Published on July 20, 2007
The Chronicle July, 2007 issue.
Vol.2007 : Issue 0007
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This has a record number of articles (15) about news on alumni success including alumni publication. One of our most successful alumni is Nikesh Arora (Electrical 1989), who is now promoted to President of Google's Europe, Middle East, and Asia operations
We have also covered news from our institute about Ministry of Steel establishing a Chair at our institute. The campus news includes the orientation program for freshers and success story of our 3rd year students starting their own successful business.
There is also some progress on IIEST front, as the West Bengal govt. has come to an agreement with central govt. for handing over its institute. The picture is still incomplete and we shall post the news as we receive the confirmation.
We are pleased to announce that Puneet Agrawal (Ceramics 2006) and Dishank Gupta (2nd year Biomedical) have joined the chronicle team.
We need more news. Please send us news, events, articles, information, etc, at: chronicle [AT] itbhuglobal.org. Please indicate your branch/year.
The Chronicle Team
It seems that central govt. is close to reaching its goal to convert five engineering institutes to IIESTs as recommended by the Anandakrishnan Committee. According to the recently published news in Calcutta, the conversion is moving forward due to the compromise reached between the West Bengal and Central Governments with respect to the governance and admission at Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU).
The centre has agreed to the two demands, of providing reservation for the in-state students and State Govt. representation to the institution's governing body, put forward by West Bengal Govt. (WBG). WBG has probably sent the letter to the Central Government (CG) already agreeing to hand over BESU to them. The centre has agreed to two of the demands put forward by West Bengal govt.
The centre has agreed to keep 50% seats reserved for in-state students for BESU. It has also agreed to take 1 or 2 State-nominated representatives to the governing body of IIEST-Shibpur.
For handing over CUSAT, Kerala govt. had made similar demands, but it is not known whether any agreement has been reached with the centre. However, it is expected that Kerala Govt. may agree for CUSAT's conversion if the CG proposes the conditions as agreed between WBG and CG. Nothing is known about the stand taken by Andhra Pradesh Govt., although it is likely to take the similar path for two of its colleges for IIEST conversion.
The situation is still unclear, and we shall wait for any confirmed news before making any judgment. There are efforts to introduce IIEST Bill in the monsoon season of the parliament, i.e. from 31st July to 30th August.
BESU Alumni Association is faithfully collecting all articles and discussion related to IIEST issue on its website. More news can be found at: http://www.becollege.org/news/news_item.asp?NewsID=344
Half the seats at BESU for state students: Centre
Kolkata, July 13: The Centre has agreed to the state’s proposal to reserve 50 per cent seats for students from West Bengal in the Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), which is set to come up at Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) at Shibpur, Howrah.
The institute will be upgraded to an Institute of National Importance after the Centre confers the status, Minister of Higher Education Sudarshan Roy Chowdhury told the Assembly today.
The consensus on the state’s quota comes after weeks of discussion between the state and the Centre.
“The Ananda Krishnan Committee had submitted a proposal to the Centre, where it had stated the upgrade of premier institutes on the lines of the Indian Institutes of Technology. The BESU was one of the five chosen institutes,” the minister said.
Earlier, the state had reservations about the system of admission and the model of governance that the institute would follow, post-upgrade. It had sought “protection of admission” for students from Bengal and the ISI mode of governance.
Chowdhury said that as per the proposal, the IIESTs would enroll students from across the country. The states would have to hand over their institutes to the Centre. The admissions to these institutes would be through All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) or All-India Joint Entrance Examination.
The state, however, was not happy with the suggestions put forward by the committee. After negotiations and meeting held with the Union ministry of Human Resources Development, it agreed to some of the demands.
“We wanted 70-75 per cent reservations for our students. The Centre has given a nod for 50 per cent seat reservation. The Centre has also agreed to the state’s role in the institute’s activities,” he said.
The other four institutes which will be upgraded to the status of IIEST are — Cochin University of Science and Technology in Kerala, Andhra University College of Engineering and Osmania University College of Engineering and Technology in Andhra Pradesh and BHU Institute of Technology in Uttar Pradesh.
This would be effective only after legislation in Parliament is passed, indicating the type of governance, rules and regulation, modus operandi for selection of students for admission through competitive entrance examinations.
The model proposed in the NIT Bill — passed in the Rajya Sabha and awaiting passage in the Lok Sabha — envisages a board comprising a chairperson, an ex-officio director, two persons to be nominated by the Centre (not below the rank of joint secretary), two persons to be nominated by the state (technologist or industrialist) and two professors.
The chronicle will request all alumni whose books have been published, to send a copy to library for reference. The library has received a copy of Introduction to Biomedical Engineering from Dr. S. N. Sarbadhikari, whose book is highlighted in this issue.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Excerpts from the article:
“Living it up in lovely Lahore! Santosh Ojha soaks in the sights and sounds of Lahore, Pakistan, and can't wait for his next visit to the place with its scrumptuous street food and friendly people.
The 55-minute PIA flight to Lahore from Delhi is short and uneventful. Perhaps aided by the recital of a selection from the Quran just before take-off. What I was not prepared for was the organised and neat airport and immigration.
For a resident of Bangalore (and a frequent flyer) Lahore airport came as a pleasant surprise! To start with, the airport is named after a poet and not, as one would expect in the sub-continent, after a politician. (For those who may not remember, Allama Iqbal is the poet who wrote the famous Saare jahaan sey achha).
The immigration is staffed by smartly-clad women with their heads covered. No fuss, no delay and we are out of the terminal building quickly. The drive into the city is smooth, largely due to the holiday that day in Lahore for their local festival Basant.
And the Bangalorean in me can not help but wonder about the quality of the roads! Six lane roads, well maintained. The trees are bedecked with lights, again for Basant.”
Dr. Suptendra Nath Sarbadhikari did his PhD in biomedical engineering from IT-BHU in 1995. Currently he is Associate Professor of biomedical engineering at Amrita University, India.
His textbook on biomedical engineering is published by Universities Press (India) Limited, Hyderabad.
An international edition of the same textbook is published by CRC Press, UK. http://www.crcpress.com/shopping_cart/products/product_detail.asp?sku=UN6011&isbn=9781420060119&parent_id=1129&pc=
Displays of both the editions are shown below.
The author has gifted a copy of the Indian edition to our Library.
Dr. S N Sarbadhikari, MBBS, PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
TIFAC-CORE in Biomedical Technology,
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri,
And, Centre for Digital Health,
Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi –682 026
Homepage: (1) http://www.amrita.edu/biotech/people.htm#supten
A Short Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
S.N. Sarbadhikari Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham; AIMS; Kochi, India
List Price: $39.95
Web Price: $35.96
You Save: $3.99
Cat. #: UN6011
ISBN 10: 1420060112
Publication Date: 7/15/2007
Number of Pages: 276
Availability: Not Yet Published
Presenting a bird's eye view of the important components in biomedical engineering, this book explores how bioengineering has emerged as an important aid to diagnosis, therapy, and rehabilitation. The author discusses the application of electrical, mechanical, chemical, optical and other engineering principles to understand, modify or control biological systems. He covers the design and manufacture of products for monitoring physiological functions, assisting in diagnoses, assessing prognoses, and helping in treatment of patients. It also provides a glimpse of emerging trends in biomedical engineering like telemedicine and the wider use of computers in health care.
Prof. Samir K. Srivastava is currently working as Associate Professor at Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow. He published an article in March 2007 issue of International Journal of Management Reviews, a respectable Journal in the field of management studies. It was among the top 20 most popular articles for this journal on Blackwell Synergy, based on the number of full text downloads in the last 12 months.
The bio-data of Prof. Srivastava can be found in: http://ganga.iiml.ac.in/~samir/
He can be reached at Email: samir [AT] iiml [DOT] ac [DOT] in
International Journal of Management Reviews
Steve Armstrong and Adrian Wilkinson
ISI Journal Citation Reports® Ranking: 2006: 30/78 (Management)
Impact Factor: 1.095
As the first reviews journal in the field of business management, the International Journal of Management Reviews is an essential reference tool for business academics and MBA students alike, covering all the main management sub disciplines from accounting and entrepreneurship to strategy and technology management.
The IJMR complements the other publications produced by the British Academy of Management and is deliberately targeted at a wide readership interested in business and management. It publishes literature surveys and reviews that are authoritative in their content, form and balance, addressing the intellectual and academic needs of the broad academic management community both in the UK and on a wider global scale.
For more information on IJMR developments and editorial mission, read the editorial from the June 2007 issue
BAM Annual Conference
Every year BAM holds a conference that acts as a confluence of leading management academics and researchers from around the world. Visit www.bam.ac.uk for further information.
Highly accessed papers
View the 20 most read articles in International Journal of Management Reviews
Abstract from the article:
International Journal of Management Reviews
Volume 9 Issue 1 Page 53-80, March 2007
To cite this article: Samir K. Srivastava (2007)
Green supply-chain management: A state-of-the-art literature review
International Journal of Management Reviews 9 (1), 53–80.
Green supply-chain management: A state-of-the-art literature review
- Samir K. Srivastava
There is a growing need for integrating environmentally sound choices into supply-chain management research and practice. Perusal of the literature shows that a broad frame of reference for green supply-chain management (GrSCM) is not adequately developed. Regulatory bodies that formulate regulations to meet societal and ecological concerns to facilitate growth of business and economy also suffer from its absence. A succinct classification to help academicians, researchers and practitioners in understanding integrated GrSCM from a wider perspective is needed. Further, sufficient literature is available to warrant such classification. This paper takes an integrated and fresh look into the area of GrSCM. The literature on GrSCM is covered exhaustively from its conceptualization, primarily taking a ‘reverse logistics angle’. Using the rich body of available literature, including earlier reviews that had relatively limited perspectives, the literature on GrSCM is classified on the basis of the problem context in supply chain's major influential areas. It is also classified on the basis of methodology and approach adopted. Various mathematical tools/techniques used in literature vis-à-vis the contexts of GrSCM are mapped. A timeline indicating relevant papers is also provided as a ready reference. Finally, the findings and interpretations are summarized, and the main research issues and opportunities are highlighted.
Being published by Srishti
Release date: Aug/Sept 2007
|The author states
The word Glian is a word coined by me, meaning the one who rises from ignorance to the perfect blend of creation and awareness; in other words, man as he was supposed to be.
The book is about Dev, who lives with an itching that urges him to get back to the wild, time and again. He and his mates, take on a journey through the wild. What is regular life for animals is fear for these travelers. The animals are always watching the trespassers. There are moments when these trespassers are joyous and sanguine and aren’t even aware of the danger lurking so close. And there are moments too when danger reveals itself, and the troupe loses all its sense of wisdom. For Dev, however, it is a gradual awakening, on a journey that does not end at a destination, but is the beginning of yet another journey. Glian in true sense is an offspring of such an awakening.
|Shubham Basu lives in Delhi, and the Garhwali mountains. He takes to traveling, sports and adventure. His early education started in Lucknow, moving on to IT-BHU, for his undergraduate education. Following the explorations at Banaras, he went on to join the graduate school at Vanderbilt University, USA. He worked at Wall Street, NYC, before he decided that he wanted to move back to India.|
He has been actively involved in outdoor sports since the last six years including: Downhill mountain biking (bicycling), skiing, white water kayaking (boating), etc. He received gold medal for Basic Mountaineering from Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling in June 2007.
A few days back he joined an organization in outdoor sports and adventure, based in Gurgaon. His journeys to the mountains however are never ending.
Personal Page of Shubham Basu
It also contains some excerpts from the book and author’s views. http://basushubham.googlepages.com/
B. Tech in Ceramics Engineering from IT-BHU (2002).
MS in Materials Science from Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, US (2005)
An appeal from Shubham Basu
I am looking for a sponsor to fund my public relations effort for media presence to promote my book. I would like to talk with any corporate house and small firms that want get the mileage by reaching out to my prospective readers.
Right now I am located in Delhi and can call me at +91 9911913640 or email me at
basushubham [AT] gmail [COT] com
His address “Diversity Management for Organizational Excellence” is published in a Mosaic Blueprint e-Newsletter (June 27, 2007), which is shown below.
Mosaic Blue print (www.mosaicblueprint.com) is a high-level executive search firm specializing in recruiting executives from minorities and ethnically diverse background.
‘Mosaic Mix’ represents diverse mix of thoughts and ideas. Manu Vora’s article stresses the need to recruit employees from the diverse background for the benefit of the company as well as for the society.
Diverse Mix of Thoughts and Ideas www.mosaicblueprint.com
Diversity Management for Organizational Excellence
|Manu K. Vora, Ph.D., MBA
"Diversity Management for Organizational Excellence".
Diversity management requires harnessing the energy of individuals from different social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds in order to achieve organizational excellence. In the 21st Century, managing diversity has become a strategic imperative. Let us explore some key points supporting this imperative:
- Let me share a few quotes about diversity from famous people. Rene Dubos – "Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival". Jimmy Carter – "We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic of different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes and different dreams".
- Diversity fosters a safe environment of inclusiveness where everyone in the organization feels welcome, valued, and part of the whole. Thus diversity is a competitive advantage.
- Diversity management allows an organization to attract and retain top talents, which is essential in order to survive and thrive in the competitive workplace.
- Organizational excellence demands a diverse group of employees serving their equally diverse customers by managing various processes. This leads to a superior operation and better financial performance.
- A Gallup study found that successful organizations hire diverse talent, manage their expectations, motivate them using their strengths and find the best fit in the organization for them.
- To achieve organizational excellence, the leadership team must create an environment where employees are fully engaged. Engagement comes from involvement, motivation and development.
- Employee involvement requires effectively working in teams, thus offering diverse talents to solve problems. Attending meetings and offering diverse viewpoints fosters effective decision making.
- Motivation requires on-going, non-monetary recognition for diverse group of employees who serve their customers well and help in achieving organizational goals. It is also important to listen to broad range of employee ideas and suggestions through a simple employee suggestion system.
- Employee development requires performance management with timely feedback to strengthen employee contributions and help them on their development path. This may require special needs that can be addressed by education and training to improve their skills.
- There are several role model examples of diversity management such as: Avon Products, Inc., Goldman Sachs Group, Hewlett-Packard Co., New York Life Insurance, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Prudential, Ryder System, Inc. and Toyota. These organizations manage diversity as a long-term process.
- There are several role model examples of diversity management such as: Avon Products, Inc., Goldman Sachs Group, Hewlett-Packard Co., New York Life Insurance, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Prudential, Ryder System, Inc. and Toyota. They manage diversity as a long-term process.
- We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty, and all are of different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
In summary, it is the responsibility of the senior leadership team to ensure that the work environment is open and trusting. By doing so, employees will excel in serving their customers by working collaboratively in diverse and effective teams. Let me end with a few quotes. Helen Keller – "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much" and Mikhail Gorbachev – "Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences". Let us celebrate our differences as working assets to achieve organizational excellence.
About the Author:
Dr. Manu Vora is Chairman and President of Business Excellence, Inc., a global quality management consulting firm. He has over 30 years of leadership experience guiding Fortune 500 companies (AT&T Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies) with Malcolm Baldrige assessment in the areas of leadership development, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and continuous process improvement. As an Adjunct Professor, he teaches "Quality Management" and "Supply Chain Management" at Stuart School of Business at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago. He is a Past Vice President of American Society for Quality (ASQ), ASQ Fellow, and Certified Quality Engineer. Dr. Vora served on Affirmative Action Advisory Committee of Switching Systems Business Unit at AT&T Bell Laboratories for number of years in Naperville, Illinois.
Dr. Vora has B.S., M.S. & Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA with Marketing Management. He served as a Chief Judge at Illinois Team Excellence Award Program from 1993-1999 and as a Judge on the Board of Examiners of the Asia Pacific Quality Award since 2004. He has published a chapter on "Managing Human Capital" in the book "Six Sigma for Transactions and Service" by McGraw-Hill in 2005. He has delivered over 170 presentations on business excellence and Total Quality Management (TQM) topics around the world. Dr. Vora has been recognized with numerous awards from ASQ including ASQ Grant Medal, Lancaster Medal, Testimonial Awards, and ASQ Chicago Section's Joe Lisy & Founder's Award. He received Professional Achievement Award from IIT, Paul Harris Fellow Medal from Rotary International and Distinguished Service Award from Save The Children Federation. He is the Founding Director and President of Blind Foundation for India which has raised over $3.0 million for visually impaired people in India.
Manu K. Vora, Ph.D., MBA, ASQ CQE, ASQ Fellow
ASQ Grant Medalist (2001), Lancaster Medalist (2005)
Adjunct Professor, Stuart School of Business, IIT
Chairman and President, Business Excellence, Inc.
P. O. Box 5585, Naperville, IL 60567-5585, USA
Tel: (630) 548-5531; Fax: (630) 548-5532
Cell: (630) 660-3869 6
E-mail: manuvora [AT] b-einc [DOT] com
Web Site: http://www.b-einc.com/
Web Site: http://www.linkedin.com/in/manuvora
Click here to view his profile.
Anil Chakravarthy (CSE 1989) is the Vice President of India Technical Operations, Symantec Corporation, based in Pune. Prior to this role, he led Symantec's Business Critical and Education Services businesses. He joined Symantec from VeriSign where he served as director of product management and managed the entire product life cycle for VeriSign's application and network security services. Earlier, he was the Vice President of Marketing at Logictier, a managed service provider funded by leading venture capital firms. He has also worked at McKinsey & Co., where he specialized in developing e-business and IT transformation strategies.
Anil received doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and B. Tech. in computer science from the Institute of Technology, BHU, Varanasi. He is also a Certified Information Systems Security Professional.
For Chronicle, Rajat Harlalka (Electrical 2005) took the opportunity to speak with Anil Chakravarthy to learn about his highly successful career and gain an insight into the security industry.
Q 1 – Welcome, sir. For the benefit of our readers, can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Currently I am working as the Vice President of India Technical Operations, Symantec Corporation, Pune,
Previously, I led Symantec’s Business Critical and Education Services businesses, dedicated to helping customers maximize the value of their mission-critical deployments of Symantec solutions.
I joined Symantec from VeriSign where I worked as director of product management. I also served as vice president of marketing at Logictier, a managed services provider.
Prior to that I worked at McKinsey & Company where I specialized in developing e-business and IT transformation strategies.
After graduating from IT-BHU, I got accepted for doctorate program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Q 2 – What is the future of anti-virus software? Will virus signatures continue to be the best tool in the arsenal? Are we about to deal with a new level of viruses -- more sophisticated, more dangerous?
Let me give some context about the security threat landscape – this will help to understand the future of the anti-virus (AV) software market. The threat landscape is continuously changing and getting more complex. Today, in addition to viruses and worms, we have a host of other threats such as malware, Trojans, phishing, rootkits, bots, spyware etc. These threats and their effects are more visible to the end-user now than ever before. Attackers are also moving away from large, multipurpose attacks on network perimeters and towards smaller, more focused attacks on client-side targets. The new threat landscape is dominated by emerging threats such as bot networks, customizable modular malicious code, and targeted attacks on Web applications and Web browsers. Whereas traditional attack activity has been motivated by curiosity and a desire to show off technical virtuosity, many current threats are motivated by profit. They often attempt to perpetrate criminal acts, such as identity theft, extortion, and fraud endangering the business infrastructure, putting a lot of user data, like personal ids, passwords, finances, confidential data, etc at stake.
Anti-virus software is evolving very rapidly to address these threats. Symantec’s recently released Endpoint Protection 11.0 software is a good example of the breakthrough changes we are seeing in the AV world. First of all, a single agent protects the endpoint (be it a laptop, desktop or mobile device) from all these different threats. Second, AV software now relies on a blend of technologies ranging from anti-virus signatures to behavior blocking to protect against these threats. Behavior blocking, for instance, can protect a system from “zero-day” vulnerabilities, which are security holes that are discovered and exploited by attackers before the vendor has had the opportunity to fix them.
Endpoint protection software will continue to grow more complex and sophisticated. For instance, mobile security will become a bigger issue, as more people connect to open networks with their mobile devices, thus exposing them to security threats. Data leakage prevention is another area where endpoint protection software will play a major role.
Q 3 – How security conscious are Indian companies?
Indian companies and consumers are increasingly conscious about security. This is particularly true of financial institutions, IT / ITES / BPO companies, telecoms, and manufacturing companies that are part of global supply chains, but generally true across the board both for enterprises and consumers. Still, there is a long way to go.
Here is a data point about the increasing security consciousness in India. Dataquest Top 20, India – 2006 has pegged the overall secure content management market at Rs. 121 crore, up from Rs. 88 crore in FY 2004-2005, registering a growth of 37.5%. Secure content management covers antivirus protection, messaging security/email filtering and web content management/web content filtering components. Antivirus is estimated to contribute 75 % of this segment. In the past, the Indian security market has been driven by the enterprise segment. The last two years have also been growing investment from SMEs in security solutions.
This increased security consciousness among enterprises in India has also made security professionals much sought-after. The software body NASSCOM too pegs vacancies in this field at as high as over 188,000 by 2008.
Q 4 – Why do Indian companies not venturing into the anti-virus software security market?
Anti-virus software is extremely complex and sophisticated. In addition to deep security expertise, companies that develop anti-virus software need to have expertise in operating systems, networks, platforms and applications.
Also, it is important to have 24x7 response capability. Security experts such as Symantec have multiple centers around the world that are constantly on the lookout for new vulnerabilities and threats. For instance, Symantec collects data from over 40,000 sensors. Once they collect and analyze the data, AV companies need to quickly develop the response (e.g., signatures, definitions, etc) and ensure that they have a broad distribution capability to deliver the Response to all their users around the world.
Finally, as discussed above, anti-virus is rapidly evolving to become the core platform for delivering protection against a wide variety of threats (e.g. spyware, malware, Trojans, phishing, rootkits etc).
Q 5 – Worldwide, why are anti-virus companies more reactive rather than preemptive in their work? Discovery usually follows activation rather than vice versa
I don’t agree that a company such as Symantec is reactive. If you look at the data from independent organizations such as CERT, there are literally thousands of vulnerability and security threats. Symantec experts proactively research these threats and deliver the Response (as discussed above).
Most Symantec users (be they consumers or enterprises) are not even aware of all the threats they are being protected against, because the updates happen automatically. For instance, Symantec has a system called LiveUpdate which is the core distribution mechanism for delivering updates to end-users. Several hundred thousand LiveUpdate sessions happen daily, which gives you a sense of the scale of the automatic updates!
Occasionally, a threat does surface for which anti-virus companies have not yet developed a response. This is not surprising given the number of threats and vulnerabilities out there, and the complex nature of today’s threats.
Q 6 – Looking back how do you feel about your days at IT-BHU?
I had a great time at IT-BHU. It was the first time I had lived away from home. I grew up in Bangalore and didn’t speak any Hindi when I joined IT-BHU. So it was a huge culture shock initially. But the experience of adjusting to the new environment prepared me for both my future professional and personal life. And I continue to be very good friends with many of my batch-mates.
Q 7 – Please tell us something about your interests outside of your professional life.
I have numerous interests but unfortunately not enough time! Family comes first of course. I also like to read, solve cryptic crosswords and I watch a lot of sports (too much according to my wife :-) ).
(Chronicle would like to extend its thanks to Kerman Kasad, Head-Corporate Communications, Symantec Corporation, India who helped us extensively in getting this interview done.)
Symantec’s Centre of Innovation
Mr. Abhay Chawla (ECE 1987) is actively engaged in social works. He is involved in solving the wide ranging issues facing our society, such as education for rural children, preserving our environment and eco-system, caring for the aged, etc. It is remarkable to see such alumni who quit comfortable corporate job to work for the betterment of our society.
For chronicle, Yogesh K Upadhyaya interviews Abhay Chawla about his passion and mission in his life:
Q-1: Welcome Abhay. Please tell us about your background.
After receiving my B. Tech degree I went about doing a regular job (started with Tata Motors) with regular career moves. After I moved into the field of social development about 8 years back I did my PG Diploma in Rural Development. I was also appointed National Consultant by UNDP.
Q-2: Why did you decide to leave the cozy job and plunge into social work?
It was not like Lord Vishnu appeared in my dreams. It was just that by chance I was invited to visit a village in Haryana by a Haryana Government employee. What I saw made me question many things we take for granted. Over time, I decided to devote all my time to rural development. A lot of people ask me the question “how do you survive?” Survival is not an issue for persons like us; survival becomes a big question for the countless illiterate rural masses with no access to resources. Any person born and brought up in a middle class family with a professional degree will never go through a survival crisis. When we talk of ‘survival’, we mean ‘plenty’ as most of us have, and crave for. In my case, I first decided to dump the plenty and settle for the basics. I am able to generate the basics by teaching in Delhi University and a couple of other institutions as well as doing consultations in the field of social development with Haryana/Govt. of India.
Q-3: What are your views about problem of education for rural children in India? What should the govt. do about it?
Education is still not considered as a serious topic by a large majority. We feel education is a Government sponsored scheme and we have no role to play in it. Our job is to only ensure that somehow our children get into a good school and then go into a good professional college so that he/she is able to make a good career. Education is still not considered by the society as their responsibility and hence they should drive the Government to do what is contemporary, forward looking and for the betterment of all.
Rural education is a whole new ball game. A lot of material generated for educating the rural children is done by the urban elite who have no clue about rural and rural-related issues. There is a general notion that ‘rural’ is synonymous with Hindi. I have seen a lot of educational and social material being generated by the government and international agencies in Hindi (and therefore appropriate for the rural masses) but having absolutely no link with the rural sensibilities.
We are short of resources, in terms of both men and material, and our key focus and allocations need to be re-looked at. We lose hope quickly and are generally critical of new initiatives.
We are still floundering on universal primary enrollment. After 60 years of Independence, if as a nation, we have no clear-cut strategy on enrolling rural children in primary school, how can we hope to keep them from dropping out after a few years? How can we actually spread education among the masses, and then ensure that more rural students have access to centers of higher and technical education? It is a thought worth spending a few minutes on.
Maybe this is the reason NGOs have taken an active role in education and literacy. I believe however, that a lot of NGOs are committing the same mistake as the government i.e. linking education with inducements. Education should not be ‘induced’ in this fashion; indeed, no inducements are necessary. On the other hand, such a strategy sends out the message that bags, food and other goodies are more important than education itself – it is confusing.
The government is doing a lot already, what is required is, more individuals and organizations to augment that effort with money, material and ideas. Government is not some magician who has a magic wand. We, as empowered members of the society, have a duty towards this society and that duty is not just to make ourselves comfortable, criticize the system and get on with our lives. Even if each one takes one, a lot of change can be brought about.
Q-4: You are also active in environmental issues. Please elaborate.
Environment is everything around us. If we can’t educate the young about environment then our very existence is at stake. Education and environment go hand in hand. While my organization goes about working on education in the rural areas I still live in an urban setup. Most urban setups face a series of environment issues; the 2 biggest issues threatening us are solid waste and water. We are producing far most waste than we can manage, and are consuming and wasting far more fresh water than is available.
These two main issues and a host of other issues need a lot of work. To compound the problem we are urbanizing very quickly to become a consumer society. So villages are decaying at a faster rate today, and they neither have the capacity nor the resources to handle the urban issues which are encroaching upon them.
Here again individuals and organizations need to step in to augment the government effort.
Q-5: What are the challenges faced by your organization?
The biggest challenge faced is the constant flow of funds for the work. Four years back we took a decision that we would not take any grant from the government. The reason is that government grants are ‘head based’, are completely inflexible and come with a lot of overhead. For example, if Rs 100 is earmarked as a teacher’s salary, I cannot pay Rs 150 even if I get a better qualified or senior teacher. On top of it, permissions and any amount of cumbersome paperwork are required if you decide to do a mid-course correction or anything out of the usual course. Social development is a not a stationary pond. When you work with people, issues are dynamic, requirements are dynamic and the responses have to be tailored to the situation at hand; one has to be flexible. The govt. approach is strait-jacketed as it works on procedures.
So we decided we would work on our own. The problem here was getting donations – it is a major issue. People give donations easily if you SELL them the concept of poverty, illiteracy, hunger etc. But the very same people don’t want to part with money if you TELL them about the work being done in education – education does not seem like an ‘attractive’ target for donation somehow.
Asking for donations is also a very difficult task. One part of you who knows that you are well-qualified, you are capable of earning money on your own. Yet the cause for which you work, needs full-time involvement and energy and the money. But when you seek out people, their behaviour often causes you to hold back. For example, if I were to take the BHU alumni, a couple of people got back after they read the Chronicle issue describing my work and only one felt he could trust me with his donation. But there are good people also; there has been one - only one -classmate of mine who has backed me, pushed me, cheered me and supported me. I owe it to both these guys for trusting me and letting me spend their well-earned money on children who don’t have the kind of options our children have.
However we have not lost hope and neither has the work stopped. Somehow we are able to collect and utilize as much (often, more) as we collect. We still are hand to mouth but our work does not stop, and that’s the best part, the most encouraging bit.
We don’t look at volunteers as education is an intense subject and the target area is far from urban areas with special needs and features. We use full time teachers, most from areas close to the target area – that way we have their full commitment and we are able to give employment opportunity to the more educated among them.
Q-6: How does your family support your activities?
My wife is also a computer engineer. She quit her job when our son was born because the software industry is extremely demanding and we had decided that we would be ‘hands-on’ parents. She decided not to return to the IT industry. She is a published author of children stories by publishing houses like CBT and NBT. Her stories are aired on All India Radio also. She used to edit and publish a magazine for ageing called NAVTIKA till last year. Last year we wrapped up the magazine as running a magazine is a different ball game. We ran it as a labour of love for 4 ½ years.
Q-7: Please share your memories about IT-BHU days with us.
I have amazing memories of IT-BHU. This was the time when I grew from a boy to a man. I grew from an introvert to an extrovert. I enjoyed every second I spent at the institute. I remember the first day I reached the institute with a racing bicycle wearing a kurta. I was told I was on the top of the list of my seniors. I remember the closure of the institute both the year when I joined and the year I passed out. I remember Kashi Yatra as though it happened yesterday. Each day was like a year for me. Sitting on the banks of Ganga was like being teleported to heaven.
Q-8: Abhay, it was nice to hear about your social activities and we hope that others will follow your example.
Mr. Abhay Chawla
Secretary, Gurgaonharyana.com Society
365/9, Shivpuri Gurgaon-122001
Email: gurgaonharyana [AT] vsnl [DOT] net
Shukla Receives International Meteorological Prize
June 4, 2007
|The Executive Council of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) awarded Jagadish Shukla, Distinguished Professor of Climate Dynamics, with the 52nd International Meteorological Organization (IMO) Prize at its annual meeting held recently in Geneva.
The IMO prize is awarded annually for outstanding work in the field of meteorology and is considered the highest international award in the field. Previous winners have included well-known scientists from around the globe. The prize winner is selected from nominations of ministers of foreign affairs of WMO members. The prize includes a gold medal and a monetary award.
Shukla is no stranger to national and international recognition at the highest levels. In 2005, he received the Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal from the American Meteorological Society, and in 2001 he received the first international Sir Gilbert Walker Gold Medal from the Indian Meteorological Society.
Shukla is the author or co-author of more than 150 scientific papers and has made significant contributions to the understanding of the predictability of short-term climate fluctuations. His scientific contributions include research on monsoon dynamics, deforestation, desertification, tropical predictability and climate variability.
Chair of the Climate Dynamics Program in the College of Science at Mason, Shukla is also president of the Institute of Global Environment and Society and founder of the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA), a premier research center devoted to an improved understanding of climate variability and predictability.
He has served on numerous national and international scientific committees.
Shukla was born in Mirdha, India. He earned his PhD from Banaras Hindu University, India, and his ScD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Profile of Jagadish Shukla
Titles: President, Institute of Global Environment and Society Distinguished Professor, Climate Dynamics, George Mason University
Phone: (301) 595-7000
Fax: (301) 595-9793
Shukla Awarded 52nd IMO Prize by World Meteorological Organization
A Brief Biography:
J. Shukla was born in 1944 in a small village (Mirdha) in the Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh, India. This village had no electricity, no roads or transportation, and no primary school building. Most of his primary school education was received under a large banyan tree. He passed from the S.R.S. High School, Sheopur, in the first class with distinction in Mathematics and Sanskrit. He was unable to study science in high school because none of the schools near his village included science education. His father, the late Shri Chandra Shekhar Shukla, asked him to read all the science books for classes 6 through 10 during the summer before he was admitted to the S.C. College, Ballia, to study science. After passing the twelfth grade from S.C. College, he went to Banaras Hindu University (B.H.U.) where, at the age of 18, he passed BS (honors) with Physics, Mathematics, and Geology in the first class and then earned the MS in Geophysics in the first class in 1964. He received PhD in Geophysics from BHU in 1971 and ScD in Meteorology from MIT in 1976.
Summary of Professional Activities:
Dr. Shukla has made significant contributions to the understanding of the predictability of weather and climate including the Asian monsoon dynamics, deforestation and desertification. His research has established that there is predictability in the midst of chaos and that there is a scientific basis for short-term climate prediction.
Dr. Shukla has been instrumental in creating weather and climate research centers in India. When India received the first supercomputer from the USA under special agreement for monsoon forecasting, he was invited by India to be the scientific leader in establishing the National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) in New Delhi. He helped recruit and train the scientific staff, and implemented a global model to make weather forecasts for India. He has close collaboration with the Indian researchers in the India Meteorological Department, New Delhi; IIT, New Delhi; IISc., Bangalore; Allahabad Univ.; IITM, Poona; and Goa University. Dr. Shukla has also established research institutions in Brazil, Italy, and the USA.
Dr. Shukla is the author or co-author of over 150 scientific papers and has served as chairman or member of numerous national and international panels and committees. For the past 34 years, he has visited his village every year. He has established Gandhi College in his village for education of rural students especially women.
Selected Honors and Awards, including the International Meteorological Organization Prize and the Carl-Gustaf Rossby Medal
Dr. Shukla's Curriculum Vitae (short version): (HTML format) (PDF file) (MS Word doc)
WMO Bulletin Interview (MS word doc)
New York Times Profile (PDF file)
Dr. Shukla's Curriculum Vitae (complete): (PDF file) (MS Word doc)
Dr. Shukla's Publication List
webVastra.in is an IIT Kharagpur, India based E-commerce retail store, which focuses on providing customized t-shirts to its users. Customers can log on to the website and choose from various designs available on the site and get them printed on t-shirt of their choice. We also support bulk order requirement of corporates and institutes. We focus on speedy delivery of quality customized t-shirts.
webVastra.in is the brainchild of five management students from Vinod Gupta School of Management (VGSoM), IIT Kharagpur.
His info is included in the list of VGSoM batch of 2006-2208 students:
The Vinod Gupta School of Management at IIT Kharagpur was established in 1993, and was the first management school to be setup within the IIT system. VGSOM was initiated by a distinguished alumnus and a Life Time Fellow of the Institute, Mr. Vinod Gupta, whose generous endowment was matched by liberal support from the Government of India.
The admission to this school is through JMET (Joint management Entrance Test) exam:
Chronicle note; Veer Bhadra Mishra is former head, Civil Engineering Department, IT-BHU. He is an internationally acclaimed specialist on prevention and treatment of pollution of Ganges river and other environmental issues.
Rs 5,000-crore river conservation plan to be revamped
16 Jul 2007, 0222 hrs IST , Nitin Sethi , TNN
NEW DELHI: The government has decided to revamp the Rs 5,000-crore National River Conservation Plan.
This was decided at a meeting held at the PMO to initiate discussions on the strategy. During the meeting, cursory mention was also made of the government's decision to set up a Yamuna board to look after the cleaning-up of the river and the government's plan to spend more than Rs 1,000 crore by 2009.
This preliminary meeting, to which representatives of several non-governmental and technical institutions from across the country were also been invited, was the first effort at the highest level to rework the river cleaning programme, which has been in place since 1995. By 2006, the National River Conservation Plan had funded 20 states to clean up 42 polluted stretches of 34 rivers passing through 160 towns. The total outlay for river cleaning in the country now exceeds Rs 5,000 crore.
The meeting was timed just before the official body that oversees the plan — the National River Conservation Directorate under the environment and forests ministry, which the Prime Minister now heads — meets this month to take stock. Sources revealed that points were raised about the programme facing a tough situation with the water-levels in many rivers falling even as the quality remained an issue to be tackled. The point was also made that unlike developed countries, the Indian programme could not take on capital intensive methods to clean up the waters even as the demand for water from growing urban areas increases.
At the same time, the representatives also talked about the lack of coordination between different departments and states working on the programmes. The meeting was chaired by the principal secretary to the Prime Minister, T K A Nair, and attended by the secretaries for water resources and environment ministries besides heads of institutions like the National Institute of Hydrology, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and the Central Pollution Control Board. Besides the officials, several eminent people from outside the government attended the meeting. They included Vir Bhadra Mishra from BHU, Varanasi, and Sunita Narain of the Centre for Science and Environment.
Sources in the government explained, "We have environmental institutions and individual experts who look at issues of pollution and hydrologists and other experts who look at water supply in the same rivers. They do not work in tandem and there is a general institutional failure in managing our rivers holistically."
The agenda of the meeting also included finding an independent oversight mechanism for the river-cleaning plan. In other words, the government is keen to find a way to separate the agencies that spend the money from the agency that monitor the implementation to bring in greater answerability.
nitin [DOT] sethi [AT] timesgroup [DOT] com
Interview of Sunil Bhalla is published in VON magazine June 2007 issue. VON is a magazine devoted to technology of creation and transmission of Voice, Video and Vision.
Website for the magazine: www.vonmag.com
Website for digitally enhanced magazine: www.vonmag-digital.com
For the article with Bhalla (on cover page):
Note: The contents of the digital magazine are difficult to copy and hence the contents are not properly displayed in chronicle.
Mr. Sunil Bhalla is the executive at Polycom (www.polycom.com) located at Pleasanton, California.
According to the website of the company “Polycom is the only company today delivering end-to-end, rich media collaborative applications for voice, video, data and the Web from desktop and mobile personal systems to room systems to the network core.”
Mr. Bhalla is
Sunil K. Bhalla
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Voice Communications
NRI scientist wins top award in glass science
9 Jul 2007, 0947 hrs IST , PTI
NEW YORK: The Indian-American scientist, who first compared the movements of atoms in glass to the wiggling of jellyfish in water, has won the top award in the field of glass science.
Himanshu Jain, director of the International Materials Institute for New Functionalities in Glass (IMI) at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, received the Otto Schott Research Award on July 2, at the International Congress on Glass in Strasbourg, France.
The biennial award, which carries a cash prize of $34,055 (25,000 Euros), is the most prestigious prize for glass research. Jain, a professor of materials science and engineering at Lehigh, shares the award with Walter Kob of the University of Montpellier in France.
The citation described Jain's research as "outstanding work towards advancing fundamental understanding of the movements of atoms inside glass".
The Donors' Association for the Promotion of Science in Germany, which administers the Schott award, also noted with appreciation Jain's research into unique light-induced phenomena in glass, his studies of the corrosion of glass in nuclear environments, and his work with sensors, infrared optics, waveguides, photolithography, nanolithography and other photonic applications of glass.
Jain says he was taking a boat ride to the Isle of Skye off Scotland's west coast 20 years ago when he first conceived the idea of the connection between jellyfish and atoms in glass.
Watching the hundreds of jellyfish in the Sea of the Hebrides, Jain says he couldn't help noticing what many before had observed that the invertebrates were not swimming but wiggling as they drifted in the water.
The fluctuations of the jellyfish caused him to wonder the movements of atoms in glass. When the temperature of glass is lowered to 4 degrees Kelvin, or near absolute zero, these atomic movements slow from a lively hop to a virtual standstill.
When he returned from Scotland, he thought more deeply about the nuclear-spin relaxation studies he conducted with colleagues in Germany and the dielectric measurements of super-cold glass that his former adviser had reported.
"What we saw at this extremely low temperature was clearly something different," says Jain. "We proposed that a group of atoms was sitting in one place but wiggling like a jellyfish, which does not swim but instead has small fluctuations of movement."
Jain initially called the phenomenon the "jellyfish" fluctuations for the AC (alternating current) conductivity of ionic solids at low frequency and low temperature. He later coined the term "jellyfish fluctuations of atoms in solids."
Jain and his colleagues first measured the AC conductivity of atoms in super-cold glass over a long period of time, one second, an eon in the life of an atom.
The group then took the same measurements at room temperature over a much shorter period of time, about one one-billionth of a second, a snapshot of too short a duration for the atoms to begin their typical hopping movements.
In both instances under the low frequencies prevailing at low temperatures over a long duration and under the high microwave frequencies prevailing at room temperature over a short duration, Jain and his group at Lehigh discovered the same type of fluctuation of atoms.
"We noticed a ubiquitous phenomenon and came up with the idea that the fluctuation, or wiggling behaviour, was the work of a group of atoms and not just that of one atom.
"For one atom to hop requires a lot of energy that is not available at 4 degrees K. On the other hand, for a group of atoms to wiggle does not require much energy. That small amount of movement is sufficient to generate easily observable electrical conductivity," such as the occasional electric signal from super-cold glass.
Jain's jellyfish model, which has been validated in computer simulations, represents a fundamentally new perspective. It also has important applications, Jain says, to cell phones, satellites and other devices that contain glass and rely on microwave frequencies.
The Donors' Association also commended Jain for the breadth of his international collaborations. Jain has worked with engineers and scientists and even dentists in Germany, France, the Czech Republic, India, Ukraine, Japan, Greece, Portugal, Egypt, China, the UK and the US.
The Otto Schott Research Award has been presented since 1991, biennially and alternating with the Carl Zeiss Research Award, to recognize excellent scientific research and to encourage cooperation between science and industry. Both awards are administered by the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Science in Germany.
Prior to joining the faculty of Lehigh University in 1985, Jain worked as a researcher for six years at the Materials Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory and the Nuclear Waste Management Division of Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Himanshu Jain is an alumnus of Physics Dept, BHU.
- B.Sc. Christ Church College, Kanpur, India (1970)
- M.Sc. in Physics, Banaras Hindu University, India (1972)
- M. Tech. in Materials Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India (1974)
- Eng. Sc. D. in Materials Science, Columbia University, New York (1979)
Himanshu Jain received the degree of Doctor of Engineering Science in Materials Science from Columbia University in 1979. Before joining the faculty of Lehigh University he conducted research at two National Laboratories for several years on various glasses and the problems of corrosion under nuclear repository conditions. He has developed and taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in materials science specializing in glasses and ceramics. He has received the Zachariasen international award for outstanding contribution to glass research, Doan award by his Department’s Senior class for the most influential teacher, a Fulbright Fellowship for lecturing and research at Cambridge and Aberdeen in UK, and a Humboldt Fellowship for research in Germany. He is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society.
Himanshu lives in Bethlehem with his wife, Sweety, who is a faculty within the Family Practice Residency Program at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, and two daughters who attend Freedom High School and East Hills Middle School.
P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Whitaker Lab. Room 264
EMAIL: h [DOT] jain [AT] lehigh [DOT] edu
Evergrid Management Team
Evergrid is funded by Acartha partners and led by a seasoned management team with a track record of business triumphs and technological breakthroughs. Founded in 2004, Evergrid is based in Fremont, California.
|Management Team||Board of Directors|
|B.J. Arun||B.J. Arun|
|Dr. Srinidhi Varadarajan||Ameet Patel|
|Alan Hubbard||Fred van den Bosch|
|Radha Shelat||Jagadish Bandhole|
|Mitchell Ratner||John W. Jarve|
Radha Shelat, VP Engineering (PhD Statistics, IT-BHU)
Radha brings 20 years of experience in high performance software engineering to Evergrid. Prior to joining Evergrid, Radha was Chief Technology Officer for Symantec India. Radha spent a total of 13 years at Symantec India spearheading the growth of Symantec's India operations from a team of 4 engineers to over 1,000. Radha worked in various capacities for Symantec, including heading Symantec''s Research Lab in India and has done extensive work with high volume and distributed storage technologies.
Radha has a Ph.D from the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University and has taught, consulted, and worked at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Jagadish Bandhole (CSE 1995)
Jagadish Bandhole is currently the Founder, CEO and Chairman of Fonemine, Inc. Prior to founding Fonemine, Inc., he served as the Vice President at VERITAS Software. At VERITAS, he was responsible for development and sales of emerging products that represented convergence of server, storage and application management solutions. Prior to VERITAS, he was the Founder and CEO of Jareva Technologies, a venture-funded software company, where he successfully pioneered emerging technologies such as server and application provisioning shaping the requirements of the on-demand and utility computing ecosystem.
Jagadish has a Masters in Computer Science from Indiana University with a strong background in computer architecture, compilers and programming languages. He graduated from IT-BHU with a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science in 1995.
|Dr. T. K. Bhattacharya
Professor of Finance
Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, CFA
Phone: (580) 581-2533
FAX: (580) 581-2954
E-mail: topanb [AT] cameron [DOT] edu
School of Business, Cameron University, 2800 West Gore Boulevard, Lawton, Oklahoma 73505-6377, 580-581-2200
Dr. T. K. Bhattacharya is Professor of Finance and Funds Manager of the Cameron Foundation Inc. He has a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering (Banaras Hindu University, India), a Ph.D. in Finance (University of Oklahoma ), and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He was the Director of the Business Research Center (1991-1995) and Editor of the Southwest Business and Economics Journal (1992-1995). He was awarded the Lawton Independent Insurance Agents Chair in 1993-94, the SWOTA Distinguished Research Award in 2002, the Hackler Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003, and was inducted in the CUAA Faculty Hall of Fame in 2005
Dr. Bhattacharya's research has been published in a number of refereed journals including Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, The Journal of Accounting and Finance Research, Financial Practice and Education, Journal of Financial Management and Analysis, Journal of Financial and Economic Practice, Southwestern Economic Review, Midwestern Business and Economic Review, Southwest Business and Economics Journal, Oklahoma Business Bulletin, National Social Science Association Journal, International Journal of Technology Management, and Indian Management.
Office Location: School of Business Main Office
Home > More Events > Telecom2.0: The Collision of Content & Communications
Keynotes & Speakers
Keynotes & Speakers
|Indranil Chatterjee, Director, Wireless Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent
Mr. Chatterjee leads a team responsible for development and marketing of Alcatel-Lucent's wireless solutions. In this role, he has had extensive interactions with customers in Europe, Asia, and North America and has played a significant role in establishing Alcatel-Lucent as a leader in wireless solutions. Prior to joining Alcatel-Lucent in June 2003, Indranil worked five years in the IT industry for Infosys Technologies, spending the majority of that time in global project management, client management, and business development activities. He holds a B. Tech degree from the Institute of Technology - BHU, India, and an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.
|Investing in China & India -- a Panel Discussion
written by JaredStuckey (jared [DOT] stuckey [AT] libertymutual [DOT] com), 4/26/07 9:19am edited by JaredStuckey, 5/29/07 9:43am
Join your fellow Wharton alums and our expert panel in a discussion of the investment climate in China and India.
Location: Goodwin Proctor
Event Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2007 at 6:00pm
Join your fellow Wharton alums and our distinguished panel of China and India experts to learn about investing in the two most populous countries in the world. Rich Lane from the Wharton Club of Boston will moderate a panel discussion including Stan Fung, Managing Director, FarSight Ventures and Vikram Deswal, Highfields Capital Management.
Topics will include:
- Current investment climate in China and India
- What's unique about investing in China and India
- Common misconceptions about investing in China and India
- Panelists will also share some of their experiences
Vikram Deswal, Highfields Capital Management - Mr. Deswal works with Highfields Capital Management, a Boston based investment firm with around $10 bn in assets. Prior to moving to US in 2004, Mr. Deswal was vice president in Investment banking at JM Morgan Stanley in India. He has over 7 years of experience working in Project Finance and Investment Banking. Mr. Deswal graduated from the Institute of Technology, BHU with a B. Tech. in Mechanical Engineering. He obtained his post graduate diploma in management with concentration in finance from the Indian Institute of Management, and was elected Palmer Scholar at The Wharton Business School where he obtained his M.B.A. He was also awarded the Ford Fellowship for highest academic performance.
‘Never keep money as the objective in the foreground’
…says LC Singh to the newer generations getting into the business of consultancy. Anamika Butalia spoke to LC Singh, President & CEO, Nihilent Technologies Pvt Ltd about the IT-BHU Alumni Award of Excellence 2007- 08 presented to him and his journey that has got him all this way
Posted On Thursday, June 21, 2007
|Tell us what brings a Harvard graduate all this way? Is it just the degree?
Well. I never keep a destination in mind but choose and enjoy walking on a path I choose. I worked at SBI for a short while and did my stint abroad. Joined TCS in the middle management and did a n umber of things which gave a lot of satisfaction. I began the products division at TCS. I was involved in some unconventional marketing including expanding the UK, South African and Middle East operations and a lot of other creative things. At Harvard, I put forward the case of the Indian way of looking at things and was chosen valedictorian on the graduation.... I was lucky to have worked with the doyen of the IT industry Mr FC Kohli, which was the single biggest contributor to shape my professional career.
Do you have a mentor?
I still am guided by a lot of learning from being around Mr FC Kohli, who was very judicious always. He would look and treat people only on their performance, ability and focus. He would give tremendous freedom if you could win his trust. He never cared for where you came from, what your mother tongue was or what religion you followed. Another highlight was that he inculcated in you a thirst for learning. He single-handedly built the entire software industry of and I was privileged to play my part in his schema.
Does the Indian industry have inspirational heads of companies?
No one particularly of the present generation, still FC Kolhi remains the ideal. I am sure there are heads of companies, who have done well and are an inspiration. Some time back I met Mukesh Ambani and I was amazed with his ability to think big. There are also others like Narayan Murthy, who has been able to built a huge brand even though his company came much later than TCS. However the position I am in, I still follow FC Kohli's vision of building a service company by building capability and referencibility and keeping the costs to bare minimum; and also for applying a systems approach to solve problems.
What qualities are basic to handling your role and responsibilities?
Being fair to people is the key. One must dispassionately look only at one's "performance" while judging people. And make sure that relentless hard work and focussed effort on their own part is what the hallmark of a good CEO really is.
Has risk ever bothered you?
Risk has never bothered me because you never achieve anything without taking one. However, risks have to be "managed" continuously. Any advice for the youth entering the field?
Keep money as the objective in the background, and never to the fore.
Anywhere beyond the work that you’re currently assigned to?
Never has it been my aim to be CEO. But leading is what comes naturally! What I love about my work is to create things out of nothing. This means to create values in things other people may not see. I love building multi-layered relationships, which may begin professionally but end up as becoming deeply respectful and personal. My wish is to make the company I work with one of the most high value brands in the consulting/executional arena.
Will we hear more from your company?
We will not remain the background for long. We will be known as the leading company of our generation. It’s just the question of time. We are presently in change management using our patented framework MC3, which looks at approaching change management in a systemic manner by looking at the roles of people, process and technology.
Nikesh Arora is now President of Google's Europe, Middle East, and Asia operations.
Nikesh Arora on Google’s growth
Google says this is the first press day in Europe, and that they prepared a lab upstairs to look at some of their products. Nikesh Arora (Google President for Europe, Middle-East & Africa operations) is speaking now. Products are growing, as the slide illustrates.
Nikesh explains how Arabic users interact with their products in right-to-left, explaining how his job is to look over all this. The number of local employees went from 598 in 2005 to 2,500 now, and there are 20,000 bottles of water drunk by Googler employees in Europre in 2007! (They look after their employees.)
Watch Nikesh Arora’s speech on YouTube
The video is little over 7 minutes. Watch more of videos by searching Nikesh Arora on www.youtube.com.
The video introduction states:
Nikesh Arora--President of Google's Europe, Middle East, and Asia operations--kicks off the day with a brief welcome to the journalists and introduces Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, the founders of YouTube, at Google Press Day in Paris on June 19, 2007.
Education of Nikesh Arora
- B. Tech. in Electrical Engineering from Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India (1989)
- MBA from Northeastern University (1992)
- MS in Finance from Boston University (1994)
- CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Certification(1995)
Read interview of Nikesh Arora in Chronicle November 2006 issue:
Nikesh's Interview with The Chronicle
Freshers have arrived in IT-BHU and on 23rd July their orientation program was conducted in Swatantra Bhawan.
Abiding by traditions, the program started with a classical song followed by the Kulgeet. The chief guest was Dr. S. Lele, Rector BHU and the program was presided over by other delegates viz. Prof. S. N. Upadhyay, Director IT-BHU; Prof. S. N. Mahendra, JEE Chairman; Prof. P. C. Pandey , First Year In charge IT-BHU; Prof. J. N. Sinha; Prof. S. P. Ojha and Prof. S. K. Sharma.
Dr. S. N. Upadhyay in his speech welcomed the first year students to the ancient city of Varanasi. He went on to describe the city as well as the institute. During his speech he assured the students and their parents that the institute will not leave any stone unturned to provide excellent education in a congenial environment. The plans of making a triple storied building were also discussed.
One of the parents questioned the administration’s stand on the issue of converting IT-BHU into IIT. Answering this Prof. Upadhyay said that he would like IT-BHU to become an institute even better than the IIT’s.
Dr. Upadhyay concluded his speech by quoting the words of Mr. Shyam Benegal, the famous film director who said, “Varanasi is a photogenic like Aishwarya Rai – shoot her from any angle and it gives a perfect shot”.
His speech was followed by the speech of Dr J N Sinha who announced the introduction of relative grading from this academic session. He also highlighted the pros and cons of relative grading.
Dr. S. N. Mahendra in his speech announced that IT-BHU is in the process of signing a MOU with The University of Houston.
The program concluded with the valedictory speech by Dr. S K Sharma and afterwards all the newbies and their parents were offered a Hi-Tea by the administration.
Later on, the IT-BHU Chronicle reporters had a chat with the some of the freshers. As a whole, they were looking annoyed with their hostel conditions but on the other hand all of them admired the campus for its sprawling greenery. Some students came up with their ideas to make it more appealing and better.
As a whole it seems that IT-BHU is going to be the alma mater of one more batch full of zest, vigour and confidence.
A Novel Innovation
With the placement season about to start, the 4th yearites are in a state of frenzy trying to brush up their skills hoping to land a coveted “Dream Job”. A group of third yearites, however have decided to think anew and have started and registered their own company ArtEye Software Solutions.
ArtEye was conceived in the last semester by Ajit Maheshwari (Ceramics 2009) and his team. They have conducted some market research over the summer identifying potential markets. ArtEye has already developed a few software meant for accounting, library management, school management etc and have several other projects in the pipeline. They have even sold their first software (that too in the public sector!). Besides, software development ArtEye is also involved in web-designing.
ArtEye aims at value addition to small and medium scale industries through technological solutions.
This very enterprising group is hoping to recreate the Evalueserve success story.
To know more about ArtEye contact Ajit Maheshwari: +91-9839480540
The following news is forwarded by our institute:
Ministry of Steel has selected IT-BHU (together with NIT-Durgapur, NIT-Rourkela, NIT-Jamshedpur, NIT-Raipur and IIT-Kharagpur) for creating a steel chair (at the level of Professor and 5 fellowships to UG students (@ 3000 - 5000 per month each). The chair will be established in metallurgy dept. to help interaction with steel industry.
Library budget for the year 2006-2007
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 library received Rs. 1.25 crore as additional special Grant for the Xth plan (2002-2007).
Library receives books
The library has recently received 131 books from the wife of an alumnus (1970's) batch, Mining (Dr. Paripurna Dutta).
A great work indeed by Mrs. Dutta. Hope others will help our library in a similar way.
Soon, centuries-old manuscripts will be a click away!
By Girish Kumar Dubey
Varanasi, June 1: Around 7000 manuscripts preserved at the Central Library of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) would be scanned and launched soon on the internet for the convenience of research scholars.
Dr. D K Singh, Deputy Librarian of BHU recently disclosed details of this new project being undertaken by the university.
Under this mission, around 11 lakhs pages of literary and historical works in Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali and other languages, and at least 11 lakh pages from the rare manuscripts have become digital and suitable for launch on the internet.
This task of digitalising the manuscripts is in the penultimate stage and in another two months, the rare literary material will be just a click away for the scholars and researchers.
"The Central Library has digitised its all 7000 manuscripts. We have compiled 11 lakh pages and our next step is to make the material available on line. To begin with, the material could be accessed from any computer system within the campus. Later, it will be available on internet," said Dr. D K Singh.
As per the guidelines of 'National Manuscript Mission,' the manuscripts are being photographed or scanned to safeguard them from any possible damage.
B B Upadhyaya, Technical Head of BHU said a team of 56 persons has been working almost round-the-clock to prepare the manuscripts for net uploading.
"To digitalise a manuscript, we first clean it and take a picture of every page from a digital six print mega pixel camera. Then, we put this on computer and with the help of certain soft wares, we transfer it safely on a compact disc (CD). By digitalising the manuscripts their life is increased. The researcher can read them on the net and can take a print out without ever touch it," said Upadhyaya.
Although most of the manuscripts will be readily available in their original form on the internet, for a non-professional understanding many vintage scripts like 'Sharada' and 'Gurmukhi' could be quite cumbersome. Hence, the BHU have also been working on the prospects of translation soft wares.
Website of library:
We present the interview tips provided by Amit Choudhary (CSE 1998)
The website offers interview tips and has a database of thousands of questions and answers asked by various companies for IT, Engineering and general professional fields.
Amit has also prepared his own multiple choice type questions of about 22 pages long, for Computers and Operating Systems. The document can be found in the attached file here.
E-mail: amit2030 [AT] gmail [DOT] com
Chronicle notes: IITs/IISC have started offering online classroom courses to engineering students all over India. The courses are free, but registration is required. For more information, refer to here.
India's Online Science and Engineering Course Now Free for Students Everywhere
Jul 11, 2007, By Indrajit Basu
Want to know what the Indian technology professionals are taught in India that makes them sought-after talents the world over? It's just a click away now as the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), the country's elite engineering institute, has started putting finishing touches to the first phase of a mammoth project called the National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL). This aims to put all the courses of this Institute online in the next three years.
On June 30th this year, the IIT finished uploading 120 of its most popular science and engineering courses ( www.nptel.iitm.ac.in) that will provide access to classes
and faculty of the IIT to not only the students in the country, but also to the students, teachers, academicians, "and anybody who cares to log in" from across the world; and all this for free to boot.
"We have just completed and put all the lectures of some of our engineering courses online," said M. S. Ananth, dean of academic courses at IIT-Madras who is also the director of NPTEL. "And these lectures are not just the digitized versions of the study materials of IIT , but specially structured courseware crafted specifically for online education."
The brainchild of M.S. Ananth, NPTEL, first mooted in 1999, was mandated to be carried out by the seven IITs in the country and the Indian Institute of Science, a Bangalore-based technology university, as a collaborative project. "The main objective of NPTEL's is to enhance the quality of engineering education in the country so that the hundreds and thousands of engineering students in India become employable graduates at the end of their education," says Ananth
In India, inadequate infrastructure is a one of the major problems facing the country's education system and this is impacting the quality of education. It is estimated that of the approximate 500,000 Indian students who join the engineering programs each year, less than 10 percent come out as employable graduates, mainly because there are not enough teachers to provide the education needed by the industry.
For instance, there are more than 1500 private engineering colleges in the country almost all of which do not have the minimum required number of well-qualified teaching faculty, which according to the country's needs should be 1 teacher for every 16 students. Most higher education institutions run at a ratio of 1:60, or sometimes, even worse.
Moreover, going by the ideal teacher to student ration Indian needs about 160,000 teachers for engineering education for a student population of about two million. "But institutions of higher learning in India are barely able to train no more than 4000 teachers every year and offer them jobs," says Mangala Krishnan, national web courses coordinator, NPTEL.
The IIT is one of the few higher learning institutes in India that can boast of an ideal student-teacher ratio. But then, out of the 350,000 students that aspire to get into the IITs each year, only about 4000 manage to gain admission. This is because this institution is India's "Ivy League" technology institute. In fact, it is ranked as the third best technology university in the world (just behind MIT and California University, Berkeley) by the London-based Times Higher Educational Supplement.
"Against this backdrop, the NPTEL then emerges crucial for the country because distance education and continuous open learning is the only way India can enhance the level of higher education," says Ananth.
NPTEL was inspired by the Open Courseware (http://ocw.mit.edu) project instituted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but "even as the goals of the two are same, NPTEL's processes are different," says Ananth.
The biggest difference between the two, says Ananth is, "[Is] OCW provides the icing, but we at NPTEL actually make the cake. While OCW is the digitized version of the MIT courseware, NPTEL courses are modularized and structured with sufficient explanations and notes to provide a complete, self-sufficient course that can be studied without the presence of a teacher.
The other major difference between OCW and NPTEL is that NPTEL's courses are crafted through a process of workshops and interactions between the various institutions and course developers. "This is a mandatory requirement for the NPTEL program," says Mangala Krishnan.
"We targeted this initially for Indian students but eventually realized that it has been a hit internationally as well," says Ananth. "Ever since we went online (from September last year), the website has recorded 500,000 hits and has about 80,000 professional and 60,000 students as registered users."
The course materials are freely accessible by everyone independent of their geographic location and the website already has registered visitors from more than 120 countries.
"Interestingly, many professionals are using these courses for updating their academic background," says Krishnan, although no certificates are given to the users. "The intention is to keep these courses free and no one is allowed to sell them. So no one using these courses can be given a certificate or degree even though the curriculum is the same as that of the IITs."
Right now the NPTEL website is hosted by servers of the individual IITs, which are also providing the bandwidth. But soon the project will move onto the National Knowledge Network (NKN), which is a $61-million high-bandwidth Internet network under implementation, owned by the country's human resource ministry. The NKN will provide an initial bandwidth of 100 mbps and, in about three years would be ramped up to 10 Gbps.
The first phase of the NKN will be up and running from March next year by when about 1,000 colleges and educational institutions in India, including elite the IITs, IISc and Indian Institutes of Management will connected "with the world's best online study material, research laboratories and faculty members," says Ashok Kolaskar of the NKN project.
"However, all that we have uploaded is just the beginning," says Ananth. "NPTEL, is a long-term venture and envisaged to be much bigger than it is at present."
The second phase of NPTEL, which will begin now with a target date for completion by March 2009 will eventually contain 600 courses. "By when India will have a virtual university," says Ananth.
Indrajit Basu is international correspondent for Government Technology's Digital Communities.
Photo: Central Library of IIT Madras by Akshat Gupta. GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.
Chronicle notes: This study states that once students join a premier engineering institute, they neglect the studies. The study done for IIT-Delhi students is equally applicable to students from other engineering colleges.
IITians too bunk classes, finds audit
6 Jul 2007, 0523 hrs IST , TNN
NEW DELHI: They burnt midnight oil to crack JEE to earn a seat in their dream technical education institute, IIT-Delhi. But that flame has reduced to a flicker in the four-year programme with a majority of IIT-Delhi students not taking interest in their engineering lessons. An internal audit has found out that at least half of the total students skip 15 out of 60 lectures (around 25% of the classes) and 10% of the total 5,000 students fail to meet the 75% attendance criteria at the end of the semester.
And this trend has been spotted in the past three to four years. "The disinterest is due to the fact that IITians start looking for opportunities abroad the moment they step in and the recent craze for MBA. Most students are extremely career-oriented and so much pre-occupied with preparations for tests for higher studies abroad and CAT that they neglect their engineering studies," said R R Gaur, head of the national resource centre for value education at IIT-D, which is set up under the ministry of human resources development for integration of engineering education with human values. It conducted the survey.
Gaur, who is also a professor at the department of mechanical engineering, said: "Though the students put in a lot of hard work in the beginning to clear the JEE, they don’t keep up the tempo in IIT."
The survey also found out that students are not making the right use of their campus life. "They should help each other, behave like a team and live harmoniously in the hostel. Moreover, we have also noticed that there is extremely low interaction with the teachers, though they stay on the same campus."
The highly competitive spirit among residential students in extra-curricular activities have also affected the friendly ambience in the hostel, Gaur said. "However, we will address all these issues in a two-day value education orientation programme, to be held on July 28 and 29 for fresher. We will focus on key issues like analysing the perceptions of success and career among students, their expected pay package and choice of company," he said.
The last day of the session will be divided into four themes — how to make most of campus life, why most engineers turn into MBAs and not put into use what they have learnt in IIT in four years, how to develop a healthy body and mind and the importance of fulfilling social responsibilities as an engineer. Similar sessions will also be conducted in the middle and end of the semester.
sonia [DOT] sarkar [AT] timesgroup [DOT] com
MBBS course to be longer by a year
6 Jul 2007, 0400 hrs IST , Kounteya Sinha , TNN
SRINAGAR: A one-year stint in India’s most backward villages will become compulsory for all MBBS students from the next academic session.
The Union health and family welfare ministry has decided to amend the Medical Council of India (MCI) Act that would make the undergraduate MBBS course six-and-a-half years long instead of the present five-and-a-half years.
The last year of the course will be spent by students in serving patients in rural India. They will have to spend four months each in a public health centre, community health cell and district headquarters.
They will be based at the district headquarters and will serve under the district health officer. Only on completion of the village stint will the graduates be allowed to practice. The doctors will be given a monthly stipend of Rs 8,000-Rs 10,000 as an incentive to work in these areas.
Union health minister A Ramadoss said, "From the next academic session (2008-09), it will become mandatory for all MBBS students to work in the villages. We are aware that doctors, inspite of incentives, don’t actually land up in the villages. So we are bringing in a legislation in the winter session to amend the MCI Act and increase the MBBS course by one year. Doctors who don’t work in the villages will not be given their registration to practice."
India churns out 29,500 medical graduates annually, but most of them are reluctant to serve in villages and would rather join the private sector for better salaries and an urban posting.
In effect, rural India is facing an acute shortage of trained medical personnel. Across states, 6.3% posts are presently vacant while nearly 67% of doctors enrolled remain absent from duty.
Former health secretary Prasanna Hota told TOI, "The legislation is still being worked out. The problem is the imbalance in the number of MBBS doctors in every state. Karnataka, for example, has 3,800 MBBS seats while it requires only 1,500 doctors. Orissa has 300 MBBS seats while it needs 800 doctors. Language will be a major problem for a doctor from a particular state being posted in another. The ministry’s intention is noble but implementation will be difficult." The problem of lack of doctors in rural areas is particularly acute in Jammu and Kashmir, specially for its geographical setting. The state has very low density of population (99 per sq km against the national level of 338) and even worse road connectivity.
kounteya [DOT] sinha [AT] timesgroup [DOT] com
Public comments can be viewed in:
So far only IIT degrees were automatically recognised abroad. Graduates of other engineering colleges had to go through the credit evaluation process by outside agencies (such as World Education Services) to get admission to foreign universities for higher studies.
Now with Indian government signing the Washington Accord with advanced countries (such as US, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, etc.) the degrees awarded by about 1530 engineering colleges approved by AICTE (All India Council Of Technical Education-an apex body and watch dog for the quality standard of engineering colleges) will be automatically approved by the foreign universities. This is a land mark decision by our government and it will benefit our engineering graduates to get suitable job and for study abroad without much hassle. It is estimated that about 40,000 engineers migrate abroad each year, either for study or for work.
Indian engineering degrees now accredited in the US
Aziz Haniffa in Washington DC
July 05, 2007
In a significant development, Indian engineering degrees will now be accredited in the United States and will be internationally recognised.
This follows India's induction into the prestigious Washington Accord, an international agreement between registering bodies of member countries accrediting academic engineering programmes, at the university level, leading to the practice of engineering at the full professional level.
Arguing the case successfully on behalf of India at the 8th biennial meeting of the International Engineering Meetings 2007 in Washington, DC last month was a delegation led by Prof Damodar Acharya, chairman of the Delhi-based All India Council for Technical Education, who, on July 1, assumed the directorship of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; Ravi Mathur, joint secretary (technical), ministry of human resource development; and Prof Prasad Krishna, member secretary, National Board of Accreditation.
They were joined by Kamal Kant Dwivedi, counselor at the Indian Embassy and the government of India's point man for science and technology in Washington.
Comprehensive reviews of the Washington Accord are performed at intervals of not more than six years and in terms of the agreement, each registering body accepts the accrediting processes of the other member countries.
The founding signatories of the Accord in 1989 were: Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, USA; Canadian Council of Professional Engineers; Engineering Council, EC, UK; Institution of Engineers of Ireland; Institution of Engineers, Australia; and Institution of Professional Engineers, New Zealand.
Currently, the Washington Accord member countries are: The US, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Hong Kong, Japan, with Germany, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan being provisional members.
New ideas to invigorate science education
Photo - A. Roy Chowdhury
Not offered: Hands-on experimental experience is not offered to students at the school and college levels.
In 1948, the Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Commission on University Education said: “ Democracy depends for its very life on the high standard of general, vocational and professional education.
“Dissemination of learning, incessant search for new knowledge, increasing efforts to plumb the meaning of life, and provision of professional education to satisfy occupational needs of our society are the vital tasks of higher education” .
This Radhakrishnan Desideratum defines what India should demand of its university and colleges. Today’s higher education has slid down in its purpose.
We have concentrated too much on professional education at the cost of vocational, scientific and general education. We need to amend and invigorate it so that it becomes an effective tool for the making of a just, vibrant and advancing society.
Education builds as a pyramid, with a broad base and an apex of excellence in a chosen discipline of expertise, from where horizons are expanded. With the mushrooming of cash-and-carry educational institutes, the pyramid has thinned into a stick.
Undergraduate education, which should provide the broad base, has increasingly become single-field oriented, neglecting vital support subjects. Many PhD degree holders in India today in, say biology, have not learnt physics, chemistry and mathematics beyond high school level, and are ignorant in economics, sociology, geography or languages.
What is true of a PhD in biology is also true of a Ph D in economics, physics or Urdu (with due variations).
Make undergraduate education all-rounded.
The National Knowledge Commission’s Report to the Nation 2006 admirably sums up the deficiencies and recommends a variety of ways to set higher education on its desired path (see www.knowledgecommission.gov.in).
It projects expansion, excellence and inclusion as the three principal objectives. In order to do so, it recommends an increase in the number of universities from the present 370 to as many as 1500 by the year 2015, and the setting up of up to 50 National Universities as exemplars of excellence.
It has further said that laws need to be changed so that universities can choose their own financial instruments.
The setting up of an Independent Regulatory Authority for Higher Education (IRAHE), out of reach of the tentacles of government, is a welcome idea as also that of a Central Board of Undergraduate Education (CBUE), along with its State equivalents (SBUEs).
It is clear that our undergraduate education first needs an overhaul. Some welcome steps have been taken already with the start of the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs), which give a five-year comprehensive M. Sc. in Science.
The curriculum they have devised is a composite one, inclusive of languages, humanities and social sciences, increased hands-on work, and opportunity to do research projects.
Likewise, the Birla Institutes of Technology & Science (BITS) insist that their students go through ‘practice schools’ (shop floor/laboratory/industry experience). We need more such bold experiments in other major branches of knowledge.
If we do not do so, we shall only be perpetuating the production of engineers, managers and doctors of inadequate experience and practical skills, while neglecting, at the same time, the much-needed expertise in sociology, political science, humanities, arts and letters — leave alone the physical and natural sciences.
Why are there more theoreticians than experimentalists in India, particularly in physical sciences and technology?
Many believe this is because hands-on experimental experience is not offered to students at the school and college levels. I have suggested that ‘practice schools’ be offered during vacation time to students, starting from the middle school level.
I am gratified that the Department of Science & Technology (DST) is indeed launching a sustained national program called INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research). This scheme targets a spectrum of age groups – right from ten to thirty-two years.
A novel and insightful suggestion has been made by Professor M. A. Pai of Illinois (who taught at IIT Kanpur for 20 years, and then at the University of Illinois for another 20), and independently by Dr. Tushar Chakraborty of IICT Hyderabad.
This is to make the undergraduate courses in India into an 8-semester or 4-year programme, offering simply a Bachelor’s degree.
This is a departure from current practice, but not quite that new; it is reminiscent of the earlier Honours degrees.
During these four years, the students are expected to go through not only lecture classes, but spend a good bit of time in research/application/field work.
It is in this context that the setting up of CBUE and SBUEs is welcome. They can be effectively used to redraw the undergraduate degree programme and curricula.
For a start, they can (1) provide semester- based course programmes, with a continuous grading scheme, rather than just end-of-the course finals; (2) insist that the degree at the end of eight semesters is not a specialised one but simply a Bachelor degree; the specialisation would be in the subject course that the student chose to take and pass in his/ her course programme; (3) offer a vast menu of courses, ranging from language and literature on one hand to specialised science/ social science courses on the other; (4) arrange such that of the 40 courses during the undergraduate program, at least 10 be in humanities and social sciences, 10 in physical/natural sciences. Every summer there is an apprentice/ practice school, and the rest in subjects that the student chooses.
Such a programme prepares the graduate to enter the professional world just as an MBBS/ B.Tech/ M.Sc does, or go straight for a doctorate program.
The current 3-year Bachelor’s degree, as it stands, is a half-way street, leading the student to no meaningful career path. The Pai-Chakraborty idea is thus a vast improvement, worthy of implementation across the board in the country.
Ponder over what Pandit Nehru said half a century ago. “India cannot go ahead without scientific and technological knowledge.
“Yet, the studies of humanities cannot be neglected for otherwise it would become lopsided. The development of human resources is as essential as the construction of big projects”.
dbala [AT] lvpei.org
Chronicle notes: Dr D. Balasubramanian is Director of Research, L. V. Prasad Eye Institute. His bio-data can be found at: http://www.drdo.com/dsforum/cv.htm
Wanna make fast bucks? Learn a new language
Published on Saturday , July 07, 2007 at 23:26 in Nation section
JOB PROSPECT: With various MNCs setting up offices
in India, there is a huge demand for interpreters.
New Delhi: With various MNCs setting up their offices in India, there is a good demand for interpreters these days. You can get lucrative job opportunities if you have proficiency in German, French, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Persian etc. Delhi University (DU) and Jawaharlal Nehru (JNU) offer degrees in many languages.
Gone are the days when students preferred only German and French. Today Chinese, Korean and Japanese are equally popular. After looking at the lucrative job opportunities ahead of them, a lot of students are studying foreign languages. Linguists get employment at places like the UN, International Trade Organisation, UNICEF, apart from foreign airlines and with tour operators.
They can also teach in schools and colleges or other private organizations. Most of these jobs are highly paid. Even giving tuitions is another option, for which you can earn Rs 200 to Rs 500 per hour, while you can make Rs 850 for an hour for some guidance counselling. Freelancing is equally lucrative. Translation work fetches you Rs 500 per page.
If you want to study any language in Delhi, there are many options. Delhi University alone offers courses in nine languages - German, French, Hispanic, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic and Persian. It runs programmes right from undergraduate to PhD level. If you are interested in part time courses, you can take admission any of the 18 college including St Stephen’s, Hindu, Ramjas and Hansraj.
You can do a diploma and certificate courses in Spanish, German and French from these colleges.You don’t always need extra qualifications to learn a foreign language. Interest in a foreign language is enough to learn it. However, a degree in a foreign language gives you a distinct career advantage. Through language, you also understand that particular country’s culture.
JNU offers the best language programmes in Delhi. You can choose from various language options like Arabic, African Studies, Chinese and South East Asian Studies, Russian Studies, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Latin American Studies.
Apart from JNU and DU, other places with interactive teaching systems where you can pick up the language are Alliance Francaise for French, Max Mullar Bhavan for German, the Russian Centre for Russian. Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan offers courses in French, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, German, English and Chinese. YMCA also teaches German and French. Jamia Milia Islamia, Portuguese Cultural Centre , Italian Embassy Cultural Centre and Institute of Russian language, are some other places where you can learn foreign languages.
Max Mullar Bhavan has its branches in six cities. Alliance Francaise has 21 centres all over the country covering almost all the big cities. To learn Italian, Japanese and Korean, you can also contact cultural centres of these countries. Apart from these institutes, Pune, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Punjab University also run courses in foreign languages.
New Supercomputer is Fastest Yet
By Lamont Wood, Special to LiveScience
posted: 11 July 2007 02:50 pm ET
Share this story
Running about 100,000 times faster than a high-end desktop PC, IBM has unveiled the world’s fastest computer. Already, it's not fast enough.
The new king of the supercomputers is the IBM Blue Gene/P running at a speed of at least one petaflop per second, meaning it can solve one quadrillion floating point math problems per second.
(A quadrillion is a million billions, or 1 followed by 15 zeroes. A “floating point operation” means an arithmetic problem involving two numbers with decimal points, such a 2.5 X 3.14159.)
“Supercomputers are constantly leapfrogging each other in terms of speed, and they are tuned for different types of calculations,” said James Staten, analyst at Forrest Research, a high-tech market research firm. “But it is fair to say that the IBM machine is one of the fastest at the moment.”
Like all modern supercomputers, the new Blue Gene is based on clusters of fairly ordinary computer processors—tens of thousands of them. The Blue Gene/P, in fact, is built around the IBM PowerPC 450 processor running at a rate of 850 million cycles per second. These processor are lined up in racks standing more than six feet high, with 4,096 processors per rack. To reach the speed of one petaflop, the Blue Gene/P (which is three times faster than its predecessor, Blue Gene/L) uses 72 racks, or 294,912 processors.
If that’s not enough, IBM also offers a 3-petaflop version, with 216 racks and 884,736 clusters. And there will be customers for whom even that will not be enough, Staten said.
“There will always be problems that suck up all available computing power,” Staten said. “In the supercomputing field you can never have enough processor power, or memory.”
Or money. Staten noted that supercomputer vendors (which includes Sun Microsystems Fujitsu) don’t give out prices since the machines are, typically, custom made for each buyer, but the average price is in the range of $50 million.
Designs are usually prepared when a vendor receives a “request for proposal” from a lab saying it wants a certain level of computational power by a certain date, Staten said. The new machine is then announced with fanfare if an order comes in. If the vendor is lucky, other labs will also decide to buy one, but in many cases a particular supercomputer model will have a market of exactly one machine for one customer.
By that standard, Blue Gene/P has already proven wildly popular—IBM has announced four orders, from labs in the US, Germany, and England.
The machines typically run a custom version of the Unix or Linux operating systems—or even a single-purpose piece of software intended to address the specific problem that the lab bought the machine to solve, Staten said.
The first supercomputer in the world, IBM Deep Blue was designed by a 3-member team, including Thomas Anantharaman, the son of Prof. T R Anantharaman (prof. at IT-BHU). The Deep Blue Machine defeated Garry Kasparov in chess match in 1997. Thomas Anantharaman was Electronics 1988 graduate of IT-BHU. More about him can be found in Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Anantharaman
Need-based funds for universities on cards
CHARU SUDAN KASTURI
New Delhi, June 30: Universities may now receive funds based on their actual needs rather than the whims of education officials.
The University Grants Commission (UGC), which funds central institutions of higher learning, plans an institute where researchers will assess the requirements of universities.
The UGC has frequently faced allegations of being “unable to explain” why certain universities receive less money per student than others (see chart). Delhi University, which has more students than any other, has long complained of “stepmotherly treatment”.
“If things go according to plan, there will no longer be any scope for allegations of favouritism. The funds allocation will be explained by the evaluation of the researchers,” a UGC official said.
The Planning Commission has cleared the proposal for the Higher Education Institute for Research, Policy and Programme, to which professionally trained researchers will be recruited. It is likely to be set up and start providing its estimates in a couple of years.
UGC funding falls in two categories: recurring, which is provided annually, and a one-time non-recurring grant for improving infrastructure.
The non-recurring grant, therefore, varies from one university to another. For instance, an engineering or medical college needs laboratories, which a college teaching only humanities does not.
The competition for funds has largely been about the recurring grants. Institutions such as DU and the Shillong-based North Eastern Hill University (Nehu) argue that the figure per student should be the same for every university. (The figures in the chart have been arrived at by dividing the recurring funds the universities have been receiving by their number of students.)
“The UGC has repeatedly been unable to explain to us why we receive such paltry funding in the recurring category compared with other central universities,” a senior DU official complained.
The reservation oversight committee headed by Congress MP Veerappa Moily, too, had discussed the problems universities face because of what one vice-chancellor has described as “completely irrational funding”.
While Banaras Hindu University receives around Rs 2.4 lakh a year per student, the figure is Rs 67,000 for DU. Nehu, which the UGC has marked as a “university with potential”, receives only Rs 14,000 per student. BHU, UGC officials say, receives more money than others because of its large engineering section.
The IITs and the IIMs receive less per student in the recurring category than BHU, largely because they also receive significant funding from other sources, such as strong alumni associations and tie-ups with private companies.
While the IITs receive Rs 1.85 lakh per student, the figure is Rs 1.5 lakh for the IIMs.
The Higher Education Institute for Research, Policy, and Programme will also evaluate the implementation of UGC programmes in universities and colleges.
2. Iron—One finds references to the good quality of Indian steel in history. People in Arabia and Persia were very eager to get swords made of Indian steel. The English named the steel with highest carbon content as ‘Butz’.
Famous metallurgist, Professor Anantaraman of the Banaras Hindu University, has explained the entire procedure of making steel. Raw iron, wood and carbon are heated in earthen bowls at a temperature of 1535 ºC and then, slowly cooled over in 24 hours. This gives high quality carbon rich steel. A sword made of this steel is so sharp and strong that it even cuts silk smoothly.
In the 18th century, some European metallurgists tried to manufacture Indian steel, but failed. Even Michael Faraday tried, but was unsuccessful. Some succeeded in manufacturing it, but the product wasn’t of good quality.
The Organizer is a mouthpiece of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) a hindutva based political and social organization. Prof. T. R. Anantharaman was prof. of metallurgy and also Director at IT-BHU. Currently he runs Ashram Atmadeep, Gurgaon, Haryana.
The above article reminds us the glorious days of ancient India, whose metallurgy was known all over the world.
New address for ancient Sarnath?
Satyen Mohapatra, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 05, 2007
First Published: 02:38 IST(5/7/2007)
Last Updated: 02:39 IST(5/7/2007)
The ancient Buddhist site of Sarnath, a deer park near Varanasi where Gautam Buddha taught his first discourses, may have a new address.
Dr Santosh Kumar, senior lecturer of ancient history at the Government MBPG College at Haldwani in Nainital, has used remote sensing technology to float a theory that Sarnath existed by the banks of river Varuna, a tributary of the Ganga. The location Kumar has honed in on is 7-8 km away from the current site.
“The Narokhar Nala near which Sarnath is located may be a paleo channel (old riverbed) of the river Varuna,” Kumar told HT. Kumar’s research appears in the latest issue of the Indian Archeological Society’s annual bulletin Puratattva.
Kumar acquired satellite imagery of Sarnath from the Remote Sensing Application Centre, Lucknow. “When a river changes its course its traces remain in the area where it flowed once,” Kumar said.
The claim needs more research to be proven, countered Dr Vidula Jaiswal, Professor of Archaeology at the Benaras Hindu University, who has conducted archaeological studies around Sarnath.
“I don’t subscribe to the view that Varuna changed its course or that Narokhar Nala is a paleo channel of Varuna because it is very narrow. It also lacks the depth necessary in an old river bed.”
Kumar said it possible to locate several ancient settlements close to the paleo channels of Varuna. “During research in villages near the paleo channels, I found ancient pottery of 800-900 BC and 600 BC to 1000 AD.’’
Today the Varuna flows 7-8 km away from the paleo channel, meandering on Varanasi’s northern side and joining Ganga at Rajghat. “Sarnath being located on a small stream of little significance does not seem likely given the significance of Sarnath,’’ Kumar said.
Kings, merchants, devotees and artisans would visit Sarnath in its heydays. Eventually this channel of Varuna dried up leaving behind traces in the form of at least five streams.
But Jaiswal maintains that the area around Sarnath has several water bodies and streams. “So it is difficult to say which one is a paleo channel of the Varuna.”
Varanasi's silk sari-weavers face bleak, hungry future
Varanasi, July 04, 2007
First Published: 13:08 IST(4/7/2007)
Last Updated: 14:27 IST(4/7/2007)
A file picture of weavers looking out of a window
at a handloom workshop in Varanasi on June 10, 2007.
Shiwajatan Rajbhar spends his days weaving golden and silver flowers across exquisite silk saris on a rickety handloom in his mud hut.
Once completed, the handloom sari -- traditionally a prized part of any bride's trousseau -- will be sold for many times his monthly income.
The city of Varanasi is to handloom saris what Darjeeling is to tea. Yet despite producing some of the most coveted saris in the Indian subcontinent, the weavers -- said to number between 200,000 and 500,000 -- have never been rich.
Now, with the market flooded with cheap machine-made saris, they are poorer than ever with some turning to farming and manual labour and others resorting to begging.
The weavers are typical of the millions of Indians left behind by market forces even as parts of the country's metropolises enjoy increasing prosperity from a booming economy.
In the 1990s powerlooms became increasingly common, spitting out several saris in a day -- the same time it takes someone like Rajbhar to weave only the first yard of a classic six-metre sari on his wooden handloom, thread by thread.
Machine-made Chinese imitations have in recent years flooded the market, often sold by dishonest dealers as the real thing.
Varanasi's weavers say they cannot compete, and so thousands of looms have fallen silent.
"They started closing down slowly, one or two at a time," remembers Munni Devi, who lives in Gaurakala village, once home to about 100 handlooms.
Now there are only two still running.
Many of the others have been trashed for firewood. The trenches dug in the floors of their homes to house the looms' pedals now resemble shallow graves.
Before, the families once earned so much they could build sturdy two-storey homes, grand by village standards.
These days, the once proud artisans now slowly sell off ornaments for money and rent land to farm.
WAITING FOR HELP
Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi of local advocacy group PVCHR points out that almost all weavers are either low-caste Hindus or from India's Muslim minority -- communities that have often been marginalised -- and are mostly illiterate.
His group wants the government to follow through on its proposal to introduce a handloom mark of authenticity so that the weavers have a fairer shot at selling their coveted saris in the market.
Until then, if they cannot earn from their handlooms, the weavers must resort to menial jobs, such as driving rickshaws, selling vegetables, laying roads or begging.
In the last few years, around 50 adults and children from weaving families have either starved to death, or killed themselves rather than endure their poverty, according to PVCHR.
Many lack the government ration card to which the poor are entitled, which would give them discounted or free food.
Tuberculosis is also common. The weaver parents of Iqbal Khan, 15, were typical: they went to their graves not knowing they were entitled to free life-saving drugs from the government.
Khan now has the disease that made him an orphan and sleeps most of the day, while his 8-year-old sister shoulders the extra burden of work on their handloom alongside two aunts.
Ramauti Rajbhar, like many weavers, talks about her poverty and hunger with weary good humour.
Likewise, the children playing between the mud huts look happy enough, even if malnutrition has turned their black hair tawny yellow and left their skin visibly dry.
Most of Rajbhar's one-room home in Bhagwa Nala is taken up by two defunct handlooms. She now works as a casual labourer on building sites. If she gets hired in the morning, she takes home 60 rupees in the evening.
She can afford to feed her children only a bowl or two of plain rice and some bread each day. Sometimes they get nothing.
"Tell me, with 100 rupees, what shall I do? Should I spend it on bread, or on medicines or on educating my children?" asked Rajbhar, saying her eldest daughter was about to become a full-time dishwasher.
"I have little hope for the future," she added, her eyes bloodshot and hooded from fatigue.
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Incident in the Subzee Mundee. By G.F. Atkinson. (Reproduction of water colour.)
This year is the 150th anniversary of our country’s first freedom struggle against the British Empire. This story with rare photos is published by Frontline, an illustrated fortnightly magazine published by the Hindu group of publications. The magazine is known for its quality of articles, first-hand interviews on national subjects and amazing photos.
The story of the freedom struggle with photos can be viewed at:
'Dracula's Castle' up for sale in Transylvania
- Story Highlights
- Heir to former Romanian family plans to sell Dracula's Castle
- Archduke Dominic Habsburg is an architect in New York
- Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for novel "Dracula" never lived in castle
- U.S. investment group says castle could fetch $135 million
World's oldest car for sale
Steam-powered 1884 car will be auctioned at Pebble Beach in August.
By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNNMoney.com staff writer
POSTED: 4:20 p.m. EDT, June 28, 2007
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A steam-powered car, billed as the oldest car in the world that still runs, will be sold in a Pebble Beach, Calif., auction in August.
The car was built in France in 1884, about a year before Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz of Germany built their first experimental gasoline-powered cars. (The two were working independently of one another.) Henry Ford, the man many Americans mistakenly believe invented the automobile, built his first car 12 years after this one.
In an 1887 demonstration drive, the car covered a 19 mile course at an average speed of 26 miles per hour. The following year, it won the world's first car race, according to Gooding, beating a three-wheeled steam-powered De Dion-Bouton.
Fueled by coal, wood and bits of paper, the car takes about a half-hour to work up enough steam to drive. Top speed is 38 miles per hour.
The car runs on thin tires of solid rubber wrapped around metal wheels.
Gooding estimates the car's value at between $1. 5 million and $2 million. It will be auctioned on August 19 in Pebble Beach, Calif.
Indians celebrate 'new' wonder Taj Mahal
8 Jul 2007, 1135 hrs IST , AFP
LOOK AT THE WONDER: A foreign tourist couple looks at the Taj Mahal in Agra. The Taj Mahal was selected as one of the new seven wonders of the world announced on Saturday. (AP photo)
Also read the news at: http://www.new7wonders.com/
In June 2007 issue, the link for GAABESU press conference was shown incorrectly. The correct web address is ihttp://www.becollege.org/news/news_item.asp?NewsID=338
The error is regretted.
Link [Chronicle June Issue]
The magazine published wrong photo of Abhijit. It was pointed out by him (after reading the chronicle issue), and the magazine corrected the error by replacing it with his correct photo. The corrected photo is as shown below.
|Piyush and Prasoon Pandey are better than any training programme.
Group Creative Director, O&M
In the chronicle 2007 issue, we published publication news about Prof. S. N. Sarbadhikari joining Citizendium.
We had stated that it is a division of Wikipedia, which is not correct. Please read the correct information as provided by Prof. Sarbadhikari below. We regret the error.
Please read the following link for further information: http://citizendium.org/release_001.html
“The June '07 of Chronicle is indeed quite extensive and it is nice to see it grow so well.
I would like you to correct a factual error - Citizendium is NOT "a new service launched by Wikipedia" - it is an independent effort. The Founder Larry Sanger has been a Co-founder of WP and many editors of WP have joined CZ but it is a distinct entity.
With warmest regards
Prof. S. N. Sarbadhikari,
(PhD Biomedical Engineering, 1995, IT-BHU)
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