Dear GNY Chapter friends:
It gives me great pleasure to send you this Holiday greeting as we celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow and Christmas next month followed by a Happy 2016 New Year.
Personally, I love the Thanksgiving holiday. Just like the Pilgrims, all of us came to the US, bright eyed and bushy tailed after graduating from our beloved Alma Mater – IIT Bombay in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and now in the 10’s. The GNY Chapter IITB Diaspora comprises of senior citizens like me and younger alumni and alumna who just graduated in 2015. Our several thousands of alums in the New York area residing in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania are at the top of their game contributing not only to the country of our choice, but also giving back to India. We have a lot to be thankful to our country of choice – US, our country of birth – India, and to our alma mater – IIT Bombay.
Next week, our Annual donation campaign – GO IITB 2015 will start in full swing. I urge you to donate generously and in larger amounts as much as you can. The top two contenders for your generosity remain Need based Student Scholarships for many students who find the cost of studying at IITB too onerous and Young Faculty Awards to attract world class faculty to IIT Bombay. Recently, some of our creative and innovative alums in the GNY area like Deepak Agarwal, (’70 ChE, H-2) have spent a considerable amount of their personal time working closely with the IITB General Secretary Hostel Affairs and Dean of Student Affairs in coming up with another very interesting area for us to donate our funds. The students at IITB have expressed a keen desire to have alums donate towards building an A/C equipped 50 person computer/study hall – each equipped with 8 to 10 computers, a shared printer, decent furniture and book shelves in each hostel. This would allow the students to study comfortably in a properly conducive environment instead of spending all their time in cramped hostel rooms with 2 students per room. It is estimated that each such unit would cost between Rs. 8.5 to 10 lakhs and IITBHF would ensure that this project is handled directly between alums in the US, HF and students without excessive interference from administration. A total of $200,000 would provide for such computer/study halls in all hostels.
Thanks to all of you, our Chapter had a good year organizing many events starting with the Financial Planning seminar, followed by our popular summer picnic, a lecture seminar given by IIT Gandhinagar Director Sudhir Jain, our hugely successful Annual Reunion attended by over 120+ alums and friends, Youth Achievement Award for our children, publication of another stellar GnYPoint 2015 magazine edition and last but not the least our first ever Diwali Dhamaka attended by 140 of us with our families and friends. As we speak, three of our Chapter alumnae – Shweta Bhandari, Suhani Shorewala and Anshu Agrawal are hard at work planning a first ever IITB Women’s Forum or Mixer in the GNY area for early next year. Many of our active volunteers are also planning to have more family style events like Holi for 2016.
It is well said that Squeaky wheel gets the grease! A direct and affirmative intervention by a few of our Chapter members has resulted in a positive change in the cumbersome procedure related to securing IITB transcripts that need to be sent directly to professional societies like various State Boards of Professional Engineers, or to academic institutions. Going forward, instead of sending a $100 money order to IITB, you can now contact IITBHF and make an easy credit card payment to HF using their payment gateway for your transcript request. On your behalf, IITBHF will transfer the funds to IITB. You will still be required to communicate with IITB and fill out their online form. Please contact Subha at IITBHF for more details.
In 2016, we are planning to throw our hat in the ring to try and steer the Faculty Alumni Networking (FAN) event to be held in New York. We are quite hopeful that we will succeed in bringing the 2016 FAN meeting to New York.
We also want to start alumni networking activities in the format of Special Interest Groups (SIGs). For these SIGs only those who are genuinely interested in the specific subject matter would participate. Let me highlight two of them:
Contract Bridge Group: One of our alumni spouses – Rita Kinkhabwala (wife of Minesh Kinkhabwala) recently became a Life Master with American Contract Bridge League. She earned this designation in recognition of her outstanding achievement in Bridge Competitions. She has volunteered to start a Bridge Group and has offered to coach and mentor those of us and any of our family members to either learn or to improve their Bridge skills. This requires a commitment of 3 hours, 1 weekend a month. There will be a nominal charge of $5/person/meeting for snacks, etc. Teams need to be formed in multiples of 4. Please email me personally by no later than January 1, 2016, if you are interested: ruyintan [at] aol [dot] com. Please include in your email your level of competence in Bridge as Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced. Depending on your response, if we have a minimum of 8 persons, our first meeting to discuss and possibly have a brief session will be on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 11AM. Venue: Mehta Residence -8 Glenview Drive, Warren, NJ 07059.
Investors Club Group: Three of our alums – Gagan Singh, Raj Singh and Kumar Shah have expressed their desire to start an Investors Club to allow alums interested in financial markets to meet once every two months and review and discuss investment and market trends and other relevant information on a specific topic for that meeting. Please be advised that no solicitation or plugging for a specific product will be allowed or tolerated. Again, please email Raj Singh directly by January 1, 2016 of your interest to join the Investors Club: singh_rajindra [at] yahoo [dot] com. We would like to cap this group to no more than 20 to 25 persons. Our 1st meeting would be on either the 2nd weekend in February 2016 or on a Friday evening in February. Meeting Place TBD.
Many thanks to all of you and especially our hard working volunteers – both alums and their families for making this year a success. Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays.
Yours in service,
Ron E. Mehta – President IITBAAGNY
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY BOMBAY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OF GREATER NEW YORK CHAPTER (IITBAAGNY)
Dear IITBAAGNY Member,
The Executive Committee of IITBAAGNY recommends to its general membership that we become a Chapter of the IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation instead of continuing as an independent organization. All other IIT Bombay Alumni Association chapters in the United States operate as a chapter of the Heritage Foundation. The merger provides a number of benefits without affecting our activities in any way.
Attached questions and answers provide some background material on this subject. Also attached is a letter from HF confirming the discussions on this subject.
Consistent with IITBAAGNY by-laws it is important that all members vote on this.
Please cast your vote below. The Executive Committee recommends that you vote Yes.
You are required to provide some identifying details for this poll. These will only be used to verify the authenticity of your response, and only our election officer for this poll, Jude Netto, will be able to access the responses. Jude Netto is independent of the current Executive Committee.
This online poll will end at 11:59PM Eastern Time on Sunday, July 19. Please cast your vote before then.
The poll is now closed. Thank you for voting!
President’s Message – A New Beginning
Ruyintan (Ron) Mehta ’70, H5
Dear Fellow IITians:
The entire new team of IITBAAGNY Chapter comprising of
Kicha Ganapathy ’67, H5 – Vice President
Rajindra (Raj) Singh ’88, H6 – Treasurer
Dinesh (DC) Agrawal ’69, H4 – Trustee
Nivvedan Senthamil Selvan ’14, H5 – Trustee
Wishes you and your families a Prosperous, Happy and Healthy 2015 New Year. Ever since the IITBAA movement started in the US, our GNY alumni chapter has been in the forefront in serving the needs of its alums in the greater New York area. Once again, in keeping with our pioneering spirit of being the first amongst our sister chapters globally, we are proud to publish the first-ever, official Chapter blog on this first day of the year
To borrow from our area’s prime newspaper – The New York Times’ motto “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, our online publication’s credo shall be “All the News that IITB GNY Alums Find Fit to Print”. This blog is your vehicle to express your views candidly – whether you wish to present, preach or pontificate anything related to your beloved alma mater, yourself, your family and friends, your life experiences or just pure bullshit arguments. All we ask is to use your discretion and good judgment and as a courtesy to your readers, refrain from using abusive, insulting or foul language or “hate speech”. Our goal is not to be a Censor, but to ensure that we maintain a modicum of decorum in our interactions with each other.
I personally belong to the “manual slide rule” era, when the ONLY computer at IITB was the Russian MINSK 2 mainframe! To maintain a lively blog we need a computer savvy and dedicated editor.
We are blessed to have our very own and the youngest Trustee our Chapter has ever had – Nivvedan in our midst, who has kindly agreed to be our Managing Editor. He is a 2014 CSE BTech grad and was an Editor for IITB’s student publication – Insight. He is a graduate student currently at Columbia University pursuing a double Masters in Journalism and Computer Science.
He will be ably assisted by our Treasurer, Raj Singh, a 1988 Mech. Eng. BTech grad and now a very successful Trader. Raj will be the Associate Editor for our blog.
As I mentioned above, without being a Censor, we will monitor the content for unacceptable postings and Editorial Oversight will be provided by our Vice President, Kicha Ganapathy. He is a 1967 EE BTech and a Silver Medalist to boot. He is a successful entrepreneur who started his own color technology company after an illustrious career at Bell Labs. He promises not to be a scold and hopes to rarely use his gavel.
Our Chapter has many dinosaurs like me, who rarely read blogs online. But, some of us old timers still do read all emails. So, every month or every other month, our Editorial team promises to take newsworthy blog items and include them in a GNY Newsletter format that we will post as an attachment on the IITBHF/IITBAA monthly newsletter sent to alumni globally. In addition, we may decide to also email that to all known members of GNY chapter.
Any alumni group is only as good as the interest shown by the alums to volunteer, plan and organize events favored by the membership. We urge you to actively participate so, that we can make the GNY Chapter the most vibrant and active one of all IITB Chapters in the world.
A few weeks ago, several of us met and chalked out an ambitious events schedule for 2015. Please see the attached Schedule of Suggested IITBAAGNY events for the year and add in a few more of your choice. So blog away to your heart’s content and make your voice count.
|SUGGESTED IITBAAGNY EVENTS DURING THE 2015 YEAR||PARTICIPATING VOLUNTEERS||TIME FRAME||COMMENTS|
|Unique Chapter Blog and Website Launch||Nivvedan & Raj||1/1/2015||In progress|
|Modify existing Database by adding new names now available||IITB UG students, HF,Nivvedan||Compl. By April 2015||Work study project for IITB/Cooper U. students|
|General Survey of Likes and Dislikes||Uday & Nivvedan||1st Q 2015||Post on blog & Newsletter|
|Career Fair Networking Event||Vinay and Ron||1st Q 2015||Jointly with Manhattan company -FSS|
|The Young Entrepreneur||Kumar||1st or 2nd Q 2015||Jointly with TiE New York|
|Retired or Soon to retire persons Seminar||Ron, Murali, Gautam, UBS & other||2nd or 3rd Q 2015||Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, UBS sponsors|
|Freshers Night||?????||Late August 2015||Meet & Greet new alums and exchange students|
|Late Spring/Early Summer Picnic||All||Late June 2015||Pick spot and reserve by February 2015|
|Business Plan Competition||Brij, Raj, Kumar, Ron, others||2nd or 3rd Q 2015||Possible tie-up with Capital IIT & Boston SINE|
|Alumni High School Graduate recognition||DC to lead, Kicha & Mala, Ron||Early June 2015||Follow process developed by AIA-NJ Chapter|
|Distinguished Alumni Recognition||?????||Anytime convenient||Who, why & where|
|Diwali/Holiday Dhamaka and Talent Night||Chapter Spouses?||Oct. or Dec. 2015||Venue & Event Planning need to be fixed|
|Women at IITB seminar||IITB Women alums||Anytime convenient||Who would spearhead & develop program|
|Golf Outing & Dinner||?????||Summer 2015||Where to hold outing|
|Cricket Match between younger & older alums||Vinay||Summer 2015||Where to hold the match|
|Book Reading on Health care and Travel||Anyone interested||Early May 2015||Dr. Sandeep Jauhar(Health) & Krish Krishnan(Travel)|
|Annual Reunion Event||All||October 2015 possibly||To dovetail with IITB 2015 Roadshow|
|GnYPoint Magazine||All||Start early for articles||GnY Point Magazine widely read globally by IITB alums|
|Magazine & Annual reunion Sponsors||Anyone interested||Start early for Sponsors||Most critical need to bulk our funds collection|
|General Note: This is your Chapter. Please suggest any events or ideas to us and we will gladly include them in our list.
Yours in service
Note: This message can also be accessed in PDF format here.
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.
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.