drag. YouTube accepts any number of video formats, but it works best with MPEG-4 (a type of video standard compatible with most computers). Unfortunately, getting your video into any of these formats requires a long process called transcoding, in which you convert your video into a compatible format.

If you have a webcam, there's an easier way: YouTube's Quick Capture. Compatible with webcam-enabled PCs running Internet Explorer or Firefox, Quick Capture lets you record your video blog/cute kitten story/karaoke session right in front of your PC. To start it, log into YouTube and click "Upload Videos." First, YouTube will ask you to fill out some identifying information. Select "Use Quick Capture," allow YouTube to use your webcam, and then the feature works just like a regular video recorder. To tape something, click "Record." Once you're done, YouTube does the rest of the work.

-- John Biggs


Battle at Kruger –YouTube Video
Arun @ Jun 01, 2007

kruger.JPG

No, this is not about a battle of World War II. This is the story of buffalo fighting lions about 3 years ago in Kruger National Park in South Africa. This episode was captured on camera by a tourist and recently posted on YouTube, which has become the most watched video in YouTube’s entire history.

A baby buffalo from its herd was captured by a group of lions at one end, and by crocodile at the other end in a small pond. The buffalo herd organized themselves, attacked lions and chased them away. The baby also freed itself from the crocodile. Miraculously, the baby was not seriously injured.

Watch this video (little over 8 minutes) on YouTube at:

cam.JPG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM&mode=related&search=

It has over 7,000 comments and has been viewed more than 5 million times.

Caution: The video displays graphic account of violence, and viewer’s discretion is advised.

The New York Times quickly come up with an article about this amazing video, titled:

“When Animals Attack-and Defend”

The article can be viewed here.

Excerpts from the article:

“Cape buffalo aren't usually the stuff of news, but in the last month they've become the heroes of blogs, newsgroups and fan sites, ever since YouTube posted a video that may be the hottest upload in web history that doesn't include a naked famous person or a politician saying something career-ending. The 8-min., 23-sec. clip is a three-act play of attack, counterattack and rescue shot three summers ago in Kruger National Park in South Africa and posted only this May. Since then, it has been viewed more than 3.8 million times—200,000 times in a single day this week—drawn more than 6,000 comments and been bookmarked as a fan favorite more than 20,000 times. And a single viewing of the thriller in Kruger (though you're unlikely to watch it just once) shows why.

The smackdown took place at an ordinary watering hole where a small herd of cape buffalo were drinking and idling, wandering dangerously close to a pack of concealed lions that either did not smell very lion-like or, more probably, were crouching deliberately upwind. On the other side of the hole, six tourists and a guide watched in a parked range vehicle. The lions waited until the buffalo got close enough and then pounced, seizing the baby and scattering the adults. That's usually a game-ender for a baby buffalo, but things got even worse for this one as he struggled backwards, splashed part way into the water, and got his hind legs snagged by a pair of crocodiles. He somehow yanked free of them, but remained in the jaws of the lions until suddenly the adult cape buffalos stormed back in much greater numbers, dispersed the lions and made off with the remarkably unharmed baby.“


Reader's Feedback
Arun @ Jun 01, 2007

I congratulate you for your efforts in bringing out Chronicle promptly. The high quality of journalism is very much appreciated by us students who have just about graduated into being called 'Alumni' (I belong to 2007 batch).

I had earlier suggested the name of Mr. Anil Chakravarthy, VP Tech. Operations, Symantec Corp.(The company that makes Norton Anti Virus) as one whom you might like to feature in Chronicle sometime. The topper of his batch, he went on to go to MIT for his grad studies. He also has an MBA from MIT Sloan Business School.

I have now obtained his e-mail id from my contacts. It is anil_chakravarthy [AT] symantec [DOT] com.

Hope we can get him into the alumni act as soon as possible.

Thanks and regards,
Anand R Kashyap (Mechanical 2007)
Email: Anand [DOT] Kashyap [AT] mec07 [DOT] itbhu [DOT] org

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