Greetings from IIT Bombay!
Hope you are healthy and safe.
It has been an extremely eventful November for us here at IIT Bombay. With a heavy heart, we mourn the demise of Prof. A. K. De, former Director IIT Bombay and professor in Mechanical Engineering Department of the Institute. Prof. De passed away peacefully on Oct 30, 2020. He was 95 years old. The Institute’s faculty, staff and students condole the demise of Prof. A. K. De with deep sorrow. A condolence meeting was held on November 2, where his colleagues, students, family members and friends shared wonderful memories of Prof. De. Our former Director, Prof. S.P. Sukhatme paid homage to the departed soul by taking us through Prof. De’s life story and highlighting Prof. De’s contributions in developing IIT Bombay. We present to you Prof. De’s life journey in the article titled ‘Prof. A. K. De – IIT Bombay’s Iron-man!’ in this newsletter.
On another note, we finally welcomed the first-year UG students to the IIT Bombay family, with a flurry of online orientations for the students and parents alike. We wish them all a prosperous and successful journey ahead. The atmosphere for the on-roll students has turned quite sombre, with everyone studying vigorously for their end-semester exams. These exams were brought forward for convenience of the final year students, who will be sitting for placements from the first week of December.
This being an online semester, there is bound to be concerns on the usage of unfair means in examinations, however, we are taking all possible measures to avoid the same. IITB has signed an agreement with an online proctoring service, CodeTantra, for exam proctoring, a fully web-based service that runs on all platform- and will make the conduct of exams easier for both students and faculty/proctors, and increase the integrity of the exams.
In addition to this, proctoring videos are currently being used for training AI models at IITB. Prof. Ganesh Ramakrishnan and his (B.Tech.) students are working on building AI models for exam proctoring in the Full-View mode. The long-term goal is to give privacy to students by designing a system that can perform proctoring locally, and only upload parts, where the model flags potential issues.
On the covid front, we have gone a whole week without any cases on the campus, but recently the cases have risen again, with 11 cases in the last week of November. The good news is that the number of cases in Mumbai has decreased sharply. We expect some increase in the cases on the campus in the next two weeks driven by increased socialization over Diwali, but a decrease after that. Meanwhile, the campus reboot continues, with more students, primarily Ph.D. students, returning to campus. We hope that by mid-December all Ph.D. students and final year DD/M.Tech. students who filled in the form for returning will be back. We will consider opening up to other final year students subsequently, in batches, depending on the covid situation and government rules.
Apart from this, shops on the campus outside the hostel areas are open, and the gymkhana ground is available for personal exercise, but not for any contact sports. All indoor sports facilities continue to be closed. Wearing masks is mandatory in public, with a fine for non-compliance.
On a happier note, this month saw some important initiatives being launched for the betterment of society. To help the youth of every nook and corner of India, learn IT related courses (in their mother tongue), IIT Bombay is helping the GoI initiative called CSC to freely use the spoken tutorials of IIT Bombay. We are thankful to the team lead by Prof. M. Kannan for the spoken tutorial initiative. We hope that our rural youths will benefit from this endeavor of IITB. In addition to this, Project Bandhu was initiated by the class of 1992 and the Dean SA office. The first step of the project is a self help website (www.iitb-bandhu.com) curated for the students of IIT Bombay. The self-help website was launched in the eminent presence of Minister of State Shri Sanjay Dhotre and filmmaker and IITB distinguished alumnus, Nitesh Tiwari. Mood Indigo has successfully launched their social initiative for 2020 - 'The Self-Love Experiment' and we were overwhelmed by the immensely enthusiastic and positive response. In support of these initiatives, Bandhu and Mood Indigo also hosted an event, 'Happiness Begins From Within', a session on Self-care and Mental Health. In an additional collaboration with SARC, Bandhu hosted an institute-wide mindfulness session by Mr. Vivek Mohile, certified facilitator and counsellor, as well as an alumnus of the batch 1992.
November also saw a plethora of online events in the Institute. IIT Bombay had organized National Education Day programme on November 10. Distribution of Excellence in Research Awards was held, followed by a series of talks on National Education Policy 2020. The Honourable Minister of Education Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal `Nishank' was the Chief Guest ; and Dr. K. Kasturirangan, former Chairman, ISRO and Chairman of the committee for drafting the New Education Policy (NEP), was the Guest of Honor for the programme. Besides this, to facilitate good discussions on issues that should be spoken about and critically analysed, Abhyuday, IIT Bombay presented the fifth 'SAMWAAD'- a group discussion- with the topic of ‘Refueling the Economy’. The sports council also organized the Virtual Crossy to minutely compensate for the students missing the intense inter-hostel activities that are present on campus at this time of the year. The Annual Inter B-School Sports Festival, Prithvi 2020, was also held on November 7-8, much to the delight of the SOM students.
The generous contribution received from our alumni, corporate entities, and other friends of the Institute helps in making an important difference in our endeavor to pursue global excellence. The contribution towards Institute Development, Infrastructure Development, Young Faculty Awards, Chair Professorships, Hostel Development, Student Development, etc. are examples of the 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.
Dean, Alumni and Corporate Relations
Prof. A. K. De – IIT Bombay’s Iron-man!
Prof. A. K. De, a former professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of the Institute from 1974 to 1984, passed away on Oct 30, 2020. He was 95 years old.
Project Bandhu - An Initiative by Class of 1992
Project Bandhu was initiated by alumni of the Class of 1992, as a part of their Silver Jubilee Reunion in 2017. They pledged to support IIT Bombay, and help students to enhance their emotional well-being.
Exploring Planetary Sciences using Organic Geochemistry to study life outside the Earth
Prof. Suryendu Dutta, Department of Earth Sciences is one of the recipients of this year’s Shanti Swarup Bhatanagar prize. It’s an honor to interview him and present his research work to the alumni community.
Degradation relations for the tensile properties of corroded reinforcement bar
Name: Raghava Kumar Vanama
Department: Civil Engineering
Program: Ph D (4th year)
Name of supervisor: Prof. Balaji Ramakrishnan
Importance and Novelty of the research:
From waste to wealth: Production of bio-based chemicals from pineapple processing wastes
Name: Shivali Banerjee
Department: CTARA (IITB-Monash Research Academy)
Program:Ph D. (4th year)
Name of supervisor: Prof. Amit Arora (IITB); Prof. Antonio Patti (Monash University) & Dr. R Vijayaraghavan (Monash University)
A neat non-aqueous universal solvent: Developed using Protein Polymer Surfactant Bio-conjugation
Name: Anasua Mukhopadhyay
Program: Ph D. (5th year)
Name of supervisor: Prof. Kamendra P. Sharma
Importance or applications of the research:
Throughput Optimization and Delay Sensitive Scheduling in Next Generation WiFi
Name: Muhammad Inamullah
Program: Ph D. (6th year)
Name of supervisor: Prof. Bhaskaran Raman
Importance or applications of the research
Lightning strike damage of fiber-reinforced polymers
Name: Dhanya T M
Department: Aerospace Engineering
Program: Ph D. (5th year)
Name of supervisor: Prof. Chandra Sekher Yerramalli
1. Introduction: Lightning
Evaluation of potential hydraulic flood management scenarios for a coastal urban catchment through a 3-way coupled hydrodynamic flood modelling framework
Name: Mousumi Ghosh
Department: Interdisciplinary Programme in Climate Studies
Program: Ph D. (4th year)
Name of supervisor: Prof. Subhankar Karmakar and Prof. Subimal Ghosh
In-situ polarized ultra-thin PVDF film based flexible piezoelectric nanogenerators
Name: Vaibhav Khurana
Program: Ph D. (3rd year)
Name of supervisor: Prof. Dipti Gupta
Topic of research: In-situ polarized ultra-thin PVDF film based flexible piezoelectric nanogenerators.
A country-wide drought atlas for India using an integrated, multivariate approach
Name: Sahana V.
Department: Civil Engineering
Program: Ph D. (3rd year)
Name of supervisor: Prof. Arpita Mondal