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Knowledge Tree: Newsletter February 2017


Dear Friend,

Greetings from IIT Bombay!

Hope you had a great start to 2017.

The commencement of the spring semester in January saw students returning back to the campus to continue to embark upon their journey as an IITian. On 26th January, IIT Bombay proudly celebrated the nation’s 68th Republic Day. The event included ceremonial parade by students of IIT Bombay and scouts and guides of Kendriya Vidyalaya IIT Powai.

IIT Bombay is extremely proud to confer this year’s Distinguished Alumni and Young Alumni Achiever Awards to the following outstanding alumni whose achievements have made the Institute proud. This year’s Distinguished Alumnus Awards have been conferred upon Prof. Ajit Tamhane (B.Tech. 1968, Mechanical Engineering), Mr. Paritosh Choksi (B.Tech. 1975, Mechanical Engineering), Mr. Parag Saxena (B.Tech. 1977, Chemical Engineering), Mr. Narendra Joshi (B.Tech. 1979, Mechanical Engineering), Dr. Mukta Ghate Farooq (B.Tech. 1983, Metallurgical Engineering), Mr. Ardeshir Contractor (B.Tech. 1984, Mechanical Engineering), Prof. Nitin Padture (B.Tech. 1985, Metallurgical Engineering), Mr. Rajesh Subramaniam (B.Tech. 1987, Chemical Engineering), Prof. Umesh Waghmare (B.Tech. 1990, Engineering Physics), Dr. Ganesh Natrajan (PhD 2005, Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management) and Dr. K. Sivan (PhD 2006, Aerospace Engineering). The year’s Young Alumnus Achiever Awards have been conferred upon Prof. Pramod Reddy (Dual Degree 2002, Mechanical Engineering), Mr. Prashant Mali (Dual Degree 2003, Electrical Engineering) and Mr. Harpreet Singh Grover (Dual Degree 2005, Civil Engineering). Please join me in congratulating them for their achievements and making the Institute proud.

The Institute witnessed some transitions at leadership level this month. Prof. Abhay Karandikar from the Department of Electrical Engineering has assumed charge as the next Dean of Faculty Affairs from Prof. Jugal Verma and Prof. P.C. Pandey of Department of Electrical Engineering as the next Dean of Administrative Affairs from Prof. Y.M. Desai.

A high-profile delegation of 120 distinguished guests from Baden-Wuerttemberg in Germany visited IIT Bombay this month. The delegation was led by Mr. Winfried Kretschmann, Minister President (Chief Minister) of the State of Baden-Württemberg. The political delegation consisted of about 20 representatives, while senior leaders from nearly 30 universities were also present. The remaining delegates consisted of senior leaders from German companies. During the visit, Mr. Winfried Kretschmann also delivered an Invited Distinguished Lecture on the Future of Mobility and Energy. The delegation identified several areas of common interest where the opportunities for collaboration will be discussed during the coming days.

Important visitors to IIT Bombay this month included Mr. Gururaj (Desh) Deshpande, the well-known evangelist and mentor. An entrepreneurial visionary, Desh has been the founder or Chairman of a number of remarkable startup success stories. During his visit to campus on January 12, he delivered an Invited Distinguished Lecture on “The Global Opportunity For Indian Institutions and Entrepreneurs”. He also visited the Desai Sethi Centre for Entrepreneurship and SINE. Desh expressed his delight with the growth of IIT Bombay and was particularly impressed with the entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus.

Strengthening its relationship with Simon Fraser University, Canada, the Institute signed the Memorandum of Understanding which will further facilitate the exchange of both undergraduate and graduate students for study, research and co-op placements purpose.

The Entrepreneurship Cell (E-Cell) of IIT Bombay organised the annual E-Summit on 28-29 January. This year’s event was entitled ‘A Tryst with Tomorrow,’ and saw participation from many aspiring entrepreneurs. The Summit set a benchmark with many prominent personalities including Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Railway Minister of India; Mr. Rajat Sharma, CEO, IndiaTV; Mr. Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder, Ola; Mr. Sonam Wangchuk (real-life Phunsukh Wangdu made famous in the movie 3 Idiots); Mr. Bibop Gabriele Grest, Chairman - HTT (envisioned by Elon Musk) visiting the campus. The event proved to be a great platform for many young minds with informative lectures series and highly intellectual competitions lined up.

Along with the entrepreneurial heat that prevailed in the Institute this month, IIT Bombay’s social activities body “Abhyuday” organised its latest version of social festival on 21-22 January. The theme of this year’s festival was ‘‘I am not disabled, I am differently abled’. This two days of social eye-opener included talks by various social leaders and philanthropists. Mrs. Sindhutai Sapkal was the Chief Guest of the event. With a number of innovative exhibitions and a cultural performance by these differently abled, this year’s ‘Abhyuday’ was very well received by the campus community.

IIT Bombay’s Debate Society recently participated in the World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) at The Hague, Netherlands from the 27th December 2016 – 4th January 2017. With close to 400 teams participating, it is the largest, most prestigious debating tournament in the world. Keeping the streak of spectacular performances at international debating tournaments going, the team from IIT Bombay comprising of Ajinkya Deshpande and Karan Bhuwalka made history as they became the first-ever Indian team to make it to the Quarterfinals of the World Debate Championships. I congratulate Karan and Ajinkya for their stellar performance.

I would also like to use this opportunity to inform you that our Institute, keeping in mind the needs of the differently abled, have installed various facilities in the Central Library. Some of these provisions include latest version of the Jaws-screen reading software , Eye-Pal Rol, portable scanners and readers.

This month, the Institute witnessed another innovation in its academic policies as the Academic Council of IIT Bombay’s proposal for Interdisciplinary Dual Degree Program was approved in by the Senate. This initiative will allow the student to register for PG level courses and electives in the department of their choice together with the Dual Degree thesis Project (Equivalent to Master’s degree thesis), and earn a Master’s degree in that department. We are expecting many B.Tech. students to take advantage of this program.

The Class of 1967 came on campus on 6-8 January for their Golden Jubilee Reunion. It was indeed a great pleasure for us to meet the alumni attendees on this occasion. We look forward to continued engagement of the batch as also other alumni in our journey to excellence.

The Institute continues to attract outstanding talent as new faculty members. Several have joined IIT Bombay in the past. We are pleased to bring a short introduction of these new faculty members in the article below.

The generous contributions received from our alumni, corporate entities, and other friends of the Institute helps in making an important difference in our endeavour to pursue global excellence. The contributions towards Institute Development, Infrastructure Development, Young Faculty Awards, Chair Professorships, Hostel Development, Student Development, etc. are examples of utilization of these funds for the betterment of the Institute. We invite you to contribute to the Institute’s betterment to the best of your ability.

Ravi Sinha
Dean, Alumni and Corporate Relations