From Editor's desk
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

 This chronicle completes 3 years in this month. We have published FAQ about the magazine.

The issue carries news about our 3rd year students of Mining dept (Phani Kumar V. V. and Sagar Geete), who are regional winners of Agilent Engineering and Technology Awards for 2008. There is also news about Infogile (headed by Puneet Bindlish, Mining 2002) being selected as one of the 8 finalists out of a total of over 200 companies participating in TiE competition. We congratulate the team for their achievement.

The news media is buzzed with govt. announcements for new IITs, all of which are expected to start from July 20 this year. The IIT-JEE results are declared and counseling will be done during June 17-21 and the seats will be allocated on June 30.

The issue carries interview of Satish Duggal (Mechanical 1970), founder of a successful hotel business in USA.

With this issue, we start a new section called “From the blogs.” It will carry noteworthy articles from blogs around the world.

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

For specific information, contact Yogesh Upadhyaya at: Yogesh.Upadhyaya [AT] che77.itbhuglobal.org
Or Anshuman Singh at: anshuman.singh [AT] eee98.itbhuglobal.org

Thanking you,

The Chronicle Team


Chronicle completes 3 years.
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

 We are pleased to state that our magazine has completed 3 years.

The first (May 2005) issue was published on June 10, 2005. It was a primitive issue (compared to today’s chronicle) with just providing links for the news or few lines of write-up for campus events. It did not carry any photographs.

 The link for this old issue is as follows:

http://www.itbhuglobal.org/chronicle/archives/2005/06/

 We have also published FAQ for our monthly magazine.

To view FAQ, please click here

 The current list of chronicle team is as follows. Besides chronicle, the team also looks after official site of our alumni organization, www.itbhuglobal.org.

 1) Praharsh Sharma (3rd year B. Tech. electronics student)

2) Vignesh Sunder (4th yr Integrated M. Tech. Material Science student)

3) Rahul Hari (CSE 2006)

4) Arun Tangri (CSE 2006)

5) Rajat Harlalka (Electrical 2005)

6) Pankaj Yadav (CSE 2005)

7) Keerty Nath (CSE 2004)

8) Animesh Pathak (CSE 2003)

9) Puneet Bindlish (Mining 2002)

10) Anshuman Singh (Electrical 1998)

11) Anand Maharana (Metallurgy 1992)

12) Yogesh Upadhyaya (Chemical 1977)


List of IITs
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

 (Prepared by: Yogesh K. Upadhyaya)

Below is the list of existing as well as new IITs. It is compiled from the recent govt. announcements which appeared in news media. Please note that some of the details (marked *) are yet to be confirmed.

 

Table 1: Existing IITs

Serial

 #

IIT (city)

State

Admissions started (year)

Collaboration

Country/Institute

1

Kharagpur

West Bengal

1951

UK/University of Manchester

2

Bombay

Maharashtra

1958

USSR/UNESCO

3

Madras

Tamil Nadu

1959

West Germany

4

Kanpur

Uttar Pradesh

1959

USA/ MIT/others

5

Delhi

N/A

1961

UNESCO

6

Guwahati

Assam

1995

Japan/MITI

7

Roorkee

Uttarakhand

2002

Converted from Roorkee University

 

Table 2: New IITs

Serial #

IIT (city)

State

Admissions expected

(year)

Collaboration

With existing IITs

8

Hyderabad

Andhra Pradesh

2008

IIT-Madras

9

Patna

Bihar

2008

IIT-Guwahati

10

Jaipur*

Rajasthan

2008

IIT-Kanpur

11

Hamirpur*

Himachal Pradesh

2009

IIT-Roorkie

12

Gandhinagar

Gujarat

2008

IIT-Bombay

13

Bhubneshwar (Banki)

Orissa

2008

IIT-Kharagpur

14

Ropar*

Punjab

2008

IIT-Delhi

15

Indore

Madhya Pradesh

2009

IIT-Bombay *

16

Varanasi

Uttar Pradesh

(Existing)

To be converted from

IT-BHU

Notes:

1. N/A = Not Available or Not Applicable

2. Year shown is the year when undergraduate classes started, which may be different than the year the institute was established.

3. (*) = To be confirmed.


Mayur Toshniwal (Mechanical 1990) CEO of North India Future Group
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008
Hindustan Times

Mayur Toshniwal is a CEO North India Future Group.

 Vandana Ramnani, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, May 19, 2008

Last Updated: 02:11 IST(21/5/2008)

 “My business vision is centred on the youth which is an important component of the retail sector’s growth story.” That's Mayur Toshniwal for you, the young Chief Executive Officer, North India of retail brand Future Group.

By his own admission, Toshniwal was a good student throughout though never an outstanding one. He says, “One subject in which I failed miserably was Biology. It never made sense to me.” So engineering it was for Toshniwal and as he puts it, in a few years time he became yet another mechanical engineer from IT-BHU, Varanasi. “I was always a business person at heart and was looking at an opportunity to move back to business. Three years ago retail was being widely talked about. So, when I got to meet up with the group's owner and was offered an opportunity to join him (a decision he took in just about 15 minutes), I simply grabbed it. I’ve never regretted it though."

After he finished engineering he had three options — get into a routine engineering job, pursue a masters degree or take the next flight to the US. As luck could have it, he received a call from IIM, Ahmedabad, since then there has been no looking back.

After a summer training at Hindustan Levers Toshniwal joined Asian Paints He spent the initial seven years of his career in the company based in different parts of the country in various capacities, and eventually became Purchase Manager.

He says, “I started with my first posting in Chennai and then spent three years in Kolkata, six-seven months in Jaipur and three years in Mumbai. After spending seven years in sales, an opportunity in the purchase segment came my way. I finally took the plunge after tremendous pressure from the top management.

Very soon I saw myself sitting on the other opposite side of the table. After selling, it was now my turn to purchase raw material.”

In February 2005, he decided to move to the Retail Industry and joined Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited, as Head-Operations for North Zone. In his current capacity as CEO-North Zone for Future Group, he is responsible for strategic decisions, operations, and business development for the Group’s various business ventures in North India. He also acts as Director on Board for a few joint ventures.

“I was always a business person at heart and was looking at an opportunity to move back to business. Three years ago retail was being widely talked about. So, when I got to meet up with the group's owner and was offered an opportunity to join him (a decision he took in just about 15 minutes), I simply grabbed it. I’ve never regretted it though” he says, adding “This is the best that could have happen.”


Vish Mishra (Electrical 1967) President-elect of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE)
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

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For Indian Tech Entrepreneurs, Downturn Still Offers Opportunities

http://www.informationweek.com/news/management/careers/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=207801709

 The head of The Indus Entrepreneurs, a tech networking group that mentors immigrant talent, says now is a good time to start new companies.


 

 "I started as a hands-on entrepreneur," said Mishra, who came to the U.S. with a degree in electrical engineering from the Institute of Technology at Banaras Hindu University in India. He got a master's degree in engineering from North Dakota State University, founded Telera, a networking firm sold toAlcatel (NYSE: ALU), and was co-founder with Kanwal Rekhi of Excelan, a networking company acquired by Novell (NSDQ: NOVL) in 1989 for more than $100 million.

Both Rekhi and Mishra, along with other successful Indian entrepreneurs, enjoyed good fortune and wanted to give back to the community. Together they helped found The Indus Entrepreneurs, the group that stages TiECon each year to bring would-be entrepreneurs into contact with potential staff and financiers and to coach members on how to succeed as an embryonic Silicon Valley firm. Rekhi, for example, has invested $17 million of his money in 53 startups.

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, was the lead-off speaker at TieCon 2008 on May 16.

TiE members help newcomers find executive jobs, move from one job to another, and lay plans for their own companies. TiECon 2008 was held May 16 and 17, with about 3,500 of Indian, Malaysian, Singaporean, and others of South Asian descent gathering at the Santa Clara Convention Center to talk about starting their own companies.

Saxenian concluded in studies several years ago that TiE functioned as much as a social integrator of foreign talent into the Silicon Valley startup culture as it did as an economic force. It cuts across corporate boundaries and keeps talent moving around, including maintaining ties with firms and talent back home.

TiE's inital purpose 16 years ago was to circumvent venture capitalists' bias against technically-skilled Indians starting and running their own companies. Indians were considered good at following instructions and writing software, Mishra explained. Now their talents are frequently sought in management roles in start-ups.

Now is a good time to pursue a startup role, despite a shaky stock market and possible recession. "People don't become super smart just because the economy is good," he said. Likewise, "they don't become stupid when the economy is bad." By getting to work on a new product today, it will be ready when the upturn comes, he predicted.

"If you have the talent and skills and good attitude, this country will reward you," he said in an interview just published in The Indian American, a Highland Park, N.J., magazine addressing U.S. residents of Indian descent.

TiE keeps establishing new chapters around the world and casting a wider net. It now has 50 chapters in 11 countries, including India, Australia, Malaysia, and the U.K., instead of being just Silicon Valley based. It's established two chapters in Pakistan. Anyone who pays $100 in dues can join, Mishra said.

But there's no question that the unique opportunities of the Silicon Valley are going to be hard to duplicate elsewhere, he said. "[The valley] is not just about place. It's about state of mind and ability to take risks. It's the most innovative place on the face of the earth," he said.

 Additional link:

http://www.tie.org/

TiE-The Indus Entrepreneurs

 The image “http://tie.org/TGS/sitePreferences/attachDocument_logo/0?date=2008/06/22%2012:05:13.062%20GMT-7” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Four companies are formed, each funded with an average $7.5 million, every day of the week in the Silicon Valley in California, according to Vish Mishra, a venture capitalist and president-elect of TiE, a group that mentors immigrant talent for startups.

Mishra is president-elect of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), a technology professional networking group that is sometimes cited by researchers, such as the University of California at Berkeley Professor AnnaLee Saxenian, as one of the secrets of the Silicon Valley's success.

The image “http://i.cmpnet.com/informationweek/1187/Vish_Mishra.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Vish Mishra


Harsh Chopra (Chemical 1978) appointed as Country Manager, India for Intertek.
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

The image “http://www.indiaenews.com/assets/images/layout/logo.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 http://www.indiaenews.com/pressrelease/20080522/119854.htm

Intertek appoints country manager for India

From correspondents in Delhi, India, 09:15 PM IST

 kapoor1.JPG

Intertek, a leading provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of industries around the world announced appointment of Harsh Chopra as Country Manager for India.

Mark Loughead, Chief Operating Officer, Intertek Group plc, commented:

India is an important and fast expanding economy and a priority country in the global market for Intertek.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Harsh Chopra as Country Manager for India.

Harsh, a Chemical Engineer from ITBHU, has a diverse background in consumer goods, health care, fashion and luxury and functional experience spanning Technical, Quality, Supply Chain and Sales & Marketing. Harsh will drive growth through acquisitions and accelerated organic growth by leveraging synergies across divisions.

Harsh was most recently the Managing Director of RayBan Sun Optics India and prior to that worked for Bausch & Lomb and Hindustan Unilever.

Anil Kumar, Non-Executive Chairman of Intertek India commented “I welcome Harsh to this important role in the Group in India and we believe that with the focus on leveraging synergies across divisions we will be able to provide seamless service to our customers across business divisions”.

Intertek has 4 Divisions in India – Consumer Goods lead by Dilip Gianchandani, Oil, Chemicals & Agri by Rajaram Kalpathi, Commercial & Electrical and Systems Certification by Rajesh Saigal and Government Services by Sridhar Raghavan.


Mr. S. N. Singh (Pharma 1981) Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax , Lucknow
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Others/Lost_beauty_celebrated_in_Lucknow/articleshow/3077484.cms

 Lost beauty celebrated in Lucknow
28 May 2008, 0000 hrs IST,JYOTI NISHA

Among the colonial monuments of Lucknow, Residency deserves a special mention for its grandeur, beauty, rich historicity and the ambience of a bygone era.

 The image “http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/photo.cms?msid=3077655” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

This beautiful edifice again came to the life on the celebration of International museum day organised by the Archeological Survey of India, Lucknow circle.

Basking under the light of this pleasant afternoon, we saw many bigwigs of the city speaking highly on the conservation of historical monuments and enlightening youth about our rich cultural heritage.

Sheo Narain Singh Anived, commissioner of custom, central excise and service inaugurated the event.
We also saw students participating in various competitions like painting, quiz, essay writing, etc. These competitions served as a great source of knowledge to all the students.

Also spotted were Dr PK Mishra, I D Dewedi, head of the circle, ASI, NK Pathak, MC Joshi, Jagdish Gandhi, Arimardan Singh (Dir PIB).

Additional link:

S.N. Singh CCE.JPG

(Forwarded by: Alok Chopra, Mechanical 1985)


Trinetra Bajpai (Chemical 1972?) turns film producer
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

 http://sify.com/movies/bollywood/fullstory.php?id=14682522

Vajpayee's 'uncle' turns film producer IANS  

| Wednesday, 28 May, 2008, 10:35

 Sify movies

trinetra.JPG

A distant uncle of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is all set to foray into Bollywood.

A chemical engineer by profession, Trinetra Bajpai returned from Britain, where he had lived for over 18 years, to India two years ago.

Now he has diversified, venturing into the entertainment sector with a company called Kanika Multiscope Pvt Ltd that aims to make films and serials.

"I have diversified into entertainment because of my wife Kanika, who was involved in TV serials and theatre. I have already made a serial Bikhri Aas Nikhri Preet for DD1. It is based on my mother's novel Vyavdhaan. It's a tribute to my mother who was a professor of Hindi in Banaras Hindu University," Bajpai said.

Ask him about his relationship with the former prime minister, who turned 83 in December last year, and Bajpai says: "We are distantly related. I am related to him from my father's side. I am just 58 and still he is my nephew!"

Bajpai is now set to produce five films.

"The films are at the scripting stage. Our first is going to be a historical. It will be about the golden period of Indian history. And the budget will be between Rs 500 million and Rs 1 billion. The rest of the details we will finalise after the scripting is over," he said.

His film is expected to go on the floors after his television serial completes 52 episodes in April next year.

"I'm planning it to make it on an international scale. By international, I mean I will rope in financiers from abroad to invest money in the film."

Tell him Indian production houses like Adlabs, Big Entertainment and UTV are investing big money in Hollywood projects, he says: "I am new here and secondly it is better to work with known people."

Bajpai's daughter Anshula is the creative head of Kanika Multiscope Pvt Ltd.

"My daughter has written the dialogues and screenplay of Bikhri Aas Nikhri Preet and now she is writing the script of the historical."

For the serial, he teamed up with some of the stalwarts of the industry. He roped in Lekh Tandon who directed films like Professor, Jhuk Gaya Asmaan and Dulhan Wohi Jo Piya Man Bhaye to direct the series, Khayyam to score the music and Naqsh Llyallpuri to pen the lyrics

 


Puneet Bindlish (Mining 2002) and his team amongst the 8 finalists at TiE competition
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

 http://www.tienewdelhi.org/canaan/bnr.htm

Infogile has been short listed as among the 8 finalists for TiE Canaan Entrepreneurial Challenge 2008. More details on: http://www.infogile.com/pressReleases31.htm

Infogile embarks on an exciting journey to create 10,000 direct & indirect jobs every year and create business value for all the stake holders: Employed people, Investors, Partners.

 puneetb.JPG

Infogile selected for TiE Canaan Entreprenurial Challenge 2008 Finals
New Delhi – June 06, 2008

Infogile has been selected as one of the eight finalists at the TiE Entreprenurial Challenge 2008. This is second of the national level business plan competition organized by Canaan Partners and TiE Delhi. The 8 teams were shortlisted based on their potential scale of the business, the strength of the team and sustainable differentiation in the business model.

Of the 140 business plans that the team received, maximum entries were in "Enterprise Software" category. These shortlisted applicants will be invited to participate in the final round which will see them presenting their plans and ideas in detail to an eminent jury of the country's leading entrepreneurs and corporate heads (which includes Pramod Bhasin (CEO & President, Genpact), Raman Roy (Chairman, Quatrro BPO Solutions), Saurabh Srivastava (President, TIE Delhi), Sanjeev Bikhchandani (co-founder and CEO of Naukri.com), Mahesh Murthy (Partner, Seedfund) and Alok Mittal (Managing Director, Canaan Partners India). This event is also co-sponsored by CNBC-TV18, Business Today, Microsoft, ISB and NASSCOM.

Download Event Details

About Canaan Partners

For two decades, Canaan Partners has invested in innovative, early stage technology companies with the mission to catalyze next generation market leaders.

About TiE Delhi

The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is a global not-for-profit organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship. TiE helps budding entrepreneurs by way of advice, guidance and assistance from successful & experienced entrepreneurs and professionals.

About Infogile

Infogile is a fast paced mobile solutions company with their delivery center in Hyderabad and sales presence in New Delhi. Their flagship product moGile enables content and services over mobile device. In a very short span of time, the company has enabled 2500+ retailers (Infogile's Retailer Network) across 11 states in India to sell prepaid coupons & collect bill payments of all leading Telcos, content from leading VAS providers, coupons from Gaming & mobile entertainment providers. In next phase, the company intends to add banking services, distribution of insurance products, railway ticketing and mobile advertisements to its portfolio. Retailer has a zero setup fee, as the transaction application is available over low cost options like GPRS, WAP, SMS or Web. The project envisages creating 10,000 employment opportunities every year.

About TiE Entrepreneurial Challenge 2008

puneetb12.JPG

One of the most prestigious and challenging business plan competitions in India is back! TiE Entrepreneurial Challenge 2008, a national level business plan competition for early stage entrepreneurs in India beckons the best and the brightest with an opportunity to interact with the top VC's and get mentored by some of the most successful entrepreneurs & professionals. But more importantly, it is an excellent platform to showcase your venture and get a real experience of selling it to real investors.

Benefits to the Participants

  1. Microsoft Award: At least one finalist will be invited to join the Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program where they will get access, guidance and support on the Microsoft Platform as well as market development support from Microsoft
  2. ISB Programs : A representative from each of the winning teams will be invited to attend a course pro bono at the Center for Executive Education at the Indian School of Business (ISB). Typical value of this course is greater than Rs 300,000. More details regarding the coursekul would be made available soon.
  3. Mentoring: All finalists will be mentored by TiE-ENP (Entrepreneurship Nurturing Program) to refine their business plans for the presentation to the jury. The Winners would be mentored by NASSCOM, Canaan Partners, and Jury Members for three months after the event
  4. Access to Investors: All finalists will have access to investors from TiE, Indian Angel Network and other early stage investors
  5. Profiling in Media: Winners will be featured in CNBC TV18 & Business Today, enabling them to build awareness about their companies & products.

Dr. Kota Harinarayana (Mechanical 1965?) for Light passenger aircraft
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

 http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEQ20080610040349&Page=Q&Title=Orissa&Topic=0

Light passenger flight on scientist’s ‘runway’

Tuesday June 10 2008 14:25 IST

Express News Service

 kota.JPG

 

 

BERHAMPUR: Kota Harinarayana, the chief designer of the light combat aircraft, has now mooted the idea of manufacturing a light passenger aircraft.

Now working at the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a Government- run institute at Bangalore as Raja Ramanna Fellow, Harinarayana was here to receive Doctor of Science (D.Sc) at Berhampur University convocation.

In an informal address to the mediapersons after the function, he spoke about his ideas on the proposed aircraft.

The aircraft would be light weight, accommodates 50 to 70 passengers, fuel efficient and able to land in shorter runways without much infrastructure, said the former vice-chancellor of University of Hyderabad.

Such an aircraft is needed in the country to make air-connectivity across districts which would help in the economic development besides putting the unutilised airstrips to use, he said.

There are about 450 small airstrips across the country but most are unutilised, with only 66 airports operating at present, he said.

Although small aircraft operate in other countries, the proposed aircraft would be different from others and cost and fuel efficient.

"The concept for manufacturing this kind of new aircraft by utilising new technology has already been established and now we are trying to make its design," Harinarayana, Padmashree awardee and former DRDO scientist, said.

If the work for this type of passenger aircraft starts this year, India would be able to manufacture a full-fledged aircraft in 2013-14, he said adding the project cost would be around Rs 2,000 crore.

Several private companies, including Mahindra and Mahindra, Satyam and UK-based Swraj Paul’s company are among several others which have shown interest to invest with an aim enter the aviation sector, he said.

"We, however, want the proposed project in public-private partnership (PP) mode involving the government," said the scientist who was born in Berhampur and graduated in mechanical engineering from Benaras Hindu University. The Centre has also shown interest in the concept, he added.

Email: hnkota@yahoo.com

__________________________________________________________________________

Additional links:

1) Bio-data of D. Kota

http://www.uohyd.ernet.in/academic/specialized_centres/UCESS/KotaHarinarayana.html

2) Scientist moots idea of manufacturing passenger aircraft

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/008200806081861.htm

3) ADA website (views on LCA aircraft by Dr. Kota)

http://www.ada.gov.in/others/news/events/dr_kota/dr_kota.html

4) Dr. Kota in Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kota_Harinarayana


Phani Kumar V. V. and Geete Sagar Deodas (3rd year Mining students) wins Agilent competition.
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

 

Two of our students, Phani Kumar V. V. and Sagar Geete (both Mining 2010) have won the regional competition for Agilent Engineering and Technology Awards (AETA) 2008. Their project was Speech Interaction System. A PDF file of their project is also attached here

To view Speech Interaction System Project document click here

publi123.JPG

Here is the more detail about AETA competition, as provided by Phani Kumar:

Details about the event:

Agilent is the world's premier test and measurement company. To encourage the spirit of innovation, and spread it across the community, Agilent Technologies had instituted the All India Best B. Tech Project Award for Indian Engineers. Inspired by the phenomenal success of Best B Tech Awards, they are now organizing the Agilent Engineering and Technology Awards 2008. Inspired by the exceptional talent pool in the country they included both B. Tech and M. Tech students in this competition for this year also. They are also inviting two project entries per Participant College: one from the Life Sciences/ Bio Analytical instrumentation fields and the other from the Electronics & Communications Engineering.

The award aims to encourage and recognize hands-on engineering talent in India. A practical engineering talent is critical to the growth as a base for cutting-edge R&D and innovation across industries. 

The winning team will be given an opportunity to visit and interact with world class scientists at Agilent's Best in Class R&D facility in San Francisco for a week.

There are two segments for participating:

 1.)  1 project from the field of Electronics which includes:

·       Electrical and Electronics

·       Computer Science

·       Telecommunications

 2.)  1 project from the field of Life Sciences/ Bio Analytical instrumentation which includes:

·       Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering

·       Chemical Engineering

-------------------------------------

Contact Phani Kumar at: dreamhunter.itbhu@gmail.com

       and Geete Sagar at: geetesag@gmail.com

__________________________________________________________________________

AETA in news

http://www.efytimes.com/efytimes/26927/news.htm

Agilent Announces Regional Winners of AETA 2008

 

Friday, June 06, 2008:  Agilent Technologies has announced the regional winners for Agilent Engineering and Technology Awards (AETA) 2008. Harpreet Singh and Hari Singhal from IIT Guwahati, Ashwani Gaur from IIT Kanpur, Prathamesh Dhole and Sumeet Nayak from National Institute of Technology (NIT) Durgapur, Debashis Senapati and Vikas Gujral from NIT Rourkela, Phani Kumar from IT Banaras Hindu University, Pradeep Kumar Subudhi and Manabesh Ray from NIT Hamirpur, Pawan Kumar and Nirmalya Sanyal from BIT Mesra and Pavan Pattanada from SJCE Mysore are the regional winners who would compete with each other during the finals to be held on 10 July 2008 at IIT Delhi.

 

The regional finalists would be presenting live demonstration of their projects to the national jury comprising of scientists, engineers and technocrats of national and international repute. They will be evaluated on their potential for research productivity and originality, as judged by their presentation, their research plans and results from their independent research programme.

Speaking at the occasion, Venkatesh Valluri, president and country general manager, Agilent Technologies, said, "Practical engineering talent is critical to the growth of India as a base for cutting-edge R&D and innovation across industries. Agilent is the world's premier test and measurement company, working in the areas of electronics, nano technologies, life sciences and chemical analysis. Being a technology leader, we aim to promote science education and innovations in such future technologies in India. AETA is a highly competitive programme which helps us to discover new talent and increase research capacity in the colleges."

The national winners of AETA 2008 will get an opportunity to visit and interact with scientists at Agilent’s R&D facility in San Francisco.

B.Tech and M.Tech engineering students from over 50 engineering colleges in the country participated in AETA with their project based in the field of electronics and communications engineering and life sciences/chemical engineering. Agilent Engineering and Technology Awards recognise and encourage hands-on-engineering talent in the country and reward talent in the field of engineering.

---------------------------------------------

http://www.aetaindia.com/

http://www.aetaindia.com/regionalwinners.asp

 

The image “http://www.aetaindia.com/images/Home_Headline.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


Agilent delivers innovative technologies, solutions and services to a wide range of customers in communications, electronics and bio-analytical measurement.  Agilent's pioneering spirit was kindled more than 60 years ago, when two engineers - Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard - invented the future in their garage. In 1999, Agilent was spun off from Hewlett-Packard Company and we have continued to support the values so important to the two visionary founders. We have also continued to innovate in territory that matters, blazing trails in the fields that are shaping the modern world.

 

Inspired by the phenomenal success of Best B Tech Awards - 2005, instituted by Agilent Technologies, Inc, we again bring to you the Agilent Engineering & Technology Awards 2008

 


The publication of "The Mind and The Invisible Quest" by Pavan Raina (Chemical 1976)
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

The image “http://www.mdppl.com/book/book233.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

http://www.mdppl.com/books/the-mind-and-the-invisible-quest.html

 
 
Subscription
 
Human is the most wonderful and advanced creation of God, who has been given superpower in the form of "Mind"with enormous hidden power with capability of governing this whole world,calmly and peacefully even in streeful moments. As contentment is nessary for happiness, but whether a finacially sound person is satisfied or not?Is such person happy?Is such person contended?Such question suddenly come in our mind and we become very busy and serious to get the solution of such doubtful questions using our intellect and spiritual planes of "Brain". Thus "The Mind and The Invisible Quest" is the journey through different levels of minds, intellect and spiritual planes which explains the significance with strength and weakness of each plane. Very briefly author has touched upon spiritual level which he says is the highest state of mind. Any person viewing the world from different state such as mind, intellect or spiritual level will have a very different view with a very different understanding as well.As all the scientific inventions start from hypothesis from some element of philosophy.The Mind and the Invisible Quest similarly generates certain hypothesis on the "behaviour of mind"with simple mathematic models that keep working in the evaluation process.The subject can also help in generating some awareness and help in bringing harmony in life.This book is useful for philosophers,researchers,students and common person who have an ever lasting quest.

---------------------------------
The author states:

 

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Malayalam film "Swapnamalika' to begin shooting in Varanasi
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

 

http://sify.com/movies/malayalam/fullstory.php?id=14692422

Mohanlal goes to Kasi

By Moviebuzz  | Wednesday, 11 June , 2008, 11:49

 

Sify movies

Mohanlal wants to keep away from the present crisis in MACTA. As an AMMA office bearer his sympathies are with his favourite directors who have resigned.

Remember that many years ago when Vinayan did not get his dates, he had made a film "Superstar" with a look alike of Mohanlal. Since then they are not in the best of terms.

Mohanlal wanted to get away from all this tension. So he has taken off to Varanasi, the Hindu holy place known as Kasi for the shoot of his new film K.A Devarajan's Swapnamalika. Remember the actor himself has written the story of the film!

The other actors who accompanied Mohanlal to Kasi are Innocent, heroine Ileana from Israel, Babu Namboodiri, Geetha Salam and others.


3-year B. Sc. Course to be replaced with 4-year BS course in India
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/US-style_4-yr_BS_course_to_replace_BSc_by_2009/articleshow/3034329.cms

US-style 4-yr BS course to replace B. Sc. by 2009
13 May 2008, 0305 hrs IST, Hemali Chhapia,TNN

 

MUMBAI: The three-year BSc course will soon be phased out across the country and replaced by a four-year BS course based on the American model.

In the new course, students in the first year will get a grounding in the core science streams, after which they will specialize and choose their electives. The thrust will be on encouraging a richer, inter-disciplinary approach instead of the text-oriented, uni-dimensional BSc that is now followed.

The Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institutes of Technology are likely to introduce the four-year programme in 2009 and other universities across India will follow suit, sources said.

Although it is not clear whether students will be admitted on the basis of a common entrance exam as is the case in the US, sources say that this could well be the case to ensure that quality students make it. In March this year, the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS) wrote to the National Academy of Sciences, India, and the Indian National Science Academy stating that the five-year-old American model should be looked at seriously. The three academies together decide on science education in the country.

"Several academics have been talking about a four-year undergraduate science course. On an individual level not much can be done so it was considered time for the academies to officially take up the issue," said N Mukunda, chairman of the science education panel at the IAS.

 

The three academies and vice-chancellors of several universities are meeting soon to discuss the new concept. "We are thinking of introducing it first in the top institutes, and then extending it to other colleges," Mukunda added.

NASI president Ashok Misra said most of his faculty liked the new system, which with its emphasis on practical and project work would be more professional and closer to an engineering degree, a BTech.

"Our engineers are lapped up by industry, why shouldn't it be the same with our science graduates? Also, a quality programme will allow bright students to take up a PhD immediately after they graduate, thus saving them a year," he said.

According to professors, the first year or so will be devoted to the study of the core subjects — physics, chemistry, the life sciences, mathematics, earth sciences — after which the student will choose an area of specialisation and an elective.

"Currently, if a student takes up life sciences, he is cut off from maths," said Mukunda. "But the new system will allow him to pursue a mix of life science and maths or physics and life sciences. The idea is to encourage cross-disciplinary studies."

IAS said that the current BSc programme involves a good deal of repetition of what a student has already learnt at the high-school level. This will be remedied. The syllabus will be so structured that an engineering graduate who drops out could easily join this four-year science programme or vice versa. And, as is the practice in the IITs, said NASI president Misra, the humanities will be included as electives.

Additional link

http://nanopolitan.blogspot.com/2006/05/why-not-4-year-bachelors-program-in.html


Rise in Indian students going to US
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/38_rise_in_Indian_students_going_to_US/articleshow/3112099.cms

38% rise in Indian students going to US
9 Jun 2008, 0155 hrs IST, Daniel P George & Hemali Chhapia,TNN

CHENNAI/MUMBAI: America continues to grow in stature as the most-favoured destination for Indian students with the last seven months showing a 38% increase in the number of candidates going there.

What's more, Chennai seems to be one of the largest exporters in the country.

Sample this: 38,274 student visas were issued from across the country in fiscal year 2006-07 (October 2006 to September 2007), of which the Chennai consulate gave out 19,973.

Correspondingly, between October 2007 and April 2008, 50,316 student visas were issued from across the country, of which the Chennai consulate alone accounted for 24,975.

With a rising middle class in India able to afford American university programmes and schools actively recruiting them, Indians have become the largest group of international students in the US.

Experts point that the increase in the flow of Indian students could also be reasoned to America now accepting the three-year bachelor degree programme as a valid one for entry to their graduate schools.

Earlier, the US accepted students in its graduate schools only after they completed 16 years of formal education (12+4). Indian students were required to study one year of post-graduation before they could take any entrance test to American universities.
The change in rule was targeted towards opening the doors of higher studies in American varsities to a massive Indian pool of BA, BCom, BSc degree holders.

According to the data released in November 2007, the international student population in the US rose from 5.64 lakh in 2005-'06 to 5.83 lakh in 2006-'07. And for the sixth year in a row, Indian students accounted for the largest chunk.

Following a 5% drop last year, the flow of Indian students to the US has gone up by 10% in this academic season.

According to a recent survey that monitors student flow, the population of Indian students in the US went up by 10% from 76,503 in 2005-'06 to 83,833 in 2006-'07; the number has doubled in the last decade.


India to upgrade higher education
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

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By Siddharth Srivastava

NEW DELHI - Stung by criticism that the lack of higher learning institutions is contributing to an acute shortage of skilled manpower, the Indian government has taken out its red marker and set out to correct its once-renowned education system.

New Delhi is looking to start nine new Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs) this year, to add to the existing seven. Eight new IITs, regarded as among the top schools in the world, are proposed for Rajasthan, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab provinces. Additionally, Benaras Hindu University will be converted into a full-fledged IIT.

The IITs and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), which arealso to be expanded, are the two pedestals of the Indian education system, with alumni now employed as managers and engineers around the world. The IIMs and IITs function under a government charter and figure among lists of the world's 100 best management and technology institutes - in the same league with schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California, Berkeley.

The belated efforts of the government are welcome, but there will be no easy answers as India upgrades an education sector that is too small to meet the demands of its population, and continues to lag behind its booming economy.

Even after the expansion, only a few thousand students will be selected for the IITs and IIMs from hundreds of thousands of applicants. For the undergraduate B-Tech and M-Tech programs offered through IIT-JEE (Joint Entrance Examination), for instance, around 350,000 students will compete for 5,000 seats.

Similarly, for the blue-chip Indian Institute of Management (IIM), only 1,200 from a pool of about 250,000 applicants manage to procure seats each year. This makes the exam even more selective than all the top US business schools put together. In fact the overall acceptance rate at IIM ranges between 0.1% and 0.4% compared with the acceptance rate of around 5 to 10% in the top US schools.

More than 90% of Indian students seeking admissions in the most desired IITs and IIMs are rejected due to capacity constraints, according to a 2008 report by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). Forty percent of those who fail to qualify pay to study abroad, the report said. The group claimed about 450,000 Indian students are spending over US$13 billion on higher education abroad.

"Over 150,000 students go overseas every year for university education, which costs India a massive foreign exchange outflow. This amount is sufficient to build many more IIMs and IITs," reported ASSOCHAM. "The trend can be reversed by opening a series of quality institutes with public-private partnership by completely deregulating higher education."

Deregulation of government-controlled higher education could create annual revenues of $50-100 billion and provide 10-20 million additional jobs in the education field alone, the chamber said. It may also attract foreign students. Only 27,000 foreigners at present study in India, compared with 400,000 in Australia and 150,000 in Singapore.

Implementation of a federal government blueprint for greater private and foreign participation in higher education has been stymied due to opposition by leftist parties and differences within the government.

India allowed 100% foreign direct investment in education in 2001, but red tape and tough entry regulations have resulted in a poor progress. Top foreign institutes such as Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, and the London School of Economics have not opened campuses in India. Instead, according to official figures, the US remains the most sought-after destination for Indian students, who form the largest proportion of international students in the US at more than 100,000.

Critics say the government's plans for IIT/IIM expansion could dilute the institutions' highly regarded reputations.

Ashok Misra, director of IIT Bombay, has been in favor of creating "quality under a different brand name and mandate. They can be as good or even better than IITs, but mixing a 50-year old [IIT] brand name with a new one does not make sense."

Brand reputation and competition have been linked to opening India's higher education system to foreign universities, fostering competition and opportunity. Also, an increasing number of Indians who've studied abroad are now returning to India, drawn by the jobs and salaries offered by the galloping Indian economy.

A global employment outlook report conducted by Manpower Inc says that India's net employment outlook for the July-September quarter 2008 is pegged at 45%, the highest in the world.

Nearly 85% of IIT graduates have opted to stay back and pursue a career in India in the past five years, claims a recent study, "Changing Career Destination and Career Choices for IITians", by outsourcing firm Evalueserve.

This "reverse flow" began in 2002, according to the study, with only 16% going abroad in the period until 2008. In contrast, between 1964 and 2001, 35% of IIT graduates preferred to work in the US. The Evalueserve study continues: " ... in the last five years the mindset has changed. Now, nearly 50% say India is where the action is."

Even so, the growing Indian economy is grappling with severe manpower shortages. The talent crunch has forced employers to hand out 15% salary increases in the past fiscal year, much more than in the US (5.5%) and China (8%).

An assessment by the human resources firm Hewitt Associates reports: "The growth in salaries is due to lack of talent in the market while companies are growing at a fast pace [30% to 35% in telecom, retail]. The supply is not keeping pace with the demand. There's a 10% to 15% shortage of talent across various levels."

With luck, India's expansion of its top universities will produce more skilled manpower to meet the needs of its explosive economy.

Siddharth Srivastava is a New Delhi-based journalist.


A Project Report (dated August 2006) entitled, "Setting up of New Indian Institutes of Technology" Submitted to Planning Commission by HRD Ministry
Chronicle Editor @ May 22, 2008

 

Here is the link: http://www.iitk.ac.in/iitj/New-IITs-Project%20Report.pdf


The Decline And Coming Fall Of US Hegemony-by Amb. (Rtd.) K. Gajendra Singh (Electrical 1958)
Chronicle Editor @ May 21, 2008

 

Chronicle Note:  K. Gajendra Singh (Electrical 1958) had distinguished diplomatic career beginning in 1961. This article first appeared on March 30, 2008 in several online magazines such as Boloji.com, informationclearinghouse.org and mwcnews.net, etc. It is published (in-full) here with author's permission. All views expressed are his own.)

The image “http://boloji.com/bcommon/bolojilogo.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

To view article online, click: http://www.boloji.com/analysis2/0330.htm

The Decline and Coming Fall
of US Hegemony

By K. Gajendra Singh

"History is ruled by an inexorable determinism in which the free choice of major historical figures plays a minimal role" – Leo Tolstoy

When I went back to Ankara in late 1992 to head the Indian Embassy, many of my friends from the Turkish Foreign Office from my 1969-73 tenure as First Secretary, were going out as ambassadors to newly independent states in Central Asia and the Baltic, following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Looking at the creation of so many new missions, a cheeky young Turkish diplomat in the Foreign Ministry said rather mischievously than hopefully, that only if United States of America broke up into 50 independent states, could he ever hope to head like them a Turkish Embassy, in north America. Turkish diplomats trace their traditions and archives to six centuries of Ottoman rule over an empire from which more than two dozen nations have emerged.

 

boloji1.JPG

But the wish of the young diplomat is not going to be fulfilled any time soon, if ever. But still_

An editorial titled 'Collapse of U.S. economy ' in Belleville Intelligencer of 27 Feb, 2008 confirms, by now generally accepted ill health of US economy. Harry Koza in the Globe and Mail recently quoted Bernard Connelly, the global strategist at Banque AIG in London, that the likelihood of a Great Depression is growing by the day. Martin Wolf of U.K.'s Financial Times cited Dr. Nouriel Roubini of the New York University's Stern School of Business, who outlines how the losses of the American financial system will grow to more than $1 trillion, an amount equal to all the assets of all American banks.

The next domino to fall will be credit card defaults, and after that... who knows? There are so many exotic funds out there, with trillions of dollars in paper - or rather computer-screen money - all carrying assorted acronyms, and all about to disintegrate into nothingness. Over the next couple of years, scores of banks that have thrived on these devices, based on quickly disappearing equities, will fail.

The most frightening forecast so far comes from the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB), "The end of the third quarter of 2008 (thus late September, a mere seven months from now) will be marked by a new tipping point in the unfolding of the global systemic crisis.

"At that time indeed, the cumulated impact of the various sequences of the crisis will reach its maximum strength and affect decisively the very heart of the systems concerned, on the front line of which (is) the United States, epicenter of the current crisis.

"In the United States, this new tipping point will translate into - get this - a collapse of the real economy, (the) final socio-economic stage of the serial bursting of the housing and financial bubbles and of the pursuance of the U.S. dollar fall. The collapse of U.S. real economy means the virtual freeze of the American economic machinery: private and public bankruptcies in large numbers, companies and public services closing down."

"We are not experiencing a "remake" of the 1929 crisis nor a repetition of the 1970s oil crises or 1987 stock market crisis. What we will have, instead, is truly a global momentous threat - a true turning point affecting the entire planet and questioning the very foundations of the international system upon which the world was organized in the last decades."

After the end of the cold war in the wake of the two World Wars ,the decline of western hegemony over the East and South during the last few centuries, first exercised by rapacious and brutal European colonialists and then from Washington, is now likely to morph into a fall because of the new forces unleashed by the US led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The two debt financed wars have brought US economy close to a recession (Indian economy including the realty sector would also be affected, Indian officials and media still remain oblivious if not dishonest in spite of the fall in Indian Sensex). Forces and changes have been set into motion which will completely alter the existing international financial and strategic structures and result in a new dynamics. Unless of course the irresponsible leadership of USA, still with colossal powers of destruction at its command or say a reckless Israel, bomb Iran and hurl the world towards a rapid general warfare between Israel & West vs Muslim nations and masses, leading to even a nuclear holocaust and Armageddon. Verily, it would then be the last Crusade vs Jihad !

Contrary to the self proclaimed congratulatory triumphalism of neo-liberals after the collapse of Communism and Socialism in end 1980s, celebrated from house tops by the so called philosophers, think tanks and analysts with delusions of permanent world domination of Western financiers and corporate houses based on dubious theories of 'the End of History 'or 'the Clash of Civilizations' and even claims of Washington- the new Rome with absolute control planned in the 'Project for American Century ' by arrogant and historically ignorant Straussian neo-cons and their supporters; the religious, economic, scientific and historic forces and currents unleashed during the last few centuries are coalescing towards a major East-West conflagration, which will bring about results quite opposite to those dreamed up in Washington, London and Paris.

The importance of petroleum in warfare and economy had become obvious even before the Second World War. By 1940s, the British who dominated the Middle East and still ruled over India, realizing the importance of oil and the strategic importance of Middle East as lifeline to India, had created military alliances with most of the countries of the Middle East including Iran to protect oil wells from the Soviet Union. The British created a weak and dependent Pakistan as a bulwark against any USSR overture into the Gulf. After the Second WW, USA was formally anointed the leader of the Western Christian nations although after the end of the First WW the financial power centre had started shifting towards the Wall Street from the City of London, but the latter still has great leverage for manipulation.

From 1950s onwards, USSR made inroads into many Arab states led by secular, and nationalist leaders like Gamal Nasser of Egypt. West used religion and conservative and hereditary rulers to counter the egalitarian waves of socialism sweeping the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The battle lines for influence and control between the West and USSR (and China) saw many ups and downs. An epochal change occurred when Iran was lost in 1979 and US ally the Shahenshah was overthrown by Khomeini led Shia revolution, threatening the Sheikhdoms and Kingdoms in the region. Western world and its frightened allies in the region, taken aback, encouraged and helped financially and militarily Saddam Hussein to douse the leaping flames from the volcano of Shia revolution with its belief in martyrdom. Iran and Iraq lost over a million young men; the 1980s IraqIran war only protected the vested interests of the West and its allies in the region.

From the Middle East, Western strategic lever to manipulate and control the region and its resources extended into South Asia through an axis between the USA, Saud dynasty, obscurantist Wahabi clerics and Pakistan military. This axis along with support from other Muslim countries and even China fathered, nurtured, trained and financed with arms and billions of dollars, the present monster of militants and Jihadis to battle and force out the Soviet forces from Afghanistan. The nurseries of terrorism were left behind intact which morphed into Al Qaeda and Talibans, the latter with full support from Pakistan and the Gulf's Arab rulers and US acquiescence, which wanted a 'stable' Afghanistan for its Multinationals' pipelines to carry energy from central to South Asia and beyond. That project remains unfulfilled.

For his cooperation, Pakistan President Gen Zia-ul-Haq was suitably rewarded with money and military aid which emboldened Islamabad to carry out an invasion in Kargil in India. With abundance of arms, Pakistan acquired a Kalashnikov culture of violence while increased opium production in Afghanistan, with Pakistan as an exit route left millions of it citizens addicted to the drug. Gen Zia Islamized Pak polity and completed nuclear bomb program with acquiescence and even support form the West.

But Al Qaeda chief Osama Ben Laden, chosen for the Jihad in Afghanistan by the Saudi rulers nurtured dreams of taking over Muslim states gone astray and conquer other peoples too. The victims were India and newly independent central Asian states like Tajikistan  Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and Arab states which had supported and sent volunteers to fight in Afghanistan.

In its strategy to defeat the Christian West and the Crusaders in the Middle East, even on the sacred soil of Arabia after the 1991 US led war on Iraq, Al Qaeda first attacked US missions in East Africa. But the stunning events of 9/11 showed up the fundamental contradictions in the US-Saudi –Pak axis, with 14 of the 19 hijackers being of Saudi origin, led by an Egyptian and Al Qaeda's octopus like tentacles deeply embedded in Pak military, ISI and the establishment.

The hyper power USA then mounted an invasion of Afghanistan, the objective being to control the region and extending into central Asia with its resources. But the strains and stresses in the Crusader-Jihadi axis became even more acute after the US led illegal invasion of Iraq in March, 2003, angering and pitting Muslim masses all over the world against USA, UK and other western nations in the backdrop of continued illegal occupation and encroachments on Palestinian land by Israel since 1967 and daily killings of Palestinians telecast on channels like Al Jazeera and others.

This is acutely true in US-Saudi relations with the latter being the leading Sunni Muslim state, protecting the holy Islamic shrines in Mecca and Medina and blessed with vast oil resources. With increasing public support for Al Qaeda inside the Kingdom, Riyadh is now in a quandary. Its power and prestige have been eroded as a result of its rival Shia power Iran's strengthened position in Iraq and the region, just the opposite of what Washington had foolishly hoped for. President George Bush did not even know the difference between Shia and Sunni Islam and Ahmet Chalebi, a wily Iraqi, exiled after the 1958 overthrow of the Hashemite dynasty, had sold to the willing in the Pentagon the charade that US troops would be welcomed with flowers by the Iraqis. Nobody ever cared to read the history of Iraq or the region.

US invasion and occupation has divided Iraq into at least three parts, Shia, Sunni and Kurdish; it now appears difficult to hold them together. Apart from exposing the hollow claims of the US success of its 'Surge ' and stability in Iraq, the current fighting between the puppet government Iraqi troops and Mahdi army, the Moqtada –as Sadr militia, specially in Basra and Baghdad is "a result of an attempt to impose Colombian-style democracy on the unstable country. Iraqi PM Maliki's goal, shared by the like-minded allies among the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties that dominate his administration, and with U.S. approval and air support, is to kill off the opposition and then hold a vote." Moqtda is fighting to retain control for provincial elections in October, as "the winners of those elections will determine the future of the Iraqi state. Control of the country's oil wealth, and how its treasure will be developed, will also be significantly influenced by the outcome of the elections."

Washington which had coerced President Gen Pervez Musharraf after 9/11, under threat to bomb Pakistan back to stone ages (some ally?), to align Islamabad in its so called 'War on terror' wanted Pakistan to destroy Al Qaeda, Pushtun Talibans and Muslim Jihadis in Pakistan and Afghanistan, with whom Saudi Arabia, Pak Army, ISI and the establishment have umbilical connections since their holy Jihad against atheist Soviet Union in Afghanistan during 1980s. (Israel now wants PLO to destroy Tehran aligned Hamas-originally incubated by Mossad to counter Al Fattah.)

US has lost the war on the ground in Iraq and NATO is in disarray in Afghanistan. At the end of 'Operation Iraqi freedom ' transmuted into a 'war on terror', really the mother of all battles for oil, raw materials and strategic space in west, south and central Asia, the frontiers in the Middle East and even Pakistan are likely to be redrawn, but not by the West but by the movements, militias and peoples of the region. Say by Shias in south Iraq and Pushtuns in Pak-Afghanistan border who might obliterate the Durand Line officially, to begin with. But West has invested too much in the region and its prosperity depends on it. It is unlikely to give in or give up without a bloody fight.

The Kingdom of Afghanistan was accepted as a defacto buffer state by the British and Russian empires at the end of 'the Great Game' in Central Asia in 19th century. By the end of the 20th century, the British and Russian empires in Asia had vanished and many new states have emerged out of them. Thus the very raison d'etre of that buffer state no longer holds good. The Afghan territory is under control of different armed groups, foreign and local, with Washington installed President Hamid Karzai, with US mercenaries as his bodyguards, barely controlling the city of Kabul. Look at new states sprung from former Russian and British empires now, at Europe after the two world wars and at the end of the Cold War. State and national boundaries are always waxing and waning, some times changing drastically. So what is new if Pakistan breaks apart. Little effort has been made by its leaders since 1947 to even develop a territory based nationalism. China would not escape further problems in Tibet and may be even in Xinjiang.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, USA went about methodically in dismantling Russia and its near abroad and succeeded, with ample help from a naive Gorbachev and an often drunk or drugged Boris Yeltsin. The 9/11 assaults on US symbols of power was exploited by the Bush administration to spread its tentacles to Afghanistan and beyond in central Asia. For USA the Cold War never really ended and all means were employed to push Western military arm NATO to encroach into and encircle Russian strategic space. In central Europe it was carried out by dismantling Yugoslavia, an Orthodox Christian Slav nation like and friendly to Russia and by aligning Georgia and Azerbaijan to Washington. US franchised street revolutions failed in Belarus but succeeded in Serbia and Georgia and partially in Ukraine. When USA tried the same in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, Uzbek ruler Islam Karimov expelled the Americans from the air base and Kyrgyzstan placed new restrictions. The eastward movement of NATO has resulted in the creation of Shanghai Corporation Organization which is now promoting military coordination and collaboration among its members and possibly even a formal military alliance in future to counter NATO.

In its backyard Latin America, USA maintained its dominance under Monroe doctrine except for defiant Cuba under Fidel Castro. But Washington is losing its sway and total control, led against it by Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and other leaders who represent and implement aspirations of their people and not of the old elites in cahoots with corporate interests in USA and Europe. US attempt for a colonial style control of its oil has been brought to a halt by fierce Sunni Iraqi resistance; full Shia resistance would also emerge. Defied by Iran and even forced to engage with it, there are limitations to what Washington, now caught in the Iraqi quagmire, can do in Latin America. With a defiant nuclear North Korea, and China, an emerging economic power house, the policies of Japan, the second economic industrial power in the world which can quickly transmute its formidable industrial base into a lethal military machine, the situation in East Asia remains pregnant with many unpredictable possibilities. But certainly the US writ and influence are on the wane everywhere.

K.  Gajendra Singh, Indian ambassador (retired), served as ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he served terms as ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies.

Copy right with the author.  E-mail: Gajendrak@hotmail.com .


Interview with Mr. Satish Duggal (Mechanical 1970) - Founder and President of Twin Tier Hospitality
Chronicle Editor @ May 21, 2008
duggal.JPG

Satish Duggal (Mechanical 1970) is the President and Owner of Twin Tier Hospitality, a hotel management group headquartered in Sayre, Pennsylvania. Mr. Duggal worked for Corning Incorporated for more than twenty years, before opting for early retirement in 1999 to concentrate on his growing business. The August 2007 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine announced that Twin Tier Hospitality Corporation was one its Hot 500 companies in the United States, ranking Twin Tier as 194th. To date, Twin Tier owns 12 hotels in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

For Chronicle, Rajat Harlalka (Electrical 2005) took the opportunity to speak with Satish Duggal to learn about his highly successful career and gain an insight into the hospitality industry.

Q-1: Welcome, sir. For the benefit of our readers, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I was born in Faizabad, a small town in UP, India but at the age of 5 my parents, 2 brothers, 4 sisters, and I moved to Varanasi.  I attended several schools in Varanasi area, from second grade on before applying to college.  Even though I was accepted to Kanpur IIT, I chose BHU because of its reputation and because it would allow me to attend school as a day student living at home.  Although being a day student was difficult and it involved an hour and a half commute twice a day, I enjoyed the company of other students in my neighborhood as we traveled to and from school each day.  Knowing that I excelled at math and science and that engineering would provide me with a number of career opportunities upon graduation, I chose to study mechanical engineering.

I graduated from BHU in 1970 with a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and eager to further my education and get a masters degree, I came to the US to attend the State University of New York at Buffalo.  When I arrived, I decided to also pursue an MBA in order to get a more well-rounded educational background.  I graduated in 1973 with both masters degrees and took an offer to work as a Systems Analyst for Burroughs Corporation in Rochester, NY. 

Q-2:You were associated with Corning Inc. for over two decades. Please tell our readers about your work and role in Corning Inc.

I joined Corning Incorporated in 1976 and over 22 years, I held various positions.  In my last position, I was responsible for business development of catalytic converters and small engines in the European and Asian Markets.  This involved managing team members who developed market opportunities, manufacturing processes and various product lines to meet customer requirements.

As I rotated through different functions throughout my time at Corning, I learned a great deal about operations, sales and marketing, and business development.  Learning about each of these areas provided me with a solid background in running a business and building an organization that will sustain itself in the future. Additionally, I learned how to turn a business around, to identify its problem areas, and its potential strengths and make the business profitable. These experiences, along with the ability to compete in a global setting and implement best practices have been extremely helpful in my work at Twin Tier Hospitality.

Q-3: Would you tell us briefly how you started Twin Tier Hospitality? What were the challenges you faced?

I decided to leave Corning in 1999 to concentrate on the growing business my wife and I were already managing.  At the time, we were already running 2 hotels and 2 convenience stores, and while I learned a great deal during my time at Corning, I felt that I could make a much larger impact concentrating on our own endeavors.

We chose hospitality in particular for a number of reasons, the two most important being growth opportunity in the industry and the transferable skills I had gained from my career at Corning Incorporated.  By the time I had left Corning, I had already established myself as a reputable player in the hospitality industry, successfully purchasing and running two Best Westerns (one in Ithaca, NY, and one in Sayre, PA).  This led to ample opportunity in that industry, and over the next 5 years I was able to purchase 4 of additional hotels, generating a total of approximately $25M in revenue annually. 

However, the success did not come without challenges, especially in the beginning.  Hospitality is a very capital-heavy business that requires significant financing.  With limited entrepreneurial experience, it was extremely difficult to show the consistent performance necessary to attain funding.   The balancing act was quite difficult as well: as I mentioned, there was a time when I owned two stores and two hotels while still working for Corning Incorporated.  Without the help of my wife, that would have been impossible.  The current, and I suspect ever-present, challenge involves laying the foundation for a sustainable business that will remain profitable well into the future.  This involves identifying appropriate talent, the people that will lead the business in the years to come, documenting and standardizing the processes that have worked well for us, and diversifying geographically to provide stability.

Q-4: Please tell us the major challenges the hospitality industry faces in 2008-09. Where do you see the industry heading?

As I understand, the hospitality industry in the US, as with most industries, will be affected by the economic climate.  High gas and commodity prices will inevitably lead to fewer travelers and although we have not yet seen the effects of this slowdown, our summer travelers may be affected. 

Regardless of the economic climate, I expect that the hospitality business will continue to grow both in the US and abroad, especially in developing markets such as Indian and China.  The industry in general is moving towards providing customer centric, personalized service with more expensive amenities and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems that allow companies to track customer needs.

Q-5: Would you agree that the Hospitality industry has been slow to use technology to improve its services. E.g. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) cards can track a guest’s habits during a stay and allow a hotel to create in-house promotions based on those patterns. However, I don't see much of that.

While I do agree that the hospitality industry is slower to adopt new technology that other industries, we have made efforts to leverage technology where it is affordable and beneficial.  For example, online booking and self check in have been very well received.  Although I understand that many players are using CRM systems and other more progressive technologies, the reality is that both hospitality clients and employees are often not highly educated. Also, after traveling several miles and arriving late, corporate clients and leisure customers want more personal touch. While new technologies serve this goal, the learning curve involved makes the implementation of these tools extremely difficult.

Q-6: Please share with our readers some memories from your days at IT-BHU?

I remember my days at BHU fondly as I found my courses, professors, and classmates fascinating.  I was thrilled to be taking classes in an academic environment that offered professors who were dedicated to their students.  I found machine design and automotive engineering particularly interesting; growing up as the son of a railroad employee in a family without any means of transportation, I have always viewed cars as a vehicle for freedom.  I was extremely excited to learn the intricacies of how they worked.  My time at BHU also inspired my passion for business.  I took my first business class with Doctor Govil, where I learned the basics of entrepreneurship: how to start a business, how to make it profitable, financial management, etc.  I carry these lessons with me to this day, and I credit Doctor Govil with providing me with the foundation on which I have built Twin Tier Hospitality.

While I didn’t live in the hostel, I was extremely excited to be part of the academic environment at BHU.  I was fortunate to make friends with both the commuter students, as well as those who stayed in the hostel.  It was extremely interesting to get to know the other students, and it helped me realize the wealth of opportunity that existed in the world.  The political climate at the time only added to the academic environment, making the experience extremely stimulating and fulfilling.

Q-7: What advice will you give to current students/recent graduates aiming to become entrepreneurs?

The biggest piece of advice I can provide current students is to identify personal and professional goals early in your career.  Understand what will be important to you, where you want to be, and what you want to be doing 10 or 20 years in the future.  Although this is a difficult process and your goals may change, having a goal will allow you to work towards something tangible.  It will make creating a career path far less daunting. 

If you want to be an entrepreneur, specifically, then you need to understand what type of business you want to start, or grow, what strengths you have and what will need to be developed in order to successfully run that business, and what amount of capital is necessary in order to get your business off the ground.  As an engineer, I strongly recommend using your quantitative and analytical skills in a business environment where you work with, manage, and interact with other people.  By complimenting the analytical skills you learned in the classroom with some practical experience working with and managing people you will be a much more well rounded professional.

 Another important piece of advice is to always take measured risks.  Make decisions with an understanding of the consequences.  Make sure you have a back-up plan that will support you if things do not work out.  Plan to invest in an environment that supports growth and new business and make sure that you have the support necessary in case your plan does not work out.

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

(Chronicle would like to extend its sincere thanks to Ms. Radhika Duggal, daughter of Mr. Satish Duggal, for her help in conducting the interview.)

Mr. Satish Duggal can be contacted at: sduggal@twintierhospitality.com

-----------------------------------

Additional links

1) The website of Twin Tier Hospitality

duggal1.JPG

http://www.twintierhospitality.com/

 

 

 

 

2) HOT 500-The fastest growing businesses in America

http://www.entrepreneur.com/graphics/entlogo.gif

 

http://www.entrepreneur.com/Hot500/Details/194.html

3) Twin Tier purchases Hilton-Cleveland

http://www.hotelexecutive.com/newswire/pub/_25885.asp

4) Twin Tier appoints Steve Myers as General Manager for Best Western Inn

http://www.hotelexecutive.com/newswire/pub/_16496.asp

duggal2.JPG

Rankings of Engineering Colleges in India
Chronicle Editor @ May 21, 2008

 

 

This year, four magazines have published their rankings for engineering colleges in India. Surprisingly, all magazines have awarded # 8 rank to our college.

 

Please note that all rankings are subjective and subject to interpretation.

 

Here is the summary of all rankings by magazines for the past 3 years:

 

Year

India Today

Dataquest

Outlook India

Livemint

2008

8

8

8

8

2007

18

10

8

Not published

2006

9

8

8

Not published

 

 

----------------------------------

a) India Today Rankings

 

indiatoday.JPG

May 22, 2008 issue

 

http://indiatoday.digitaltoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&issueid=55&id=8691&sectionid=30&Itemid=1

 

Best engineering destinations

Shruti Maheshwari

May 22, 2008

TOP ENGINEERING COLLEGES 

Excerpts:

The biggest gainer has been the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), which is nine places up owing to the improvement in its overall score.

http://emagazine.digitaltoday.in/IndiaTodayEnglish/02062008/Home.aspx

Page 72-75

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indiatoday_13.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b) Dataquest Rankings

 

http://dqindia.ciol.com/content/top_stories/2008/108060901.asp

 

The image “http://dqindia.ciol.com/images04/dqlogotop.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 

India's Top T-Schools

 

 

Excerpts from the report:

 

New Horizons

Institute of Technology, BHU has bettered its performance over the previous year in many significant areas like salary, academic environment, and perception of the industrys HR mill. However, the institute scores low when it comes to infrastructure and industry interface. On the infrastructure count, the institutes score has dropped by 0.34%, which does not seem very significant. But on the industry interface front the drop of 19.5% assumes significance.

Within the placement parameter, IT BHU has improved upon its performance on the salary count. As compared to the maximum salary of Rs 9.14 lakh per annum offered by Microsoft in 2005-06, the institute got an offer of Rs 23 lakh from Schlumberger in 2006-07, a growth of 152%. The average salary of all companies also increased from Rs 2.87 lakh per annum in 2005-06 to Rs 3.74 lakh in 2006-07. On the other hand, the average salary of IT companies saw a marginal increase from Rs 2.73 lakh to Rs 2.91 lakh during the same period.

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Also, on the placement front, the institute saw a significant rise in the number of students placed in IT/BPO companies as well as those placed across all types of companies. While there were 173 students placed in IT/BPO companies in 2005-06, there were 211 placed in 2006-07. On the other hand, as compared to 321 students placed across all type of companies in 2005-06, 387 were placed in 2006-07.

There has also been improvement in the number of companies visiting the IT BHU campus for placements. Compared to the 68 companies in 2005-06, 83 visited the campus in 2006-07. Specifically, with respect to IT/BPO companies, the number went up from 25 in 2005-06 to 32 in 2006-07.

______________________

 

Additional Dataquest link:

 

The complete score card 2008 for all the participating 79 engineering colleges can be viewed at: http://dqindia.ciol.com/images08/Cover%20story%20table.pdf

_______________________________________________________________________

 

c) Livemint Rankings

 

India’s Best Colleges | 50 Government engineering colleges in India

http://www.livemint.com/2008/06/12001803/India8217s-Best-Colleges.html

 

Top 50 government engineering colleges

http://www.livemint.com/2008/06/12001803/22EAFCC9-0AE8-4D10-8EFA-6CB64D3FF467ArtVPF.pdf

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

d) Outlook India Rankings

 

http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20080630&fname=ALead+Essay&sid=1

 

outlook.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

Top 35 Govt. Engineering Colleges

Rank

Name of  Institute

City

IC

II

I

PP

PS

GT

 


IC: Intellectual capital (600), II: Industry Interface (300), I: Infrastructure (650), PP: Placement Performance (400), PS: Pedagogic system (200). GT: Grand Total (2,150)

1

IIT

Kharagpur

497

218

566.8

306.9

180

1,768

2

IIT

Kanpur

359

165

573.8

291.4

183

1,572

3

IIT

Delhi

376

234

467.2

305.8

179

1,563

4

IIT

Mumbai

373

102

531.5

280.3

182

1,469

5

IIT

Chennai

449

136

510.8

193.1

178

1,467

6

IIT

Roorkee

325

169

494

314.7

164

1466

7

College of Engineering, Anna Univ.

Chennai

288

205

423

259

154

1,329

8

IT, BHU

Varanasi

302

74

429.3

293

160

1,259

9

IIT

Guwahati

258

85

411.1

304.7

170

1,230

10

ISM University

Dhanbad

255

104

416.1

285.9

140

1,201

11

NIT

Warangal

270

77

405.8

265.5

160

1,179

12

NIT

Trichy

258

54

399.6

299.9

160

1,172

13

Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology

Allahabad

249

80

416.2

253

164

1,163

14

NIT

Surathkal

251

71

414

262.1

155

1,153

15

Punjab Engineering College

Chandigarh

228

95

412.3

244.1

160

1,139

16

Delhi College of Engineering

New Delhi

226

84

388.1

293.6

142

1,134

17

IIIT

Hyderabad

239

150

433.2

286.7

13

1,122

18

Netaji Subhash Inst. of Technology

New Delhi

207

69

387.4

272.6

150

1,086

19

MNIT

Jaipur

250

66

369.1

263.6

130

1,079

20

College of Engineering

Pune

224

79

381.2

247.8

140

1,072

21

NIT

Rourkela

220

70

391

240

150

1,071

22

Autonomous College of Engineering, Andhra Univ.

Visakhapatnam

250

79

372.9

248.9

120

1,070

23

NIT

Calicut

233

56

404.9

233.4

120

1,048

24

Harcourt Butler Technological Institute

Kanpur

205

77

344.2

253.6

160

1,040

25

Coimbatore Institute of Technology

Coimbatore

217

75

356.4

244.3

140

1,032

26

IIIT

Allahabad

183

90

366

253.8

120

1,012

27

JNTI

Hyderabad

191

61

347.3

260.5

120

980

28

NIT

Hamirpur

199

57

361.4

235.1

124

976

29

Sir M. Visvesvaraya Inst. of Technology

Bangalore

193

54

334.1

234.6

120

936

30

Shri G.S. Institute of Technology & Science

Indore

202

67

333.3

178.4

140

921

31

University College of Engg (A) Osmania Univ.

Hyderabad

191

59

340.8

215.5

110

916

32

Guru Nanak Dev Engg College

Ludhiana

166

60

371.2

184.6

133

915

33

NIT

Silchar

186

54

319.3

211.1

80

851

34

CUSAT

Kochi

166

36

309.9

200.5

100

813

35

Jabalpur Engineering College

Jabalpur

133

50

345.8

178.7

80

787

 


Some government engineering colleges which were ranked in the Top 35 in 2007 did not respond to the Outlook-Synovate survey this year. These include Faculty of Engineering & Technology, Jadavpur University, Calcutta; Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur, Howrah; MANIT, Bhopal; VNIT, Nagpur; SVNIT, Surat; NIT Kurukshetra; NIT Kozhikode; Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai University; College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram; and NIT, Jamshedpur


IIT-JEE results announced
Chronicle Editor @ May 21, 2008

Official Press note for IIT-JEE 2008 results

Link: http://www.iitk.ac.in/iitj/JEE%202008%20RESULTS-PRESS%20NOTE.pdf 

JEE 2008 Result - Press Note

 

The results of the prestigious and the most challenging competitive examination, the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), held on April 13, 2008 have been declared. One of the important features of JEE 2008 result is that OBC reservation has been implemented and a separate merit list for OBC candidates has been declared. Govt. of India have issued notification for setting up of 8 new IITS in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab and Rajasthan in 11th plan. Admission to 6 of them, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Orissa, Punjab and Rajastan for the academic session 2008-09 are likely to be made through JEE 2008. Also for the first time a JEE centre has been opened out side India at Dubai.

 

Out of 311258 candidates who wrote the examination, 8652 candidates have been declared qualified to seek admission for 6872 seats in IITs at Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee, some proposed new IITs, IT-BHU, Varanasi and ISMU Dhanbad. The number of candidates who appeared in JEE 2008 is nearly 28% more than in the previous year. Mr. Shitikanth (Reg. No. 1136075) from IIT Bombay Zone topped this year’s All India list of successful candidates. The result of all zones in terms of number of candidates appeared and qualified, and the name, registration no. and the AIR of zonal topper is given under.

 

Zone-wise: Numbers Qualified and Toppers

Zone                            Appeared        Qualified Topper Name                     Regn. No.       AIR

IIT BOMBAY             61396              2551          SHITIKANTH                   1136075          1

IIT DELHI                   51373              1549          NIKHIL GARG                 2096057          6

IIT GUWAHATI         19982              193           UTTAM SIKARIA            3005324          199

IIT KANPUR              46144              527            SHANTANU SARASWAT 4063175       61

IIT KHARAGPUR      40915              767            ANKIT KUMAR               5048404        38

IIT MADRAS 49831              2237          CHINTHANIPPU DINESH 6044346       7

IIT ROORKEE            41617              828            ABHINAV GARG                7002179       3

TOTAL                       311258            8652

 

This year 78159 girls wrote JEE 2008 and 840 of them qualified. The numbers of the appeared and the qualified girl candidates are respectively 39% and 43 % more than the last year. Ms. N Vasuki (Reg. No. 6067096) from IIT Madras zone with an All India Rank (AIR) of 14 topped the list of girl candidates. Also 3 out of 182 candidates who wrote JEE examination from Dubai have qualified.

 

All Institutes having admission through JEE, admit OBC/SC/ST students with relaxed criteria. This year 72116 OBC candidates wrote JEE 2008 out of which 1134 qualified. Similarly of the 28393 SC candidates 690 qualified, of the 8514 ST candidates, 159 have qualified. Mr Raproolu Nikhil Simha , AIR 27 in the common merit list, Mr Anandiya Jyoti Roy , AIR 166 in the common merit list and Mr Rohit Singwal, AIR 429 in the common merit list are the toppers of the OBC , SC and ST candidates respectively. Candidates with certified physical disabilities (PD) are granted admission with relaxed norms. Twenty candidates have qualified under these norms. For students with reading disability specially printed enlarged font question papers were provided in the examination.

 

Counselling for admissions begins on 17th June and concludes on 21st June 2008 for the declared All India Rank (AIR) holders. Courses allocated to the successful candidates will be declared on Monday, the 30th June, 2008.

 

All the existing IITs, IT-BHU Varanasi and ISMU Dhanbad also conduct a one-year Preparatory Course for SC/ST students who do not make it to the common or reserved category merit lists. This year, 395 SC candidates and 409 ST candidates have qualified for the Preparatory Course. Their counselling will be held on 7th July 2008 at IITs, IT-BHU and ISMU.

 

The result of JEE 2008 may be accessed from all IIT websites and through an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) specially set up for this purpose. The zonal results are displayed in the respective IITs, IT-BHU and ISMU.

 

An extended merit list, category-wise, has also been drawn to facilitate admissions to other Govt. of India Institutions and the same displayed on web site. Students on this list may be counselled by the Indian Institute of Space-Science Technology (IIST), Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) and Rajeev Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (RGIPT). The Indian Institute of Maritime Studies (formerly DG Shipping) also offers admission based on JEE-2008 results.

 

Roorkee

May 30, 2008


More news about new IITs
Chronicle Editor @ May 21, 2008

 1) Two new IITs to be established this year

http://www.indiaedunews.net/IIT/Two%5Fnew%5FIITs%5Fto%5Fbe%5Festablished%5Fthis%5Fyear%5F4526/

2) Orissa identifies site for new IIT

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080052382&ch=6/8/2008%207:47:00%20PM

3) Poll ahead, Himachal to get IIT

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080607/jsp/nation/story_9377593.jsp

4) Govt begins work to add IIT label to new engg colleges

http://www.business-standard.com/common/news_article.php?autono=325262&leftnm=3&subLeft=0&chkFlg=

5) Govt to acquire 537 acres for IIT

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/Govt_to_acquire_537_acres_for_IIT/articleshow/3097873.cms

6) HRD-Raje govt fight delays Rajasthan IIT

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/HRD-Raje_govt_fight_delays_Rajasthan_IIT/articleshow/3097597.cms

7) IIT-KGP to mentor IIT-Orissa for 3 years

http://www.business-standard.com/common/news_article.php?leftnm=lmnu7&subLeft=8&autono=324942&tab=r

8) State wants IIT’s temporary campus at Hamirpur

http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/State-wants-IITs-temporary-campus-at-Hamirpur/317715/

9) IIT-G to become operational from coming academic year

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/002200805291040.htm

10) IIT Himachal To Be Set Up With Assistance From IIT Roorkee – HRD Ministry

http://himachal.us/2008/05/29/iit-himachal-to-be-set-up-with-assistance-from-iit-roorkee-%E2%80%93-hrd-ministry/5538/general/ravinder

11) IIT, Punjab, from this year

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/IIT_Punjab_from_this_year/articleshow/3081660.cms


Suicide by students at IIT-Kanpur
Chronicle Editor @ May 21, 2008

 

http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14690275

'Academic pressure' led to five suicides in 3 years in IIT Kanpur

 

Sunday, 08 June , 2008, 12:43

 

Lucknow: The suicide by Ritika Toya Chatterjee, a B.Tech final year student of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K), is the fifth in three years that is being blamed on a "hush-hush grading system" and a "poor grievance redressal mechanism."

Ritika killed herself on May 30 after she failed in two of her final semester exams, despite having offers to join any of the six Indian Institutes of Management she wanted to. Ritika's suicide was nothing new for IIT-K. It was the second in 45 days and seventh in three years. Five of the seven suicides were due to failure in exams.

Now the IIT-K alumni association is up in arms against the institute's administration over the evaluation of answer scripts. "Primarily, the hush-hush evaluation and grading system in exams, besides the poor grievance redressal mechanism for students and unfriendly nature of some teachers, has been taking a heavy toll on the students of IIT-K," founder member of IIT-K alumni association Omendra Bharat told IANS.

He said Ritika's suicide had once again put the institute's evaluation system under the scanner. "If a student like Ritika, who had cleared the written exams and the interviews of all the six IIMs can fail, you need not look for more evidence to expose the irregularities in IIT-K's evaluation and grading system," reasoned Bharat.

An angry alumni association has sought Ritika's results from the institute under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

The association has also sought results of all the students who had committed suicide after failing the exams. "We have learnt that 11 out of 14 students of the Biology Science and Bio-Engineering (BSBE) Department, where Ritika studied, failed this year despite many of them getting over 56 percent," said Bharat.

He asserted that the information that would be available thanks to the RTI Act would show that IIT-K had been despotic in giving "F" (Fail) grades to students who score even 60 percent and not giving any reason for the failure.

Meanwhile, speaking to IANS, IIT-K students also attributed the suicides to the "unnecessary academic pressure being created by a few professors" of the institute.

"Some teachers tend to create pressure on students by giving them last-minute assignments before the exams," said Akshat Chandra, a former student.

Akshat, who took admission to IIT-K about three years ago in a five-year integrated M.Sc course, dropped out in his second year as he was not able to cope with the pressure. "I was not able to cope with the pressure delivered by the assignments and projects and ultimately decided to quit," said Akshat, who is now studying for his MBA from an institute in Gurgaon, Haryana.

Citing another example, the students said that some professors were in the habit of warning students that they will fail in the exams. "In fact, a few months back, a professor of the civil engineering department had sent an e-mail to the students that contained names of the students who were likely to get `F' (Fail) grade in the exams," said B.Tech third year student Sarthak Kumar.

A batch-mate of Ritika who did not want to be identified said that students lost faith in themselves due to regular taunts by the teachers. "Because of the repeated threats, the same students who qualified for one of the country's toughest exams tend to doubt their abilities and after frustration they take the extreme step," he added.

The students suggested the institute make changes in the present grading pattern and scrap the `F' grade. Moreover, they said IIT-K needed to strengthen its counselling centres set up for the students. "At present, professors are the only members of the counselling panel. The panel needs to have ex-students of IITs as students are hesitant to approach the faculty members for counselling," a student pointed out.

Asked about the suicides, IIT-K director Sanjay Govind Dhande told IANS: "At this stage we definitely need to have an academic introspection to see what is ailing our students."

He said the institute had decided to hold yoga sessions and art-of-living workshops regularly on the campus for the benefit of students. (Some students' names have been changed to protect their identities)


IIT-Bombay cuts back on foreign internships
Chronicle Editor @ May 21, 2008

http://www.business-standard.com/common/news_article.php?leftnm=lmnu2&subLeft=1&autono=324858&tab=r

IIT Bombay BTech and dual-degree programme students will not be able to opt for foreign internships from the academic year beginning 2008-09. As part of its course curriculum, the premier institute has decided to make it mandatory for students to enrol with an Indian company or institution for an internship if they want their course credits (the degree).

The BTech is a four-year course and the dual-degree programme lasts five years. An eight-week internship for BTech and dual-degree students is mandatory at the end of the third and fourth year respectively.

BTech students who wish to opt for foreign internship after the second year, however, would be allowed to do so. Domestic internships in the third year will still be compulsory.

IIT Bombay has around 1,335 BTech and 1,065 dual degree programme students. Over 60 per cent of these students go for foreign internships to pursue their PhD studies and take up research-related jobs at universities or to work with foreign companies.

While the universities include Georgia Tech, McGill, Ohio State, Southern California and Columbia, among others, labs/organisations include Corus Steel (UK), Suzuki Motors, Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Temasek Life Sciences, Microsoft and DaimlerChrysler.

"We want our students to see the excitement of engineering companies in India. We want our industry to see our exciting students. Thus for the mandatory part of their training, the students must go to Indian companies if they want their credits," Ashok Misra, Director, IIT Bombay, told Business Standard.

He noted that the students were unaware of what was happening at Indian industries like Reliance, Bharat Forge and Tata Motors. "The industries in India are using state-of-the-art technology. When we ask the industry, they tell us the BTech students at IIT are not interested. This move should help the students and the country," added Misra.

Students can now opt for an internship in India with institutes like the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and other government R&D labs, besides prominent Indian firms.

However, students do not seem very excited about this change. "This move will hamper the chances of students who wish to go abroad for a PhD or higher studies. Students face a lot of difficulty in finding a good internship prospect as it is difficult to find a good company," explains Ankit Agarwal, a third-year student of mechanical engineering at IIT Bombay.


Free internet phone website-Jaxtr
Chronicle Editor @ May 21, 2008

www.jaxtr.com

The image “http://www.jaxtr.com/user/img/new/global/header_logo_10.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

After the success of Skype (www.skype.com), many internet phone companies have sprung up. They have added advantage of convenience compared to Skype, as the user does not have to glue to the computer terminal while talking. Many offer free or reduced rates for talks around the world, but non offers free talk and talk in a social network setting like Jaxtr.

Social voice startup (started in July 2007) Jaxtr has reached 10 million users, doubling its user base in less than three months. The company has also announced the end of its beta and the beginning of revenue, with ads running on the Jaxtr Cafe site. The site essentially turns Jaxtr from a widget-based mobile VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) platform into a one-stop shop for social voice and text messaging that can be delivered to a mobile phone without the user giving out his or her phone number.

Jaxtr is a widget which enables users to receive calls from their friends through a VOIP connection. Similar VOIP services exist on the web, including Jajah, ConnectMeAnywhere, Hullo. Many major corporations have taken advantage of the Jaxtr service, including Dell, Logitech, and Symbian.

Additionally Jaxtr helps users bypass expensive international phone charges by giving them free local numbers in the countries that they’re calling to.

Jaxtr is a VOIP service which connects users to their online communities via a widget which they place on their blog or web page. Others can then call the user for free by entering their phone number. When their phone rings, they pick up and the call is connected. The service is currently free but has some limitations. Users are given 100 minutes per month, and after that is used up all calls are directed to voicemail. Users can also receive text messages and voicemail, but it is through the website rather than a user’s mobile phone.


The news aggregator website-Alltop
Chronicle Editor @ May 21, 2008

www.alltop.com

 

alltop.JPG

 

The Alltop is a news aggregator website, which was launched in March 2008. Like other news aggregators, it aggregates and displays a bunch of sites for people. Later on it started sites related to other topics that (a) have a large readership and (b) hasn’t been aggregated in an elegant and efficient manner. These include, www.travel.alltop.com,

www.jobs.alltop.com, etc.

 

As the company’s website explains, the name “Alltop” has come from the fact that unlike other news aggregators, it displays news on the top and the company’s banner at the bottom.

 

The company’s website has a refreshing look with so many topics, sub-topics and news sources to select from. It first divides the news into topics such as work, culture, sports, geos, etc. It further divides each one into sub-topics, which opens up into dozens of news sources (newspapers, magazines, websites, etc.). For example, to read news about India, go to geos and then click on India. All news are updated every 10 minutes.

 

Google News (www.news.google.com) is the mother of all news aggregators. It has computerized auto search, which scans thousands of news sources around the world and compile them according to popularity and relevance. Another news aggregator (for Indian news) is Samachar (www.samachar.com).

 

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IIT for girls' only planned
Chronicle Editor @ May 21, 2008

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080609/jsp/frontpage/story_9385501.jsp

 

All-girls IIT in PM’s court

CHARU SUDAN KASTURI

Arjun, Manmohan

 

 

 

 

 

New Delhi, June 8: Education minister Arjun Singh has indicated his consent for a girls-only IIT named after Indira Gandhi, but wants Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's support for the project.

Sources said Arjun, scalded by recent public accusations of “sycophancy” towards the Nehru-Gandhi family, has decided to seek Manmohan Singh’s approval for the plan — proposed by President Pratibha Patil — to name an IIT after the late Prime Minister.

None of the seven existing Indian Institutes of Technology or the eight new ones in the pipeline is named after any personality. Nor is any restricted to women students.

The Telegraph had reported on March 11 the proposal from Patil to set up an IIT for girls in Amravati, her former Lok Sabha constituency.

Rashtrapati Bhavan had communicated the proposal to the human resource development ministry on March 7.

In an internal ministry note, Arjun has said an IIT named after Indira Gandhi and only for girls can be launched in Amravati, Maharashtra. The project, he added, could be launched during the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) itself, but only after clearance from the Prime Minister and the Planning Commission.

The plan panel’s approval is necessary to fund any new educational project.

A letter based on Arjun’s comments in the note has been sent to Rashtrapati Bhavan as well.

In April this year, Arjun was ticked off by Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natrajan after he reportedly indicated that the party might field Rahul Gandhi as its next prime ministerial candidate.

“The Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) and Rahul Gandhi have always kept away from sycophants,” Natrajan had said in a statement a day after Arjun’s comments.

In early May, after reportedly being snubbed by Sonia in private — the minister was called to her residence at 10 Janpath — and in public — at a book release function — Arjun had issued a statement pledging loyalty to the Gandhi-Nehru family.

“I shall do everything to maintain loyalty and commitment to the remaining members of the Gandhi family,” Arjun had said.

A source close to Arjun indicated that the minister was trying to walk a “tight line” in displaying loyalty while not appearing a sycophant.

“Ever since the controversy over the Rahul Gandhi comments, he appears keen not to give anyone an opportunity to attack him for either inadequate loyalty or of sycophancy towards the Nehru-Gandhi family,” the source said.

Patil, in her proposal, had said the girls-only IIT in Amravati would draw out both women and tribals from the drought-prone region into mainstream higher education.

The Meghalaya Assembly recently passed a resolution against the decision to name the latest Indian Institute of Management (IIM) — in Shillong — after Rajiv Gandhi. No other IIM is named after anyone.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Additional link

1) Call for girls-only IIT, and at ‘home’

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080312/jsp/nation/story_9009563.jsp

 

2) An all-girl IIT will face faculty issue

http://www.business-standard.com/common/news_article.php?autono=325763&leftnm=6&subLeft=0&chkFlg=


NJ alumni meet-report
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

 

A meeting of New Jersey chapter of IT-BHU Global Alumni Association was held on June 14th afternoon at Chowpatty restaurant, Edison, NJ. The meeting was attended by about 20 alumni and their family. Among the highlights of the meeting, the topics of our newly formed alumni association, IIT conversion update, etc. were discussed. It was planned to arrange such meet every six months, with the next one planned for Oct. /Nov. of this year.

njersey1.JPG

IT-BHU Alumni Award of Excellence announced-a report
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

 

(Report forwarded by Amit Srivastava, Mining 2005. Email: amit.srivastava100@gmail.com)

 

 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 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:

Alumni Life Time Achievement Award

Col. S. P. Wahi (ex-CMD, ONGC)

Alumni Award of Excellence

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

2. Mr. Prem. 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 selection of awardees was done by an eminent Jury.

We have included brief bio-data for each awardee in the following paragraphs.

For citation for awardees, please click here

 Additional links:

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

http://www.itbhuglobal.org/chapters/geo/delhi/archives/2008/05/press_release_a.php

 2) A report appeared in April 2008 issue of Chronicle:

http://www.itbhuglobal.org/chronicle/archives/2008/04/#002312

3) The photos of the meeting can be viewed at:

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/Amit.Srivastava100/ITBHUAGM2008

______________________________________________________________________________

 

 About award winners:

Col. (Dr.) S. P. Wahi (Mechanical & Electrical 1949)

Contact Email: spwahi@spw.in

 

wahi1.JPGBiography:

 

Col. (Dr.) S.P. Wahi graduated in 1949 from BENCO, Banaras Hindu University with B.Sc. (Electrical & Mechanical).  He was Chairman, ONGC from 1st October 1981 to 15th December 1989.   He has been CMD of Cement Corporation of India for nearly 3 years.  He was at BHEL, Haridwar from 1974 to 1978.  He was Chief of Planning and Inspection of Bokaro Steel Limited (SAIL) from 1969 to 1974.

 

During his army days he had two tenures in Jammu and Kashmir on Uri and Sialkot sector.  He had training in U.K./Germany with British Army on Armoured Fighting Vehicles, Manufacturing and Maintenance.

 

He is a recipient of Padma Bhushan National Award 1988, Doctorate of Science (Honoris Causa) by Indian School of Mines, 1985, Doctorate of Engineering (Honoris Causa) by Roorkee University, 1987, Doctorate of Science (Honoris Causa) by Banaras Hindu University, 1989 and Giant International Award, 1989 and has several awards to his credit including Life Time Achievement Award by Petrotech in 2007.

-----------------------------------

 

Mr. S. S. Kohli (Mechanical 1966)

 

kohli1.JPGBiography:

 

 Shri S.S. Kohli, born on 10th April 1945, holds B.Sc. (Mechanical Engineering) from BENCO, Banaras Hindu University in 1966 and Diploma in Industrial Finance.

 

He is the Chairman & Managing Director, Indian Infrastructure Finance Limited, and Director, Punjab Infrastructure Development Board. Mr. Kohli is a well-known entrepreneur and specializes in Banking and Financial Sector.

Shri Kohli formerly was Chairman & Managing Director of Punjab National Bank from April 2000-April 2005 and Chairman & Managing Director, Punjab and Sind Bank from September 1996 to April 2000) and has held several other important positions from time to time.

 Mr. Kohli is a recipient of BHU’s Distinguished Alumnus Award 2003, Bank of the Year Award, by the Banker’s Magazine of Financial Times, London for the year 2000, Best Bank Award for excellence in Banking Technology by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), Hyderabad for the year 2001, Honorary Fellowship was conferred on him by Indian Institute of Banking & Finance for contribution in the Banking & Finance.

--------------------------------

Dr. Prem C. Jain (Mechanical 1957)

Contact Email: spectraldel2@touchtelindia.com

jain1.JPG

Dr. Prem C. Jain, born on 26th January 1936, graduated in Mechanical Engineering from BENCO, Banaras Hindu University in 1957.  He obtained his Post Graduation and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Minnesota, USA in 1967.

 

Dr. Jain presently is the Chairman and Managing Director of Spectral Services Consultants Pvt. Ltd.  He specializes in the field of Environment and Sustainable Development and is an outstanding Consulting Engineer.

 

Dr. Jain is the Fellow of a large number of International Societies and is the first practicing engineer in India to be nominated in 1995 Fellow of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHARE, USA).  He is also Member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME-USA), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA-USA), Consulting Engineers Association of India.

Dr. Prem Jain is the Chairman of Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) in the year 1007.  He was starred with the prestigious USGBC (USA) LEED Platinum Award for green building design excellence.  His organization Spectral has the distinct honor of having designed services systems for five LEED Platinum Rated Green Buildings accredited by LEED-USGBC (USA).

---------------------------------

Mr. Supriya Das Gupta (Metallurgy 1955)

 supriya1.JPGBiography:

 

 

Shri Supriya Das Gupta, born on 1st August 1935, is a graduate in Metallurgical Engineering, Min-Met, Banaras Hindu University, 1955, and PG Diploma in Metallurgy, Mechanical and Electrical of Iron and Steel from Technical Institute, Tata Steel, Jamshedpur in 1957.
 

Shri Das Gupta presently is the Chairman and Managing Director of M.N. Dastur & Company (P) Ltd, a well-known name in India and abroad.

 His own field of specialization is Project management, implementation of Greenfield plants and modernization of large integrated steel plants, smelting plants, agglomeration plant, direct reduction plants, Evaluation of alternative technologies, optimization studies, conceptual planning etc.  He is an internationally recognized expert on Direct Reduction.  Has been a UNIDO Expert and has helped several countries in the formulation of their master plans for development of Iron and Steel industry.

 He is Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India), Member, German Iron & Steel Institute, Member, American Association of Cost Engineers, Member of Research Council of Regional Research Laboratory (CSIR), Bhubaneswar.

Shri Supriya Das Gupta is a recipient of Platinum Medal of the Indian Institute of Metals, Distinguished Alumnus Award of Banaras Hindu University, Industry Institution Interaction Award 2007 from Department of Metallurgical Engineering, BHU.  He was also President, Indian Institute of Metals, 1997-98.


Readers' Feedback
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

 

You guys are doing an absolutely fantastic job,

Srivatsan Desikan (Civil 1995)

San Jose, California. Dated: June 03.

Email: sridesik@cisco.com

Marketing Manager
Marketing / CMO

Cisco Systems, Inc.

----------------------

Thanks for update on Chronicle Issue. It has a lot of highly relevant topics.

Congrats for excellent issue.

 Sandeep Kumar Garg (Computer Science 2006)

Varanasi. Dated: June 03

Email: sandeepkumargarg@gmail.com

PhD student,

Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering

IT-BHU

----------------------

 This is indeed excellent work on the chronicle. This is making all of us look back and think how we can contribute to our Alma-mater.

All the best to ensure that the process to convert IT-BHU to IIT goes through as well.

 Thanks,


Neeraj Kapoor (Electrical 1992)

Dated: May 30

Email: capoorneeraj@yahoo.com

-------------------------

Thanks a lot for such an exhaustive all areas coverage of IT & BHU in the latest issue of chronicle. Kudos to your team and my best wishes also for future. Keep it up.

Really while going through the chronicle I was in the memory lane of IT/BHU and was feeling to be there myself. Memories of Mechanical Workshops, G7, G9, THERMODYNAMICS LAB, Drawing hall, Dhanrajgiri, Limbdi, Rajputana, New Tech

Kings Pavilion, Lanka all came as a flashback.

Zeya Alam (Mechanical 1972)

Obra, Uttar Pradesh. Dated: May 30

Email: zeyaalam@gmail.com

Deputy General Manager,

Obra Thermal Power Station

------------------

 I just wanted to thank you for the efforts that you are putting in for the IT-BHU community. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the April issue of the chronicle and found it very informative. Kudos to the entire team.

 In fact Manoj Sinha (of Husk Power Systems) is a classmate of mine at Darden Business School and he has been getting tremendous accolades for his venture from a number of sources.

 Regards,

Mohnish Bahl (Electrical 2004)

 Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.  Dated: May 26

Email:

MBA Class of 2009

Darden Graduate School of Business Administration

University of Virginia


Select Blogs for higher education, science and engineering
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

 

(Chronicle Note: We are starting an occasional series ‘from the blogs”. It will publish relevant articles from leading blogs on higher education, science and engineering around the world.)

There are many blogs in India and around the world, which deal exclusively on the subjects of higher education, science and engineering. We have randomly picked up 3 blogs, which might be of interest to our readers.

a) Nanopolitan (www.nanopolitan.blogspot.com)

nanopolitan

 

 

This blog was started by Prof. T. A. Abinandanan, our alumnus (Metallurgy 1985) and currently Professor in Material Science Dept. at IISc, Bangalore. The blog publishes news and analysis related to higher engineering education in India and abroad. The blog has easy-to-read format and it is like one-stop shopping for happenings in professional education field in India and abroad. Abi and his blog are frequently quoted by foreign media.

Prof. T. A. Abinandanan can be contacted at: abinandanan[AT]gmail.com

--------------------------------

b) Indusscitech (http://www.indusscitech.net)

The image “http://www.indusscitech.net/indusscitec_source.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 

This website was created by Dr. M. A. Pai, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois. He was on the faculty of IIT-Kanpur and received Bhatnagar award in 1974.

The website continuously captures the developments happening in the field of higher education, science and technology in India. It records news and events occurring in India and US in the above mentioned fields. The list includes media releases from National Knowledge Commission, from science & technology journals and from leading institutes.

http://www.indusscitech.net/articles_on_hi_tech_edu.htm

Dr. M. A. Pai can be contacted at: mapai[AT]uiuc.edu

------------

c) Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi (http://www.cse.iitk.ac.in/users/dheeraj/)

The above is a Personal Page of Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi. He is on the faculty of Computer Science and Engineering Dept., IIT-Kanpur.

 

iitk.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His personal page is a rich collection of his opinions about IIT system, IIT-JEE and admission system, etc., under ‘Career Counseling.’

http://www.cse.iitk.ac.in/users/dheeraj/ideas/jee-counsel.html

 

His articles are of particular interest to prospective engineering students who has to decide about college and branch.

Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi can be contacted at: dheeraj[AT]iitk.ac.in


Public water, privately bottled profits
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

The image “http://www.atimes.com/images/f_images/masthead.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

http://www.bottlebooks.com/questions/August2003/1sep03.jpg 

Public water, privately bottled profits
By Raja M

Excerpts:

MUMBAI - India's fast-modernizing society, benefiting from economic growth of close to 9% a year, is caught up in a conflict over access to a basic resource - water - that is pitting Coca-Cola and rival bottlers of the stuff against villagers and others who want their activities more tightly regulated.

 The country's bottled water industry, part of a US$100 billion global business, has been growing at triple the pace of the economy as a whole. As consumers take advantage of portable potables, residents in drought-prone areas feel their needs are being shunned and officials warn of over-exploitation of ground water resources.

 On April 7, more than 1,500 villagers defied a police cordon and marched to Coca-Cola's bottling plant in Mehdiganj village, Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh state, demanding that the company immediately shut down its bottling plant. In January, the New Delhi-based Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) advised Coca-Cola to shut a bottling plant in the drought-stricken state of Rajasthan.

India's Ministry of Water Resources has ranked 80% of ground water resources in Rajasthan as "over-exploited" and nearly 34% resources as "dark/ critical", the gravest ranking across the country.

 Millions of people, both in rural and urban India, suffer from inadequate or no tap water supply. Even parts of the movie-stars' residential area of Juhu in Mumbai, the country's financial capital, get a mere two hours of daily water supply. The city's Virar suburb gets 45 minutes. So bottled water is much in demand by residents - even though the businesses profiting from the sales are thriving from access to public water sources.

Not just bottlers are involved. In south India, thousands of fuel trucks converted to be water carriers sell ground water to households and establishments at about $10 for 5,000 liters. More than 13,000 tankers carry water drawn from farmland surrounding Chennai, according a social activist R Srinivasan. He estimates a $148 million tanker industry is cashing in on Chennai's acute water scarcity. The story is replicated across India, including in New Delhi.

Rising demand for commercial water coincides with plummeting ground-water levels, which dropped by up to eight meters (26 feet) in the first seven years of Coca-Cola's operations in India, from 1999 to 2006, according to India Resource Center, an activist group, citing data from hydrograph monitors of the government's Central Ground Water Board.

Ironically, the 500-page TERI report that urged closure of the Rajasthan bottling plant was commissioned by Coca-Cola in 2006 to study allegations of pesticide residues in its products. TERI found no pesticides in water samples in six bottling plants it studied, but its findings on water stress vindicated water protesters and stunned Coca-Cola executives, who have not contradicted the findings. Of the six Coca-Cola plants surveyed in the study, three are in areas suffering increased stress on groundwater.

 An undated statement on the Coca-Cola India website states that the TERI report confirms that the company meets Indian regulations, while acknowledging that the report identified some areas "where we can do better".

"As a result, we are strengthening our plant sitting requirements, our monitoring capabilities for both rainwater harvesting and wastewater treatment and our guidelines for source protection and operating in water scarce areas," the statement said.

The site says Coca-Cola, which reported a 19% jump in global first-quarter net income to $1.5 billion, directly employs about 6,000 people in India and indirectly creates employment for more than 125,000 people. Its Indian operations comprise 25 wholly company-owned bottling operations and another 24 that are franchisee-owned.

 
Coca-Cola is just one, if the most prominent given its international stature, of thousands of brands in India's $445 million packaged water industry.

………………..


Whatever the price of bottled water, people in India appear willing to pay for the commercial product while turning their backs on the country's ancient methods of cooling and purifying water. Stored in earthen pots, for instance, it is not only refreshingly cool and tasty but is said to become bacteria-free. Yet the common summer sight of water matkas (earthen pots) in public offices and spaces is giving way to upturned plastic drums dispensing packaged water.

 

But not even a severe water shortage in the national capital has moved the central government to regulate excessive ground water extraction by business corporations.

 

To the contrary, the state government of Uttar Pradesh arrested 2,000 farmers in the drought-stricken Bundelkhand region in April 6 for "stealing" water from a public canal.


Raja M regularly drinks water from taps in various cities and towns across India, and as yet reports no lethal side effects.

 

(To read the complete article, please click on the link given at the beginning)

 

Stressed out in India's Tech capital
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

The image “http://img.timeinc.net/time/daily/2008/0805/bangalore_0501.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 

(A technology worker falls asleep at her desk in an office in Bangalore.)

"I'm done with it," says Amrita Sapre, a marketing and sales professional with Microsoft in Bangalore. "One year in this city, and I can't take it any more!" Like many young Indian executives, Sapre and her husband Parag, who works with Satyam Computer Services Ltd., thought a stint working at giant IT corporations in Bangalore would be a great addition to their resumes. But a year on, the Sapres are stressed out, and ready to move to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. "Our jobs keep us so busy that we only meet each other on weekends; there's no work-life balance," says Amrita, "And then there's the infrastructure. Yesterday there was a 15-minute hailstorm, and it brought the city to a standstill. Bangalore just isn't ready to be an IT capital."

Having morphed from a quiet, laid-back provincial city into a crowded, cosmopolitan metropolis of sky-high salaries and even higher ambitions, Bangalore today is a hive of stressed-out techies and managers. In many ways, the city is a microcosm of the changes India has gone through during the last two decades: rapid urbanization, migration and expansion with which its infrastructure has failed to keep pace. Rising incomes have brought significant socio-economic and lifestyle changes, but have also bred discord — should you let your child spend on a night out an amount equal to your monthly salary not so long ago? Globalization has brought Westernization, but not everyone is able to cope with the changing values. Young people are having to confront a host of harrying questions such as how long to hold out before giving in to family pressure to have an arranged marriage. And, with the greater degree of upward social mobility has come high levels of work-related stress — working night shifts at a call center fielding customer-service calls from the U.S. isn't conducive to physical or psychological health, no matter how good the money.

 

Experts at the Bangalore-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) have been warning that an increasing number of young professionals, including IT sector workers, are reporting psychological problems. Dr B.N. Gangadhar of the Department of Psychiatry at NIMHANS says he usually sees half a dozen techies on his outpatient days, and the most commonly reported problems are marital discord and depression. "Most IT sector employees are migrants, with little social support in their adoptive cities," he says. "Being young, they're often single and lonely. If married, they have little time for their families. And when things go wrong, whether at work or at home, they have no one to turn to for help."

 

Last month, the country's attention was drawn to a case in which an Infosys software engineer killed his wife and himself because he suspected her of infidelity. A NIMHANS study shows that Bangalore has a suicide rate nearly three times the national average — 30 suicides per 100,000 people, as against 10.5 for the rest of India. Although the IT industry is not the only one facing this crisis, it is the most visibly affected. Acknowledging the problem, many leading IT companies, such as Infosys and Cisco, are offering in-house counseling services for employees.

 

"Companies have seen individuals breaking down, and they realize that they need to play a part to prevent it," says Karuna Bhaskar, director at 1to1help.net, a counseling service whose clients include HP, IBM and Texas Instruments. In the seven years since she co-founded her organization, she says she has found that the rat race causes a diversity of problems. "Not only do you want to keep up with the Joneses, your children want to keep up with the Joneses' children. But debt is something we Indians have never been comfortable with. So mounting credit card bills become a nightmare," she says. "And then there's the uncertainty over downsizing and job cuts. Our generation has seen our parents stay with the same job for life; for a lot of us the prospect of a pink slip is horrifying," she adds.

 

Many of these changes are daunting because they have happened so quickly that society and individuals have had no time to develop a response. C. Mahalingam, chief people officer at software solutions provider Symphony Services, says the IT sector needs to evolve a long-term solution. "What we need to do more is to train and educate employees to expand their zone of comfort, and to draw upon their inner resources," he says. "We're taking in all these brilliant Mensa Club types, and we must provide them with a better support system so they can perform."


Crude import bill to cross $100 billion
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

 

http://ia.rediff.com/money/2008/may/21oil.htm

Rakteem Katakey in New Delhi | May 21, 2008 10:56 IST

 

crude1.JPG

A depreciation in the value of the rupee against the dollar, coupled with surging crude oil prices, are likely to push the country's crude oil import bill to over $100 billion in 2008-09, from $77.02 billion in 2007-08, according to industry officials.

In 2007-08, the bill rose nearly 40 per cent from $54.99 billion in 2006-07 as crude oil imports, including those by private sector refiners such as Reliance Industries [Get Quote] and Essar Oil [Get Quote], rose 9.1 per cent to 121.67 million tonnes (mt). In 2008-09, imports are likely to be over 134 mt.

Along with rising demand, the depreciation of the rupee is also likely to inflate the import bill. Since May 1, the Indian currency has depreciated by nearly 6 per cent. A falling rupee increases the cost of imports.

The country imports around 78 per cent of its crude oil requirements. This is set to go up to 85 per cent in the next three years considering the nearly 10 per cent increase in demand for crude oil every year and almost stagnant supply from domestic oil fields.

An official with Indian Oil Corporation [Get Quote] (IOC), the largest retailer of petroleum products, said every Re 1 depreciation of the Indian currency against the dollar raises the company's crude oil import bill by Rs 3,000 crore (Rs billion).

Every 1 per cent depreciation in the value of the rupee increases the under-recoveries of oil marketing companies by 80 paise per litre, says a top official with Bharat Petroleum Corporation [Get Quote] (BPCL), the country's second-largest crude oil refiner. This translates into around Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 200 billion) higher under-recoveries annually, the official adds.

At current crude oil price of around $120 per barrel, three public sector oil marketing companies -- IOC, BPCL and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation [Get Quote] (HPCL) -- are projected to report under-recoveries of around Rs 1,80,000 crore (Rs 1,800 billion). The depreciation of the rupee could increase this to Rs 2,00,000 crore (Rs 2,000 billion).

Under-recovery is the difference between the market price and the retail price. These three companies sell petrol, diesel, cooking gas and kerosene at subsidised prices. These products constitute around 70 per cent of their sales.

The value of the rupee had appreciated to around 39 against the dollar in 2007-08 from around 45. This had reduced the cost of importing crude oil (the companies pay for crude oil in dollars) as the companies had to pay less for every dollar.

Crude oil import prices have risen 57 per cent from around $92 per barrel in January this year to around $120. The high prices have increased the demand for dollars, which in turn has increased the value of the dollar against the rupee.

"It's a worsening situation. Rising crude oil prices are putting pressure on our balance sheet as we cannot increase retail prices. Moreover, because of rising prices, the value of the rupee has fallen against the dollar, which was a big positive for us last year," said the IOC official.


India's black money in Swiss Bank
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

 

http://www.senserely.com/jbwala-black-money-in-swiss-bank-swiss-banking-association-report-2006.php

 

Black Money In Swiss Bank ~ Swiss Banking Association report 2006
by Naman Sood on Apr 15, 2008 01:44 PM

Deposits in Banks located in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries

Top 5
India—— $1456 billion
Russia——- $470 billion
UK———— $390 billion
Ukraine $100 billion
China——— $96 billion

Now do the math India with $1456 billion or $1.4 trillion has more money in Swiss banks than rest of the world COMBINED. Public loot since 1947: Let us bring back our money

M R Venkatesh | April 15, 2008 | 09:34 IST

It is one of the biggest loots witnessed by mankind — the loot of the aam aadmi (common man) since 1947 by his brethren occupying public office.

It has been orchestrated by politicians, bureaucrats and some businessmen. The list is almost all-encompassing. No wonder, everyone in India loots with impunity and without any fear.

What is even more depressing in that this ill-gotten wealth of ours has been stashed away abroad into secret bank accounts located in some of the world’s best known tax havens. And to that extent the Indian economy has been striped of its wealth.

Ordinary Indians may not be exactly aware of how such secret accounts operate and what are the rules and regulations that go on to govern such tax havens. However, one may well be aware of ’Swiss bank accounts,’ the shorthand for murky dealings, secrecy and of course pilferage from developing countries into rich developed ones.

In fact, some finance experts and economists believe tax havens to be a conspiracy of the western world against the poor countries. By allowing the proliferation of tax havens in the twentieth century, the western world explicitly encourages the movement of scarce capital from the developing countries to the rich.

In March 2005, the Tax Justice Network (TJN) published a research finding demonstrating that $11.5 trillion of personal wealth was held offshore by rich individuals across the globe. The findings estimated that a large proportion of this wealth was managed from some 70 tax havens.

Further, augmenting these studies of TJN, Raymond Baker — in his widely celebrated book titled Capitalism’s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free Market System — estimates that at least $5 trillion have been shifted out of poorer countries to the West since the mid-1970s. It is further estimated by experts that one per cent of the world’s population holds more than 57 per cent of total global wealth, routing it invariably through these tax havens. How much of this is from India is anybody’s guess.
What is to be noted here is that most of the wealth of Indians parked in these tax havens is illegitimate money acquired through corrupt means. Naturally the secrecy associated with the bank accounts in such places is central to the issue, not their low tax rates as the term ’tax havens’ suggests. Remember Bofors and how India could not trace the ultimate beneficiary of those transactions because of the secrecy associated with these bank accounts?

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Google, Chevron Build Mirrors in Desert to Beat Coal With Solar
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

The image “http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/data?pid=avimage&iid=iarzPN__lscw” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 

(Arrays of parabolic mirrors reflect sunrays to generate electricity at FPL Group Inc.'s solar thermal plant in Kramer Junction, California, in this undated company photo. Rising natural gas prices and emissions restrictions in states like California may make solar thermal the fastest-growing power source in the next decade. Source: FPL Group via Bloomberg News)

By Greg Chang

May 23 (Bloomberg) -- Along a dusty two-lane highway in California's Mojave Desert, 550,000 mirrors point skyward to make steam for electricity. Google Inc., Chevron Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are betting this energy will become cheaper than coal.

The 1,000-acre plant uses concentrated sunlight to generate power for as many as 112,500 homes in Southern California. Rising natural gas prices and emissions limits may make solar thermal the fastest-growing energy source in the next decade, say backers including Vinod Khosla, the founder of computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc.

Costs for the technology will fall below coal as soon as 2020, the U.S. government estimates. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. invested last year in the biggest solar plant built in a generation; Chevron and Google are funding research; and Goldman Sachs is seeking land to lease as demand outpaces wind turbines and geothermal.

``Solar thermal can provide a substantial amount of our power, more than 50 percent,'' says Khosla, who along with the Menlo Park, California, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led a $40 million investment in solar power producer Ausra Inc. ``This is an industrial-strength solution.''

Developers need to overcome limited power lines and the need for energy storage systems, while lobbying for the extension of tax credits.

``They have to prove their technology,'' says Reese Tisdale, senior analyst at consulting firm Emerging Energy Research, which estimates solar thermal will lure more than $85 billion in investments by 2020. ``There need to be some significant technology jumps.''

Steam Turbines

The Ardour Solar Energy Index, covering all forms of solar power, climbed 55 percent in the 12 months through yesterday, outperforming an 8.5 percent decline in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

Unlike photovoltaic solar panels that convert sunlight to electricity, solar thermal focuses sunrays with mirrors to heat oil in glass pipes to about 700 degrees Fahrenheit (370 degrees Celsius). The oil turns water to steam, which spins an electric turbine.

Nine solar thermal plants built in the California desert from 1985 to 1991 still operate, with Juno Beach, Florida-based FPL Group Inc. running seven. They have combined capacity of 354 megawatts, enough to power 230,000 Southern California homes.

Development slowed when Congress eliminated tax credits for alternative energy in the early 1990s. Laws put in place in 2005 give solar investors a 30 percent tax credit.

Desert Sun

At FPL's solar thermal site in the Mojave, 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles, sunshine beats down 340 days a year. The parabolic reflectors have an efficiency of more than 90 percent, compared with 80 percent for a typical bathroom mirror. FPL uses 4,000-gallon (15,000-liter) trucks to spray water weekly to clean the surfaces, seven feet (two meters) off the ground.

``There's always been a solar resource here,'' says Harvey Stephens, a production manager and one of 100 workers at the plant. ``It's just that it hasn't been cost-effective enough.''

At noon on a typical workday, technicians in a two-story control room monitor a dozen screens showing the heat generated by each array of mirrors. As temperatures creep past 700 degrees, icons blink to red from green, indicating the center is ready to feed electricity to the California grid.

Clouds' Challenge

Temperatures and power production drop as clouds blow across the sky. Solar thermal companies are trying to develop backup heat storage using pressurized boiling water or molten salt that can be warmed to more than 1,000 degrees.

Solar power ``fits with our peak demand very well as long as the sun is cooperating,'' says Michael Yackira, chief executive of Sierra Pacific Resources, the company that owns utilities serving Las Vegas and other Nevada cities. ``When it's cloudy, when it's raining, when it's dark, it doesn't produce power.''

A solar thermal unit that begins operation in 2010 will produce power at 14.2 cents a kilowatt hour, almost triple the 4.8 cents for a plant using pulverized coal, the Energy Information Administration estimates.

Costs for solar thermal may fall as low as 3.5 cents a kilowatt hour by 2020, according to a report commissioned by the U.S. Energy Department. Meanwhile, coal expenses may rise. Congress is considering limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. The purchase of pollution permits may be required under a measure the Senate will begin debating next month.

`To Beat Coal'

Ausra's plants will produce electricity at 10 cents a kilowatt-hour starting in 2010, and the price will fall to 8 cents a few years later as it adopts systems with fewer parts that will be less costly when widely deployed, the company says.

``We are going to beat coal,'' says Bob Fishman, Ausra's chief executive officer. His company has a contract with PG&E Corp.'s Pacific Gas & Electric for a site in central California.

Chevron, Goldman Sachs, FPL, PG&E and other companies have filed more than 50 applications with the Bureau of Land Management to lease government-owned desert property for solar power systems. Chevron, which has invested in the solar thermal builder BrightSource Energy Inc. in Oakland, California, and Goldman, the biggest U.S. securities firm, declined to comment.

Google's philanthropic division put $10 million into eSolar, a start-up in Pasadena, California. Dan Reicher, a former Energy Department official who manages the unit's climate and energy initiatives, said there will be more such investments.


Planning a trip to the sun
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

 

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/05/18/solar.probe/index.html

 

The image “http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/TECH/05/18/solar.probe/art.solar.probe.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 

(NASA's Solar Probe, shown in this artist's conception, will get closer to the sun than any spacecraft before it.)

 

By Elizabeth Landau
CNN

 (CNN) -- Its heat powers the solar system. Its light makes life on Earth possible. Its gravitational pull keeps planets in orbit around it.

The sun is, in every sense of the word, a superstar. But despite its familiarity, there is a lot we don't know about it.

Now, scientists are planning humanity's closest visit yet to our most familiar star. The NASA Solar Probe, an unmanned spacecraft scheduled for launch in 2015, will explore some of the burning questions scientists have about the sun.

The probe "takes us to where space weather and, indeed, everything that directly affects life on Earth, starts," said Loren Acton, research professor of physics at Montana State University and member of the NASA team that produced the mission definition report. "I'm really excited to send a probe to where no mission has gone before."

The project, which costs around $750 million, will be able to withstand inconceivably high temperatures -- up to 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit. The probe is being developed at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory.

Scientists hope the probe will help them better understand and forecast solar storms, which occur when the sun accelerates energetic particles that travel to the Earth along magnetic field lines at super-high speeds.

Such storms can disrupt power grids and communication satellites that affect cellphones and GPS navigation. In 1989, a solar storm caused the HydroQuebec Power Grid to lose power in Quebec, Canada, resulting in a nine-hour blackout for millions of people in the province.

Astronauts in space during a solar storm are also at risk for absorbing dangerously large amounts of solar radiation.

In the same way that hurricane predictors must consider how the ocean accelerates and powers hurricanes, scientists hope to understand how the sun accelerates particles in solar storms.

"This isn't a space weather satellite, but if you do want to have any hope of predicting solar storms, you have to have a better understanding of this mechanism than we have," said Andrew Dantzler, Solar Probe project manager at the Applied Physics Laboratory.

Scientists currently believe the storms have to do with the activity of sunspots, regions of relatively low temperatures where magnetic field lines have breached the sun's surface. A strong sunspot cycle may signal strong solar storms, but researchers still have a lot to learn about forecasting.

Scientists also want to know why the sun's outer atmosphere, called the corona, is several hundred times hotter than the visible solar surface, which is where sunlight comes from.

The corona, whose temperature is about 1.8 million degrees Fahrenheit, seems mysteriously warm considering that the sun's surface layer, much closer to the star's core, is less than 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The probe will capture images to help solve these puzzles over a period of almost seven years. During this time, the probe will fly by Venus seven times, gradually reducing the size of its orbit.

At its closest, the probe will get about 4.1 million miles from the sun. That may not seem so near, but consider that the sun is about 93 million miles from Earth. The probe will come about eight times closer to the sun than any spacecraft before it.

The NASA probe will also achieve a top speed of 450,000 miles per hour, which is three times the record of any man-made object in space, Dantzler said.

During loops around the inner solar system, two sets of solar arrays will extend or retract, regulating the temperatures and power levels of the probe's panels, according to preliminary designs. The probe itself will weigh about 1,000 pounds, with a shield filled with carbon foam 9 feet in diameter and 6 inches thick.

"Everything on Earth is affected by the sun. We can't turn off the sun or change anything about it," Dantzler said. "You can't change or turn out a hurricane. But you can prepare for it."

______________________________________________________________________

Related article:

 

Monster flare erupts from young star

http://scitech.blogs.cnn.com/2008/05/20/monster-flare-erupts-from-young-star/


What is new in Firefox 3.0
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

 

http://infotech.indiatimes.com/quickiearticleshow/msid-3076929.cms

 firefox3.JPG

 

The closest rival to Microsoft's Internet Explorer is ready to get an upgrade. Browser developer Mozilla has announced June release for its popular browser, Firefox.

Firefox 3 promises to add several new features that will enhance the users browsing experience as well as make it for secure. In fact, Mozilla claims that Firefox 3.0 will run twice as fast as the previous version while using less memory.

So, here's a peak into all the added features users will find in Firefox 3.0.

 

Firefox 3 adds several new features that will make it more secure against online frauds, forgeries, viruses and Trojan.

An important addition is One-click site info where the users can click the site favicon in the location bar to see who owns the site and to check if their connection is protected from eavesdropping.

Also, the Identity verification is prominently displayed in the new version. When a site uses Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates, the site favicon button will turn green and show the name of the company users are connected to.

The new version has enhanced malware protection which warns users when they enter a site which can install viruses, spyware, trojans or other malware.

Version 3 also lets users to access Web Forgery Protection page that displays the content suspected of web forgeries.

Also, the new version of Firefox automatically checks new add-ons and plugins and will disable older, insecure versions

 

The new version promises to make users browsing experience more organised and clutter-free.

An information bar replaces the old password dialogue so that users can now save passwords after a successful login. The add-ons whitelist has been removed making it possible to install extensions from third-party sites in fewer clicks.

The revised Download Manager will make it easier to locate downloaded files, and users can search the name of the website where the file came from. Also, the users will be able to resume downloads after restarting the browser or resetting their network connection.

Simplifying add-on installation, the new version will make it possible to install extensions from third-party sites in fewer clicks.

Another feature that adds volume to the new version is Full page zoom. This functionality will let users zoom in and out of entire pages, scaling the layout, text and images, or optionally only the text size. Users settings will be remembered whenever they return to the site.

Multiple text selections can be made with Ctrl/Cmd; double-click drag selects in "word-by-word" mode; triple-clicking selects a paragraph.

Another new feature, called activities, allows users to highlight text on a page, click on it, then instantly send it to another site, like a mapping, e-mail or blogging service.

 

Next time a user wants to add a bookmark the new Firefox will make the task easier for him. He will be able to add bookmarks from the location bar with a single click. A dropdown box will let him name it, choose a folder to put it in as well as add a tag to categorise it.

There will also be a Smart Bookmarks Folder from where he can access his recently-bookmarked and tagged pages, as well as his most-frequently visited pages.

Another feature called Places Organiser will help the user view, organise and search through all his bookmarks, tags, and browsing history with multiple views and smart folders to store his frequent searches.

Also, in case a user wants to install Firefox add-ons, the new Add-ons Manager will also display a list of recommended add-ons and downloads from the Firefox website.

 

According to Firefox team, improvements to the JavaScript engine as well as profile guided optimization has enhanced the performance of Firefox 3.0.

The new Firefox 3.0 will enable web applications like Google Mail and Zoho Office to run twice as fast compared to Firefox 2. Also, SunSpider test from Apple shows improvements over previous releases.

Also, the new version promises secured data protection. User's bookmarks, history, cookies, and preferences will now be stored in a transactionally secure database format which will prevent data loss even if their system crashes.

 

Firefox 3 endeavours to reduce the amount of memory used over a Web browsing session.

Memory cycles are broken and collected by an automated cycle collector, a new memory allocator has been added to reduce fragmentation, a large number of leaks have been fixed, and caching strategies have been tuned.

 

Firefox 3.0 has several developer tools too. Like there are new tools for graphics and font handling.

New graphics and text rendering architectures in Gecko 1.9 provides rendering improvements in CSS, SVG as well as improved display of fonts with ligatures and complex scripts.

Regarding colour management, Firefox 3.0 will be able to adjust images with embedded color profiles. There's also offline support option that aims to enable web applications to provide offline functionality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Windows 7.0 to be released in 2 years
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

windows7.JPG

 

http://www.techcentral.ie/article.aspx?id=12158

 

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Gates promises 'multi-touch' Windows 7

 

Taking the lead from Apple

 

Software for Business | 03 Jun 2008:

 

Windows 7, the successor to the much-criticised Windows Vista, will come with multi-touch features that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates predicts will ultimately replace the mouse.

 

Due for release in 2010, Windows 7 will come with a touch-screen interface that will allow users to enlarge and shrink photos, trace routes on maps, paint pictures or even play the piano.

 

Gates said at the All Things Digital conference in San Diego in the countdown to his July departure from the company that Windows 7 would embrace new forms of communication and interaction.

 

"The way you interact with the system will change dramatically," he said. "Today almost all the interaction is keyboard-mouse. Over the years to come, the role of speech, vision, ink - all of those things - will be huge."

 

In contrast to the heavy pre-launch hype surrounding Vista, Microsoft has so far revealed little about the company's next operating system. Gates was joined by chief executive Steve Ballmer who described the multi-touch screen demonstration as "just a smallest snippet" of Windows 7.

 

Ballmer also said he was aiming for Windows 7 "to do better" than Windows Vista.

 

Ballmer claimed that Microsoft has sold 150 million copies of Vista since its launch in January 2007, however, many businesses have already expressed a desire to bypass Vista altogether and go directly to its successor.

__________

 

Additional link:

 

To view video demonstration of MS Windows 7.0 touch screen function, click

http://blogs.inquirer.net/m-ph/2008/05/29/windows-7-gets-previewed/

Windows 7 gets Previewed


A peep into all new Internet Explorer 8
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

The image “http://infotech.indiatimes.com/photo.cms?photoid=3096020” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 

http://infotech.indiatimes.com/quickiearticleshow/msid-3096020.cms

If Firefox is readying an upgraded version, Microsoft couldn't have been behind. The software giant also has the next version of its popular Internet Explorer in the works.

While the test version of Internet Explorer 8 is already available for developer preview, the public release of the beta is set for June end.

Just like the focus of IE 7 was on security and incorporation of a tabbed interface, version 8's main features centre on stability and usability.

Here's looking into all that will be new in Internet Explorer 8.

 

In terms of stability, IE 8's new automatic crash recovery feature is designed to solve one major problem that most IE users know too well. Today, when an IE window or tab freezes or crashes, other browsers instances or tabs will likely become inoperable as well.

Automatic crash recovery does a better job of isolating instances of the IE browser -- or separate tabs within the same browser -- so that one stalled browser or tab can be terminated without affecting any other.

If a crash does bring down the entire browser, automatic crash recovery will attempt to restore the browser to its previous state -- including all open tabs -- the next time you open it.

 

Greater stability is fine -- but ultimately boring. Luckily, that's not all IE 8 has going for it. The new browser's usability features will generate the most buzz -- and are likely to tempt many to give IE 8 a try.

The new Activities feature, for instance, attempts to save a lot of time by cutting down on the number of separate sites that you have to visit to accomplish a task. In essence, the Activities feature allows you to invoke the essential services offered on separate sites without ever leaving the page you're currently on.

Let's say, that you're reading a Web page and you see an address for a restaurant you'd like to visit. Today, in order to get directions to that address, you would probably go to a mapping site and type or paste the address in and then wait for the service to provide you with a map from, say, your apartment to the restaurant.

The process is time-consuming and involves at least two browser windows and tabs, plus a bit of copying a pasting.

 

The Activities feature was also created with a nod toward the growing popularity of social networking sites. Just as you can pull services from other sites, the Activities feature also allows you to push information to popular networking sites such as Facebook and Digg.

If you want to refer a friend to the page from which you got the address for the restaurant, for instance, you can select the Send to Facebook option on the Activities menu, and IE 8 will log you into Facebook, send the URL to Facebook, and present you with the Facebook page that allows you to add an entry.

A set of default Activities comes with the IE 8 browser, but you can easily customise the service providers that appear on your Activities list.

 

Another time-saving feature of IE 8 is called Web Slices, which are designed to allow you to subscribe to frequently-updated portions, or "slices," of certain websites.

Instead of spending your time visiting three or four websites to get updated information from a portion of each of those sites, you would simply use Web Slices to pull that information into a single location in IE 8.

A site such as eBay, for instance, lends itself to the Web Slices feature.

Say, for instance, that you're running or watching several auctions on eBay. Typically, you would visit eBay multiple times per day to check the status of those auctions.

With Web Slices, you can instead simply subscribe to a section of the auction page by clicking a Web Slice icon that appears when you allow your mouse cursor to hover over a portion of a site that is frequently updated.

Clicking the Web Slice icon adds a new button to a Favourites bar that appears above your browser tabs. Clicking the newly-created Web Slice button on the IE 8 Favourites bar will pull the latest data from your subscribed page and show it to you in a preview window.

You can visit the page itself merely by clicking a link within the preview window.

 

The new version comes with built-in Developer Tools. The new Developer Toolbar enables developers to quickly debug HTML, cascading style sheets, and JavaScript in a visual development environment that comes with the web browser.

Developers can quickly identify and resolve issues because of the deep insight the tool provides into the Document Object Model. The Developer Toolbar also allows the layout to be changed on the fly so that each rendering scenario can be tested thoroughly.

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 will ship in standards mode by default. However, users can set three different rendering modes using the X-UA-Compatible header:

Quirks mode which supports Internet Explorer 5 and legacy browsers.

Strict mode which supports Internet Explorer 7 and is accessed through the emulate IE 7 button.

Internet Explorer 8 standards mode.

Courtesy: Indiatimes News Network & Agencies


Long-lost Vivaldi opera to play in Prague after 278-year hiatus
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

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VIVALDI, ANTONIO (1678 - 1741)

 


World's first billion dollar home (of Mukesh Ambani in Bombay
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/real-estate/article/104984/Inside-the-World's-First-Billion-Dollar-Home

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Earthquake in China-70,000 dead
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/13/world/asia/13china.html?bl&ex=1210910400&en=4350a6cfda5b8c73&ei=5087%0A

 

china1.JPG

Cyclone in Burma (Myanmar)-Up to 130,000 may be dead
Chronicle Editor @ May 20, 2008

 

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/05/04/myanmar.cyclone/?imw=Y&iref=mpstoryemail

myanmar1.JPG

 

About ITBHU Chronicle
The ITBHU Chronicle is a monthly publication of ITBHU Global Alumni Association (IBGAA)
Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, UP
Director of the Institute: Dr. K.P. Singh
The Chronicle is published by The Chronicle Team
Editorial Team- Yogesh Upadhaya (Chemical 1977); Anshuman Singh (Electrical 1998);
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Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University
Varanasi 221005, UP