From editor's desk
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008


This issue contains more details about steps taken by our newly formed alumni association towards alumni activities. It includes formation of Board of Directors, adopting Bylaws, opening bank account to receive funds from alumni, etc.

The issue carries news about our alumni Manoj Sinha and Gyanesh Pandey who developed and installed a prototype rice husk based power plant in rural Bihar. We are also carrying news about IT-BHU alumni award of excellence.

It is sad to see our beloved vice-chancellor, Dr. Panjab Singh leave us who left the university on May 03. He lobbied successfully with HRD Ministry to get us an IIT status. We hope that our new vice-chancellor, Dr. D. P. Singh will continue the IIT conversion process for our institute.

We are thankful to our former student, teacher and vice-chancellor Prof. P. Ramachandra Rao to give consent for the chronicle interview. We are also featuring interview of our alumnus Praveen Maane (2004) who has started the business of catering prepared food to customers in Hyderabad.

The issue also contains the rare photo of class of 1952 and article about our pioneer batch of class of 1926. We are thankful to Dr. Satinder Mullick (Mechanical 1958) for the write-up.

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.Upadhyay [AT]

Or Anshuman Singh at: anshuman.singh [AT]

Thanking you,
The Chronicle Team

About ITBHUGlobal website
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008

 As stated in last month’s issue of Chronicle, is the official website of our alumni association, IBGAA (IT-BHU Global Alumni Association).

 Registration of members:

 Currently we have over 6,000 members (out of estimated total of 14,000) registered on our website. The registration is open to all alumni, students, faculty and permanent staff of the institute. We request everyone to register his/her name on our website if not registered yet. Please pass on the message to your classmates and other alumni/students you know.

 To register, please go to the main page of our website, open the dialog box under ‘register’ on right hand side of the page (or go to and enter necessary personal details. It takes only few minutes to register. You will receive email notification and may be asked simple questions for verification.

 Once you are registered on the website, you can search for fellow alumni using “Search Alumni Database” feature at

 All registered members are also requested to update their contact info and other details frequently, so that we can contact them whenever required.

 Searching of persons and events on the website

 You can search about any persons, places or events covered in chronicle magazine in two ways:

 To use Google search, use the search followed by “in chronicle”. For example, to search for Prof. Pankaj Chandra (Director of IIM-Bangalore and our alumnus) go to and type “Prof. Pankaj Chandra in chronicle”.

 To search his name on our website, go to the main page of and in the dialog box (on right hand side) of ‘search website’, enter “Prof. Pankaj Chandra” (without quotes). It will list chronicle issues containing reference about him. To use this feature, you need not log on to the site.

HRD Ministry's PowerPoint presentation about conversion of IT-BHU to IIT
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008

 This presentation was held on the Civil Services Day, 22nd April 2008 for the Chief Secretaries (of all the States) Conference (

The slideshow is titled “Implementation of major initiatives in higher education in the XI plan-Ministry Human Resource Development, Department of Higher Education.” Open slide # 9.


Article about IITs in news media:
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008

 Following articles are published about IITs in news media by our alumnus Yogesh K. Upadhyaya (Chemical 1977).

 1) New IITs announced
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The government on March 28 decided to set up eight more Indian Institutes of Technology. Never before in the history of India has such large expansion been planned in a go. It is definitely a good news, provided the educational standards are met.



 THE DAY of March 28, 2008 was the red-letter day in the history of higher education in India. On that day, our human resource development (HRD) minister, Arjun Singh announced at a press conference in New Delhi that the government planned to establish more Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and Central Universities across the country. The plan included setting up a total of eight IITs (including four already announced) and converting Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (IT-BHU) into an IIT. The decision was taken at the highest level in a cabinet meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.

 The plan for new IITs

 Never before in the history of higher education in India, such a large expansion has been planned in one go. For example, three new IITs (in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan) will start functioning from the next academic year (2008-2009), which itself is a record. Other IITs (IIT at Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh) will start functioning from the year 2009-2010, depending upon the progress on site-selection, carrying out necessary government and legal formalities, etc.

 The new IITs are being set up under the 11th five-year plan (March 2007-February 2012). It is expected that all new IITs shall be fully functional within next five-six years.

 2) Examining the coming up of more premier engineering colleges

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This article contains the news and analysis about the recent govt. decision to set up 8 more IITs, 4 IIESTs and 10 NITs. Some of the information in the article is taken directly from the sources within HRD Ministry of India and after discussing with some of the faculty of IITs. 


The IITs have come a long way in establishing its unique brand. The recent government decision (of setting up more IITs), being unparallel in the history of technical education in India, has created a fear of dilution of the IIT brand.  Moreover, other powerful brands (such as NITs, IIESTs) have started appearing in past few years. We shall examine the coming up of such other institutes and how they will meet our country’s requirements.........

New IITs and dilution theory

 In March 2008, our government has announced the setting up of eight more IITs (including 4 already announced) and converting Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University into an IIT. This is in addition to existing seven IITs. The setting of new IITs in such a large number has raised some concerns among select groups about dilution of IIT brand.  Their fear is unfounded.  IIT brand will not get diluted as long as all the related criteria are maintained within limits. For example, the brand will not get diluted if: The selection ratio (students selected for IITs/students appeared for the IIT-JEE) is within 2-3%; teacher to student ratio is between 1:8 and 1:10; and govt. annual funding is Rs. 2.3-2.5 lakhs (Rs. 230,000-250,000) per student.

 At the end of completion of IIT expansion by the year 2012-2013, The 8 new IITs will add a total of 4,000 undergraduate seats to the existing system. Moreover, as per recent Supreme Court ruling, there will be 27% reservation quota for the OBC (Other Backward Class) students admitted to IITs and other premier institutes. This will necessitate 54% overall increase in seats at existing seven IITs and IT-BHU over a period of next 3 years. In the academic year 2007-2008, these institutes admitted close to 5,000 students, which will rise to about 7,500 students after implementing expansion program to meet quota requirements. Adding 7-10% natural expansion of available seats each year, about 12,000-14,000 seats will be available after 5-6 years from all the sixteen IITs.

 This will only encourage more students to appear for IIT-JEE exam. This year 320,000 students appeared for IIT-JEE, compared to 250,000 last year. It is expected that by 2012-2013, about 600,000-700,000 students will appear for IIT-JEE, maintaining 2-3% selection ratio.


Nikesh Arora (Electrical 1989) in Daily Telegraph List
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008

 (Chronicle note: Nikesh Arora is one of the highest ranking executives among our alumni. Currently he is President of Google for Europe, Middle East and Africa Operations.)

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 40, president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Google

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One of Google's most senior executives outside Silicon valley, Arora joined the company after being interviewed by founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin as he was wandering around the British Museum. He is responsible for Google's business across 28 offices with a team of more than 2,500 people.

When the Indian-born executive arrived in December 2004, Google EMEA had less than 500 employees in 10 offices.

Now the most powerful online brand in the world, Google commands more than two thirds of the paid-for search advertising market and is seeking to extend that dominance into the display market, provided EU regulators allow its acquisition of DoubleClick.

Arora was hired to help Google to mirror its American growth in other markets, Britain in particular. His success has seen US-educated Arora linked with several high-profile UK chief executive positions.

Dressed-down in style, yet hugely ambitious, Arora was formerly chief marketing officer T-Mobile and before that part of the asset management team at Putnam Investments, focusing on global technology and telecoms.

 Related links:

 1) Times of India article:

 2) Interview of Nikesh Arora in Chronicle

Sanjay Govil (Civil 1981) joins Outworks Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008

(Chronicle note: Sanjay Govil is a successful IT executive and volunteer for New Delhi Chapter of our Association.)



OutworX ropes in Sanjay Govil to outshine competition


"OutworX has roped in Sanjay to reinvent the organization and chart out a robust growth strategy encompassing value-centric and sustainable business services for clients. "
For Immediate Release:

 United States of America (Press Release) April 22, 2008 -- OutworX is a leading Outsourced Product Development and IT Consulting Company that provides full-spectrum product development services to, and meets IT needs of enterprises worldwide.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley US, OutworX has state-of-the-art Development Centers in USA and India (Delhi, NCR, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune). Powered by superior technological skills acquired in a world-class learning environment, process excellence and quality frameworks, OutworX partners with many software companies, helping them to bring software products at lower development costs and with shorter time-to-market. Since its inception, its valued people have cast an indelible imprint on its path to successful growth.

And, now, the name of Sanjay Govil has included in the list of its illustrious people. For his sheer brilliance, astute business acumen, inspiring IT industry experience, and impeccable leadership quality, OutworX has roped in Sanjay to reinvent the organization and chart out a robust growth strategy encompassing value-centric and sustainable business services for clients.

 Prior to this, Sanjay has successfully handled various challenging positions, leveraging his solid management and consulting experience in technology and software development. Ensconcing several positions as CEO of Baxy Infosol, Managing Director and Global Chief Information Officer of Kanbay Software, Vice President of Strategic Outsourcing at IBM Global Services, and Director and CIO of the Eicher Group of Companies, Sanjay has been a dynamic force with a proven track record of driving strategy, product and operational initiatives to success.

Having more than 26 years of international experience in the business services and IT industries, Sanjay is a respected opinion leader within the IT fraternity in India, regularly featured in media interviews, panel discussions and case studies relating to Strategic IT issues. Sanjay has many awards and accolades to his credit. In 2004, he was presented with the ‘Indian CTO of the year’ by the CTO Forum and Network Computing Magazine. Further, Sanjay’s leadership at Eicher won him NASSCOM’s ‘The Best IT User for 2004’ award in the automotive sector.

Sanjay holds a Bachelor of Technology from the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, and a Diploma in Business from the Graduate Business School, Auckland University, New Zealand. Sanjay also attended the Executive Development Programme on “Competing in the Information Age” at the European Institute of Business Administration, (INSEAD) Fontainebleau, France.


 Related link:

Interview of Sanjay Govil in Chronicle

Manoj Sinha (Electronics 1999) and Gyanesh Pandey (Electrical 1999) lighting rural India with Rice-husk based power plant)
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008

 (Chronicle Note: This is a remarkable achievement by our alumni. Manoj Sinha and Gyanesh Pandey, along with other team members Chip Ransler and Ratnesh Kumar. Manoj Kumar and Chip Ransler are currently studying in MBA Program at UVA.-Darden School of Business. Gyanesh Pandey and Ratnesh Kumar are working in setting up power plants in Bihar. Ratnesh Kumar is major investor in the project.)

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 Powering Villages from Rice Husks Wins Business Plan Competition

May 6, 2008 — Two students from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business recently started a business that supplies electricity to rural villages in India by burning the rice husks that are a waste product of rice milling. So far, two rice husk generators are providing power to about 10,000 rural Indians, but the business plan calls for a rapid expansion that will put the miniature power plants in hundreds more villages within a few years.

This weekend, the duo received $50,000 and a big vote of confidence in their business plan when they won the Social Innovation Competition at the University of Texas. The Darden students, Charles "Chip" Ransler and Manoj Sinha, were judged to have the most compelling new idea to change the world. The University of Texas' RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service awarded the prize to their business, Husk Power Systems (, which uses a proprietary technology to burn rice husks and generate three valuable products: electricity, waste ash that can be sold as an ingredient for cement, and a reduction in carbon emissions.

This technology provides off-grid power to rural Indian villages of 200 to 500 households. Using the husk-powered mini power plant, the team plans to offset close to 200 tons of carbon emissions per village, per year in India.

The competition's audience handed Husk Power Systems an additional $1,000 in the vote for the People's Choice award. Selecting from a competitive field of exceptional ideas, the competition judges, which included University of Texas faculty, nonprofit directors, foundation grant makers and business leaders, chose three finalist teams.

"The final pitch to the judges had all the drama and emotion of a night on 'American Idol' — but with a much loftier mission," said Peter Frumkin, director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service.

The $50,000 award was the latest in a string of accolades that Ransler and Sinha have received for their Husk Power plans. On April 7, they picked up a $10,000 check for winning Darden's annual business plan competition. Also in April, they were selected as one of 10 finalist teams among 245 entries from 23 countries in the Global Social Venture Competition hosted by the University of California at Berkeley. Husk Power is also a top-10 finalist at this year's Ignite Clean Energy competition at MIT, where Ransler and Sinha will compete May 12 for a $125,000 top prize.

The idea for the rice husk generators was originally conceived by Sinha, who earned his engineering degree from the University of Massachusetts and holds 10 patents for work done at Intel, and Gyanesh Pandey, the third leader of Husk Power, who left an engineering career in Los Angeles to return to India and oversee the rice husk project on the ground there.

Sinha and Pandey went to college together in India and both hail from rural Indian villages that struggle with a lack of electricity. "We grew up in those areas," explained Sinha. "Our relatives still do not have electricity. We wanted to give back to those areas." Originally they envisioned refining the generator concept and raising enough money to donate rice-husk generators for two or three villages near where they grew up, said Sinha.

Then, at Darden, Sinha shared the idea with Ransler, who did a bit of research and soon suggested that the generators could be a financially viable business that could be expanded to hundreds of villages. There are 480 million Indians with no power and 350 million of them live in rural villages, concentrated in eastern India's "Rice Belt," where the villagers are "rice rich and power poor," explained Ransler.

After more research and some helpful feedback from several of the business plan competitions, said Ransler, the team realized that, with more engineering, the ash produced by burning the rice husks could be easily converted into a valuable ingredient for cement production.

On top of that, additional research revealed that the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, had established a trading program for carbon emission reductions that should enable the rice husk generators to be paid for reducing carbon emissions.

The team was struck, said Ransler, by how "these big things all work together" — three sources of revenue could be produced from what was otherwise a waste product sitting in huge piles slowly rotting in villages across India. Even with conservative electricity consumption, revenue from the three sources would allow each rice husk generator to break even in about two and a half years, and it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 200 tons per year, per village. Furthermore, explained Ransler, a lack of reliable electricity is one of the biggest obstacles to small business growth in rural India, so providing a village with rice-husk power can be the enabler of a dozen other small business ventures. They concluded, "someone should do this. Why shouldn't it just be us?"

But actually getting the electricity from the power plant to the various destinations — village houses, irrigation pumps, water purification units, small businesses, etc. — presented further challenges, said Ransler. Previous electrification projects in India have generally provided villages with intermittent power — often only an hour a day — coming from distant power plants (usually coal-powered), and traveling over miles of wires to reach small villages where average personal incomes are less than $20 a month.

In many cases villagers used the many hours of downtime without power to illegally tap into the main power lines for "free" electricity. Sometimes large sections of power lines were cut down and sold as scrap metal.

Husk Power has developed several strategies to combat such problems, explained Ransler. They will require pre-payment for all electricity, and they will spend more to wire the village using double-insulated wire that is more difficult to illegally tap into than standard wire. Since electrical meters cost $10 to $15 each, and an average household will consume only about $15 to $18 of electricity per year, Husk Power will instead use a $1 circuit breaker to distribute electricity to a branch line serving four or five households. A Husk Power employee in the village will conduct a basic energy audit to determine how much electrical load the branch of houses will need and will install a circuit breaker that allows only that much current to reach the houses. Any illegal tap or other excessive consumption will trip the circuit breaker, cutting off power to all four or five houses, giving the community an incentive to work together to prevent excess consumption.

With all the refinements, the business plan soon started "looking like Starbucks — you can put one of these in 125,000 locations, hire local people, and turn a raw material into money — just substitute rice husks for coffee beans," said Ransler.

What about the original motive of providing a social good to rural India? "This is basically, through capitalism, making something happen that wasn't going to happen without it," noted Ransler. "We don't see any contradiction between doing well for ourselves and doing even better for others."


 Additional links:

1) Husk Power Systems

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 2) University of Virginia-Darden School of Business

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3) Student grudge match-Lighting rural India - with rice husks


 (Rice Husk Power Plant in Bihar)


(Manoj Sinha with Chip Ransler)                                           (Gyanesh Pandey)

Seminar for VLSI/ASIC (Pragyan) held at campus on Feb 21 & 22
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008

Seminar for VLSI/ASIC (Pragyan) held at campus on Feb 21 & 22.

(Report forwarded by Vikalp Agarwal, Civil 2008 and Nihal Ansari, Mechanical 1982)

(Chronicle note: Mr. Manthani Sridhar Reddy (Electronics 1982) is Senior Director of nVidia. He is one of our active volunteers and has pledged for the campus improvement projects.)

Mr. Manthani Sridhar Reddy had conducted a seminar for electronics students on Feb 21 & 22, 2008. The report is attached.

NVIDIA Graphics Pvt. Ltd. recently organized a 2 day workshop (Feb 21 & 22) for from Electrical and Electronics streams, who wish to pursue a career/research in the VLSI/ASIC field. The workshop was organized by the Industry Institute Partnership Cell under the banner of PraGyaN – The Workshop Series.

The workshop, spanning over 2 days covered, Chip Design Overview & a special one day workshop called “Right from the Start”.

Day 1: “Chip Design Overview”

One day training on Chip Design provided a bird’s eye-view of what it takes to build a chip.  The program introduced students to the chip design flow, tools and methodologies (such as Verilog) along with some of the engineering considerations that go into building a chip.

This workshop was conducted by Mr. Sridhar Manthani (our alumnus) and Mr. Sunil Nanda, both of whom are senior directors at NVIDIA Graphics Pvt. Ltd. The workshop was also attended by faculty members as observers, faculty present were - Dr. Devender Singh, Electrical Engineering; Dr. RK Mishra, Electrical Engineering; Mr. P K Mukherjee, Electronics Engineering & Dr. Satyabrata Jit, Electronics Engineering.

The workshop was not open for all students and only 25 students were shortlisted from Electrical and Electronics Engineering from both B. Tech & M. Tech. There was a huge interest in students and the organizers had a tough time handling numerous requests to be accommodated.

The workshop was very well received and most students wanted it to be a little slower than it was. There was a considerable request to do more such events.

Day 2: “Right from start”

A 1 day workshop covering soft skills required to get successful in any work environment. The workshop covered topics like how to make the right career choices, opportunities in Engineering and what to expect from the work place once a student makes the transition to a professional work environment.

The workshop was conducted by Mr. Kedar Nayak from Navgati. This workshop was an instant hit with most students and Mr. Nayak established himself as a very friendly coach with the students.

The workshop was also attended by Dr. Devender Singh, Electrical Engineering; Dr. RK Mishra, Electrical Engineering & Dr. P. K. Mishra, Chemical Engineering, Chief Coordinator – IIPC.

The workshops were well managed and received an exceedingly overwhelming response. The only complains being the short duration and the restrictions on the number of participants.

Students have expressed a desire to have many more such workshops and the IIPC has also received written feedback about the future topics that they might be interested in.

Additional links:

1) Photographs of the workshop

 2) NVIDIA Graphics Pvt. Ltd.

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Dr. Panjab Singh leaves as Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008


(Chronicle note: Dr. Panjab Singh left the position of VC at BHU on May 03, 2008. A detailed article is published elsewhere in this chronicle issue. To read this article, you might have to install hindi fonts)

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May 02, 11:56 pm

वाराणसी। काशी हिंदू विश्वविद्यालय के कुलपति प्रो. पंजाब सिंह शुक्रवार को बीएचयू से विदा हुए। स्वतंत्रता भवन में आयोजित भव्य विदाई समारोह में सभी भावुक से लगे। स्वयं कुलपति भी अपने को संयत करते नजर आए। लगभग दो घंटे तक चले समारोह में अनेक बार ऐसे अवसर आए जब लोगों की आंखें नम हो गईं। कुलपति को माला पहनाते वक्त सभी के चेहरे पर मुस्कान थी पर इसमें छिपा था बिछोह का दर्द भी। सभी पूरी तन्मयता से कुलपति के एक-एक शब्दों को स्मृतियों में बसा लेना चाहते थे। प्रो. सिंह ने इस मौके पर कहा कि महामना की इस थाती को सभी लोगों को मिलकर सहेजना होगा। यह महज एक विश्वविद्यालय ही नहीं बल्कि देश व संस्कृति की आत्मा भी है। यह जितनी समृद्ध होगी समाज व देश भी उतना ही समृद्ध होगा।

सभागार में बैठे लोग कुलपति के तीन वर्ष की उपलब्धियों की चर्चा भी करते रहे। समारोह में वाणिज्य संकाय को शोध छात्र ब्रजेश तिवारी, बसंत कन्या महाविद्यालय की डॉ. राधा बनर्जी ने अभिनंदन पत्र पढ़ा। कुलसचिव एन सुंदरम, कार्यकारिणी के सदस्य प्रो. एके बनर्जी, प्रो. टीवी रामकृष्णन प्रो. आनंद मोहन आदि ने संस्मरण सुनाए तथा कुलपति की दूरदर्शिता की सराहना की। संस्थानों के निदेशकों, संकाय प्रमुखों व संबद्ध महाविद्यालयों से आए शिक्षकों ने भी कुलपति का अभिनंदन किया। अभिनंदन का आलम यह था कि इस मौके पर कुलपति को 50 से अधिक स्मृति चिह्न मिले। विश्वविद्यालय की प्रथम महिला श्रीमती कमला सिंह का भी अभिनंदन किया गया। डॉ. पद्मिनी रवींद्रनाथ ने प्रो. पंजाब सिंह का जीवन परिचय पढ़। संचालन डॉ. जीएन तिवारी ने किया। इस मौके पर कायकारिणी सदस्य डॉ. एसडी सिंह, प्रो. एसएन उपाध्याय, प्रो. गजेंद्र सिंह, प्रो. शिवराज सिंह, प्रो. वीके कुमरा, प्रो. एसके सिंह, प्रो. राजकुमार, डॉ. प्रदीप श्रीवास्तव, पराग प्रकाश, डॉ. केपी उपाध्याय सहित काफी संख्या में शिक्षक व कर्मचारी उपस्थित थे।

न ऐेसा देखा न सुना

वाराणसी: 47 वर्षो तक बीएचयू से जुड़े रहे वरिष्ठ प्रोफेसर व विशेष कार्याधिकारी प्रो. ओंकार सिंह विदाई के इस मौके पर बेहद भावुक हो गए। बोले अपने जीवन में मैंने अनेक कुलपति देखे। इससे पहले विश्वविद्यालय में न तो इस तरह से किसी कुलपति की विदाई देखी गई और न ही सुनी गई।


New BHU V-C wants 'peace education' in curriculum
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008

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Varanasi, May 8 Noted environmental science expert Dhirendra Pal Singh, who assumed the office of the Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on Thursday, has said that he would initiate process to begin a course in ‘peace education’ in the university, in association with UNESCO.

Addressing mediapersons after taking charge of his new assignment, Singh said that efforts will be made to set up an Institute for Sustainable Development at the BHU with help of UNO and UNESCO to mark the International Decade on Sustainable Development (2005-2014).

Singh, a native of Etah, is the 24th V-C of the BHU that was founded in 1916 by visionary Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya.

He had earlier served as the V-C of the Dr Hari Singh Gour University in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh.

The new V-C assured that lack of funds will not impede the functioning of BHU’S Ganga Laboratory, which has been facing monetary problems for the last decade.

Singh, however, remained non-committal on revival of elected students union body at the BHU — the Asia’s biggest university where students union was scrapped in 1997 following violence during polls.

On the issue of dearth of qualified coaches at the university, in spite of the fact that the campus boasts of considerable sports infrastructure, Singh said, “I will urgently address the issue to ensure that during the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games talented students of the can take part.”

Dr Krishna Gopal Bhatia (Civil 1964) published a book "Foundation for Industrial Machines - Handbook for Practicing Engineers".
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008

(Forwarded by Vinay Kumar, Mechanical 2003)











(Dr. K. G. Bhatia)

About Dr. K. G. Bhatia

After obtaining Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from BHU, Varanasi, Dr. Bhatia Completed Masters in Structural Dynamics with specialization in Earthquake Engineering from University of Roorkee (Presently Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee). In the initial years of his career, he started teaching structural dynamics to Engineering students. Later moved on as a UNESCO participant, at the International Institute of Seismology & Earthquake Engineering (IISEE), Tokyo, Japan for Advanced Research in the field of earthquake Engineering. The Research conducted at IISEE was extended further to obtain Ph D degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Dr. Bhatia retired from BHEL in 1999 as General Manager (Advanced Research Projects). He is founder/CEO of D-CAD Technologies.

His full profile can be viewed at

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D-CAD Technologies 

(Center for Applied Dynamics)


Consultancy Areas: (Specialization)

Structural Dynamics, Earthquake, Wind, Shock, Impact, Stress, Vibration, Machine Foundation, Vibration Isolation



Office: 158, Vardhman Grand Plaza, Mangalam Place

Rohini sector 3, New Delhi 11085


Telefax: +91-11- 27948306


Dr. K. G. Bhatia

   B.Sc. Engg., ME, PhD




Member, Research Council, SERC (G)

President, Indian Society of Earthquake Technology

General Manager, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. New Delhi

Chairman, Indian Society of Earthquake Technology (Delhi Chapter)

Expert Member, Group on Earthquake Preparedness of NCT of DELHI

Fellow, Indian Association of Structural Engineers


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Handbook: About the Handbook

The author has been engaged in designing, testing and review of machine foundations for various industrial projects viz. Petrochemicals, Refineries, Power plants etc. for the last about three decades.

The handbook is written primarily for practicing engineers as well as for students at Post Graduate level. Handbook shares author’s long experience on the subject and focuses on the improvements needed in the design process with the sole objective of making practicing engineers physically understand and feel the dynamics of machine foundation system.

The handbook covers basic fundamentals necessary for understanding and evaluating dynamic response of machine foundation system. The author has also conducted extensive tests on machine foundation models as well as on prototypes. For over two decades, the author has been associated with Failure Analysis Studies on various types of machines.

Observations from all the above studies suggest need for improvement in the design of foundations for better performance of machines. These include:

  1. More comprehensive evaluation of Site Soil Data
  2. Better understanding of Machine Data and its use in foundation design
  3. Improvement in the Design Philosophy that suggests
    1. Improvement in the Modeling Technique
    2. Improvement in Analysis Technique
    3. Improvement in Structural Design process, and
    4. Improvement in Construction Technology

It is the author’s observation that in most of the cases, due recognition to Machine, Foundation and Soil data is lacking. More often than not, machine data as well as soil data is treated as black box and used in the design without its proper understanding. A better interaction between foundation designer and machine manufacturer would definitely improve the foundation performance and thereby machine performance. Over the years, author has observed that such interactions are lacking. It is the author’s concerned opinion that such an interaction is not only desirable but essential too.

It is anticipated that this handbook shall serve as a Reference Book. The author is confident that it shall bridge the knowledge gap and shall be beneficial to the practicing engineers, students, academicians/researchers as well to the industry.

More about book can be found at

Dr. K. G. Bhatia can be contacted at:

Publication of a scientific study by the faculty of IT-BHU
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008

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First published on April 21, 2008
Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites 2008, doi:10.1177/0731684407086622
© 2008 SAGE Publications


Surface Studies of Centrifugally Cast Aluminum-based Lead Bearing Composites

S Mohan1*, J.P. Pathak1, N Chander2, and S Sakar3

1 Department of Metallurgical Engineering, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi--221005(U.P.), India
2 School of Material Science & Technology, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi--221005, India
3 Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela(Orissa), India


* To whom correspondence should be addressed.


Low cost and abundant availability of aluminum–based composites make them potential candidates for bearing applications. The dispersion of lead is difficult in aluminum, so a centrifugal casting procedure has been adopted for uniform dispersion. Cylindrical castings show minor variation in composition from outer to inner as well as from top to bottom. Wear rate shows an increasing trend with sliding distance and load. But with sliding velocity wear rate initially decreases, attains a minimum, and then increases sharply with increase in sliding velocity. Under dry sliding conditions all alloys exhibit two regimes of wear, viz. mild wear at low loads and sliding velocities but severe wear at higher loads and sliding velocities. These two wear mechanisms are distinguished by a mixed mode of oxidative and metallic wear dominated by either.

Key Words: centrifugal casting, wear rate, oxidative/mild wear, metallic/severe wear, ploughing and delamination.

Ganga dying the Yamuna way?
Rahul Hari CSE06 @ Apr 25, 2008

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A DIP in river Ganga flowing in this holy town may now leave devouts infected with a host of diseases with pollution monitors painting an alarming picture of the state of the river.

According to data provided by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and Ganga Research Laboratory situated at the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, the level of pollution in the river has reached alarming proportions.

Experts say the Ganga water at Varanasi is at present not fit for bathing and even for agricultural purposes. For drinking purposes it has been not used for years now.

However, top sources at the Ganga Action Plan phase-I unit at Varanasi claim that Ganga water here is fit for bathing and is better than the quality of river water in Kanpur and Allahabad.

As per the Swatcha Ganga Research Laboratory of the Sankat Mochan Foundation, an NGO at Varanasi, while the level of fecal coliform present in water should be much below 5,000 per liter for drinking purposes, less than 50,000 for bathing and below 500,000 per litre for agricultural use, the present level of coliform in Ganga here has reached an alarming level of 4,90,000 to 21 lakh per litre on different ghats.

Professor Uday Kant Choudhary, an expert in river dynamics and coordinator of the Ganga Research Laboratory at the IT-BHU, said besides the level of fecal coliform, the water quality was mainly dependent upon oxygen content and its oxygen retention power and as per the recent data on both of these accounts, the Ganga water was not worth drinking on any of the world-famous Ganga ghats here.

As per the laboratory’s investigations, the dissolved oxygen in Ganga water at various ghats here varies from 3 to 5 parts per million(PPM) while it should be not less that 6 to 7 PPM.                                              

Now learn at IIT through distance education
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008
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NEW DELHI: If you have failed to make it to an Indian Institute of Technology, don't lose heart. You can still access it through distance education.

Premier institutions like Indian Institutes of Technology will soon be able to offer its post graduate courses through distance learning.

Some of the IITs are examining the patterns of foreign universities to design the course module.

The Human Resource and Development Ministry has prepared a blueprint to offer masters from the premier institutes through distance learning.

Seven IITs are collaborating for the national programme of technology enhanced learning on a trial basis by developing curriculum-based video and web courses. Some 140 courses are in various stages of preparation and distribution through the internet.

"These courses will be available to students who have diploma in technical education. Students who have done bachelors in technical education from any university can also pursue post graduate web courses from these premier institutes", sources in the ministry said.

The Distance Education Council (DEC) will be the overall regulatory body for distance education program.

The virtual campus to be set up at a cost of over Rs 1,500 crore over the next three to four years and it will enable students who could not make it to the premier institutes of technology to bag an IIT-equivalent degree online.

UP cabinet gives nod to IIT, IISc level institutes
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 25, 2008

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Lucknow, May 10: The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Saturday gave its approval to set up two institutes of the level of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) under public-private partnership basis.

According to the cabinet decision, the proposed institutes would be set up with an estimated investment of Rs 500 crore each.

An official release issued here said that the cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Mayawati also decided to set up two engineering colleges with private participation in the backward eastern region of Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh.

An investment of Rs 200 crore is expected on them.

As many as 50 polytechnics would also be set up in public-private partnership costing Rs 20 crore each.

There is also a proposal to set up 250 ITIs in as many development blocks with an investment of Rs two crore each.

Besides, private investment would also be open for Upgrading facilities in existing polytechnics and ITIs, the release said.

A decision was also taken to bring the Lucknow Institute of Engineering and Technology into the ambit of the UP Technical University (UPTU) as an associate degree college.

The cabinet also decided to include the Lucknow College of Architecture as one of the faculties of UPTU.

It also decided to introduce English from class I.

The cabinet also gave the nod to fix a stock limit for commodities like wheat, rice, pulses, edible oils, keeping in mind price rise and to prevent hoarding.

For wheat and pulses, the stock limit would remain effective till August 27, this year while for edible oils and rice it would be effective till April 2009.

According to the cabinet decision those found violating this stock limit would warrant action under the Essential Commodities Act 1956.

The state cabinet also gave its nod to constitute a forum for speedy disposal of all departmental cases pending in the courts in which the state government is also a party.

It also gave its assent to formation of Azamgarh Development Authority and Baghpat Badant-Khera Development Authorities.

Bureau Report

Update on new Alumni Association
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 24, 2008

In the last month’s issue, we announced the formation of our umbrella organization, called “IT-BHU Global Alumni Association” (IBGAA for short).  

More progress has been done on the various activities related to the Alumni Association. 

Steps taken include: formation of Executive Committee (Board of Directors), adapting Bylaws governing the organization, opening a bank account to receive funds for alumni projects, etc. Necessary documents are attached here. 

The necessary details will also be posted o our official website,


Vish Narayanan (Electrical 1983) as President of the Alumni Association 

During teleconference on March 16th, 2008, the alumni volunteers selected Vish Narayanan as the president of the association. He is based at Detroit, USA.


New Board of Directors selected 

A 14-member board was selected during teleconference on March 16th, to work as a transition group. It will function till the end of March 2009, when the newly elected body will take over the running of the Association. For more details, please visit FAQ section in this issue. Some of the active alumni volunteers, though not part of this interim Board, will continue to contribute towards alumni related work. 

The members are: 

Sr. # Position Name Class/year Current


Email alias
1 President Vish Laxminarayanan Electrical 1983 Detroit, US president
2 Vice-President Vasudevan Raghavan Mechanical 1983 Frankfurt,Germany vicepresident
3 Secretary Devesh Kapur Chemical 1983 Pennsylvania, US secretary
4 Deputy-Secretary Rajiv Hukku Electronics 1983 Ottawa, Canada
5 Treasurer Manu Goyal Mechanical 1993 New Jersey, US treasurer
6 Vice-Treasurer Anand Maharana Metallurgy 1992 New Jersey, US dytreasurer
7 Director-

External Affairs

Yogesh Upadhyaya Chemical 1977 New Jersey, US external
8 Deputy Director-External Affairs Rajat Harlalka Electrical 2005 Stockholm, Sweden dyexternal
9 Director-

Institute Affairs

Anshuman Singh Electrical 1998 California, US institute
10 Deputy Director-Institute Affairs Puneet Bindlish Mining 2000 New Delhi, India dyinstitute
11 Director-


Animesh Pathak CSE 2003 California, US website
12 Deputy Director-


Rahul Hari CSE 2006 Bangalore, India dywebsite
13 Director-


Nihal Ansari Mechanical 1982 New Delhi, India reunions
14 Deputy Director-


Harpreet Marwah Electronics


Sydney, Australia



1) Officially, President/Vice-President are known as Chairman/Vice-Chairman in our application filed to NJ State for registering our Association under non-profit Business Organization.

2) The above team is transient one and will work till March 2009, when newly elected members will take over.

3) To contact the individual director, please add Email alias in front of For example, to reach Vice-President, email to:

Bylaws adopted
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 24, 2008

The Alumni Association also adopted Bylaws governing the functioning of the Alumni Association. The initial draft of Bylaws was discussed, revised and finally adopted in the teleconference on May 10, 2008. 

To review a copy of the Bylaws, please click here


A copy of Bylaws was also filed with the New Jersey State Department of Consumer Affairs, while registering our Association. 

The Bylaws contain the minimum requirements for smooth running of our organization, and they are subject to revision from time to time.

FAQ about Alumni Association
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 24, 2008

A detailed understanding of our alumni organization is provided in the attached “Frequently Asked Questions”. It explains the roles and responsibilities of each director, besides providing background about proposed election process, etc. 

To view the FAQ about Alumni Association, please click here

Bank Account Created for Alumni projects
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 24, 2008

We are pleased to state that our alumni association has opened a checking account at Wachovia bank, New Jersey. This will help us in manage the alumni funds. During the board meeting dated may 10, 2008, the board has authorized our Treasurer. Manu Goyal and Deputy Treasurer, Anand Maharana to collect, mange and transfer fund from the association members within USA and outside USA.  

Henceforth, our association is ready to receive the funds from individuals as well as from class/groups. Please note that the association will be receiving and managing funds for the benefit of our members only and just acts as a custodian of the funds. The fund can be withdrawn or sent to third parties by sending an email to treasurer by the authorized depositor of the funds. 

Currently the check transfer facility is available to members from USA only. We are trying to establish facility to receive checks from India and other countries. 

To get more details about how to deposit funds, please send an email to 

To view the FAQ about Alumni Fund Management, please click here

Donation Form: 

For certain type of transactions (including checks), a donation form needs to be attached along with the payment. A copy of donation form is attached here


Make a Gift: 

In order to improve academic and infrastructure standard at our institute, our alumni association has started a new initiative for encouraging our alumni to donate money for the purpose. 

A copy of ‘Make a Gift’ is attached here


Please also visit our website for more information.

Early Pioneers of IT-BHU
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 24, 2008

(Written by Satinder Mullick, Mechanical 1958) 

(Mr. S. Mullick has an interesting story to tell about olden days of IT-BHU, starting from 1920’s. With this fascinating story along with rare photographs and stunning information, he takes us back to our bygone era. His father, Mr. R. N. Mullick also graduated from our college in 1926. We hope our readers will enjoy it.)

















(Above photo was forwarded by Rushi, the grandson of Principal M. Sengupta. The photo is also posted on our website 

Wikipedia gives a comprehensive history of BHU formation with two visionaries, Malaviyaji and Dr. Anne Besant agreeing to form BHU that would include students from all over India. Maharaja Sir Krishnaraja Wadiyar of Mysore performed the opening ceremony of Engineering College Workshop buildings in 1919.Engineering College started with an artisan course followed by Engineering College that offered combined degree in Electrical and Mechanical engineering. 

 In line with the vision of Dr. Anne Besant, a merit based and region based admission system was developed by Charles A King, the first Principal of Banaras Engineering College. BENCO (Banaras Engineering College) admitted students from every state/region of Greater India (India/Pakistan/Bangladesh). Students travelled from Peshawar, Bangalore, Kolkata, Bombay, Assam, Nepal and other countries to study at BENCO. Seats for each area were more or less fixed under this quota system to UNITE INDIA and to allow fair development of whole India. 

 Mr. Asanand Kapoor, Mr. Ram Narain Mullick, Prof. Jagat Singh, Capt. Chatterjee, Prof. Pandey were among the early pioneer students who graduated in 1924-27 time period. The first two joined Military Engineering Service in NWFP (North-West Frontier Province-now in Pakistan), while the other three taught at BENCO.  While I was in college, Prof. Pandey left in 1955 to become the Principal/Director of BITS, Ranchi. Conditions in NWFP in 1927 were not better than today. Wazirs--Pathans who live in Waziristan--were a menace to safety of all. My father Mr. Mullick carried a pistol or gun with him all the time as his work required travelling to many dangerous paths (there were no roads). My father was deputed to go for a mission to do exploratory survey of an area for building a road, but for some family problem, he sent someone else. The Wazirs came out of their caves and shot all persons in the vehicle.  

From 1927-40, my father worked in the development of infrastructure of NWFP, but later he had to join the Army Engineers to go to Iraq during the second World War. Upon return, he was in-charge of heavy machinery (Caterpillar Tractors etc.) and was stationed in Lahore, but oversaw operations in Kakinada (Bengal). So he travelled long distances all his life. Later he reverted back from Major Mullick to Mr. Mullick in 1952 in MES, as in-charge of Procurement of heavy equipment. One day in 1954, Mr. Kapoor was visiting us in New Delhi and he said, "Mullick sahib, you must be very rich --he meant getting big bribes". My father replied, "Yes, I have two and a half lakhs". Mr. Kapoor was astonished--My father added," Asanand, I have two sons who are Engineers in Indian Army--they are worth a lakh each and I have third son who is doing Engineering and he is worth half lakh". My father died of heart attack one day in June, 1956--while waiting for ambulance--a business man, related to Tractors Sales, came and asked me if he could take my father to his hospital in his car. My mother replied that we cannot afford to pay and if this business man pays--then that is bribe which your father won’t like. 

My father learnt engineering from BENCO but ethics from his father and his friends admired him. Capt. Chatterjee and Prof. Jagat Singh knew him well from College days. So when I was at BENCO, their homes were always open for me. The closeness of the Bencoites saw no regional difference. Capt. Chatterjee from Bengal was a true friend of Major Mullick from NWFP. That was the vision of Dr. Besant and Malaviyaji fulfilled according to their wishes of uniting and developing all parts of India. 

Satinder K Mullick.jpg

(Dr. Satinder K. Mullick BENCO 1954-1958)

Ram N Mullick.jpg

(Mr. Ram N. Mullick BENCO 1922-1926)

  Satinder Mullick, B. Sc, Mechanical Engineering1954- 1958 from BENCO, Varanasi;

PhD from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA 1965,

Retired Director Of Economic Planning, Corning Inc.USA. 1965-95,

Currently- President of Planning Investments and Economic Services (PIES)



CAN YOU BEAT THAT? (By Satinder K. Mullick) 
Once an IT-BHU (old Bencoite)--always a Bencoite.

My father was from 1926 batch--Major Ram N.Mullick.

I am from 1958 batch—my father overruled my decision to accept IIT-Kharagpur admission letter--made me wait 3 days to await BENCO's acceptance. 
My niece is married to a Bencoite-Rakesh Suri 
My brother in law is Naval Varma of San Gabriel-Calif. 
My sister in laws has 4 brothers (Khullars) who are BENCO Alumni—older to me. 
Nine from our extended relations are affiliated with IIT-BHU. 
By the way, I went from BHU to JHU (Johns Hopkins University in the US). 
- Satinder Mullick

Chronicle Editor @ Apr 24, 2008

 (This article is written by Paras Aggarwal, Mining 2007. All views expressed are his own. The author compares his wonderful BHU days with the current situation at work.


 Watching Eucalyptus adorning Rishikesh hills passing by the train window, with Gilmour and company humming the chords reminds me of the boulevard of mango trees cutting across spawning BHU campus, of unending nights invested in listening to psychedelic, of treats given by seniors( though sometimes reluctant and compelled). As nostalgia starts haunting me, its cobwebs strangling me, I often get into the deep thinking what a scholar say of life after college. Past one year, since passing out of BHU, has brought many changes in life. Now, I don’t need to think twice before buying a pair of jeans or a dinner at an expensive restaurant, but somehow I realize I don’t cherish them as much as I used to during the frugal academic years. Hundred Rupees spent on dinner seemed more but fruitful than spending 2K at discotheques. Corporate life has brought its own disciplines with it and life has been restricted what we call a Time Table. As Gilmour sings A great day for freedom, I realize no other song can be more apt in depicting my unrequited need (which seems a wish now), of releasing me of the corporate strings tying me and dragging me down at this moment.

 Waking up on rainy days, weathering heavy storms, as I reach my office I can’t stop my self thinking of IT days of clinging on to my dilapidated bed in my web covered sweet room. As I face my boss looking like a devil in a prada shooting a flurry of questions inquiring my by-default habit of coming late to office, then seemingly monstrous professors with fleet of their viva questions seems kind and amiable. Sitting in front of TFT screen with lines of infinitely long incomprehensible codes blazing in front of my eyes makes me think of sweet mushy movies I used to watch on my Master-driven system. Jovial, belittling and loud conversations have now been replaced by dry and humorless and often sarcastic whispers. Sense of camaraderie (shown especially during end semester) has somehow lost in ugly and dark competitive corporate world. Gone are days where a talk started from a cup of tea and ended on America, now we talk only about our Leads and onsite.

 Orkut and Gtalk have become only mean of clinging on to your past. As I suddenly realize my friends with whom I used to hang out 24 hours a day have suddenly become my past and I haven’t met most of them for a year and may not be able to meet ever, tears drip down my moist eyes.

 Watching kids playing cricket from train window reminds me of gymkhana grounds, of Adel in our very own Rajputana grounds and Spardha, which can beat the charisma and enthusiasm of an Olympics any day any time (Chinese can learn a bit of sportsmanship from us). Sitting in front of client trying to answer his intangible queries takes me to Limbdi Corner hangouts during eve of a periodical and then begging toppers for class notes at night.

Lonesome dinners at home (mostly Maggi) reminds of the mouth watering Dhaba delicacies (especially awesome chilly chicken) followed by liters of beer.

 My longing for college life didn’t seem to end, rather keeps on intensifying with time. With twilight fading away, sun setting down for a new rising and Waters finally playing Wish You were here I wish my BHU would return just for once with all my friends and even foe which would take me back to heaven named IT-BHU.nostalgia.png

Entry of big players in Indian retail market
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 24, 2008

 (This article is written by Praharsh Sharma, 2nd year Electronics. The author discusses the impact on the national economy due to entry of national and international business houses in our country’s retail market. All views expressed are his own. Praharsh is also a member of Chronicle Team. Email:

The good news for Indian Retail Market is that India has recently topped the AT Kearney’s annual Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) for the third consecutive year, maintaining its position as the most attractive market for retail investment. Indian Retail Market, which is now the fifth largest retail destination in the world, is estimated to grow from US $330 billion in 2008 to US $427 billion by 2010 and further to US $637 billion by 2015. Simultaneously the share of organized retail in the country, which today is just 4 percent, is estimated to climb up to 20 percent by the end of this decade. For the ill-informed, it is worth mentioning that India has 12 million (one of the largest in the world) retail outlets operating in its markets, most of which are definitely under unorganized retail.

 Retail is India’s largest industry, accounting for over 10 percent of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and around 8 percent of employment. Retail in India today however, is at the crossroads. It has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast paced industries with several players entering the market. The future looks promising, the market is growing, government policies are becoming more favourable and emerging technologies are facilitating operations. The most recent matter of concern however is that, the big players like ‘Reliance Retail’, ‘Spenser’s’ and ‘Hypercity’ are going ahead with their plans of heavy  investments in the Indian Retail Market. ‘Reliance Retail’ plans to setup 205 stores and ‘Spenser’s’ plan to setup 500 more stores by June 2008. ‘Hypercity’ plans another 250 stores in the country to come up within the next 5 years. Above all, is worth mentioning that the world giant ‘Wal-Mart’ has also set its eye on the Indian Retail Industry. ‘Bharti Group’ and ‘Wal-Mart’ aim to setup an equal joint venture for cash and carry business in the country.

 The entry of these big players seems to be beneficial and opulent for the Indian people at the first sight, but when analyzed economically, it clearly reveals that the emerging pattern comes with more important and well pronounced drawbacks. This is because that the term ‘people’ includes all sections of the society as a whole – producers, manufacturers, consumers, middle tradesmen, wholesale dealers and last but far from the least – the small scale retail shopkeepers. Customers are no doubt, largely benefited in the cause. They need to bear low costs, get a world class shopping experience, witness the availability of all commodities under a common roof and need not worry about the quality of material, adulteration or piracy. Producers and manufacturing companies are again at a pleasure. The retail outlets have their own plans to open and operate in different parts of the country and abroad. So, in turn the producing companies find it easy to distribute and market their products through such retail chains. Their advertising and marketing work is eased and decreased. Apart from this, they get security in the market and new companies find a good platform to begin. Yet, the established ones find a better than existing system of retail outsourcing. Next however comes the plight of the middle tradesmen, wholesale dealers and small scale shopkeepers constituting the country’s unorganized retail. The pattern definitely puts them before a multi-dimensional loss. To start with, these people genuinely fear underemployment, and eventually unemployment i.e. the shut down of their business.

 For complete article, please click here

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Chronicle Interview for Prof. P Ramachandra Rao
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 24, 2008


Prof. P. Ramachandra Rao is a world renowned metallurgist. He has unique distinction of the only Vice-Chancellor (2002-05) of Banaras Hindu University who was also a student (1963-68) and faculty (1964-92) at the university. He has worked in many govt. organizations and institutes in the capacity of scientist as well as administrator. He received SS Bhatnagar award from CSIR in 1985 and countless other awards for his research work in metallurgy. In interview with Chronicle, he takes us back to the memory lane of our Institute several decades ago.

For Chronicle, Yogesh K. Upadhyaya discusses with Prof. P. Ramachandra Rao about his multi-faceted career.



For his bio-data, please here


Q-1: Sir, Please introduce yourself. 

I was born in 1942 at Kavutavaram in the Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh. My father, Late Sri Narayanaswamy, was a government servant and retired as Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies. My mother, late Smt. Laxmi Bai was also educated and studied up to matriculation when very few women were going to school. All my uncles, on both paternal and maternal side, were graduates. One of them did his B. Sc (Engg) from BENCO, BHU. I had a very short formal school education. I directly appeared for 7th class entrance and left school at the age of 13 years to study Intermediate at the newly established Andhra Loyola College at Vijayawada. Then I moved over to Osmania University, Hyderabad for higher education.  

My professional career to date has spanned almost 44 years. During the last 15 years of this, I had the privilege of heading three old and prestigious institutions viz., the National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur, Banaras Hindu University and the Institute of Armament Technology, Pune. The last of these was converted to a Deemed University and I became its first Vice Chancellor. After attaining the age of 65 years, I have gratefully accepted the offer of Raja Ramanna Fellowship of DAE which is tenable at the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials. I still actively pursue research and am currently writing a couple of books. 

Q-2: Please tell us your student’s days at IT-BHU. 

I studied B. Sc and M. Sc in Physics with electronics as a specialization at Osmania University. Those were the early days of formation of Andhra Pradesh and it was a great experience to be exposed to a culture that was so different from that of coastal Andhra. I was thrilled to see the emphasis placed by Nizam of Hyderabad on higher education. He supported me throughout my studies at Osmania.  

At the time I finished my M. Sc., I was only 19 years of age and had a whole life in front of me. IITs were not so well known then and were just coming up. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was very well known and many top rankers from other universities from all over India were admitted to B.E after B.Sc. When I got admission for the course in metallurgy, it was an opportunity that could not be declined. My mother was the most insistent that I go ahead in spite of financial problems. The atmosphere in the Institute was exciting, challenging and demanding as well. We had to learn every thing from workshop practice and engineering drawing to metallurgy in the space of just two years. As every student had an outstanding academic record, the competition was severe. We worked hard, about 16 to 17 hours a day, and competed vigorously. I was supported by the Dorabji Tata Trust during my second year. I learnt a great deal about India and its diverse cultures and languages during those two years. The experience is unforgettable. 

As far as metallurgy was concerned, the oldest Department was that of Banaras Hindu University. Students of BHU were heading most of the metallurgical industries. As a matter of fact, some of them had founded them. Eight of my class (of less than 30) migrated from IISc to BHU for post graduation due to Professor T. R. Anantharaman, who moved from IISC to BHU and took charge of that Department. His charismatic personality, erudition and elocution were such that it was impossible to resist the move. Many of us, including me, had given up jobs in Hindustan Steel (present SAIL) to join M. Sc. (Met. Engg.) at BHU. I have never regretted the decision. Life on the campus was exciting. There was so much emphasis on games and sports. Participation in these was one way of learning to assume responsible roles and play by the rules. Sadly, that culture of BHU has faded away. I was in the Gurtu Hostel, in Room No.104 for a fair bit of time. We were taught by Professor Anantharaman, Professor G. R. Piercy from Canada, Professor Rama Rao, Professor Bhan and many others. Our mess in Gurtu was one of the finest. We were host to many a leading metallurgist of the country and enjoyed having candle light and other exotic dinners with these stalwarts. I remember that there was once a strike by our mess maharaj (cook) and his team. We cooked and ran the mess ourselves until they saw our determination and returned to work. 

I joined the Metallurgy Faculty at BHU almost six months before I completed my post graduation. Justice Bhagawati, the then Vice Chancellor, noticed during the interview, that I am yet to complete my course and asked me as to what I will do after receiving the degree. I told him that I will proceed to Imperial College, London for my PhD. He insisted on my answering the question as to what is the use of BHU giving me a job, if I have other plans. I told him that there will be no use. In spite of it, I was inducted and thus began my thirty one year long association with BHU. I was first with the College of Mining and Metallurgy as Lecturer. Professor Netarwala was the Principal. He was a fine gentleman and was respected by all of us. Soon IT (Institute of Technology) was formed and all the three colleges (BENCO, TECHNO and MINMET) merged. I still recall the party given by Professor Gopal Tripathi, the first Director of IT.  

Q-3: You worked as faculty member in metallurgy dept. for almost 3 decades. 

Even before IT was formed, Professor Anantharaman began to attract teachers from around the world. We had Professors Ranganathan (Cambridge), Somnath Misra (MIT), Suraj Bhan (Germany), Ramachandra H. Tupakary (Australia), V. B. Tare (Germany), S. L. Malhotra (Imperial) joining us as faculty. All were young, energetic and wished to build strong research groups. Professor Anantharaman guided many of us to our doctoral degrees. Professors Rama Rao, Shrikant Lele, P. M. Prasad, Rajeshwar Wahi, V. Kutumba Rao and myself are amongst those he guided. Many of us were then given an opportunity to work abroad for a couple of years. We in turn built our own research groups. Several of the current professors obtained their PhD in the same fashion working as teachers and simultaneously registering for PhD.

For most part of my stay with the department, Professor Anantharaman was the Head. It will not be exaggeration to say that those years were the golden years of the Department of Metallurgy. When it celebrated the Golden Jubilee in 1973 a galaxy of metallurgists from almost all leading countries and a host of alumni gathered to appreciate the progress and contributions made during the fifty years of its existence. If one goes through the history of the Department, one will note that Professor Daya Swarup built the foundations and reputation of the undergraduate programme while Professor Anantharaman laid the foundations for the post-graduate and doctoral programmes.  

After being lecturer and Reader in Metallurgy, I took charge as the first regular Professor of Materials Science and left the Department to establish the School of Materials Science and Technology. During my tenure, with the cooperation of many stalwarts from Physics, Chemistry, Metallurgy and other branches of engineering, the School of Materials Science was given a shape and acquired its own premises. Post graduate course and doctoral programme were initiated. I left BHU after being Coordinator of the School for almost a decade.  

Q-4: What were your accomplishments while working as Vice-Chancellor of our university? 

My appointment to the prestigious position of VC of our alma mater in 2002 came as a total surprise to me. I was never consulted by those who nominated me. If they had done so, I am certain that I would not have even agreed to the nomination. After the appointment was announced, I was not given any time what so ever and had to take up the position almost within three to four days. Even my wife was not aware that I left NML and Jamshedpur to rejoin BHU. She was then on a long distance train.  

The only request that I made to Professor Murali Manohar Joshiji, who was then the minister for HRD, was to give me support in the form of an outstanding Executive Council (EC). He obliged and we had what I rate as the very best EC in many years. It had outstanding scholars, scientists and administrators like Professors Amrik Singh, Jayant Narlikar, Rama Rao, Tupkary, Pritam Singh, Rajasekharan Pillai (Vice Chairman, UGC) and Sri Chaturvedi (former Secretary, Health, GOI) and our present Vice President His Excellency Mr. M. Hamid Ansari. I could not have dreamt of a better group of people who knew their job having themselves been Vice Chancellors, Directors and top administrators. Their advice and support helped me to move forward with speed and confidence. 

Having accepted the responsibility, I went about analyzing the issues that needed attention. There were many of them. Starting with the daily wage workers to the teachers, there was dissatisfaction. Many teachers (I forget the actual number now but it may have been about 300) were assessed for promotion but the results were not declared. The duplicity of some of those involved in vitiating the process was such that me and my staff, then headed by Mr. Mahapatra, (DR and PS), had to work through out the night till early morning to quash the frivolous objections on the files and convince the new EC that all is not lost. This and amicably settling the strike by medical students were the two immediate issues that I tackled.  

Many other efforts at conducting long overdue interviews for promotions of personnel at various levels of teaching and non-teaching staff, streamlining the process of recruitment and promotions with the help of Sri Niraj Tripathi and his dedicated band of workers, setting up a separate unit for it in the renovated Holkar House, enhancing the wages of temporary workers to legal levels, regularizing canteen staff, renovating the central office and the Guest House, building new hostels, restructuring the sports and games system as well as the gardening and sanitary systems, getting alumni to contribute to growth by providing funds for the New Science Block and Cyber café in the Women’s college, IT guest House, another floor in the Commerce building, starting a company run petrol station and a cooking facility in the hospital premises, provision of a new system for power distribution on the campus,  rebuilding vast stretches of the compound wall and many such activities of this nature were undertaken and either fully or mostly completed. I must place on record my grateful thanks to many of our alumni for helping me in this effort. I do not wish to name them for the fear of missing out some.  

With the financial help (of Rs. 6 crores) from Mrs. Usha Mittal (alumnus of our university), wife of noted industrialist and steel baron Laxmi Mittal, a New Science Block of Women's college was established. It is probably the single largest donation received from an alumnus in recent memory. 

On the academic front, semester system was introduced in the Science Faculty and a new Department of Genetics was formed. A vast optical fiber network covering the entire campus was established and many journals were made available on line. Many leaders, from diverse fields of human endeavor received honorary degrees, gave convocation addresses and urged the young recipients of degrees to think positively and contribute to the national effort. We also made attempts to see that IT, BHU is given the status of an IIT and IMS that of AIIMS. I had discussions with the concerned Union Ministers and was very hopeful that these will materialize. We started having a few internal discussions as to how IT will be reshaped on its up gradation to IIT. In all this effort, I was ably supported by the Directors, Deans, Heads of Departments, Central Registry staff, Controller of Examinations, Chief Proctor and their staff. Many worked selflessly. I would like to particularly place on record the yeomen service done by our then Finance Officer, Smt. Smita Chaudhri. She introduced many changes in the accounting procedures, invested funds wisely and computerized a good many activities.  

I had the most cordial and close contact with the student community. To strengthen this relationship and to preserve my primary role as a teacher I went to the class rooms and taught the undergraduate students of metallurgical engineering for two hours every week.  I shall always remember my walking in to the mess in Birla Hostel along with the Dean of students and having a meal with the students without prior notice and with no fanfare. The students were delighted and we spent almost two hours discussing various issues. Such incidents were several and frequent. It disturbed me to know, during one such visit, that some of our students were so poor that they could not even afford two square meals a day. It occurred to me that many may like to help such students. We placed a Hundi in the Viswanath temple on the campus and urged people to donate for anna dan. We ensured that a few very needy students received monthly meal coupons to be used in Maitri Jalpan Grih. I hope that this practice is still in vogue. The sports activity was also shifted from a faculty base to the hostel base. This ensured greater participation from the students and was delighted to note that many wardens got deeply involved in promoting their hostels. Cultural programmes and competitions also received a boost. We also hosted All India Youth Festival towards the end of my tenure. It is my strong belief that if there were problems on the campus, they were not due to the students. They were a result of external and internal politics out side the student domain. 

At the end, I hasten to add that it is not for me to say whether I had a successful term. Posterity will decide that. In retrospect, to me as an individual, the term was satisfying. However, right on the day I assumed charge, I decided that I will not continue for even one day longer than my tenure. I informed the concerned authorities, nearly six months in advance, about my decision to leave and my request was accepted well in time. I left a month before to avoid the embarrassment one of my predecessors faced when asked to continue until another VC was found. The self respecting person that he was, he declined by saying that he would not like to be a daily wager. I handed over charge to Professor Shrikant Lele who kindly agreed to become the Rector before my departure. 

Q-5: Please discuss about your interest in metallurgical research. 

My research for PhD was in the just discovered area of rapid solidification or cooling liquid metals at the rate of a million degrees per second. Series of spectacular results were obtained by Professor Pol Duwez at Caltech. Professor Anantharaman was at Caltech at that memorable time. He sent me the few papers that were published by that time and urged me to stay back at BHU and register for PhD under him. I had to do a lot of improvisation to set up the equipment needed for the work and did it successfully with the help of Sri Gulab Singh, a mechanic in our workshop. Most of the components came from the scrap market of Varanasi. We used to scour these places moving on bicycles. The effort was satisfying. I got the first PhD in the area of rapid solidification outside the USA and completed the same in about three years. Both my external examiners were Americans. This gave me an opportunity to win the prestigious Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship for carrying out further work at the Universities of Cambridge and Sussex. I was only 28 years of age, but was given the status of a Senior Visitor at both places and had the privileges of Faculty there. The most important thing that I noticed during my first visit abroad was the professionalism exhibited by every one in the university. If a mechanic or the store promised to give me a component on a particular day, they used to place it on my table the evening before. No reminders no further discussions! We still lack that kind of commitment and discipline. 

In due course my interest turned from experimental work to theoretical work as well. Currently my interests are in the area of nano materials with special reference to their synthesis by imitating natural biological processes. I also work in the area of thermodynamic modeling of materials.  

Q-6: Readers would like to know about your experience in working as administrator at other organizations/institutes. 

It was a great experience that taught me many things that are fundamental to good administration. I had the privilege of having colleagues and friends in the field of metallurgy like Professor P. Rama Rao, Dr. V.S. Arunachalam and Dr. C. V. Sundaram who were already occupying very senior positions. They gave their time, advice and unstinting support. I learnt many things from them. I am of the firm opinion, after attending several management courses conducted by experts of various nationalities, that our needs are very different from those of the western world. In India we do not just deal with an employee. Behind every face there is a family. There are unfulfilled needs and expectations. I believe that a successful CEO in India has to assume a parental role and give a patient hearing to the personal problems of individuals besides solving the institutional problems.  

I also feel that running institutions must be totally divorced from political powers and interference. Only a firm commitment by the CEO, to quit rather than to surrender to unwanted interference, will save the institutions. 

Q-7: Please tell us about your family. 

My wife Smt. Sudha has been a great support to me and let me pursue my professional life without any worry of running the family. She was herself an employee of the Andhra Bank. She joined the Bank when it opened a branch in Varanasi at the beginning of 1980 and rose to become an officer. Being an M.A in economics, she new how to manage our meager resources and care for the family needs.  

We have two lovely children who grew up in Varanasi and for a good part of their education; we were on the BHU campus at P.21 New Medical Enclave. Again, we were the first occupants of the newly built houses and all the residents were professors. It was one of the most well knit groups on the campus with a great deal of social interaction. Our children and we are still in touch with our former colleagues and their families.  

Our daughter, Dr. Suparna did her schooling from St. John Convent, DLW and qualified at the BHU entrance examination for MBBS. She went on to complete most of her requirements for M.D in pediatrics. She is married to Sri. Srinivas, who is a computer engineer, now specialized in modeling financial markets. They have two lovable and brilliant children and are settled at Princeton in the US. Our son, Dr. Animesh Patcha, also studied in the same convent and in the Central School on our campus. He went on to do his B. Tech from MESRA, Ranchi, MS from IIT, Chicago and PhD in computer engineering from Virginia Tech, Blacksburgh. Presently he is employed by CISCO at their San Jose campus. He is married to Smt. Lavanya who is an M.S in information sciences. 

We have the most excellent relationship with all our colleagues in the metallurgy and mining departments of I.T., BHU. I had close professional interaction with Professor Lele and several younger colleagues. Many of my doctoral students are holding professorial and other prestigious positions in the country. Several have won national awards for their outstanding work. One of my recent PhD students will be submitting his thesis soon. 

Q-8 Thank you, sir. It was a pleasure talking to you. 

Our university has a galaxy of distinguished alumni spread all over the world. The love and affection they shower on each other has only to be experienced to be believed. We need a goal for utilizing the untapped love. Our university is truly national and unique in its scope and diversity. Every effort should be made to preserve its national character and its glorious record of service to the nation. There should never be room for regional, parochial and partisan politics. 

Prof. P. Ramachandra Rao can be contacted at: 
















(Dr. P. Ramachandra Rao) 














(Dr. P. Ramachandra Rao with Mrs. Usha Mittal and Mr. Laxmi Narayan Mittal on BHU campus in 2004)

Interview with Praveen Maane (Civil 2004)
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 24, 2008


Praveen Maane is a different kind of entrepreneur.  Despite his engineering background, he started a company called ezeemeal along with two other partners. This start-up company provides ready meals to working class and professional population. The company has incorporated many novel business concepts and its management model is worth emulating.

For Chronicle, Yogesh K. Upadhyaya discusses with Praveen about his exciting business.


Q-1: Please tell us about ezeemeal.

To put it in short, ezeemeal aims caters to all the people who do not cook regularly and are in need of good quality home cooked food. Our customers mainly are the corporate employees who have come from different part of the country to work in Hyderabad and are in need of good quality economical vegetarian food. We provide both lunch and dinner (15 and 30 day) packages. Presently we are catering to around 270 customers on an average every day. Orders can be placed on line or on the phone. We have packages which range from Rs. 29 to Rs. 30 per meal. We do not charge separately for delivery.

ezeemeal presently has 12 full time employees and 2 part time employees both of whom are a part of our delivery team.

Apart from this, ezeemeal has recently entered main stream catering, i.e. we have entered into contracts with a couple of offices to directly run their pantries.

Q-2: How the idea was started?

After working for about three years for Infosys, I knew I needed a change. At the same time, I did not want to join any other software firm. I wanted to start something on my own. I had another idea, which was into main stream technology apart from the idea of starting ezeemeal. But reason I picked ezeemeal was because just when I was contemplating on the ideas, I met a guy with hotel management background with what I thought was enough passion to be unique. He now happens to be my partner.

On Partners: Satish is an MBA from Andhra University and was with reliance group before he quit to join us. Sivaji is a B. Com with rich experience in hotel management. He is from Vizag where he owns a restaurant too. He is the one who take care of some of the most important parts of the business: vegetable procurement, menu design and quality check at the kitchen.

On the name: To be very frank, we wanted the name of our company to relate directly with what we wanted to do: provide convenient, good quality vegetarian home food to all those in need. We first picked up a few unique terms relating to our business model and spent about a complete day on deciding the name. We also wanted to be sure the website with the name was available. Thus ezeemeal was decided upon. Then another week was spent designing the logo.

Growth: It has been 8 months since we started ezeemeal with just 18 customers, with a capital of 5 lakhs. Presently we have a monthly turnover of about 2 lakhs rupees. We are adding about 50 customers every month. We hope to reach 750 customers by this year end.

Q-3: Describe your business model.

After probably 5 months in the business, we have understood and LEARNT that we have to make sure we keep innovating with our menu. We make sure that none of our items repeats for a minimum of 20 days. We keep taking continues feedback from our customers. Although it is very tough to customize the menu for every customer, we make every possible effort to do so.

We initially used to procure vegetables every morning ourselves but now, we find it more convenient and sensible to outsource that to the local vendors. There is tough competition from the local dabbawalas. But I think it is probably because of the type of connect we have been able to maintain with our customers that we are able to face competition.

Distribution of work: Right from the start we have taken up work that we thought we were good at. I designed the complete internal admin system and the website ( is the public website) I also presently take care of the accounts and customer relations. My partners take care of the other important tasks of dealing with the vendors, procuring manpower, take care of the delivery system, the bikes etc.

Q-4: What is your recipe for the success of food catering business?

The recipe is very simple. Innovate big time and stay in constant touch with the customers. Maintain good quality from the root level and everything will fall into place by itself. Another most important aspect of any startup I believe is make sure everyone working for the company knows where the company is heading; make sure they understand the aspirations of the company.

Q-5: What advise will you give to new entrants in the field?

There are two things I would tell any budding entrepreneur. Make sure, that the work or the business you intend to enter is within your comfort zone. If you have any partners, spend time in distributing your work properly within your own comfort zones. This will pay huge dividends later on. Also, as Nandan (Ex CEO Infosys) puts it, make sure you and your partners share good enough rapport to grow old together J.

Speaking specifically to catering business, the most important thing that an entrant should take care of is constant innovation. Actually, it is not very tough to understand the importance of innovation in our business where in, our customers eat out of our hand each and every day of the week (unlike the regular hotels or main stream caterers whose customers taste their food once in a while)

Q-6: Please narrate your life during BHU days.

I happened to pass out of the batch that was considered the most notorious of all (in its time). To be frank, the average GPA of our batch is probably not worth talking about. All we did was enjoying to the fullest and learning from the experiences. Believe it or not, our branch was known to party as a group. We used to have a complete batch outing every month or so… we used to gather for birthday parties regularly (though we used to club 2 to 3 birthdays into one). We are still in touch with each one of us!! I miss those days when we use to catch up some thandai at 3 in the night J

To put in short, BHU was the turning point of my life. I went in as a very shy, introvert person and came out as a confident individual. It gave me tremendous exposure to different kinds of people and situations.

Q-7: Finally, about yourself.

I was born and brought up in Hyderabad. I have one younger brother. With my father working abroad for most of my childhood, I was the acting male head of the family from a very small ageJ. I like to read a lot… a lot about other companies, autobiographies (Though I have not been able to make time for this activity after we started ezeemeal).

I am a tech savvy person (esp. mobiles). I love to stay in touch with my friends and don’t mind putting in an extra effort for the same. I am not yet married though my parents have started pressurizing me on this front. I frankly don’t intend to marry in the next couple of yearsJ. I might take up an MBA before I marry.

Also, I love to stay in touch with the happenings at BHU. I got in touch with Anshuman Singh (Electrical 1998) in my 4th year, under whose guidance we gave the institute the first website. From then on, though I could not give much to the institute, I have been in touch with the happenings there. I would love to start working for the institute in some way or the other soon.

Q-8: Thank you Praveen, for sharing your thoughts with us.

The pleasure was completely mine. I am glad to be a part of the BHU Alumni network. Thank you so much.


Additional links:













ISMOT-2007: A Report
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008

(Written and forwarded by Prof. Banmali Rawat, ECE 1968, 1970) 

Below please find the 11th International Symposium on Microwave and Optical Technology (ISMOT-2007) held in Rome, Italy.  

(Chronicle note: Prof. Banmali S. Rawat is a Professor in the Dept. of Electrical & Biomedical Engineering, University of Nevada at Reno in USA. He is also the Editor-In-Chief of IJMOT, an international online journal in the field of microwave and optics technology. His interview was published in July 2006 issue of Chronicle: 

11th International Symposium on Microwave and Optical Technology (ISMOT-2007) was successfully organized in Rome, Italy from December 17-21, 2007. The symposium was jointly organized by the University of Rome, Italy and University of Nevada, Reno, NV, USA under the leadership of Prof. Franco Giannini, University of Rome as the Symposium Chair and Prof. Banmali S. Rawat (IT-BHU Alum, ECE 1968, 1970), who is the Founder, General Chair and International Advisory Committee Chair of the Symposium. It was attended by 250 microwave and optical technology experts from over 30 countries. 

The 12th ISMOT will be organized by the University of Nevada, USA and the University of Delhi, in New Delhi, India from December 16-19, 2009. Prof. R.S. Gupta of the University of Delhi (also IT-BHU alumnus, 1969 ECE) will be the Symposium Chair along with Prof. Rawat as General Chair. We are expecting about 500 microwave/optical technology experts from over 30 countries in this symposium. The 1993 ISMOT was also held in New Delhi and was the largest Microwave/Optical Technology conference ever held in India with over 300 attendees. 

The future ISMOTs are tentatively scheduled in Germany-2011, Singapore-2013 and France -2015. We would like to organize 2019 ISMOT in IT-BHU (definitely IIT-BHU by that time) to celebrate 100 yrs of IT-BHU or IIT-BHU. If any one is interested in ISMOT-2009, please contact Prof. Rawat at: or and for journal please visit:


More details about Symposium on



11th International Symposium on

Microwave and Optical Technology



IJMOT magazine

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Banmali S. Rawat, Ph.D.  
Professor, Electrical and Biomedical Engineering,

University of Nevada, at Reno, USA.

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Prof. Rawat with Organizing Committee 















ISMOT Advisory Committee Meeting in Rome

BHU gets new VC
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008














Dr. Panjab Singh left the university 

bhu2.jpgThe Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University, Dr. Panjab Singh retired on May 03, 2008. He served the university for 3 years. He was among the highly educated VCs our university have known. During his term, he successfully managed many university projects and tried to upgrade university’s academic standard. 



Due to his closeness with HRD (Human Resource Development) Ministry, Dr. Panjab Singh could manage to start some projects for the benefits of university and students. Among the projects he initiated or completed were: 

1) He opposed IIEST (Indian Institutes of Engineering, Science and Technology) status for IT-BHU, stating that abolition of all 4-yr B. Tech. programs and replacing them with 5-yr Integrated M. Tech. programs is not good in the interest of students’ body.  

2) Instead, he lobbied successfully for IIT status for our institute. As per government announcement on March 28, 2008, our institute will be converted into IIT. The entire legal and administrative process is expected to be completed within a year. Refer Chronicle March 2008 issue. 

3) He also managed to get approval for upgrade plan of our medical college (Institute of Medical Sciences) to AIIMS. It will be among 13 medical colleges across country which will be elevated to AIIMS status (Refer Chronicle May 2007 issue). 

4) As per Supreme Court directive to central universities and institutes, he abolished students’ union and political activity on campus. Instead, he started a concept of students council, with members selected based on their academic performance. 

5) Our universities had hundreds of teaching positions lying vacant for several years. Dr. Panjab Singh filled up over 550 academic posts and increased the research output of our university. 

6) He initiated international scholars’ scheme, in which world –renowned scholars will stay in specially constructed cottages on the campus, and contribute to the knowledge generation. 

7) His most visible achievement was establishing another campus of our university in nearby Mirzapur district. Known as Rajiv Gandhi South Campus, it will host many faculties and help spread higher education in eastern UP. 

8) He contacted steel baron Mittal family (Mrs. Usha Mittal is alumnus of our university) and with their financial help, constructed Women’s Hostel on the campus. 

He is leaving us at a time when we need him the most, particularly for implementation of IIT conversion process. 

His profile can be viewed by here

Contact email: 

News item in Hindi;


( )

Dr. D. P Singh took over as new VC of the university 



Dr. D. P. Singh took over the charge as new Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University from May 04, 2008. He was Vice-Chancellor (since 2004) of Hari Singh Gour University at Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. 

His profile can be viewed at:

Contact Email:

IITs, IIMs may not get numbers for OBC quota seats
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008

(Note: This news item includes views of our Director, Prof. S. N. Upadhyay)

IITs, IIMs may not get numbers for OBC quota seats
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 10:51 [IST]  
Vineeta Pandey

New Delhi: With the economic eligibility bars for creamy layer not being immediately revised, IITs and IIMs are now left wondering how they will fill up their OBC quota seats.

A day after the human resource development ministry issued a notification to universities and technical institutes regarding implementation of reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC), there is growing concern among these premier institutes that it would be tough to fill the seats without the creamy layer students.

IIT directors feel that even though this year may pass off smoothly since only 9% (880) seats are to be filled through quota, the cut-off marks may have to be lowered further next year.

“This year won’t be a problem but during a meeting of the Joint Admission Board we decided to review the cut-off marks for next year,” said director of the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, SN Upadhyay. He says IITs may face a problem in filling the seats in the absence of creamy layer students.

“We may have to lower the cut-off for OBC students to 20% from 10%,” Upadhyay said.

IIMs, on the other hand, have the issue of fee hike to contend with too.All the seven IIMs are planning to increase their fees from this session.

IIM-Ahmedabad has proposed the steepest increase of 175% in fees for its first year postgraduate programme for the 2008-09 session.

This means fees go up from the current Rs2 lakh to Rs5.5 lakh. Sources in IIM-A said that according to their assessment based on past records only one-third of students can afford this amount. The rest are eligible for fee concessions.

IIM-A said it would give full tuition fee waiver to students whose family income is below Rs1lakh. However, those who fall in the Rs1 lakh to Rs6 lakh bracket will get graded fee concession depending on the 'need' of the student.

Given the fact that creamy layer students are out of the reservation criteria, several seats are likely to go vacant for want of students who can afford IIM fees even with a concession.

IIT-D follows IIT-B step to restrict internet use
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008 

MUMBAI: Last year after IIT-Bombay restricted internet usage in its hostel rooms, it's counterpart in Delhi has now gone ahead and rationed net usage on their campus. Delhi is the third IIT to cut down on internet usage; IIT Madras was the first to block internet usage in hostel rooms between 1 am and 5 am.  
Delhi's decision follows the same reasons - students missing out on morning lectures after downloading movies, games and entertainment till the wee hours.  
Unlike IIT-B and IIT-M, Delhi has placed a limit on the data students can download on their hostel computers. According to student affairs dean Anurag Sharma, it has served two purposes: improved internet speed and restricted students from downloading heavy movie and gaming files.  
In fact, no sooner had IIT-B implemented the restriction that Delhi had written to Powai to explain the mechanism so that IIT-D could study it, tweak it and implement the same on their campus. While officials said that IIT-B's method of cutting hours is still at the ‘‘back of their mind'', currently they have just rationed internet use by placing a monthly limit on the amount of data students can download.  
IIT-D has installed a proxy server that monitors the amount of data downloaded by each terminal. As soon as the upper limit is reached, access gets cut off. ‘‘So students need to choose what they want. If they are going to start downloading movies, then the upper limit can get over in a day,'' Sharma added. Refusing to give details of the amount of data students are permitted to download, all he said was, ‘‘It is enough for technical work.'' IIT-D also held meetings with its students before rationing internet usage.  
IIT-B restricted net usage in hostel rooms last year after students grades fell because of addiction to the net. 

Govt. approves doubling of fee in IITs
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008 

NEW DELHI: Government has approved doubling of fees in Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) even as the issue of fee hike in prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) remained unresolved.  
HRD Ministry has approved the recommendation of the C N R Rao Committee that the fee for B.Tech and M.Tech courses be raised from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 per annum, ministry sources said.  
The committee said a hike was necessary for IITs to cope with the rising cost of education and running the institutes -- a view also shared by the ministry.  
Sources said the new fees structure would be effective from the new academic session.  
The last fee hike in IITs was effected in 1998 and since the cost of education on account of infrastructure and faculties has gone up, the ministry accepted the fee hike proposal, they said.  
There are seven IITs at Kharagpur, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Kanpur, Guwahati and Roorkee and every year about two lakh students vie for seats in these prestigious institutions.

Institute to see increased number of students due to implementation of OBC quota.
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008

Due to recent ruling over OBC quota by Supreme Court, our institute will see increased number of students on the campus in coming years. As per the ruling, all central govt. professional education institutes, including IITs and IT-BHU will have to admit more students at undergraduate (B. Tech.) level. Although the ruling is for admissions to undergraduate course only, there is a possibility that the central govt. on its own, may ask the colleges to admit more students (due to OBC quota) for post-graduate courses also. In that case, the current admission of rate about 200 students per year for M. Tech. program will increase to 300 students. We will discuss here only the undergraduate scenario. 

Currently there is a reservation for Schedule Caste for 15% of seats and for Scheduled Tribes at 7.5% of seats for admission to B. Tech. programs at IITs and IT-BHU. There is also a reservation up to 3% for Physically Handicapped students, but it is hardly used as sufficient number of students with the prescribed qualification is not available. Thus we have 100 – (15 + 7.5) = 77.5% of seats available for students under General Category (GC).  

With Supreme Court ruling, an additional 27% of the seats shall be reserved for students belonging to OBC (Other Backward Class) category. Thus the GC students share will fall to 100 – (15 = 7.5 + 27) = 50.5 %. The % of 27 for OBC students was arrived from the earlier Supreme Court declaration that % of seats available for GC students shall not be less than 50% of the total seats available for admission. The court has also ruled that number of seats available for GC students under new ruling shall not be less than the one available earlier. This can only be achieved by overall increase in the number of seats. 

Academic year of 2007-08 shall be considered as base year for calculation of available seats and additional seats needed. Since it takes time to develop infrastructure (hostels, lecture halls, labs, etc.) and hire more faculty, the quota will be implemented over a period of next 3 years. Thus all IITs and IT-BHU have agreed in a recent meeting with HRD Ministry to increase 9% seats under OBC category, reaching 27% at the end of 3 years. This will require increase in total number of available seats to 13%, 31% and 54%. There is little math involved in this calculation. 

Suppose there are 100 students admitted in 2007-2008. SC = 15; ST = 7.5; GC = 77.5 

For the year 2008-09, 9% OBC students admitted. SC = 15; ST = 7.5; OBC = 9; GC = 68.5

To keep the number of GC students same, increase total numbers to (77.5/68.5) x 100 = 113%, i.e. 13% increase in 1st year… and so on. 

In the academic year 2007-08, a total of 600 students were admitted to B. Tech program. The estimated increased number of students due to implementation of OBC quota is as follows:  

Academic year General Category SC ST OBC Overall % increase Total available seats
2007-08 465 90 45 0 0 600
2008-09 465 102 51 60 13% 678
2009-10 465 118 59 144 31% 786
2010-11 465 140 69 250 54% 924


Fake (Fat) Pay Packages?
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008

(By Abhishek Khanna, Mechanical 2007) 

(Chronicle note: This article is written by Abhishek Khanna. He is also owner of the E- magazine, Fattebaz, His E-magazine was featured in chronicle December 2007 issue,  

The following article was published on his website:

All views expressed are his own. The article has been edited as per chronicle policy.) 

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 


Fake (Fat) Pay Packages??
Are the companies fooling freshers with big CTC numbers and small in hand/cash component??

Did it happen with you?? 

I will directly come to the point...  

You got a fat CTC (Cost to the Company) figure in your offer letter, which is much more than the package other companies are offering in your college?? BEWARE!! 


The companies do not mention breakup of the package neither in the PPT (pre placement talks), nor in the offer letters, and all the months between the date when you get offer letter and the day you join the company, you are totally busy in making plans to buy the Mercedes, which SRK is driving in Don, or maybe a Jaguar (Indian TATA version). 

Bang!! Crash!! All those dreams shatter when you join the company and they give you exact details of your so called CTC. They chop-off couple of lakhs as performance bonuses! (By the way, performance bonuses not only depend on your performance, sometimes they also depend upon company's performance). Then there is chopping off for cabs, medical, meals, and God knows what. I won’t be a bit surprised a bit if someone comes and tell me tomorrow that his/her company chopped washroom charges from his package. After all it is all a part of CTC (cost to the company)

 All what I am trying to say is all companies are not like that. Many have total cash component (after chopping off just provident fund and taxes) but well as we know we all are Murphy (of Murphy’s law) uncle's favorites. So the next time some company comes to your campus, don't get fooled for the big CTC figures. Just get up and ask for the breakup of the package.


Thoughts on career development for Engineers
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008

(By Dr. Satinder K. Mullick, Mechanical 1958. Email: 

A real story perhaps sums it up well--When Corning Inc. was building its new Engineering Building--they hired an MIT architect. He changed the design completely--based on the concept that "Engineers shy away from communicating with others--happy to be in their cubicle". So he designed the office in a way that if you stand up--your eyes will come in contact with your neighbors someday. The design was open style with cubicles with low walls.

Engineers tend to be happy in their cubicles--not realizing to get involved with the bigger picture. I have watched at Corning Inc. the careers of engineers--those with MBA tend to rise more than those with pure degree in engineering including a PhD.

I myself did far better when I took Economics as my minor subject at Johns Hopkins University and then followed it up with MBA courses thru Syracuse University/Cornell University (never finished MBA) in Corning, NY. I attended Wharton program and Brookings Institute program to further my Economics education to become Chief Economist and later Director of Economic Planning at Corning Inc. Instead of publishing in Management Sciences--I ventured to write for Harvard Business Review and Management Accounting. The readers of HBR are top executives--"so that gets you in" to upper management ladder.

Now if you are an entrepreneur type with inventive mind—breakout from being an employee for a large corporation where you get a certificate for your invention and one dollar--Instead hold on to your invention--file it yourself--form a company. Vinod Khosla and Kanwal Rekhi and many others have reached new heights by doing that. Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup is an engineer/MBA also.

In the early sixties--it was difficult--but once the new immigration bill passed in 1965--it became easier. I thought of doing it in 1974, but all of a sudden, the Chairman of Corning Inc. elevated me and gave me a greater challenge in 1975 which was exciting. I realize now that many software programs that I developed could have been a vehicle for a new company. The ideas in our article, "How to choose the Right Forecasting Technique"--best article in HBR to sell over a million copies or "Determining the Value of a company" (Silver medal from National Association Of Management Accountants) could have been the way to start a new company.

Satish Duggal (Mechanical 1970) and MBA, worked for Corning Inc. for 25 years and then took early retirement to start   in  1999, which is rated a top growth company by Entrepreneur magazine in US. He is perhaps the best example that I am trying to convey to you my fellow Engineers.

So young engineers--think about my suggestion--get an MBA. Mayor Bloomberg of NY got his BS in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins Univ. in 1964--then an MBA from Harvard followed by short job at Solomon Brothers. What he learnt there--helped him start a company which made him billions. SO DREAM--but get a MBA --it won't hurt.





Free Rice-a unique way to feed hungry people
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008



This is a unique website where you can test your vocabulary ans well donate 20 grains (about 2 gram) of rice to needy people around the world. The donation of rice is made by advertizing companies whose ad is displayed on the website. Please also read FAQ


·  overpower means:

·  subdue

·  create

·  deceive

·  go near

  • Click on the answer that best defines the word.
  • If you get it right, you get a harder word. If wrong, you get an easier word.
  • For each word you get right, we donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.

WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance... (more)



Pulse! 3rd issue is published (revised on 05/10/08)
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008


The 3rd issue of students’ campus magazine Pulse! is published in April. This is the first time that the issue is published in color. The first issue was published in January 2008. The Pulse! team also prints out and distributes 2,000 hard copies of each issue among students community.




























The next issue is expected to be published around September.

To read the 3rd issue, please click here

Fee Structure at IT-BHU is revised
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008

Below please find information about the fee structure revision at our institute. We are thankful to our Director, Prof. S. N. Upadhyay to provide us with this official information. 

As we all are aware, our government has agreed for revision of fees at central institutes including IITs, to cover increased cost of providing quality education. As reported elsewhere in this issue, the IITs have decided to double the fees from next academic year (2008-09) to Rs. 25,000 per semester for B. Tech. student, i.e. Rs. 2 lakhs for 4 year course.  

Our institute is also revising the fees from the next academic year (2008-09). There are two separate fee structures shown: one for 4-yr B. Tech. /5-yr M. Tech. programs and another for 2-yr M. Tech. /M. Pharm. programs. Our fees will also nearly double to about Rs. 14,000 per semester, still it is lowest among all the premier engineering colleges in India. The fees for first semester for B. Tech. / M. Tech. students are higher due to some additional charges. 

The fee structure will be revised again whenever our college is upgraded to IIT. It is expected that conversion of our institute into IIT will be over by June 2009.


Fee Structure for 4-Year B. Tech. / B. Pharm., 5-Year M. Tech. Dual Degree and 5-Year Integrated M. Tech. Programme: 

Particular Amount (Rupees)
Tuition Fee 600.00
Industrial Excursion 300.00
Academic Assessment Fees 700.00
Health Service Charges 270.00
Library Fee 1000.00
Computer Facility 1000.00
Dev. Of Lab. Facilities 6000.00
Maintenance of Institute Facilities 2200.00
Extra-Curricular Activities Fee 500.00
Hostel Rent 70.00
Fan Charges 25.00
Hostel Dev. & Maint. Fund 825.00
Boarder’s Amenities Fee 280.00
Student’s Aid Fund 100.00
Delegacy/Union Fee 40.00
Total per Semester Except First Semester 13910.00
Training & Placement Fee 1500.00
Alumni Activities 200.00
Enrolment Fee 50.00
Admission Fee 50.00
Lab. Caution Money 1000.00
Library Caution Money 1000.00
Mess Caution Money 1000.00
Fan Caution Money 1000.00
Laminated Identity Card 25.00
Total at the time of Admission 19735.00

   Note: Rs. 1500.00 JEE expenses will be realized from new entrants only. 

Fee Structure for 2-Year M. Tech. /M. Pharm. Programme: 

Particular Amount Rupees)
Tuition Fee 600.00
Academic Assessment Fees 700.00
Health Service Charges 270.00
Library Fee 1000.00
Computer Facility 1000.00
Dev. Of Lab. Facilities 3000.00
Maintenance of Institute Facilities 1200.00
Extra-Curricular Activities Fee 500.00
Hostel Rent 70.00
Fan Charges 25.00
Hostel Dev. & Maint. Fund 825.00
Boarder’s Amenities Fee 280.00
Student’s Aid Fund 100.00
Delegacy/Union Fee 40.00
Total per Semester Except First Semester 9610.00
Training & Placement Fee 1000.00
Alumni Activities 200.00
Enrolment Fee 50.00
Admission Fee 50.00
Lab. Caution Money 1000.00
Library Caution Money 1000.00
Mess Caution Money 1000.00
Fan Caution Money 1000.00
Laminated Identity Card 25.00
Total at the time of Admission 14935.00

NOTE: For SAARC Countries: US $ 500+US $ 100 + 14935.00 and for Non-SAARC Countries: US $ 600+US $ 100 + 14935.00


SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries are:

India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan.

IT-BHU Alumni meet, New Jersey
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008

 The New Jersey Chapter of IT-BHU Global Alumni Association invites members for a luncheon meeting (with families) on Saturday, 14th June at Chowpatty Restaurant, NJ. The detail is as follows:

Date: 14th June 2008, between 11 AM and 3.00 PM. Vegetarian food will be served.

Place: Chowpatty Restaurant, 1349 Oak Tree Road, Iselin, NJ 08830. Ph: 732-283-9020.

Contribution: $ 20 per head ($14 for children between 6-12 yrs; free for children below 5 yrs).

 Invitations shall be sent to all members on our list by May 25. The meeting is also open to BHU alumni. Payment will be by check or online credit card payment and advance reservation is required. Details will be published in the invitation.

 For those who are not members or those who do not receive invitation by 3ist May, please contact Anand or Manu.          

 The volunteers for the meet are:

 1) Yogesh Upadhyaya (Chemical 1977)

2) Anand Maharana (Metallurgy 1992)

3) Manu Goyal (Mechanical 1993)

4) Anil Singh (ECE1995)

 5) Neelesh Prabhu (CSE 1996)

IT-BHU Alumni meet, Bangalore
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008

 The Bangalore Chapter of IT-BHU Global Alumni Association invites members for a meeting (with families) on 5th July at Farm house. The detail is as follows:

 Date: 5th July 2008, between 10.30 to 4.00 PM

Place: Farm house, Main Doddaballapur Road, Adde Vishwanathapura Village, Rajanakunte, Bangalore-64.

Contribution: Rs. 400 per head (Free for children below the age of 12)            

 Call: +91 9844725620

 The volunteers for the meet are:

 1) Sumit Kumar Dey (2004). Email:

2) Ganesh Rangaswamy (1992) Email:

3) Ravish Mishra (2004) Email:

4) Abhishek S L (2005) Email

5) Rahul Hari (2006) Email:

















For more information, click here



AGM Meeting and Alumni Awards at New Delhi-a report
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 18, 2008



(Report forwarded by Puneet Bindlish-Mining 2002)


The Association of IT-BHU Alumni (AIBA), our New Delhi based alumni association, organized 6th Annual General Meeting and 2nd Alumni Award of Excellence on May 17, 2008. The function took place at Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park, New Delhi.


The meeting was attended by members of European Business Group India, including some EU (European Union) ambassadors and their senior staff.


The function was organized by Rajeev Gupta (Chemical 1993), Secretary of AIBA.


The star-studded evening witnessed the 2nd Annual Alumni Award of Excellence, 2008 being bestowed upon three of IT-BHU's distinguished alumni.


The Awardees were:


1. Mr. S.S. Kohli (CMD IIFC and ex CMD Punjab National Bank)

2. Mr. P. C. Jain (CMD Spectral Services)

3. Mr. Supriyo Das Gupta (CMD MN Dastur & Co).


They were lauded for their eminent role in nation building and carrying forward the legacy of the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University.


The events included cultural program by Abhay (a child prodigy and pianist) and family dinner.


The full report of the meeting is available in the Press Release-AGM 2008


The photos of the meeting can be viewed at:


delhi_alum__002.jpg delhi_alum__001.jpg
delhi_alum__003.jpg delhi_alum__004.jpg

Reader's Feedback
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 11, 2008

Thanks for the good news. The name IIT-BHU seems the best it can be. 
Pankaj Yadav (CSE 2005)

NOIDA (NCR)  Dated: April 21.


As income gap widens, recession fears grow
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 11, 2008

Incomes fell for poor and stagnated for middle-class families since late 1990s, making it tougher for them to weather economic downturn.

By Tami Luhby, senior writer

April 9, 2008: 4:42 AM EDT

Issue #1 on CNN — This week, 12pm ET

NEW YORK ( -- Poor and middle-class families are entering the recession in a precarious situation due in part to declining or stagnant income growth, a study released Wednesday has found.

Incomes, on average, have declined by 2.5% among the bottom fifth of families since the late 1990s, while inching up by just 1.3% for those in the middle fifth of households, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute, two liberal think tanks.

The wealthiest slice of Americans, however, saw their incomes rise by 9%.

The average income of the bottom fifth of families was $18,116; the middle fifth, $50,434; and the wealthiest fifth, $132,131.

Unlike what happened during the economic boom of the 1990s, lower- and middle-class families did not share in the prosperity of recent years, the report found. In fact, the United States has had its longest jobless recovery and slowest rate of payroll growth during this decade.

"We're worried about the impact of the downturn on the families whose incomes haven't recovered from the last recession," said Jared Bernstein, Economic Policy Institute senior economist and co-author of the report.

Wages have not kept up with inflation, families have loaded up on debt and homeowners have seen the value of their largest asset decline, he said. The situation will only get worse during the economic downturn.

"Families are uniquely economically exposed to the costs of recession," he continued. "As we head into a recession, their incomes will take a further hit."

The income gap between the rich and the rest of the population is widening. In 22 states, the top fifth of families made more than seven times what the poorest fifth took home, according to the report. In the late 1980s, only one state - Louisiana - had such a spread. Meanwhile, in more than two-thirds of the country, the wealthiest saw their income grow more than twice as fast as the middle-class over the past two decades.

State governments, however, can step in and help mitigate this growing inequality and insecurity, said Elizabeth McNichol, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the report's co-author. For instance, they can extend the amount of time workers receive benefits during an economic downturn. Also, they can offer or improve support services, such as child care, health insurance and transportation services.

Governments can also put resources into public services and infrastructure projects, which will help create jobs and stimulate the economy, said James Galbraith, professor at the University of Texas at Austin and income gap specialist. The federal government may also have to funnel more money to the states so they can maintain services at a time when tax revenues may decline.

The study is based on U.S. Census Bureau income data that have been adjusted for inflation, the impact of federal taxes and cash value of government subsidies. It does not factor in capital gains or losses. It compares data from 2004 to 2006 with that of 1987 to 1989 and 1998 to 2000.

College students in US opting for Philosophy Major
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 11, 2008


In a New Generation of College Students, Many Opt for the Life Examined

Excerpts from the article:


Published: April 6, 2008

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — When a fellow student at Rutgers University urged Didi Onejeme to try Philosophy 101 two years ago, Ms. Onejeme, who was a pre-med sophomore, dismissed it as “frou-frou.”


Sylwia Kapuscinski for The New York Times

Rebecca Clipper, a senior in a philosophy class at Rutgers, which has 100 philosophy majors graduating this year.

“People sitting under trees and talking about stupid stuff — I mean, who cares?” Ms. Onejeme recalled thinking at the time.

But Ms. Onejeme, now a senior applying to law school, ended up changing her major to philosophy, which she thinks has armed her with the skills to be successful. “My mother was like, what are you going to do with that?” said Ms. Onejeme, 22. “She wanted me to be a pharmacy major, but I persuaded her with my argumentative skills.”

Once scoffed at as a luxury major, philosophy is being embraced at Rutgers and other universities by a new generation of college students who are drawing modern-day lessons from the age-old discipline as they try to make sense of their world, from the morality of the war in Iraq to the latest political scandal. The economic downturn has done little, if anything, to dampen this enthusiasm among students, who say that what they learn in class can translate into practical skills and careers. On many campuses, debate over modern issues like war and technology is emphasized over the study of classic ancient texts.

Rutgers, which has long had a top-ranked philosophy department, is one of a number of universities where the number of undergraduate philosophy majors is ballooning; there are 100 in this year’s graduating class, up from 50 in 2002, even as overall enrollment on the main campus has declined by 4 percent.

At the City University of New York, where enrollment is up 18 percent over the past six years, there are 322 philosophy majors, a 51 percent increase since 2002.

“If I were to start again as an undergraduate, I would major in philosophy,” said Matthew Goldstein, the CUNY chancellor, who majored in mathematics and statistics. “I think that subject is really at the core of just about everything we do. If you study humanities or political systems or sciences in general, philosophy is really the mother ship from which all of these disciplines grow.”

Nationwide, there are more colleges offering undergraduate philosophy programs today than a decade ago (817, up from 765), according to the College Board. Some schools with established programs like Texas A&M, Notre Dame, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, now have twice as many philosophy majors as they did in the 1990s

Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago, study says
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 11, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Human beings may have had a brush with extinction 70,000 years ago, an extensive genetic study suggests.

Geneticist Spencer Wells, here meeting an African village elder, says the study tells "truly an epic drama."

The human population at that time was reduced to small isolated groups in Africa, apparently because of drought, according to an analysis released Thursday.

The report notes that a separate study by researchers at Stanford University estimated that the number of early humans may have shrunk as low as 2,000 before numbers began to expand again in the early Stone Age.

"This study illustrates the extraordinary power of genetics to reveal insights into some of the key events in our species' history," said Spencer Wells, National Geographic Society explorer in residence.

"Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA."

Wells is director of the Genographic Project, launched in 2005 to study anthropology using genetics. The report was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Studies using mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down through mothers, have traced modern humans to a single "mitochondrial Eve," who lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago.

The migrations of humans out of Africa to populate the rest of the world appear to have begun about 60,000 years ago, but little has been known about humans between Eve and that dispersal.

The new study looks at the mitochondrial DNA of the Khoi and San people in South Africa, who appear to have diverged from other people between 90,000 and 150,000 years ago.

The researchers led by Doron Behar of Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, and Saharon Rosset of IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, and Tel Aviv University concluded that humans separated into small populations before the Stone Age, when they came back together and began to increase in numbers and spread to other areas.

Eastern Africa experienced a series of severe droughts between 135,000 and 90,000 years ago, and researchers said this climatological shift may have contributed to the population changes, dividing into small, isolated groups that developed independently.

Paleontologist Meave Leakey, a Genographic adviser, asked, "Who would have thought that as recently as 70,000 years ago, extremes of climate had reduced our population to such small numbers that we were on the very edge of extinction?"

Today, more than 6.6 billion people inhabit the globe, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The research was funded by the National Geographic Society, IBM, the Waitt Family Foundation, the Seaver Family Foundation, Family Tree DNA and Arizona Research Labs.

Stiff neck? Try these simple steps
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 11, 2008

One idea: Sleep without a pillow, on a firm mattress.

By Susan T. Lennon

Neck pain
Ease discomfort by using ice and massaging the area.

Waking up with neck pain is a real ... pain in the neck! What gives?

"It's common to wake up with a stiff neck after sleeping 'wrong,' " says Scott Boden, M.D., director of the Emory Spine Center in Atlanta.

When you're in a "wrong" sleep position, the neck ache comes on gradually, which is why it doesn't startle you awake. Plus, Boden says, when you're sleeping, your muscles aren't active, so the pain doesn't really start until you're up and the muscles begin to work. Then, swelling and inflammation increase the ouch factor.

You can address minor neck pain yourself (see expert tips from Boden, below), but you should see a doctor if:

You have a headache and fever, and your neck is so stiff that you can't touch your chin to your chest.
Your arm or hand is numb, weak or tingly.
A fall, strike or injury caused the pain. Seek immediate care if you cannot move your arm or hand; this could indicate pressure on a spinal nerve, pressure on the spinal cord,a herniated disk, or a bone spur. In rare cases, especially in older individuals, it could mean a bone has been broken.
You have a lump in your neck or swollen glands.
It's difficult for you to swallow or breathe.


Self-care for minor pain

Medicate. Take over-the-counternon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofenor aspirin.

Move wisely. Try not to let the neck stiffen up. Perform gradual, gentlemovements -- up and down, side to side, ear to ear -- to encourage range of motion. Gently massage the sore area. Do not jog or lift weights, which will increase neck stress.

Ice it. Apply ice during the first 48 to 72 hours. Then switch to heat(hot showers, compresses or heating pad).

Change the bed. Sleep on a firm mattress. And either use a special "neck pillow" that supports the neck without raising the head, or skip thepillow completely. If a pillow is too thick, it can force the neck forward, possibly increasing pressure on intervertebral disks.

Tribute to greatest mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-1783)
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 11, 2008



Marion and Dunham were paying tribute to the mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707–83), one of the great yet little-known figures from Europe’s Age of Enlightenment. Euler’s discoveries continue to influence such disparate fields as computer networking, harmonics, and statistical analysis, and they did nothing less than transform pure mathematics. Children still learn Euler’s lessons in school. It was Euler, for instance, who gave the name i to the square root of –1. To mark his tercentenary, admirers are holding symposiums, concerts, and a two-week Euler tour, which will stop in St. Petersburg and Berlin, the two cities where he spent his working life, as well as Basel, Switzerland, the city of his birth. There is even an Euler comic book, A Man to Be Reckoned With, in German and English editions.

Compared to Gauss and Newton, both of whom published sparingly, Euler was prolific. This makes the assignment of precedence somewhat subjective. But Archimedes and Newton can hardly be excluded from the top ranks. For sheer breadth and quality of mathematical thought, I believe most scholars would place Gauss ahead of Euler. It is a close call, though, and nobody would disagree that Euler ranks with the crème de la crème in mathematical excellence. So who was ­he?

Leonhard Euler was born April 15, 1707; into a ­German-­speaking family (the name is pronounced “Oiler”). His father, Paul Euler, was a Calvinist clergyman, and Leonhard remained a firm, uncritical Calvinist his whole life, believing that all events were preordained by God at the Creation. He once wrote a tract defending the truth of Revelation against Enlightenment skeptics. These beliefs did not make him a grim fatalist. To the contrary, he was a cheerful, industrious, and kind-hearted man, reliably humble despite his fame. Though given to “good-natured sarcasm,” as a contemporary noted, and short-lived outbursts of temper, he was altogether one of the more attractive personalities in the history of ­mathe­matics. ……

Through the 1730s, Euler worked on various projects for the Russian state—notably in the areas of cartography and ­shipbuilding—while making his international reputation as a mathematician­. These were unhappy years for Russia, with the country descending into state terror during the reign of Empress Anna (1730–40). “Common prudence forced [Euler] into an unbreakable habit of industry,” E. T. Bell writes, suggesting that Euler’s extraordinary productivity had its foundations in this period. Another biographer remarks, “In all of Euler’s vast correspondence there is no mention of politics.” His Russian experiences either inoculated Euler against politics or confirmed an innately apolitical ­disposition.

In 1733, after Daniel Bernoulli left Russia in disgust at the continuing political horrors, Euler was elevated to the St. Petersburg Academy’s chair of mathematics. Two years later, he made his name throughout Europe by solving the famous Basel Problem: finding a closed form—a precise value—for the infinite ­sum

The Basel problem had already defeated many of the top mathematicians of Euler’s time, including Jacob Bernoulli and Gottfried Leibniz, but Euler showed that the sum was π2/6. It was a striking result. π (pi) is, of course, a ­well-­known geometric constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Mathematicians nowadays are accustomed to seeing it crop up in unexpected places, but in 1735 it seemed remarkable for such a geometric value to appear in the solution to a mathematical problem. It was Euler, by the way, who popularized the symbol π    in its ­now-­familiar ­usage.

(For further reading, please follow the link posted at the beginning.)

Charles Darwin's original theory of evolution goes online
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 11, 2008

Darwin's original theory of evolution goes online
17 Apr 2008, 1825 hrs IST,AFP

LONDON: The original version of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was published online on Thursday among a "treasure trove" of the scientist's papers, photographs and other documents.

Some 20,000 items contained in around 90,000 images were published on the Internet, according to a spokesman for Cambridge University, the scholar's old academic home.

Chief among them was the first draft of Darwin's "The Origin of Species", produced in the 1840s, which eventually led to the publication of his most well-known work in 1859.

"This release makes his private papers, mountains of notes, experiments and research behind his world-changing publications available to the world for free," said John van Wyhe, the director of The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online project.

"The release of his papers online marks a revolution in the public's access to -- and hopefully appreciation of -- one of the most important collections of primary materials in the history of science," he added, describing the collection as a "treasure trove".

Along with "The Origin of Species" and other scientific papers, the collection includes photographs of him and his family, reviews of
his books, newspaper clippings, as well as material revealing his home life, notably a recipe for boiling rice, inscribed in Darwin's own handwriting.

Among the scientific papers available are notes from his famous voyage on the HMS Beagle, a five-year journey which started in 1831 and took Darwin to South America and Australia, where he collected huge numbers of samples of fossils and living organisms.
It provided the basis for much of his future work and brought him success and celebrity on his return to Britain.

Darwin produced evidence to show that mankind originated through evolutionary change effected by natural selection and his findings are now considered central to our understanding of biology.

The collection can be found at .



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This site contains Darwin's complete publications, thousands of his private papers, the largest Darwin bibliography and manuscript catalogue and hundreds of supplementary works: biographies, obituaries, reviews, reference works and much more.

Almost all is online only here: such as 1st editions of Voyage of the Beagle, Zoology, Descent of Man, all editions of Origin of Species (1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th & 6th); manuscripts & papers: Beagle Diary & field notebooks, Journal, transmutation notebooks and Autobiography.

Forthcoming: editions, translations, introductions & manuscripts.

New! Audio book of Darwin's Beagle diary here.

See also: Darwin Correspondence Project.

Darwin Online has had over 42 million hits since October 2006.

See some of the unparalleled reception of Darwin's papers on 17 April -
7 million hits and 1.86Terabytes of data uploaded to the world in a single day! HERE


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Edward Lorenz, father of chaos theory dies
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 11, 2008

Father of chaos theory dies
17 Apr 2008, 2046 hrs IST,AFP


NEW YORK: Edward Lorenz, a meteorologist who became the father of the modern field of chaos theory, died on Wednesday of cancer in Massachusetts aged 90, MIT announced on Thursday.

A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Lorenz was the first to recognize what is now referred to as chaotic behaviour in the mathematical modelling of weather systems.

He found that small differences in a dynamic system, like the weather, "could trigger vast and often unsuspected results," the university said.

His studies led him to develop what became known as the "butterfly effect." The term stemmed from his 1972 academic paper "Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil Set off a Tornado in Texas?"

MIT said Lorenz's early work "marked the beginning of a new field of study that impacted not just the field of mathematics but virtually every branch of science -- biological, physical and social."

"Some scientists have since asserted that the 20th century will be remembered for three scientific revolutions -- relativity, quantum mechanics and chaos," the statement said.

Lorenz was working as a weather forecaster for the US Army Air Corps during World War II when he decided to pursue further study in meteorology.


Chaos theory:


Peak Oil: Should India Worry?
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 11, 2008


(This article is written by Bhamy Shenoy, IIT-Madras Mechanical 1962. He is a petroleum and energy expert based in Texas and a noted writer.)





Bhamy V. Shenoy

India’s Integrated Energy Policy Review report estimates India’s oil demand for 2031-32 to be between 7.5 to 9.7 million barrels per day (MMBD). This implies India’s import dependence of 90-93% which is considerably higher than the current level of about 73%. Based on the International Energy Outlook of the US’s Energy Information Administration, world oil demand is forecast to increase from the current level of 85 MMBD to 118 MMBD which is an increase of 33 MMBD.

Since most of this huge increase will come from politically unstable countries in the Middle East (see Chart-1), forecasting oil prices has been a hopeless task. In addition, energy security is high on the agenda of every country. In recent years, there is a new debate under the rubric of “Peak Oil Theory” concerning the capacity of the world to produce oil to meet the ever increasing demand. One such forecast (by Energy Watch Group) using peak oil theory states that the world oil has already reached its maximum and will decline to less than 39 MMBD by 2030. Such extreme positions should be discarded as mere fear mongering exercise. On the other hand, the US Geological Survey is estimating more than ample hydrocarbon reserves to meet the world oil demand for the foreseeable period. Based on the USGS results, peak production is unlikely to happen before 2036.



Chart-1 (Source: International Energy Outlook 2007 by US Energy Information Administration)

Such a diametrically different view of the world oil supply poses a great problem to energy planners. So far no government either in the developed and developing world, or any international aid institutions have endorsed the views of peak oil theorists or even drawing contingency plans based on its likelihood. But can India take such a risk? Should India start preparing for the end of an oil era even if it does not accept Peak Oil arguments?

Peak Oil Theory

It was in 1956 King Hubbert, a Shell Oil geologist predicted that the US oil production would peak in 1968.( In fact it took place in 1970, see Chart -2). It was a bold decision on his part to make such a prediction. Earlier in the history of the US oil industry development, there have been such forecasts which have later turned out to be false. But in this case, Hubert turned out to be right as shown below:


Also read by the same author: “Peak oil theory: The Indian response

An elephant paints a remarkable self-portrait
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 11, 2008

Pirates seize a French luxury yacht and rescue mission by French commandos
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 11, 2008






First-ever oil paintings found in Afghanistan
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 11, 2008









Afghan murals show oil painting was going on for centuries earlier in Asia than Europe.

India's PSLV-C9, carrying ten satellites, blasts off from Sriharikota
Chronicle Editor @ Apr 03, 2008


Chronicle Editor @ Apr 03, 2008

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