IT BHU Chronicle: October '07 edition
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 23, 2007

Published on October 30, 2007

The Chronicle October, 2007 issue.

Vol.2007 : Issue 0010

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From the editor’s desk
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 22, 2007


This issue includes many important articles and special reports.

The highlight of this issue is the interview with Prof. T. R. Anantharaman. In the interview, the 80 year old world renowned metallurgist discusses about his professional and personal life. The interview was conducted as part of Metallo seminar being planned by IIT-Kanpur in Dec. 2007.

There is one great alumni news about Pankaj Chandra (Mining 1983) being selected as Director of IIM-Bangalore. Earlier he was a professor at IIM-Ahmedabad.

The issue contains usual reports of seminars/workshops on the campus and alumni meet/reunions. The issue also announces the launch of a quarterly campus newsletter called “IT-BHU Pulse”. The chronicle congratulates the pulse team for the in depth reporting of campus news and activities.

This is the last time The Chronicle is being published on both the website ( and From next issue, it shall be published on website only.

We need more news. Please send us news, events, articles, information, etc, at: chronicle [AT] Please indicate your branch/year and college (if other than IT-BHU).

For specific information, contact Yogesh Upadhyaya at: Yogesh[AT]
Or Anshuman Singh at: Anshuman[AT]

Thanking you,
The Chronicle Team

Editorial: Chronicle to be published on new website
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

As reported in the last issue, The IT-BHU Alumni Association has launched a new website called The URL of the website is The website is now the official website of the alumni organization.

So far we have been using (URL: as our official website. This (October) issue is published on both the websites ( and However, from next (November) issue, the chronicle shall be published only on the new website ( The old website ( shall have a pointer redirecting our readers to the new website. Please take note of it.

All alumni/students/faculty are requested to register their names at new website, if they have not registered so far. The new site contains useful information about reunions, travel info, latest news, etc.

Please have a look at the new website and feel free to comment.

The new website is planned to be dynamic in nature and a number of new features. It is manned by an editorial team (Email: editor-team[AT]

Editorial: Pulse! newsletter is online
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

A group of students from our institute has published the inaugural issue of the IT-BHU newsletter called Pulse! The newsletter will be published quarterly and the first issue will be out on 12th November. It will also be available in print format. The editorial team consists of faculty as well as students and Rahul Raj is the Editor-in-Chief.

The newsletter will publish the news happening around campus, faculty and student community, such as R&D work, technical collaborations, conference/seminar/workshops, etc.

The newsletter will provide constant information flow to student community.

The Chronicle welcomes the hard work done by editorial team of the Pulse! and hope that it will be of considerable use to student community. The newsletter will soon be posted on alumni website:

For any questions, please contact editorial team at: pulse[AT]
You can also contact Rahul Raj, Editor-in-Chief at: met.rahulraj[AT]

Below please find opening page of the issue, which also contains a message from our Director, Prof. S. N. Upadhyay.


You can read all 8 pages of newsletter by clicking on links provided below:
Page1, page2, page3, page4, page5, page6, page7 and page8.

Alumni News: Jacob Thomas (Mechanical 1989) joins TEREX as Vice President, Technology.
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007


Jacob Thomas Joins Terex as Vice President, Technology

WESTPORT, CT October 3, 2007 – Jacob Thomas has joined Terex Corporation (NYSE:TEX) as vice president, technology.

This position reports directly to Tom Riordan, President and COO of Terex. Thomas will be responsible for new product technology globally, working in conjunction with the business product managers and engineering teams. He will also facilitate product standardization across the businesses and collaborate with supply chain management to ensure strategic alignment with global suppliers.

Thomas joins Terex from International Truck & Engine Corporation, where he was vice president of the big bore engine business. Previously, he was managing director, of that company’s in-line engine business group and held other program management, manufacturing and quality assurance positions.

Prior to joining International Truck & Engine in 1998, Thomas was employed by Case Corporation in a series of product management, product development and engineering roles. Thomas began his career at Ford Motor Corporation as an engineering consultant at Ford Scientific Research Laboratory.

Thomas holds a master’s in business administration from the University of Chicago, a master of science in mechanical engineering from the Ohio State University and a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the Institute of Technology, Benares Hindu University in India.

About Terex

Terex Corporation is a diversified global manufacturer with 2006 net sales of approximately $7.6 billion. Terex operates in five business segments: Terex Aerial Work Platforms, Terex Construction, Terex Cranes, Terex Materials Processing & Mining, and Terex Roadbuilding, Utility Products and Other. Terex manufactures a broad range of equipment for use in various industries, including the construction, infrastructure, quarrying, mining, shipping, transportation, refining, and utility industries. Terex offers a complete line of financial products and services to assist in the acquisition of Terex equipment through Terex Financial Services. More information on Terex can be found at

Contact Information

Sharon Reid DeFlorio
Communications Associate
Phone: 203-341-6716
Email: sharon.reiddeflorio[AT]

Alumni News: Pankaj Chandra (Mining 1983) has been appointed as Director of IIM- Bangalore
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007


Alumni News: Indians Develop New Iron Using Ancient Technology
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

(Chronicle note: Prof. R. Balasubramaniam is professor in the Department of materials and Metallurgical Engineering of IIT-Kanpur. He is an alumnus of IT-BHU (Metallurgy 1984). More info can be found at
Saturday 13th of October 2007

prof%20r%20bala.jpg Indians Develop New Iron Using Ancient Technology Saturday 13th of October 2007 Indian metallurgists have developed a type of corrosion-resistant iron that construction engineers would love. And vital clues for it came for Delhi's famous Iron Pillar that has been standing tall for over 1,600 years.

Developed by Ramamurthy Balasubramaniam and his former student Gadadhar Sahoo of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kanpur, the iron contains phosphorus and shows remarkable resistance to corrosion, especially in concrete.

'This is a significant first step in the possible commercial (large-scale) use of these irons,' Balasubramaniam, better known as Bala, told IANS.

Most steels today contain small amounts of carbon and manganese. Modern steel makers avoid phosphorus because its segregation to grain boundaries makes the steel brittle.

But the IIT team successfully produced ductile phosphoric irons by driving the phosphorus away from grain boundaries through clever alloy design and novel heat treatment.

Ironically, Bala's material is not new. It was being made by Indian ironsmiths centuries ago. Bala says he got the clue for developing this material from the six-tonne seven-metre tall Delhi Iron Pillar - a major tourist attraction in the Qutb Minar complex -- that has been standing for centuries in the harsh weather of the capital without any corrosion.

'As a metallurgist, I was intrigued,' Bala told IANS. And his passionate quest to unravel the mystery that began in 1990s has now culminated in phosphoric irons.

The test samples developed by the IIT team remained fresh after three months of being immersed in solution, simulating the corrosive concrete environment, whereas the best commercially available steels got rusted. In another experiment, they embedded the samples in concrete to simulate actual conditions and obtained similar results.

'The work is especially important in regard to the widespread use of steels in civil structures,' said Gerhard E. Welsch, professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio).

'The recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis has added new urgency,' Welsch said in a congratulatory message to Bala. Seven people died when the bridge across the Mississippi river collapsed Aug 2, 2007.

Current philosophies to tackle corrosion in concrete include the addition of inhibitors to the cement mix, use of rebars that are galvanised, epoxy coated, or micro-alloyed by the addition of small amounts of chromium, copper and nickel -- elements that are known to induce passivity in iron.

Their high cost is a disadvantage, says Bala. 'Besides, we have experimentally shown our phosphoric irons perform better.'

Bala's real break came when he found that the iron used in the Delhi pillar contained elevated amounts of phosphorus -- as much as 0.25 percent against less than 0.05 percent in today's iron. He found this was a result of the ancient process where iron ore is reduced in a single step by mixing it with charcoal, without any limestone addition.

Modern blast furnaces, on the other hand, use limestone yielding molten slag and pig iron (high in carbon) that is later converted into steel. Most phosphorus is carried away by the basic slag.

Further studies and analysing rust from the pillar showed that phosphorus catalysed the formation of a protective passive film on the surface of the pillar that acted as a barrier between the metal and rust.

Tanjore Anantharaman, author of the book 'Delhi Iron Pillar - the Rustless Wonder' and Bala's former teacher at the Benaras Hindu University, says phosphorus was long suspected to be behind the pillar's corrosion resistance. 'It was Bala who proved it.'

That was in 2000. Actual material development and corrosion tests were initiated in 2003 when Sahoo joined Bala for his PhD that he completed in 2006.

'Our papers based on the thesis are coming out now,' Bala said. All the work, he said, was done with institute funds without any external support.

'Certainly, we are not claiming that this is the end of our studies,' admits Bala. 'We have shown the usefulness of phosphoric irons for concrete reinforcement applications. Now it has to be taken up by more researchers for greater understanding.'

Bala thanks his forefathers for the success. 'I am of the firm belief that ancient Indian metallurgists had the empirical knowledge that high phosphorus content ores resulted in corrosion-resistant iron. They did not create this material by accident.'

Alumni News: An article on Application Intelligent Networking, by Rakesh Singh (Electrical)
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007


:: Application Intelligent Networking: Fool-proof network access
A dynamic business environment today is synonymous with constantly expanding and evolving business goals. Such a situation throws up a number of challenges for an organisation. Critical among them is the need to extend the existing network infrastructure to meet new business requirements. This does not mean just making available applications to customers, partners and employees. Such a situation warrants designing an application infrastructure that can adapt effortlessly to the uncertainties that go beyond regular corporate boundaries.

Therefore, to ensure continuous availability of both applications and content, the network must deliver full protection against the increased vulnerability that comes with exposing these applications to a global user group. The network must do more than just ensure end-to-end protection of business-critical content without compromising or degrading end user experience. It must automatically increase the resiliency of your application's performance to unexpected network delays or fluctuations in demand.

It is imperative that a network architected for application intelligence meet the challenge of providing a comprehensive solution to satisfy these increasing demands while reducing operating costs and complexity. Such solutions are increasingly becoming known as the 'application intelligent networking' platforms of tomorrow.......

Author's Details

Rakesh Singh is GM of NetScaler Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of NetScaler based in Bangalore. Rakesh holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley\'s Haas School of Business, a Master\'s in computer engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a BE (Electrical) from the Indian Institute of Technology, BHU, India.

Faculy News: Dr. Pradeep Srivastava (Biochemical Engineering Dept.) receives Biotechnology Overseas Associateship Award
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Dr. Pradeep Srivastava, Reader, Department of Biochemical Engineering has been awarded the “Biotechnology Overseas Associateship Award" by the Govt. of India. Dr. Srivastava is also headed to Sydney for conducting a collaborative study on "Artificial Bone Tissue Repair" with the "University of Sydney". At the end of his study, a MoU is expected to be signed between IT-BHU & University of Sydney for long term research partnership.

(Forwarded by Vikalp Agarwal, 4th year Civil)


About Biotechnology Overseas Associateship Award by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India:

Faculty News: Dr. P. K. Mishra selected as an Expert for Technology Angel
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007
PKM.jpg Dr. P. K. Mishra, Chief Coordinator, IIPC (Industry Institute Partnership Cell) and a Reader in the Department of Chemical Engineering has been selected to be an Expert on a panel of Ministry of Science & Technology to assist independent innovators of India as a "Technology Angel". This prestigious recognition comes as a result of various initiatives taken by TePP (Technopreneur Promotion Programme- a part of IIPC) in the Eastern region of the country.
For his bio-data, please visit

Recently, IT-BHU signed a MoU with TIFAC Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council) to carry out an extensive study on "Technology Gap Analysis for Carpet Industries Cluster in & around Bhadohi District of UP". According to Dr. Mishra "This study is expected to help boost the contribution of Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) and SSI (Small Scale Industries) in India's GDP (Gross Domestic Product). We intend to identify technology gaps in the Bhadohi cluster and then along with TIFAC provide support & guidance to the Industry".

The IIPC has also just finished finalising Rs. one crore project to establish a "Natural Dye Resource Center" with the Science and Technology Division of Department of Science & Technology, India.

According to Vikalp Agarwal, Student General Secretary of the IIPC, "At IIPC through initiatives like TePP, the idea is to set up a Technology Resource Center for various NGO's (Non-Government Organizations) and local bodies in and around eastern U.P."

(Forwarded by Vikalp Agarwal, 4th year Civil)


Following is the list of faculty from IT-BHU selected (by Department of Science & Technology) as Technology Angels, along with the specialty in the sector:

  • Prof. S. K. Sharma, Department of Mechanical Engineering (Automobile)
  • Prof. S.N. Upadhyay, Director (Chemical)
  • Dr. P.K. Mishra, Department of Chemical Engineering (Environmental)
  • Dr. Pradeep Srivastava, School of Biochemical Engineering (Food Processing)
  • Dr. P.K. Mukherjee, Department of Electronics Engineering (Information & Communication Technologies)
  • Dr. S. K. Srivastava, Department of Pharmaceutics (Life Sciences)
  • Prof. Birendra Kumar, Department of Civil Engineering (Other)


Technology Angels on Panel

Several technology experts have evinced keen interest to offer their services to innovators. To facilitate the closer bonding, Ministry of Science & Technology will be maintaining a panel of `Technology Angels’ (TA).


  • Independent innovators need extended hand holding and technical experts dedicated to the cause are required to spend considerable amount of time and effort to educate innovators about theoretical background of their innovations, guide them to prepare a feasible action plan and assist them in implementation.

  • A panel of 50 Technology Angels in various disciplines with wide geographic spread will be selected by TSC and they will be referred proposals from TUCs/ DSIR/TIFAC.

  • The expert will maintain confidence and sign NDA with TePP.

  • The Technology Angels addresses will be placed on TePP web pages.


  • Wherever the proposal is referred to the Technology Angel by DSIR/ TIFAC from Delhi or by TUC, they will be paid honorarium as per applicable rules. Also, where there is need for a visit, they will be paid TA/DA as per rules.
  • The Technology Angels can provide technical consultancy to innovators at mutually agreed terms between the Angel and the Innovator. When such an agreement forms part of the proposal submitted by the innovator to TePP, then on approval of support to such a project, TePP will make direct payment to Technology Angel for the technical consultancy.
  • Intellectual property rights will remain with Innovator.
  • Technology Angel will enter into a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) with TePP.

Guidelines RTF PDF

Click Here for Technology Angels on MoST Panel (TePP) [31 OCT 07]

BHU News: A P J Abdul Kalam to teach at BHU
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007


A P J Abdul Kalam to teach at BHU
Varanasi | Tuesday, Oct 23 2007 IST

Former President A P J Abdul Kalam will now don the role of a visiting professor at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

The decks in this regard were cleared at the meeting of University's Academic Council chaired by Vice-Chancellor Panjab Singh here this evening, BHU spokesperson said.

A request sent to Dr Kalam by the BHU VC to deliver lecture as a visiting professor in the central varsity was accepted by the former President.

The Council meeting cleared the decks for Dr Kalam to deliver a series of lectures at this largest residential university of Asia on the subject 'Knowledge Systems and Knowledge Product'.

The dates for the lecture series are yet to be finalised.

The council also affirmed that the varsity's south campus at Barkacchha (Mirzapur), will be named Rajiv Gandhi South Campus. Courses at the South Campus had commenced from last year only, BHU spokesperson added.

The other decisions taken at the meeting, included okaying of Board of Studies for School of Food Sciences and Technology, increasing the number of seats in MSc (Environmental Sciences) from 15 to 20 and starting of Master in Music (M.Mus) degree courses in Kathak and Bharatnatyam at the Faculty of Performing Arts.

It also decided to start BSc (Hons) courses in Biology and Mathematics groups at the Arya Mahila Degree College, besides making M A (Sanskrit) an applied subject for research. It was also agreed upon to provide library facilities to students enrolled in various diploma courses at the university.

BHU News: Kalam to deliver lecture at BHU
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Kalam to deliver lecture at BHU

Posted at Wednesday, 24 October 2007 09:10 IST

Varanasi, Oct 24: Former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will be visiting professor at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

The decks in this regards were cleared at the meeting of University’s Academic Council chaired by Vice-Chancellor Panjab Singh.

A request sent to Kalam by the BHU VC to deliver lecture as a visiting professor in the central university was accepted by the former president.

Kalam will deliver lecture on the subject ‘Knowledge System and Knowledge product’.

BHU News: A chair for late Jagjivan Ram inaugurated
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Denied table, given Chair

Jagjivan Ram
Varanasi, Oct. 31: Eighty years ago, a Dalit student named Jagjivan Ram would not be served meals in his hostel at Banaras Hindu University because he was from the Scheduled Castes.

As if in penance, the university today set up a Babu Jagjivan Ram Chair in its faculty of social sciences to study caste discrimination and economic backwardness.

Jagjivan Ram’s daughter Meira Kumar, the Union minister for social justice and empowerment, was invited yesterday to speak about her father’s university days.

She said her father was even denied haircuts by local barbers. A Dalit barber would arrive from Ghazipur from time to time to trim his hair.

Jagjivan Ram left the university in disgust. “My father went to Calcutta to complete his studies and later joined the freedom struggle,” Meira Kumar said. “I am glad that the university has set up a chair to study the caste structure in India.”

Born in Ara district of Bihar in 1908, Jagjivan Ram had taken admission to the university’s intermediate section in 1927. He later joined the Congress and remained an MP at a stretch since India’s first elections till his death in 1986. He was Union minister for almost 30 years, working as No. 2 in the Indira Gandhi and Morarji Desai cabinets.

Vice-chancellor Panjab Singh said that by instituting the chair, the university was honouring the legacy of Jagjivan Ram’s efforts at Dalit empowerment.

The holders of the chair and their students will form a study circle that “will help analyse the causes of caste rigidity, economic backwardness and social immobility and the factors that sustain the time-old practice of social discrimination, prejudicial to human dignity”, Singh said.
They will compare the condition of the Dalits with those of the Aborigines of Australia and the Blacks and indigenous people of America, said P.N. Pandey, dean of the faculty of social sciences.

One of the subjects the study circle will focus on is the Brahmin-Dalit political alliance forged recently by Mayavati, a move that propelled her to power. Lucknow University has already begun researching the novel alliance — which has come to be tagged “social engineering” —and its possible effects.

BHU News: Herbal cure for Hepatitis B from botanical garden of BHU
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Herbal cure for Hepatitis B
Sanjay M Johri
17 October 2007, Wednesday
Views: 177 Comments: 1

Lucknow based International Institute of Herbal Medicine (IIHM), headed by Dr Narendra Singh has developed an extract of traditional Indian plants, which has been found highly useful in Hepatitis B treatment.body.jpg

INDIAN HERBAL SCIENTISTS claim to have found an effective and cheap treatment for the Hepatitis B, the dreaded disease that has some two billion infected people (infected with HBV - Hepatitis B virus), out of which more than 350 million have chronic (lifelong) infections, across the globe.

Lucknow based International Institute of Herbal Medicine (IIHM), headed by Dr Narendra Singh has developed an extract of traditional Indian plants (liver-kidney cure), which catalyses the generation of interferon in the cells. The low generation of interferon in the cells reduces the liver’s capacity to fight with the viral infections. The liver-kidney cure for hepatitis is a combination of Bohrriva Deffusa (Punarva), Picorhiza Curova (Kutki) and Phylynathus Hirruri herbal extracts, which has been found highly useful in treating the deadly disease.

Singh says that scientists and clinicians from 12 Asian countries were a part of the intensive research and the drug was recently given recognition by Orthodox Union, an agency from USA and Israel. Companies from USA, France, Israel and Canada have already entered into an agreement with IIHM for the bulk production of the drug.

The Herbal formulation has the capacity of raising both the haemoglobin and interferon. “We are going ahead with more trials of the drug and discussions with other agencies were on,” says Dr. Singh.

“The herbs were raised in the botanical garden of Banaras Hindu University and Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), thus giving boost to the prospects of being recognised in a big way,” he pointed out.

Hepatitis B is preventable with safe and effective vaccines that have been available since 1982. It is 95 per cent effective in stopping chronic infections from developing. It is the first vaccine against a major human cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) called for all children to receive the hepatitis B vaccine, in 1991. 116 countries have added this vaccine to their routine immunisation programmes.

However, India, where the vaccine is needed most, has not been receiving it because the government cannot afford it.

BHU News: Popularise science among youths
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007,0015002500030002.htm

Popularise science among youths
HT Correspondent
Varanasi, October 12

FORMER VICE-CHANCELLOR of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Prof. RP Rastogi stressed the need to popularise science among the youths.

He was delivering inaugural address of a seminar on ‘Role of scientists in the promotion of higher education’ at chemistry department in BHU here on Friday.

He said, “The time has changed now and youth are opting for only the subjects as medical engineering and information technology, which offer more money and therefore the craze of science was on a persistent decline among youths.”

Prof. RP Rastogi, “We can not deny the relevance of science and so it is the need of the hour to correlate science with other subjects and make it more relevant as per today’s need.”

He said, “A collective effort is required to popularise science among the youths so that we could tap the talent of these young minds in science,” he said, adding, “Inter-disciplinary research and development activities should be promoted in science.”

Vice-chancellor of BHU Prof. Panjab Singh presided over the inaugural function and also called upon the scientists and experts of other fields to join hands together to bring more talented brains towards science.

Publication news: Dr. S. Jit (Electronic Engineering Dept.) coauthors a textbook on electronics devices and circuits
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007
SJit.jpg bookSJit.jpg
Dr. Satyabrata Jit, Senior Lecturer in the department of Electronics Engineering at Institute of Technology, BHU has coauthored a book titled “Millman's Electronic Devices and Circuits" with Jacob Millman and Chistos C Halkias of Columbia University as other coauthors. The book is published by the McGraw-Hill Companies (Tata McGraw-Hill, New Delhi for Asian countries) in 2007.

The book is primarily designed as a text book for undergraduate students of Electronics Engineering and Electrical Engineering Departments. However, the book can also be used as a first course in electronics of M.Sc. Physics students.

The details of the book may be available on: or on .

Bio-data of Dr. S. Jit is attached here.

Dr. S. Jit
Dept. of Electronics Engineering
Institute of Technology
Banaras Hindu University
Varanasi-221005, India

E-mail: sjit[AT]; sjit1970[AT]

Website of electronics engineering dept.:

Millman's Electronic Devices and Circuits, Second Edition

Jacob Millman, Professor of Electrical Engg, Columbia Univversity
Christos C Halkias, Associate Prof of Elect Engg,Columbia University
Satyabrata Jit, Electronics Engg,Inst of Tech,BHU, Varanasi

ISBN: 0070634556
Copyright year: 2007

The much awaited revision of this bible on Electronic Devices and Circuits by Millman/Halkias is here. The book has been revised by Dr. Satyabrata Jit from Institute of Technilogy, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

The goal of this book is to introduce electronic circuit analysis with special consideration given to the operation and use of semiconductor devices. Basic physical models of the operation of semiconductor devices such as diodes, MOS transistors, and bipolar junction transistors are presented including the discussions on important circuits that utilize these devices.

Varanasi News: Straightening the bends in the river
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Straightening the bends in the river

Veer Bhadra Mishra, Hindustan Times
September 09, 2007
First Published: 17:58 IST(19/9/2007)
Last Updated: 18:04 IST(19/9/2007)

Author: Julian Crandall Hollick
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 282
Price: Rs 450

Julian Crandall Hollick’s Ganga is an interesting and informative travelogue. It records the people and institutions that have experienced Ganga jal’s power over the last 500 years. It primarily provides the scientific side of the tale, citing reasons why the river’s water has a special ability to “absorb organic waste at an astonishing high rate”.

The author observes that no scientist seems very interested in investigating the river and its streams. This lack of interest is curious. Hollick goes on to assert that the river does have some extraordinary rejuvenating powers. After examining all the available technical-scientific research work, the book states that there may be something in the river-bed that gives Ganga its ‘extraordinary’ powers. It may be a new angle for researchers and must be explored.

In this context, it is interesting to consider the fact that ancient Hindu religious texts do describe Ganga’s sand as the “provider of happiness”. It is curious to find only a passing reference to the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) in the book. Being the first human intervention towards freeing Ganga from pollution, GAP’s successes, failures and plans to clean the Ganga should have been an important part of the book. The river is, in fact, in the news again because of GAP.

Environmentalists do not want any interference with rivers. They maintain that the rivers’ valley, flood plain and discharge should not be disturbed. But this ideal condition cannot be satisfied as people have to use river-water and want to protect themselves from the fury of rivers.
River management thus becomes necessary.

This is a difficult technical exercise for big mountainous rivers like the Ganga. It is in this context that the flow of Ganga is divided into four stages: the mountainous stage, the boulder stage, the river in the alluvial plain, and the river in the delta. The river meander in the plains and fans out forming different channels in the delta. It is a Herculean task for professionals to build hydraulic structures like dams, barrages and marginal bunds with this kind of uncertain river flow.

For example, meandering in the alluvial plains is a very complex process and has not been analysed with detail. Rivers meander during floods in the alluvial plains. But why does the Ganga not meander in places in the alluvial plains like Mirzapur and Varanasi where heavy floods are experienced? Why does it meander so madly in the plains of Bihar and Bengal? This is a challenge for researchers.

Looking at this complexity of the river and the complex way it is used, any management plan of the Ganga is not possible without political will. The concept of a ‘Himalayan Ganga’, a ‘Yamuna Ganga’ and a ‘Nepalese Ganga’ as described in the book is over simplifying matters and ends up confusing the reader.

GAP was launched to save Ganga and millions of people from the pollution caused by domestic sewage. Nothing has been done for the river to protect it and enabling people to happily cohabit with it. Water quality tests of the Ganga along the ghats of Varanasi reveal that 90 per cent of the pollution results from domestic sewage entering through sewer outfalls and open drains. Direct users of the Ganga are responsible for the remaining 10 per cent of the pollution.

But Hollick believes that in Varanasi “the real hidden killer [is] toxic heavy metals”. Test results, however, do not support this belief. Ganga is not polluted by ‘practising Hindus’ whose ‘behaviour’ with the river is exemplary and who, any way, form a very small number. But the book ignores them and makes the practitioners of the Hindu faith responsible for Ganga’s pollution.

The author is unable to appreciate the fact that metaphysical realities are experienced in our physical body. The river Ganga and the Goddess Ganga cannot be separated in a Cartesian fashion. But one thing that the book does is make the reader take more interest in Ganga and the culture associated with the great river.

Veer Bhadra Mishra is the founding president of the Sankat Mochan Foundation. He is a former professor of hydraulic engineering and former Head of the Civil Engineering Department at the Banaras Hindu University. He is also the Mahant of the Sankat Mochan Temple, Varanasi

Varanasi News: A Prayer for the Ganges
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007


A Prayer for the Ganges

Across India, environmentalists battle a tide of troubles to clean up a river revered as the source of life

  • By Joshua Hammer
  • Photographs by Gary Knight
  • Smithsonian magazine, November 2007

A blue stream spews from beneath brick factory buildings in Kanpur, India. The dark ribbon curls down a dirt embankment and flows into the Ganges River. "That's toxic runoff," says Rakesh Jaiswal, a 48-year-old environmental activist, as he leads me along the refuse-strewn riverbank in the vise-like heat of a spring afternoon. We're walking through the tannery district, established along the Ganges during British colonial rule and now Kanpur's economic mainstay as well as its major polluter.

I had expected to find a less-than-pristine stretch of river in this grimy metropolis of four million people, but I'm not prepared for the sights and smells that greet me. Jaiswal stares grimly at the runoff—it's laden with chromium sulfate, used as a leather preservative and associated with cancer of the respiratory tract, skin ulcers and renal failure. Arsenic, cadmium, mercury, sulfuric acid, chemical dyes and heavy metals can also be found in this witches' brew. Though Kanpur's tanneries have been required since 1994 to do preliminary cleanup before channeling wastewater into a government-run treatment plant, many ignore the costly regulation. And whenever the electricity fails or the government's waste conveyance system breaks down, even tanneries that abide by the law find that their untreated wastewater backs up and spills into the river.

A few yards upstream, we follow a foul odor to a violent flow of untreated domestic sewage gushing into the river from an old brick pipe. The bubbling torrent is full of fecal microorganisms responsible for typhoid, cholera and amoebic dysentery. Ten million to 12 million gallons of raw sewage have been pouring out of this drainpipe each day, Jaiswal tells me, since the main sewer line leading to the treatment plant in Kanpur became clogged—five years ago. "We've been protesting against this, and begging the [Uttar Pradesh state] government to take action, but they've done nothing," he says.

Varanasi News: Ganga expressway to connect NCR-Varanasi
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Ganga expressway to connect NCR-Varanasi
Submitted by mahesh on Wed, 08/08/2007 - 07:28.

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government is contemplating an ambitious 747-kilometer Ganga express highway project connecting the NCR region with the eastern parts of the state.
Starting from freight container depot at Sikandarabad in Gautam Buddha Nagar, the 747-km-long express highway will touch Narora in Bulandshahr district and move along with the left bank of River Ganga up to Varanasi. The proposed eight-lane highway would pass through Bulandshahr, Badaun, Shahjhanpur, Fatehgarh, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae bareli, Pratapgarh, Allahabad, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Mirzapur and Varanasi districts.

State Government had hired Engineering and Technological Services, a New Delhi based company to prepare the feasibility report for the project which it had already submitted, sources said.

The Mayawati government plans to spend Rs 137080 million on the construction of the road.
PWD official said National Highway -2 connects Varanasi with the National Capital Region (NCR). Other highways including NH 56 and NH 24 passing through Lucknow were considered life lines of Uttar Pradesh.

The movement of freight transport as well as passenger transport would double after ten years and new road network was required for faster movement of the traffic. Irrigation Department had been directed to construct an eight- foot-high and 40-meter-wide bund along the left bank of river from Narora to Varanasi.

Irrigation Department officials said Rs 9160 crore would be spent on the construction of 627-km embankment along Ganga Express highway.

Along with assuring faster movement of traffic (120 km/per hour), the embankment would protect the nearby low-lying areas from recurrent flood.

Along with the road, PWD would construct three major river bridges, three major canal bridges, eight railway over bridges, 236 minor bridges, four flyovers on the national highway crossings, 10 flyovers on the state highway, 36 flyovers on the major district road and 210 underpasses.
A Service road would be constructed along the highway for the movement of local traffic. The new highway would attract investment and promote tourism in the region.

It would also help in the reclamation of the three lakh hectare land that would be used for agriculture, development of township, industrialization and afforestration, sources said.

Opinion: Did Ram really exist? –A government created controversy.
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

(By Yogesh K. Upadhyaya)

Recently there is intense debate going in our country based or DMK party President and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s remark about whether Ram did really exist.

Sethusamudram project is basically an economic one. It is meant for cutting short the distance between India’s eastern coast and the western cost by several hundred nautical miles and avoiding for ships’ navigation through the circuitous route around Sri Lanka. It involves destroying the stone-bridge built by Ram and his army.

We shall not discuss about the environment impact or the need for the project, but examine the history of Hindu religion.

route1.jpg It is difficult to know precisely what happened in the distance past several thousand years ago. This is because there was in no recorded or written proof available, as the art of writing history started only about 5,000 years ago. Moreover, there are no ruins of any civilization as the old houses made from dried-mud were hardly expected to last even a century. Nonetheless, I have tried to collect and analyze some details from published sources, discussion with religious gurus and discussion with learned people from different faiths.

All the period mentioned below are approximate. All discussions are from historic points of view and apologize if it has hurt feeling of any person of a faith.

Mythological Gods Vs. real Gods

Confusion arises from the fact that there are many god-goddesses in the Hindu religion and some are real and others are imaginary.

Shiva and Ganesh, for example, are mythological Gods. They were worshipped as a form of energy by ancient Dravidians. Aryans liked the concept and adopted them as their own Gods. Other mythological Gods are various avatars of Gods, such as Magar, Kalki, etc.

On the other hand, Shri Ram, Shri Krishna, etc. existed in flesh and blood. Only uncertain thing is their actual timing in the history.

    Important milestones of Hindu religion, migration and literature

  • 10,000 to 12,000 years ago -The great Aryan migration
    route2.jpgThis is one of the greatest mass migrations over several millenniums. At the end of last ice-age, the earth became warmer and ice started melting, opening up vast land for nomadic tribes of Aryans. Aryans who hailed from the grassy land of central Russia, migrated south to Iran and from there to India and to Germany in Europe. They entered India about 8,000 to 10,000 years ago.

    The Aryans spoke a simplified version of Sanskrit (called Indo-European language by western scholars). The art of writing was not developed and all the history was passed on by recital from generation to generation.

  • 8,000 to 10,000 years ago-Yam Raja
    yum.jpgHe was one of most wise, talented king ever existed on the earth. He was a combination of king, philosopher, scientist and saint, who always thought of well being of mankind. He was the first demi-God (i.e. human being worshipped as God due to his virtue and service to mankind) in the recorded history.

    Yam Raja, the God of death for Hindus, is also known as Jamshed, the God of life for Zoroastrians (Parsi community) from Iran. He was born in Khost town of modern day northern Iran. He is credited with many scientific discoveries and inventions which still benefit us. Among his scientific discoveries were: cultivating agriculture, domestication of dog for protection against wild animals, starting the spring-festival of Navroz, etc. The use of agriculture as food source freed the mankind from hunting of animals; resulting in settling of communities and ultimately the dawn of civilization.

    Several centuries later, a group of Aryans left Iran for India due to religious dispute (about idol worshipping) and started hating everything of Iranians. They also called the great Yam Raja as the God of death, while in fact; he was the God of life.

  • 5,000 to 7,000 years ago- Shri Ram
    lordRam.jpgShri Ram was one of the most illustrated Aryan king ever existed. He is well known for looking well after his people and for bringing back his wife Sita from the hands of Dravidian king Ravana. He was also the first Aryan ever to cross the sea.

    His story would have been forgotten easily, but was kept alive by writing by Valmiki several centuries later. The story was also spread to Indonesia/ Malaysia and other far countries by Agatsya Muni (time unknown) who crossed the sea to tell the story of Aryans. Sant Tulsidas also re-told the story in the native language about four centuries ago.

  • 3,500 to 5,000 years ago- Shri Krishna
    Krishna.jpgHis story is also as fascinating as that of Shri Ram. Fortunately for us, the use of writing was widespread during that time. Also Ved Vyas has written the eyewitness account of that time in the classic epic of Mahabharata. Shri Krishna is well-known as the politician and warrior, who also tried to stop the war between the two families at that time.

    It may be surprised to know that the official school text books in Greece mentions Shri Krishna as a Greek hero.

  • 2,500 years ago-Gautam Buddha
    Gautam Buddha and Bhagvan Mahavir occurred at nearly the same time in the history. While Buddha established Buddha religion, Mahavir was the founder of Jain religion. Both religions taught people to love each other, practice non-violence and treat all human beings and animals with respect.

    This simple message attracted many followers and kings and common men alike started converting to these religions. The Hindu (Brahmanism) religion was feared to be eliminated due to onslaught of Buddha religion. Sensing trouble, the Hindu priests declared Buddha and Mahavir as 23rd and 24th avatars of the Hindu series of avatars. Thus the religion could not spread much in India but made huge success in China, Japan and other far-east countries.
  • Indian language and literature (500 AD -1000 AD)
    books.jpgThe year 500 to 1,000 AD was the golden age of Indian literature. This was the period of peace and prosperity in the country, during which Kalidas wrote ‘Shakuntalam’ and Panini gave the grammatical structure to Sanskrit language. But this was also the time when the Sanskrit language was made complex thus denying the common man the access to literature, religious texts and alike.

    This resulted in mass revolt among general population and used of simple languages derived from Sanskrit (such as Prakrit, Prachi, Magadhi, Ardhamagadhi and Pali) became very common. Finally around 400 years ago, regional languages such as Gujarati, Marathi, Brij Bhasha (precursor to modern Hindi), Bengali, etc. developed from the Pali language.


Profile: Interview with Prof.T. R. Anantharaman
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007
Prof.TRA.jpgProfessor Tanjore Ramachandra Anantharaman (Prof. TRA for short) needs no introduction. As a world renowned metallurgist, he was among the first to examine the famous Iron Pillar in New Delhi for its metallurgical composition. In 1951, he was the only one from India to study at Oxford University under Rhodes scholarship. He has taught metallurgy at many national colleges and universities including: Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala; and Institute of Technology-Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. At IT-BHU, he was Head of Metallurgy department and served as Dean and Director of the institute.

During Metallo-2007 (International Conference on Metals and Alloys) being organized by IIT-Kanpur in December 2007, Prof. TRA will be honoured for his immense contribution to the field of metallurgy during the celebration of his eightieth birthday this year.
For Chronicle, Yogesh K. Upadhyaya talked over phone with Prof. Anantharaman to learn more about his extra-ordinary career and about his personal life.

For bio-data of Prof. Anantharaman, please click here.

After Prof. R. Balasubramaniam, introduced me with Prof. TRA, I talked to him over phone about the chronicle interview. He was at his Atmadeep Ashram in Gurgaon and I could hear his youthful and clear voice. He talked so affectionately that I felt that he was sitting next to me and answering to my questions. Here is the transcript of our conversation:

Q-1: Respected Sir, it is a pleasure to talk to you. Please tell us about your childhood days and why did you decide to take up the study of metallurgy?

I was born on November 25, 1927 in Tanjore district of the state of Tamil Nadu. My father was the head master of a board high school and he had to travel a lot for his work. We were total 8 siblings, including one sister and seven brothers. I was 4th amongst my brothers and sister.
After I finished my schooling, I joined St. Joseph's College at Trichy and studied there from 1942 to 1947. Then I joined Presidency College, Madras and studied B. Sc. (Hons.) from 1944 to 1947.

At that time metallurgy branch was just opened at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore and I decided to study there. I received D.IISc. in Metallurgy from IISc in 1950 and M.Sc. in Metallurgical Chemistry from Madras University in 1951.

At that time I heard about the Rhodes Scholarship and applied for that. In 1951, I was the only one to receive Rhodes Scholarship from India and went to Oxford University to study physical metallurgy. There I studied under Prof. William Hume-Rothery and Prof. Jack Christian. I received D. Phil degree in 1954. Thereafter I worked as Research Associate in Max Planck Institute for Metallurgical Research at Stuttgart, Germany till 1956. I was awarded D, Sc, (Oxon) degree in 1990 in recognition of my outstanding research input in many areas of Metallurgy and Materials Science.

Q-2: Please tell us about your academic and teaching experience at various institutes.

After returning from abroad, I joined IISc as Assistant professor of Metallurgy. In 1962, I joined Banaras Hindu University as Professor and subsequently as the Head of the Metallurgical Engineering department till 1977. Thereafter I worked in various capacities such as the Dean & the Director of the college of engineering and Rector & member of Executive Council for the University. For some time, I also held a temporary position of vice-chancellor of the university.
After I retired from BHU in 1987, I worked as Director of Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology, Patiala (1989-92) and also as CSIR Emeritus Scientist (1987-89, 1993-95) and INSA Senior' Scientist (1995-2000), I worked at the National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi during the period of 1993-2000. For the past 5 years, I am on the board of management at Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU), Calcutta.

I recall several bright students during my teaching profession, with whom I am in touch even today. I can recall S. Mahajan, M.A. Dayananda, K. Sree Harsha, A. Raman, P. Somadundaran, S. Ranganathan, Somnath Misra, Y.V.R.K Prasad, P. Rodriguez and others from my teaching days at IISc; P. Rama Rao, P. Ramachandra Rao, R.P. Wahi, C. Suryanarayana, P.P. Sinha, S. Lele, K.A. Padmanabhan, S.N. Ojha and others during my stay at BHU."

Q-3: Please tell us about your efforts to study the material composition of Iron Pillar at New Delhi.

I was the part of the team which studied the marvel of Iron Pillar, which is located next to Qutab Minar in New Delhi. The Iron Pillar was erected about 1600 years ago and it is called a rustless wonder, since it is standing without any rust or deterioration. It is 20 ft high above ground and 7 ft below ground, weighing about 7 tons.

The opportunity came when Archeological Survey of India was carrying out digging around the area and the base of the pillar was exposed. The government wanted to find out the exact composition of the pillar material. Our team took a very small sample (few grams of material) and quickly analyzed it. We were shocked to find that it was made of pure iron! It has carbon content of only 0.05 to 0.025%. It did not contain impurities such as sulfur or magnesium. Thus it could not oxidize nor deteriorate due to absence of impurities. Also, as Bala (a former student of Prof. TRA and currently Prof. R. Balasubramaniam at IIT-K) has recently discovered, the pillar had high amount of phosphorous which formed a protective film and prevented further corrosion.

It is possible to make such type of steel today and the cost will not be high.

Q-4: How advanced was our country in the field of metallurgy in ancient times?

Metallurgy was much advanced in ancient India. India was famous for making a special type of steel called wutz steel. The steel contained 1.3% carbon. The steel was specially treated and tempered to use for sword. One famous example is Saladin's Sword. King Porus after his defeat in war, presented 30 kg of wutz steel to Alexander the Great.

Ancient India was also advanced in extraction and smelting of zinc as early as 3rd to 4th century BC.

Q-5: What is the status of study of metallurgical engineering in Indian colleges/universities?

Our country has good number of colleges to teach the subject of metallurgy. However, there has been little change in the method of teaching or curriculum. Our professors just teach the subject, but are not involved in research and do not make subject interesting to students.

There has been a lot of discussion about the emerging field of Nanotechnology, but nothing tangible has come out from the research from our country.

Q-6: Metallo-2007 International Conference on Metals and Alloys is being organized this year. Please explain our readers about structures of metals and alloys and effect of them on their physical properties.

The seminar at IIT-Kanpur will be important one, which will cover many topics besides metals and alloys. The important of the study of metals comes from the fact that out of 94 naturally occurring elements from earth, over 60 are metals.

Pure metals have no attractive properties. Their properties (mechanical, magnetic, etc.) can be improved considerably by adding small impurities. The changed metal structure can be analyzed using science of metallography.

I invite all the readers to attend the seminar.

Q-7: How do you spend your retirement life?

My professional career spanned for over 50 years till I retired in 2002. Since then, I am running a Yoga Ashram at Phase 1, Block A at DFL Colony, Gurgaon, Haryana. I have found very little interest among common mass towards Yoga. My first yoga center was set up at BHU campus in 1973. It is called Yoga Sadhna Kendra and is running at Malaviya Bhavan with UGC (University Grants Commission) support.

I am also involved in spirituality and give discourse on Bhagvad Gita, Upanishad, etc. Most of the time, I stay at Gurgaon, but also visit Bangalore and Madras to meet my relatives and friends.

Q-8: Please tell us about your family life.

I first got married in 1958 with Margaret (also named Hema) from Germany. We first met at Vinoba Bhave Ashram in India and got married in 1958 at Brussels, Belgium. After her death in 1979, I got married in 1983 to Priyamvada, a faculty member of BHU at that time. We are living together since then.

I have two sons from my first marriage and a daughter from my second marriage. My elder son, Satya Prakash (Thomas) got IIT-JEE All India Rank # 2 and did his B. Tech, electronics engineering at IT-BHU in 1982. Later on he joined IBM's 3-member team which designed Deep-Blue, world's first supercomputer which defeated Gary Kasparov in chess tournament. Currently he is working at a private research firm in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

The other son, Prem Prakash (Martin) joined IT-BHU for mechanical engineering. He then left the institute and completed his study of mechanical engineering at Duisburg University, Germany with 1st rank. He did his PhD in mechanical engineering (with distinction) at the same university. Currently he is working at Delphi (an automobile components manufacturing company) at Stuttgart, Germany.

My daughter Karuna is currently studying at Notre Dame University, Indiana, USA.

Thank you very much, Sir. This interview will certainly help many of us to understand you and your views on the subject of metallurgy better.
(Chronicle expresses sincere thanks to Prof. R. Balasubramaniam, Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, IIT-Kanpur, who made this interview possible; and Deepika Sachdeva, Research Scholar at IIT-K, MME Dept., for going over the interview draft and forwarding rare photos of Prof. TRA.)


Prof. TRA can be contacted at:
trananth[AT] ; priyamvada100[AT]

Photo Gallery for Prof. T R Anantharaman
(Forwarded by Deepika Sachdeva)

Please follow the links for complete collection:

Part I - At Oxford
Part II - At ITBHU
Part III - At Gurgaon/Miscellaneous


Additional Links:

Announcement: Metallo-2007 Seminar organized at IIT-Kanpur (7-10 December, 2007)
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007




Past, Present and Future


December 07 – 10, 2007

Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur


The international conference will showcase the latest global trends in metals and alloys research, education and industry. The conference will honor Professor T.R. Anantharaman whose 80th birthday is being celebrated this year.

Supported by

Thapar UniversityBHU, VaranasiNPL, New DelhiIISc, Banglore

The conference will felicitate Professor T. R. Anantharaman, whose eightieth birthday is being celebrated in the year 2007.

For PDF version, click here.

The information is provided by Convener of the Seminar:

R. Balasubramaniam
Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
Kanpur 208 016, INDIA


eMail bala[AT]

Announcement: Comet ’08 Workshop
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

(18 -20 January, 2008)

COMET has distinguished itself as a biennial event conducted by Mechanical Engineering Society (established in 1940), Department of Mechanical Engineering, IT BHU, where the best brains of the country congregate to review the latest happenings on the frontlines of technology and also to address the plethora of problems that continue to confound us. This year, it consists of many challenging events such as:

  1. COLLOQUIUM: The paper presentation contest which provides the platform for sharing, discussing and generating new ideas and their implementations.
  2. CALLIBER 'de-en-quete': The search of multifaceted personality having perfect blend of IQ and EQ.
  3. CAD-esign: A perfect platform for one who sees things differently and having appetite for machine design.
  4. CRANIAL CARNIVAL: Where you will be put to thrilling quizzes in neck to neck competition.

The paper presentation contest is organized in various categories like material sciences, advanced manufacturing systems, automobiles, nanotechnology, robotics and automation etc.

Keeping in tune with modern times, COMET also adds up software and design contests besides trivia contests in the form of quizzes and puzzles. CAD-esign event is the ideal platform for mechanical engineering students having an appetite for designing, to apply their skills and knowledge to come up with creative and original solutions to the problems put forth.

However, the major attraction is undoubtedly the guest lectures from industrialists and engineers who read the who’s who in their respective fields. It will be a great learning experience and definitely a one-off opportunity one cannot afford to miss. Also lastly it will have a dose of fun and frolic too with the cultural night.

The enthusiastic response of the participants from all over the country, aptly complemented by the eager participation of the corporate world and the research community under the auspices of Mechanical Engineering Department of IT-BHU has added to the success of the event over the years.

The details of conference are available on its website:

General Secretary, COMET '08
Mechanical Engineering Society,
C/O Head of Department,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Institute of Technology, BHU
Varanasi (UP), 221005
Email: info.comet[AT]

(Forwarded by Himanshu Rai, 4th yr mechanical)

Announcement: National Workshop on Advanced Optoelectronic Materials and Devices (AOMD-2007)
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Centre for Research in Microelectronics (CRME) of Electronics Engineering Department is organizing a three-days "National Workshop on Advanced Optoelectronic Materials and Devices (AOMD-2007)" during Dec. 27-29, 2007.

For details of the workshop, please visit

  • Advanced III-V materials and devices

  • Advanced organic materials and devices

  • Integrated Optics & OEICs

  • MIR sources & detectors

  • Terahertz sources and detectors

  • II-VI materials for optoelectronic applications

  • Si/SiGe based optoelectronic devices

Department of Electronics Engineering, IT-BHU

For further details, please contact:

Dr. S. Jit
Dept. of Electronics Engineering
Institute of Technology
Banaras Hindu University
Varanasi-221005, India
E-mail: sjit[AT]; sjit1970[AT]

IIEST Update: Cusat to be made IIEST
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Kerala - Kochi

Cusat to be made IIEST

Staff Reporter
Kochi: Education Minister M.A. Baby said here on Saturday that the government would go ahead with the conversion of the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) into an Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST).

Mr. Baby said the government would make all efforts to secure the Rs.519-crore allocation for the project.

He said the Union HRD Ministry accepted the State government’s request for reserving 50 per cent of the seats for students from Kerala at the IIEST.

The government would get a chance to nominate a person to the IIEST’s governing council.
The government would provide a platform for the Save Cusat Forum to air their concerns about the conversion of the university into an IIEST, he added.

IIEST Update: IIT, IIM opening in Bihar may be delayed
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

IIT, IIM opening in Bihar may be delayed

Patna, (Bihar Times): The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, is reported to have told the Union human resources development (HRD) ministry not to take any decision on the locations of proposed new Indian Institutes of Technology(IIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM),Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Central Universities and other elite institutes in the country till a mechanism was evolved for the purpose of ensuring spread of higher education avenues in an even manner.

In a communication to the human resources ministry the Prime Minister Office (PMO)is reported to have asked it to wait till the finalization of 11th Plan. The PrimeMinsiter’s advise came in response to a letter of HRD minister, Arjun Singh, written in September last to Manmohan Singh regarding the establishment of these institutions.

It needs to be mentioned that the Centre has proposed to open an IIT, IIM and a Central University in Bihar.This decision would give a confusing signal to the state government which has activated its machinery for early establishment of these premier institutes for which the demand is coming from every quarter.

IIEST Update: Central govt. going ahead with IIEST
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

(Chronicle note: From the news below, it appears that IIEST bill will be tabled in the parliament at the beginning of 2008.)

Central note on varsity upgrade

The upgrade of Bengal Engineering and Science University (Besu) is on track, with the Centre preparing a letter informing the state government of the admission procedure and the governance structure to be followed at the institute.

Besu and four other institutes will become Indian Institutes of Engineering, Science and Technology, according to recommendations by the Anandakrishnan Committee.

Officials in the Union ministry of human resources development said the state government would receive the letter within a week.

The ministry is also preparing a note on the upgrade that will be circulated among Union departments concerned, said a secretary of the ministry. The suggestions of the other departments will be incorporated and a final note will be sent to the cabinet.

“The process will take at least two months,” said the ministry official. Once the cabinet approves the note, a bill will be tabled in Parliament.

The teachers’ union secretary at Besu, Partha Chatterjee, said: “We want the upgrade time frame to be announced right away. According to the Anandakrishnan Committee, the first session of the upgraded university should start in April next year. For that, the admission process should begin this month, but it cannot because of the inordinate delay by the Centre.”

Students Corner: Selected websites for BHU and IT-BHU
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Below please find some selected public websites related to BHU and IT-BHU:



    It is the official website of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

    It is the official website of Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University.
    It is the official website of IT-BHU Alumni Association
    It is the website of alumni cell of Banaras Hindu University.

    The Alumni Cell website was launched for the first time as a part of the run up to 3rd IBAM and since then it has gradually evolved into its present form. This website mainly carries news about alumni associations in India and abroad available with us, inputs about activities of Alumni Cell, BHU and any other information related to achievements of our alumni in their chosen fields. Our alumni can also log in and register themselves online in the database of the cell which will be of great help to their alma mater in connecting with them.

    In the near future the website will also carry the first issue of the BHU alumni news letter as a bilingual, biannual publication envisaged as a link with all our alumni, well wishers & patrons.
    For details please contact:

    Padmini Ravindranath at : padmini_1109[AT]

    BHU Parivar was formed with a sole objective of bringing all old BHU alumni together in North America to share moments of joy and grief together. This Parivar basically started with group of families with their ties with BHU. Since its humble beginning in 1996, the BHU Parivar has grown significantly and has members from multiple states within United States.

    Dr. Prabhat Pandey, President at: prabhatpandey[AT]

    This website was started in Sept. 2007 by Anand Maharana (Metallurgy 1992) and Manu Goyal (Mechanical 1993). It was started with their intention to give back to the community by serving the Alma Mater in ways other than in the form of financial donations. This site intends to get people connected with BHU together and provide a platform to them to contribute in whatever way they could, big or small, to the Alma Mater and each other.

    The website is in its nascent stage. Its future would be driven by its users' vision.

    For details please contact: Anand Maharana at: anand.maharana[AT]

    And Manu Goyal at: goyalmanu[AT]


    This website is started in October 2007 by Chandrakant Trivedi (B. Pharm 1975). BHUPAA (BHU Pharmacists’ Alumni Association of America) is an alumni group of passouts of Pharmacy Department, currently in USA. The group was formed in 1975 and it has about 70 members.

    The website is started to bring all alumni of Pharmacy dept. together. It will also be useful to promote the upcoming 59th Indian Pharma Congress at Pharmacy department of IT-BHU. The site has interview of our Vice-Chancellor Dr. Panjab Singh (taken in December 2006) on the front page. More stuff shall be added later on.

    For details please contact:
    Chandrakant Trivedi at: cltvav[AT]

Students Corner: Website Management Group for
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

The story of Institute’s website & email service

(Compiled by Anshuman Singh, Electrical 1998)


Be it the updates on research, course content, placement statistics or even the last date of GATE interview – it is invariably the Institute’s website that is referred to for such information. To top it all, the website is a significant input for college rankings done by many organizations. The Institute has always felt the need for having its own dynamic, regularly updated website but lack of trained man power and a designated group to carry out these activities has been a big hindrance.

In 2004, under Dr. A. K. Mukherjee of Applied Chemistry, the group of students took the initiative to set up – the official website of the Institute. They reached out to various departments, gathered data and published it online. This voluntary effort helped the Institute set up its first website but regular updates were a big issue. Given the lack of email usage and the visibility of the team – most of the departments were not aware of who they should contact to update the websites.

In 2006, the group was formally christened as the Web Management Group (WMG) and Prof. Kak took over as its coordinator. In the winter of 2006, the volunteers decided to take a leap of faith and decentralize the website management. After a couple of months of hard work the system went live in June 2007. Today each department is in-charge of its own web section and is free to update the latest news and happenings in their department on their respective website.

The Director has requested each department to appoint one faculty member as the webmaster for the department and one non teaching staff for his support. Using the Content Management system and templates provided by the WMG, the work for the department web masters has become considerably easy.

Another significant achievement of the WMG has been in providing official email ids to faculty, students and some non teaching staff. So far faculty members had been relying on email accounts with Yahoo, Sify domain names and it created a problem for them when they had to contact their peers at an official level. Same was true for students reaching out to the Industry for their summer projects, placements, fundraising for events or even to academic institutions for higher studies.

Issues of guaranteed uptime, bandwidth costs and need for trained personnel to manage the system were the biggest bottle necks of hosting this service in the Institute. While hosting 2500+ email accounts with a service provider had huge recurring costs. It was at the same time that Google launched its Google Applications package which was offered free for Educational institutions. In the absence of Institute’s own Data Center the team decided that this was the best and the most cost effective way of providing email service.

Again, the third year and fourth year students under the guidance of Prof Kak and Dr. Mukherjee explored the solution and interfaced with the various departments to get relevant student/faculty data for account creation. A couple of students stayed back in the Institute during the scorching summers and worked through out the summers to ensure that when faculty and students came back after their summer vacations all of them had an official email accounts.

Today the system has more than 2500+ accounts. That is more than three times the accounts managed by the BHU computer center. All the faculty members, all students and a few non teaching staff avail this facility.

To further the use of email as a collaborative tool the WMG team provided multiple mailing lists like

  • [dot] [at] itbhu [dot] ac [dot] in – e.g. btech.ece04 to reach out to all fourth year B. Tech. students
  • faculty [dot] cse @ itbhu [dot] ac [dot] in – to reach all faculty members of CSE department
  • kashiyatra @ itbhu [dot] ac [dot] in – to reach people related to KY.
  • tprs05 @ itbhu [dot] ac [dot] in – for the training and placement representatives of all the departments

Mailing lists & special mail accounts for various conferences, events and festivals have been created and more can be created based on requests.

We request all alumni to visit the Institute’s website ( and contact the relevant department provide your feedback.


Alumni meet at Hyderabad-A Report
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

(Chronicle Note: Below please find a report on IT-BHU alumni meet at Hyderabad on 27th October, 2007. For the report and additional photos, please visit: )

Report: 5th Alumni Meet

5th ITBHU Alumni Association, Hyderabad Chapter
Venue: Family Club, Begumpet, Hyderabad
Date/Time: 27th October, 2007 (7 - 10 p.m.)
Event Photos

alumnimeethyd1.jpg alumnimeethyd2.jpg alumnimeethyd3.jpg alumnimeethyd4.jpgThis year, ITBHU Alumni meet, Hyderabad Chapter (5th one in series) was special in a way that for the first time, we had a social objective apart from regular nostalgia. Hyderabad Chapter alumni invited Svechha Foundation ( to associate with us for their Cancer & Blood Donation Awareness Campaigns. Also the meet saw some big names attending the events from Healthcare, education & engineering/technology fields. The event was chaired by Prof G.S. Raju (ex. Director ITBHU, 2000-2001) with some of the prominent personalities like Dr. Mohan Vamsi (renowned oncologist , Indo-American Hospital), Dr. Tushar (Chiranjeevi Blood Bank) & Mr. Shubham Basu (Author, Glian). The evening started off almost on time with formal introductions by Someshwer, CEO Event Nine Management and the co-founder of Svechha. A professional anchor himself, he kept the audience busy with his funny interludes. Dr. Mohan Vamsi's talk on Cancer Awareness was the prime talk during the charity dinner. He gave a good overview from a specialist’s perspective, esp. for the non-Medical People. A fluent slide-show made the job easier for the audience, and the journalists, who didn't miss out on the opportunity of listening to famous medical professionals speak. This followed by inaugural speech by Dr. G.S. Raju. He said in his speech, "Where ever you go you find students from ITBHU. They carry a unique signature." He talked about G-11 and remembered his tenure as the Director. He was very positive that the only recourse for ITBHU from this point onwards is to get even better and continue being an example for the entire country. He later unveiled Shubham Basu's book, ‘Glian’.

Later in the program, Dr. Tushar gave a brief presentation to enlighten the audience about the facts associated with blood, a healthy donation and misconceptions held about the process. Puneet later talked about the importance of the day, ITBHU alumni meet and how the core alumni body was trying to mobilize the networking further, across all the continents. Someshwer called upon Shubham to speak a few words about his book & social relevance of the thoughts shared through his book.

Sridevi Potu, President, Svechha Foundation made sure that the charity dinner went off well with the ITBHU alumni. Also to be seen at the event were the Someshwer Cherukure (CEO,, Mr. Ujjwal Madanu (CEO,, Mr. Praveen Manne (young entrepreneur, got famous from his venture, lots of senior ITBHU people from Microsoft, Infosys, Satyam, Oracle, IBM, Infogile and other software companies at Hyderabad.

The audience was full of alums from the 70s, 80s and the 90s. The largest bit of crowd showed up from the 2000s. It was good to see some familiar faces. Puneet Bindlish, the Infogile team and Svechha volunteers did a good job with Animesh Hazra (Ceramic 2002) in organizing the event. Amongst the audience we also saw the Head of BHU Old Students Association, Mr. Pandey. He came along with his family. It was a landmark day when for the first time BOSA and ITBHU had gathered together. The old students and the earlier ITBHU alumni shared their thought on BHU being the oldest body of education existing in India. The rich cultural heritage and strong educational values imparted in the students, is very evident throughout the lives of the patrons.

We part to meet, see you in next event. For those who missed out on the action, here is the link to our photo gallery for the event: Event Photos

Organizing Team
ITBHU Alumni Association (Hyderabad Chapter)

Alumni Meet: Alumni Reunion for class of 1977
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

A reunion of class of 1977 is planned at our campus during 31st December 2007 to 4th January 2008. The alumni are requested to attend the meet during any of those days. The batch was the first one to join IT-BHU through IIT-JEE exam in 1972. The agenda is being finalized.

All passouts of 1977 are requested to participate in this event. It is meant to celebrate 30 years of passing out from the college.

For further details, please contact:

Yogesh K. Upadhyaya
Chemical Engineering 1977

The detail is also posted on

Alumni Meet: Alumni Reunion for class of 1982
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

A reunion of class of 1982 is planned at IT-BHU campus on 25th and 26th December 2007 to celebrate the silver jubilee of its passing out. All alumni of the class are requested to attend the meet at Varanasi during those days. The agenda and other logistics (stay, movement etc.) are being finalized.

For further details, please contact:

Debashish Bhattacharyya
Mechanical Engineering 1982

The detail is also posted on

Chronicle Extra: R K Pachauri receives Noble Prize
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007


Humanity’s biggest test

The Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC, has turned the spotlight on the man-made problem of climate change.
Photos: AP, AFP and S. Subramanium

rkpachauri.jpg al%20gore.jpg

REVERSING change: Both R.K. Pachauri and Al Gore have been working to spread the message.

Fifteen years ago, Al Gore was derisively referred to by his political opponents as the “ozone man” of America, an unhinged oracle with a depressing message about the state of the earth. The announcement of the Nobel Prize for Peace 2007 jointly for Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has come as a happy vindication for the man and the message.

If the IPCC scientists toiled to credibly calculate human influences that are changing the earth’s climate, Gore has carried the message to global audiences with patience, perseverance and a convincing scientific style. The best-known contribution to the campaign against global warming and climate change is his slideshow lecture-turned-documentary film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, which won Oscars for best documentary and best song.

The Nobel Peace Prize will now disseminate the message with even greater credibility. As the announcement said, “their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change” have won IPCC and Al Gore the prize.

Biography of Dr. R. K. Pachauri:

He started his career as an apprentice engineer (Railways) at Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi.

Chronicle Extra: Tales from the mouse ward
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007



Sanjoy Ghosh
Business process Overload In the computer-intensive IT-BPO sectors, bad ergonomics and work habits are routine


Tales From Mouse Ward

Urban Indians are paying with their health the price of being in computer-intensive jobs


Raghu Karnad

Nothing about Vijaykumar’s daily schedule suggested any kind of health risk. For a young man, still pushing 33, he seemed to have an impeccably balanced lifestyle. He woke in the morning to drive to the Bangalore offices of IT major Cisco, where he worked as a programmer. He spent eight or nine hours at his computer, steadily tapping out code. His was a serious workday, but not an oppressive one, compared to the 14-hour shifts call centre workers clocked in over on Bannerghata Road. When he had time, he swam a few laps in the pool, and headed home to spend time with his family.

In 2003, however, something changed.

CRI strikes not just those who work 15-hour days, who have been working for years, are old or arthritis-prone..."It was a numbness in the hand," he recalls. "Then a cold sensation from my shoulder to my palm, and sometimes my hand became paralysed." We’re all getting older, he thought, gritting his teeth, and this must be the beginning of the inevitable wear-and-tear. And so he swam more to
stay limber, tried yoga, ointments and pranayam to ease the pain. He relaxed his pace of work, moved the mouse from his right hand to his left. But that only shifted the pain to different places. The orthopaedist he consulted told him not much else could be done.

The condition progressed. A year ago, Vijaykumar stopped driving his car. Then he discovered he could not lift his kids—one and three years old—and carry them in his arms. "Five months ago, people started telling me I looked thin and worn out," says Vijaykumar. "And I realised I was living with a lot of pain, and barely sleeping at night.

So, I had to take indefinite leave, and hoped the problem would die down." It wasn’t till he was home one afternoon, browsing the web, that he came across a website that described his symptoms perfectly, and he realised it was his computer doing the damage all along....It afflicts even those who are young, fit, starting their first computer-dependent job. Average age: 27.

In the computer-intensive sectors of the Indian economy, bad ergonomics and work habits are more the rule than the exception. Businesses operate out of rented spaces, pre-equipped with shoddily designed desks and flimsy chairs. Hands, elbows and torsos lock in crooked formations between monitors, keyboards and mouses. The glaring screens look like they were installed to kill flies.

Chronicle Extra: Selected Business School Rankings
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Chronicle note: September is the month of publication of business school rankings. We are publishing some of the rankings without comments. For full discussion, please visit September issue of Youth Curry magazine.

businesstoday.jpg bschoolt2.jpg

Tech Talk: Massive Black Hole busts theory
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Monster Black Hole Busts Theory
By Ker Than
Staff Writer
posted: 17 October 2007
01:00 pm ET

space2.jpgA stellar black hole much more massive than theory predicts is possible has astronomers puzzled.

Stellar black holes form when stars with masses around 20 times that of the sun collapse under the weight of their own gravity at the ends of their lives. Most stellar black holes weigh in at around 10 solar masses when the smoke blows away, and computer models of star evolution have difficulty producing black holes more massive than this.

The newly weighed black hole is 16 solar masses. It orbits a companion star in the spiral galaxy Messier 33, located 2.7 million light-years from Earth. Together they make up the system known as M33 X-7.

"We're having trouble using standard theories to explain this system because it is so massive," study team member Jerome Orosz of the University of California, San Diego, told

The black hole in M33 X-7 is also the most distant stellar black hole ever observed. The findings, detailed in the Oct. 17 issue of the journal Nature, could help improve formation models of "binary" systems containing a black hole and a star. It could also help explain one of the brightest star explosions ever observed.

Black hole eclipse

Black holes can't be seen, because all matter and light that enters them is trapped. So black holes are detected by noting their gravitational effects on nearby stars or on material that swirls around them.

The companion star of M33 X-7 passes directly in front of the black hole as seen from Earth once every three days, completely eclipsing its X-ray emissions. It is the only known binary system in which this occurs, and it was this unusual arrangement that allowed astronomers to calculate the pair's masses very precisely.

The tight orbits of the black hole and star suggests the system underwent a violent stage of star evolution called the common-envelope phase, in which a dying star swells so much it sucks the companion inside its gas envelope.

This results in either a merger between the two stars or the formation of a tight binary in which one star is stripped of its outer layers. The team thinks the latter scenario happened in the case of M33 X-7, and that the stripped star explodes as a supernova before imploding to form a black hole.

However, something unusual must have happened to M33 X-7 during this phase to create such a massive black hole. "The black hole must have lost a large amount of mass for the two objects to be so close," Tomasz Bulik, an astronomer at the University of Warsaw in Poland, writes in related Nature article. "But on the other hand, it must have retained enough mass to form such a heavy black hole."

The team estimates the black hole's progenitor must have shed gas at a rate about 10 times less than models predicted before it exploded.

"[M33 X-7] might thus provide both the upper and lower limits on the amount of mass loss and orbital tightening that can occur in the common envelope," added Bulik, who was not involved in the study.

Twin black holes

If other massive stars also lose very little material during their last stages, it could explain the incredibly luminosity of 2006gy, one of the brightest supernovas ever observed, the researchers say.

One day, the lone star in M33 X-7 will also disappear, notes study team member Jeffrey McClintock of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. "This is a huge star that is partnered with a huge black hole," McClintock said. "Eventually, the companion will also go supernova and then we'll have a pair of black holes."

While 16 solar masses is hefty for a stellar black hole, it is miniscule compared with the black holes thought to lie in the heart of many large galaxies. Such "supermassive" black holes have masses millions to billions times that of our sun, but they are thought to form by mechanisms different from the stellar variety.

Tech Talk: Swarm theory
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007


By Peter Miller Photograph by Manuel Presti

Excerpts from the article

A single ant or bee isn't smart, but their colonies are. The study of swarm intelligence is providing insights that can help humans manage complex systems, from truck routing to military robots.

I used to think ants knew what they were doing. The ones marching across my kitchen counter looked so confident, I just figured they had a plan, knew where they were going and what needed to be done. How else could ants organize highways, build elaborate nests, stage epic raids, and do all the other things ants do?

Turns out I was wrong. Ants aren't clever little engineers, architects, or warriors after all—at least not as individuals. When it comes to deciding what to do next, most ants don't have a clue. "If you watch an ant try to accomplish something, you'll be impressed by how inept it is," says Deborah M. Gordon, a biologist at Stanford University.

How do we explain, then, the success of Earth's 12,000 or so known ant species? They must have learned something in 140 million years.

"Ants aren't smart," Gordon says. "Ant colonies are." A colony can solve problems unthinkable for individual ants, such as finding the shortest path to the best food source, allocating workers to different tasks, or defending a territory from neighbors. As individuals, ants might be tiny dummies, but as colonies they respond quickly and effectively to their environment. They do it with something called swarm intelligence.

Where this intelligence comes from raises a fundamental question in nature: How do the simple actions of individuals add up to the complex behavior of a group? How do hundreds of honeybees make a critical decision about their hive if many of them disagree? What enables a school of herring to coordinate its movements so precisely it can change direction in a flash, like a single, silvery organism? The collective abilities of such animals—none of which grasps the big picture, but each of which contributes to the group's success—seem miraculous even to the biologists who know them best. Yet during the past few decades, researchers have come up with intriguing insights.

One key to an ant colony, for example, is that no one's in charge. No generals command ant warriors. No managers boss ant workers. The queen plays no role except to lay eggs. Even with half a million ants, a colony functions just fine with no management at all—at least none that we would recognize. It relies instead upon countless interactions between individual ants, each of which is following simple rules of thumb. Scientists describe such a system as self-organizing.

Tech Talk: A disk revolution
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Volume 24 - Issue 21 :: Oct. 20-Nov. 02, 2007
from the publishers of THE HINDU



A disk revolution
Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg jointly win this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of giant magnetoresistance.

graph.jpgTHE first computer hard disk drive (HDD) was introduced by IBM in 1956. Called the 305 RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control), this first data storage system comprised 50 disks, each about 60 metres in diameter, and stored about five megabytes of information. This corresponded to a data density of a mere 200 bits per square centimetre. The density in today’s hard disks is touching a whopping 10 billion (or giga) bits per sq cm. That is a 50-million-fold increase in hard disk storage capacity in just 50 years, a rate much faster than the rate at which the number of components crammed into a silicon integrated circuit (IC) chip has grown in the same period (see graph).

While the latter has determined the rapid growth in the speed of the computer processor, the former is an equally, if not more, important component of the ongoing information technology revolution. Ever-shrinking hard disks have not only led to slenderer and sleeker laptops and more powerful servers and search engines, they have also changed the very concept of personal entertainment, with the development of pocket-size devices such as the MP3 player and the iPod, which can store hours of music and images.

The empirical Moore’s Law, which states that the number of components on a chip doubles every 18 months and which the growth in processor technology has followed until now, is essentially governed by advances in the technology of packaging transistors into an IC. There have been attempts to describe the exponential growth in data storage capacity by a similar law, called Kryder’s Law, but it has not conformed to any simple relationship like Moore’s Law. This is because advances in HDD technology have been due to the constant interplay between progress in basic science – which is difficult to predict – and its quick application. This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded for one such unexpected but fundamentally new discovery called giant magnetoresistance (GMR) that has revolutionised hard disk technology.
During 1988-89, Albert Fert of Paris-South University, Orsay, France, and Peter Grünberg of the Jülich Research Centre, Germany, who share the Nobel award, independently discovered the new physical effect of GMR, which refers to very weak magnetic changes giving rise to unexpectedly large changes in electric resistance in certain systems. Such a GMR system has proved to be the perfect device for retrieving densely packed digital data from hard disks and has provided the much-needed technological leap for read-out heads in the present generation of HDDs.

A better read-out capability implies that a greater amount of information can be packed in a hard disk. This immediately led to the development of smaller and thinner hard disks with increasing storage capacities, which have now found their way into the new pocket-size electronic wonders. That a new scientific discovery can get translated into industrial-scale technology in less than a decade is unique for any finding. IBM introduced the first 16.8-gigabyte GMR-based HDD in 1997. Describing this development, the IBM website says: “To some people, 10 years = a decade; to IBM research, 10 years = a revolution.”

After bubble memory devices and flash memory cards, the development of data storage devices seemed to have hit a technology wall. It was as if the rapidly advancing information-driven world was waiting for a breakthrough like GMR. It is the concurrent advances in related disciplines that made the immediate exploitation of the discovery possible. Indeed, HDD is only the first of the possible applications of GMR, and its impact is already enormous. But the effect holds immense promise for future technology developments in the field.

How does an HDD work? Understanding this will help one appreciate the significance of the discovery. Information in a hard disk is stored digitally in the form of tiny magnetised regions. Magnetisation in one direction could be taken to represent the binary digit “0” and that in another to the binary digit “1”. In modern HDDs, different elements of a single device write and read data as it flies over the spinning disk. The read-out head picks up the different fields of magnetisation as it scans the disk. As hard disks become smaller, each magnetised area, the bit, also correspondingly shrinks. In a tightly packed hard disk, the magnetic fields of individual bits, therefore, become weaker and require more and more sensitive read-out devices.

Photo Gallery: Fun On the Net-A unique website
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007
To join:
This is a unique yahoo group listed under humor category. Coordinated by Ms. Vibhuti Jain, the site has about 180,000 members, majority of them from India. Here the members regularly post and share any photos, cartoons, videos, jokes, greetings, illusions, etc. available, with other members. The average posting is about 10 per day. Some of the rare photos have been collected from rare publications all over the world, while some are painstakingly prepared by the regular contributors.

It is remarkable that the site is well maintained and there is no incident of any misuse, posting of vulgar images, spam, mass marketing, etc.

You can sample some of the photos:


Registration is free and easy. To register, please click on “join in” button on the website.

There is another sister website:

(3D Wall Papers-Posted by TUNA on 7/8/07)

To view selected photos, click here.

Photo Gallery: Photo bucket for millions of photos
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007
(Flying bird)


Photobucket is the most popular site on the Internet for uploading, sharing, linking and finding photos, videos, and graphics. Photobucket also offers free tools for making slideshows of photos, videos with music. You can share your photos and videos with friends by email, IM and mobile phone. Plus, you browse through Photobucket's huge online library of photos and videos to find the latest and best photos, images and videos.

Photobucket was founded in 2003 and acquired by Fox Interactive Media, Inc., a division of News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) in July 2007. The company is headquartered in Denver, Colo. with offices in Palo Alto, Calif.

The site is purchased by The site has close to 4 billion images! Take for example; it has over 60,000 images under bird category and 275 under flying bird category. The site has photos and videos for all occasions. Chronicle uses frequently to get specific images.

Photo Gallery: Mrs. Sonia Gandhi visits Tsinghua University in China
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 21, 2007

Indian National Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi Addresses Tsinghua Audience
By Li Han
Staff Writer of the Tsinghua News Center

Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress and Chair of the ruling United Progressive Alliance’s Coordinating Committee, visited Tsinghua University on October 27 and delivered an address entitled “India and China-a Harmony of Civilizations.”

In her speech, Mrs. Gandhi reviewed the historic cultural exchange between India and China and emphasized the importance of building on long traditions of peaceful contact and exchange between the two countries to sustain a catalytic partnership that is relevant for the 21st century. “I firmly believe that we have much to contribute to one another,” Mrs. Gandhi said. “Our relationship has already assumed increasing importance to the stability and prosperity of the world at large.”

In her address Mrs. Gandhi also stressed the importance of strengthening cultural ties between India and China. “We should have further exchanges between our students and artists, young professionals and creative entrepreneurs,” she urged.

In speaking of cooperation between universities of the two countries, Mrs. Gandhi noted that “there is enormous scope for collaborative efforts between universities in areas like energy, environment, biotechnology and water resources. There are numerous opportunities to pool our resources for dealing effectively with common problems and challenges.”

Tsinghua University Council Chairman Chen Xi met and exchanged ideas with Mrs. Gandhi prior to the speech.

(Photo by Guo Haijun)


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