IITB develops affordable netbook costing less than $100

Under the leadership of Prof. Kannan Moudgalya, IIT Bombay has developed an affordable, 10-inch netbook that costs less than $100. Resilient from a previous failure in sustaining the momentum with low-cost devices such as the Aakash tablet, they’re taking another jab at what they believe is critical to ensure the reach of computing devices to all students and teachers.

The device is yet to be named.

Prof. Moudgalya talks about the project, its scope and what they’re doing different this time in this article on Livemint.

Wild Cat makes a guest appearance at IIT Bombay

There was major media coverage about a wild cat, a leopard, leaving IITB after a comfortable stay of four days. There were roars and pug marks outside the Metallurgy Department Workshop. It was not found.

The PRO office safely concluded in an India Today report “After searching the entire premises, the forest department has concluded that it has moved out of the campus which it entered on Wednesday”. Well, just because it was not found does not mean it is not hiding in a bog somewhere. They used live chicken to lure it, but understandably, the leopard did not seem to like that idea.

Jokes quickly circulated in social media. “No exams, no studies, no quotas – Leopard directly admits himself to IITB”. “We hope it acquires a degree before leaving IITB” and “If it continues anymore, it may join the IITB faculty team”. The source of these jokes were attributed to current students laboring Resnick and Halliday, Turbulent Fluid Dynamics or pulling all nighters.

We know better than the rookie, freshies though. The Leopard does not need any admission. The Leopard does not need to join the faculty team. It is just an old Alumni having a familiar sojourn by the lake. Old stomping grounds. Someone who knows the lay of the land better than most.

Do read the full report on India today here.

Holiday cheer at the White House from our alumni family

One of our Alumni from Connecticut, Ashish Deshpande (CSE 1988), would like to indulge us in some fatherly pride on the selection of his son to sing at the White House for the holidays. Rohan Deshpande is the president of the Virginia Gentlemen, the oldest a cappella group of the University of Virginia. This was the sixth presentation of the nationally acclaimed men’s vocal group at the Executive Mansion.

Read more about this event on UVAToday:
U.Va.’s Virginia Gentleman Inspire Holiday Cheer at the White House

50th Inter-IIT Sports Meet at IIT Bombay : A Summary

By Shreerang Javadekar

The Inter IIT Sports Meet, or just “Inter IIT”, as most students refer to it, is the only event wherein students from all the IITs participate. The meet comprises of a total of 12 sports, namely Athletics, Aquatics, Basketball, Badminton, Cricket, Football, Hockey, Table Tennis, Tennis, Squash, Volleyball and Weightlifting. The entire meet is conducted in three phases: The Aquatics Meet which is usually organized in the first week of October, the 8 day long main-event in mid December followed by the Staff Meet. Every sport carries an explicit weightage and the position that a team finishes in that sport adds a specific number of points to the net tally of the team. A contingent March-Past flags off the main-event in full gusto and every contingent’s performance in the March-Past is also accounted for in the tally.

The Road to Inter IIT 2014
The journey to the Inter IIT translated into fruitful outcomes for the students of the host IIT Bombay. Given that hosting the Inter IIT is a huge honour for any IIT, immense efforts and funds were directed by the institute towards building world-class sporting infrastructure. Many new courts were built for indoor sports like Volleyball, Basketball and Table-Tennis while the dilapidated outdoor sports facilities were almost entirely revamped to provide a better playing surface for athletics and field sports like Football, Hockey and Cricket.

Infrastructure

The infrastructure-related tasks were taken care of by the senior faculty of the institute and the administrative staff under the supervision of the Director of IIT Bombay. Nonetheless, the execution of the entire event including hospitality and food requirement of the contingents was taken care of by the students, mainly Junior and Senior Undergraduate students. The General Secretary Sports Affairs acted as the link between the team and the authorities.

The build-up to the Meet saw many informal events being organized in the semester before the meet. Movie screenings and sports competitions within the students of the institute were regularly organized which helped build up a fever of excitement in the student fraternity. The direct consequence of such events was that more and more junior students volunteered to help the organizing team with the execution of the main-meet.

Aquatics Meet
The Aquatics Meet, in its 30th year now, was hosted by IIT Bombay during October 1-4, 2014 as a part of the 50th Inter-IIT Sports Meet. A total of 22 gold medals were up for grabs during the event for men and women of both individual and relay type. In addition, water polo was also a part of the championship. All events were played in adherence to the Fédération Internationale De Natation (FINA) rules and standards. The event was graced by the presence of Arjuna awardee Virdhawal Khade who was the Chief Guest of the occasion. One of the finest swimmers in the country, he is the youngest Indian swimmer to qualify for the Olympics in 2008. A musical evening by the singer Gajendra Verma added a non-traditional angle to the event.

IIT Madras’ men and IIT Roorkee’s women opened their points tally by securing maximum potential points available in the Aquatics Meet. Akshay Krishna of IIT Madras and Nivedita Sharma of IIT Roorkee stole the show by winning 5 golds each in the individual events. Akshay Sharma also clinched 2 gold medals in the relay events while Nivedita managed a hard-fought bronze.

Water Polo

The countdown to the Main-Meet was kicked off with the unveiling of the mascot for the sports meet. The mascot was a leopard named “Chhawa” which in Marathi means a cub but is also colloquially used to refer to a smart person. For the first time, the mascot for the Inter IIT is entirely designed by students. “In July 2014, a leopard had visited our campus, putting us in the news for several days. Hence it made the most sense for us to pick it as our mascot, since the name of IIT Bombay was so heavily associated with the leopard,” said Vaibhav Bhalekar, Design Head of the Student Organizing Committee.

The organizing team ensured that the participants would enjoy a pleasant few days during their stay in Bombay. While, the students were kept busy in the pool during the morning time, a series of recreational activities were organized in the evenings for the amusement of students.

March Past

The Final Showdown

The much awaited main-meet kicked off on the 12th of December. A plethora of action, glamour and entertainment, the 8 day journey saw dreams come true for a few but also broke a handful hearts on its way.

The inaugural ceremony was presided over by the Director of IIT Bombay and the Dean of Student Affairs, IIT Bombay. A jam-packed 5000 strong crowd turned up to listen to a heartthrob for many, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar who was also the Chief Guest on the occasion. Amidst, deafening cheers of ‘Sachin! Sachin!’, he inspired the sportsmen to follow their passion by giving them a reminiscence of his childhood memories on the field. His message to the participants was to compete in the right spirit of the game.

The games began in its real sense with the March Past led by defending champions IIT Kanpur. IIT Patna clinched gold in the March followed by Bombay and Jodhpur. The evening saw singer Amit Trivedi take the participants on a melodious tour with his tunes.

Infographic - Inter IIT Pictures from Insight

While, there were a few hiccups in the schedule of outdoor games due to rains, most of the games were right on schedule and all the games concluded comfortably by the end of Day 7. Many national sports athletes were invited as Guests of Honour for the championship games. Dhanraj Pillay (Captain of Indian National Hockey Team), Nandan Bal (Represented India at the Davis Cup, Tennis), Mamta Prabhu (Silver Medalist, Table Tennis at the Delhi CWG) among few others, graced the occasion by their expertise and counsel. An interactive session with John Gloster – ex-physio of the Indian National Team was also organized.

Amongst numerous closely contested battles, the games took a dramatic turn on the final day of the Meet. In the men’s GC, IIT Kanpur by winning the critical Athletics GC jumped from the third spot to finish first by half a point over Roorkee who were enjoying an excellent run in the games by finishing first in the Basketball, Football, Hockey and Squash GC. Records were broken in women’s high jump and long jump in addition to Men’s Hammer throw. Hosts Bombay finished 4th in the Men’s GC and were triumphant in the Women’s GC.

In line with the Aquatics Meet, various cultural events were organized during the free time of the competitors. A leisure arena was structured for the students to enjoy fun activities like board games, ring football, dance, etc. Numerous interactive sessions amongst the students were organized to promote culture amongst different IITs. A gala dinner was also organized for all the participants in addition to an EDM concert by DJ Lost Stories.

Other Initiatives

On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee, the Organizing Committee wanted to make this Meet even bigger and more special by giving back to the community on a truly pan IIT level.

A social initiative was launched at the opening ceremony of the Aquatics Meet to help the society by improving the scenario of primary education in the country through the medium of sports. The Organizing Committee decided to raise money through runs that would take place in all 16 IITs. The Inter IIT Torch symbolizing peace, goodwill and harmony, was sent to all the IITs and mini marathons were organized where students ran with the torch. The first run was held in IIT Bombay and runs in other IITs followed subsequently. A total of 3000-4000 participants, mainly students, ran in these mini-marathons.

These funds will be donated to Smile Foundation, in proportion to the total number of people running. The NGO will utilize these funds on programs supporting primary education and will help the underprivileged in our society. Apart from that, the children being benefited through this initiative will visit the IIT Bombay campus and an educational tour will be ensued for them.

Since IITians are famous as the best minds in the country, their intelligence was put to the ultimate test by organizing a chess tournament amongst the 16 IITs’ students. The best chess players of the respective IITs were invited to Bombay to take part in this chess tournament. The points of this competition were not included in the net tally however; it was seen as the first step to formalize the game of Chess as a part of the Meet. Bombay emerged victorious in this tournament. The judges of the tournament even praised the intellectual level of the tournament and claimed it to be much higher than other Inter-college tournaments.

The 50th Inter IIT Sports Meet indeed revamped the face of the Sports Meets being held in the time being. The bar has clearly been set for its 51st edition.

Note: This article was originally published by Insight, IIT Bombay’s student media body. It has been reproduced with permission.

IITBAA-GNY Activities 2013-2014

Ram Chelluri, Chapter President 2013-2014

On behalf of the IITBAA-GNY Executive Committee (EC) team and the entire IITBAA-GNY alumni group, I am pleased, honored and delighted to report briefly on the IITBAA-GNY Activities 2013-2014

How time flies. It seems like just yesterday when the EC took office, back in January 2013. We have had two exciting years. As with any volunteer organization, we have had our share of hurdles and challenges juggling priorities, schedules and time. I must therefore congratulate our EC team and active volunteers on their dedication and perseverance at arranging outstanding programs and keeping the IITBAA-GNY Chapter dynamic and vibrant.

IITBAA Reunion and other events’ reports are posted here.

Here is a list of our well-attended professional and social events in 2013.

Happy Hours & Monthly Meetings, 2nd Thursdays, Alternatively in NJ and NYC

February 2013: Felicitation dinner in Manhattan honoring Professor Deepak Phatak for receiving the prestigious 2013 Padma Shri Award from the President of India.

June 2013: “BEYOND BRICS” Private Equity in India and Energy networking seminar at the Cooper Union Foundation Building (New York, NY), with Darius Pandole, Senior Indian Partner of New Silk Route Partners, and Dr. Suresh Bhate, an IIT Bombay alum, as guest speakers.

June 2013: Annual IITB Summer Picnic in Duke Island Park (Bridgewater, NJ) with an IIT-Style treasure hunt, bingo, cricket, volleyball and potluck food.

Oct 2013: The IIT Bombay Alumni Association of Greater New York celebrated its Annual Reunion on October 26, 2013 at the Cooper Union Auditorium in New York City.

The event was attended by over a 100 alumni and their guests. In attendance were Dr. Devang Khakhar, Director of IITB and Dr. Jamshed Bharucha, President of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (CU). The event was held in the Rose Auditorium, the futuristic (some say a spaceship landed in the City) building designed by the famous architect, Thom Mayne.

The festivities began with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and networking in the early evening in the atrium. This was followed by the formal presentations in the auditorium.

First to present was Suresh Shenoy, IITB 1971, who talked about the WHEELS (Water, Health, Energy, Education, Lifestyle, Security) initiative of PanIIT and urged us to get involved in this give back to society effort. WHEELS is a program to enable alumni to get more easily involved in technology-based community projects (especially in India) and in helping research at IITs in this area. This was followed by a very informative talk by Jason Feldman of UBS Financial Services, a major corporate sponsor of the event, on investment opportunities particularly in foreign securities.

Dr. Khakhar talked at length about the happenings at IITB – about current programs, future plans and many of the initiatives underway in collaborations with other leading universities and corporations, as well as in sponsored research for the government and the private sector. Dr. Bharucha of Cooper Union reciprocated with an account of the founding and storied history of Cooper Union (Thomas Edison was a student!) and its current reputation as one of the most prestigious engineering schools in the country. Cooper Union, like IITB, admits solely on merit. It also provides a full scholarship to every admitted student, although this is slated to change shortly. Cooper Union is unique in its philosophy of close contact between students and faculty and a focus on rigorous, humanistic learning that is enhanced by the process of design. Some of us were privileged to have a tour the previous day of the CU facilities and laboratories.

The highlight of the IITB-Cooper Union meet was the signing of a memorandum of understanding for a Student Exchange program between the two institutions. Undergraduate students from each school will spend one semester at the other during their junior or senior years. Ruyintan (Ron) Mehta, IITB 1970, has generously donated the funds to get the program launched. The formal signing occurred on the stage with the full complement of the visiting IITB team, including Deans and Professors, the Cooper Union team and some of the NYC alumni who were involved in setting up the program.

Anita Raghavan, previously with Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, was the featured keynote speaker. Raghavan is the author of the recent bestseller, The Billionaire’s Apprentice, which traces the arc of Indian Americans from immigrants to leaders in business, academia, government and the arts over the past 40 years. The book traces the life of Rajat Gupta, an IIT Delhi alum, to illustrate the journey Indian Americans have taken. She read excerpts from the book, recounted the story of her own immigrant parents and held the audience spellbound for over an hour, including a spirited question and answer period.

The Raghavan session would have continued for another hour but for the aromas of Indian-Chinese food wafting in from the dining room. Dinner was in the adjoining art gallery, where alumni had another chance to mingle with old friends, make new ones and take in the art on the walls and the large modern sculptures on the floor. During dinner, Raghavan was kind enough to autograph copies of her book for alumni.

Dinner was followed by another highlight – a presentation by Padma Shri Prof. Deepak Phatak on his T10KT program. This is the Train Ten Thousand Teachers project that enlists IITB faculty and a blended MOOCs distance-learning model to train teachers at other engineering schools in India. Phatak riveted us with his talk on how the program was started during one of his sabbaticals, how it was piloted and scaled up, and is now slated to reach out to 150,000 teachers across India under the auspices of the Indian government. Phatak remains a great inspiration to all and elicited huge applause.

The alumni association also held a raffle (which is fast becoming a tradition) for an iPad at the end of the evening. It was won, fittingly, by an alumnus from the earliest graduating batch – 1962 – represented at the event!

IITBAA-GNY plans to continue its tradition of annual meetings with distinguished alumni and faculty, interesting and topical speakers and an opportunity to reconnect with friends and classmates.

Following-on with a very successful 2013, here is a list of our well-attended professional and social events in 2014:

Happy Hours & Monthly Meetings, 2nd Thursdays, Alternatively in NJ and NYC

Feb 2014: Energy Finance, Feb 20th, Bombay Palace, New York

June 2014: Aakash Tablet and Distance Learning – Prof. Kannan Moudgalya, June 30th, Bombay Palace, New York

June 2014: A Summer Picnic, June 21st, Eagle Rock Reservation, West Orange, NJ. A Photo Essay, pp23 in the Reunion Magazine describes this Picnic in a wonderful, captivating and elegant style

Oct 2014: The IIT Bombay Alumni Association of Greater New York celebrated its Annual Reunion on October 11, 2014 at the Princeton Club, NY.

The 2014 Reunion was a grand and resounding successful event with about 100 people in attendance.

 Opening Remarks – Ambassador Dnayaneshwar M. Mulay, Consul General of India, New York

Drawing from the inspiration from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brilliant speech at the Madison Square Garden, Ambassador Dnayaneshwar M. Mulay, Consul General of India, New York opened our reunion thanking for the opportunity to address the IITBAA-GNY alums. He stressed on the themes presented by Prime Minister Modi of economic and technical cooperation and volunteerism in India. He offered NY Indian Consulate’s close cooperation with IITBAA-GNY. Alums talked to him afterwards about his suggestion of brainstorming together about good ideas for us to work on to help with Modi’s initiatives and he readily agreed to get together with us to discuss these at a later time. In addition to his opening remarks, we thank him for gracing this occasion by attending with his family.

Recognize IIT-B Exchange Students at the Cooper Union – Dr. Anita Raja, Associate Dean, The Cooper Union. Dr. Anita Raja introduced IIT Bombay Exchange Students – Akshay Joshi, Prakhar Jaju, Sneha Goenka and Abhilash Singh and explained the importance of the exchange program to both IIT Bombay and Cooper Union. Dr. Teresa Dahlberg, Dean and Chief Academic Office at Cooper Union also participated in the Reunion activities.

Felicitation of Dr. Subhash Khot, IMU’s 2014 Rolf Nevanlinna Award Winner by Prof. Ravi Sinha, Dean (ACR) IIT Bombay and Director Devang Khakhar

Dr. Khot during his brief remarks captivated the audience with his recollections of his childhood and the interactions with his Mathematics and Science teacher – Mr. Vaman G. Gogate. It’s very rare that we come across such great individuals like Mr. Gogate who take the time to groom and help youngsters, who bloom to be accomplished and world renowned mathematicians like Dr. Khot. We congratulated Dr. Khot on his achievements and we thank him for his very humble and unpretentious talk.

Keynote Address – Dr. Robert J Hariri, Chairman, Celgene Cellular Therapeutics

Dr. Hariri’s talk on Stem Cells was absolutely fascinating – We finally heard the explanation why we age! He is an entertaining speaker and the Alums are excited and some of us are now looking forward to the day when we can visit the doctor’s office for any ailment to get “stem cell” injection – leaving the smart work of finding and eradicating the ailment to the stem cells. Dr. Hariri, for his part, was very impressed with the participation and questions from the audience.

IIT Bombay News & Update Prof. Devang Khakhar, Director IIT Bombay

Along with Director Prof. Devang Khakhar, Prof. HS Pandalai, Deputy Director (Finance and External Affairs), Prof. Ravi Sinha, Dean Alumni & Corporate Relations, Prof. Rajiv Dusane, Dean International Relations, Prof. JK Verma, Dean Faculty, and Prof. PM Mujumdar, Dean R&D participated in the Reunion activities. Director Khakhar described IIT Bombay’s past, current and future activities in great detail.

Epilogue

At last count we have in excess of 800 active e-mail addresses of Bombay-IITians in the greater New York area. Despite this number, we can claim a steadfast group of mere 10-15 active volunteers! Surely there are more of us with talent, enthusiasm and a love for beloved IIT Bombay in the area? I urge you to come forward and lend us a hand, share with us your ideas for, and your interest in, our local Chapter and the alma mater.

An important question that begs asking is, “What do the alumni want?” That is, besides catching up with your classmates and coequals, trading stories of our success and failures, and making new acquaintances. Above all, we should revel in that IIT Bombay is an acclaimed educational institution not only in India, but is also renowned internationally. A claim buttressed, for instance, by the IMU’s recent award of its prestigious Nevanlinna Prize to alumnus Subhash Khot ’99, now a decorated professor at NYU. Let’s join hands to ensure that the world-class professionals and resources of IIT Bombay that nurtured intellects like Dr. Khot’s are not only sustained, but further improved. Our alumni chapter strives to better understand and prioritize the wants and needs of its members. I invite you to connect with us, give your input, and guide us in serving our collective interests better.

This reunion is our opportunity to reconnect with classmates, reminisce with our campus contemporaries, and start forging new partnerships. Let us relive the IIT Bombay experience in the company of other alumni with frequent topical meetings to build on what we are doing.

Sivaram (Ram) Chelluri, MTech (ME) ’69, PhD (ME) ‘74
President, IITBAA-GNY Chapter 2013-2014

Contributors and Active Volunteers:

Sushil Bhatia ‘66, Vice President
Subodh Batra ‘72, Treasurer
Gaurang Master ‘66, Trustee
Ron Mehta ‘70, Trustee
Vinay Karle ‘96, Ex-Officio Director
Kumar Shah ‘70, Ex-Officio Director
Biresh Basak ‘96
Brijesh Agrawal ‘85
Kicha Ganapathy ‘67
Annina John ‘97
Sridhar Kona ‘97
Shirish Nadkarni ‘83
Uday Nadkarni ‘78
Jude Netto ‘66
Jignesh Patel ‘92
Vikas Tipnis ‘74

Note: This report was edited by Ram Chelluri with contributions from the IITBAA-GNY active volunteers.
A PDF version of this report can be accessed here.

Hello, World!

This is the new website / blog of the IIT Bombay Alumni Association Greater New York Chapter.

Our website is under construction. Do watch out for our slated launch this New Year’s Day!

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