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17th International Conference for Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES17) - New Delhi, 5th-7th October, 2017

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Rajyalakshmi Reddi : Another pioneering woman engineer

The Hindu |S Muthiah |  September 18, 2017 | Metro Plus|

Rajyalakshmi Reddi

Shanta Mohan (Miscellany June19) continues her search for pioneering women engineers from the College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG). Today she introduces Rajyalakshmi Reddi, the first woman telecommunications engineer in India and the oldest living woman engineer from the College. She’s 96 and lives in the US. CEG was the first engineering college in India to introduce Telecommunications Engineering. That was in 1945. Rajyalakshmi had joined the Electrical Engineering stream (also a first in India, in 1930) but when Telecommunications was introduced, the new course beckoned and she switched. On graduation, she joined Indian Telephone Industries, Bangalore, but in November 1948 moved to All India Radio, Delhi, as a sound engineer in the control room. It was an opportunity to work on the technical aspects of recording personalities like Jawaharlal Nehru, Lata Mangeshkar (who demanded perfection), MS and Melville D’Mello among others.

Following husband Lakshmana on transfers – he too was from CEG and their inter-caste love marriage created quite a furore in the 1940s — she worked with AIR Nagpur, Delhi again, and Hyderabad, the constant moves not exactly pleasing her superiors. While in Hyderabad, she was deputed as principal of the Kamala Nehru Polytechnic for Women in 1970. There she added garment technology to the existing courses, which included engineering, architecture, computer science, commerce, hotel management and catering, and pharmacy, making herself familiar with all of them. Secondment over, she returned to AIR in 1976, retiring five years later as Assistant Station Engineer. On retirement, she founded in Hyderabad the Lakshmi Industrial Training Institute, offering several vocational training streams. Many of the Institute’s graduates were absorbed by Hindustan Cables, Hyderabad, founded by her husband in 1970. Apart from their love for technology, she and her husband shared a love for Carnatic music; she sang well, he played the violin. Recalling her CEG days, Rajyalakshmi remembers the difficulties she, from an orthodox Brahmin family, had in finding suitable accommodation near the College. But despite a peregrinating five years, she got a good degree that served her well. Shantha Mohan tells me her detailed article on Rajyalakshmi is on her website Mathisarovar. She also says much of her information was from Rajyalakshmi’s children Ramakrishna, Ravi and Indira. And the picture is from Rajyalakshmi’s sister Sarada. – Courtesy

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Mangalore University Academic Council okays open online courses for PG students

Deccan Herald | DH News Service, Mangaluru | Sep 18 2017 |

The Academic Council of Mangalore University has approved massive open online courses (MOOCs) for second-semester postgraduate students. Mangalore University Vice-Chancellor Prof K Byrappa said an orientation for first-semester students would be conducted in late October or early November to create awareness about the available MOOCs. About 350 courses are available online. The courses have already been uploaded on the UGC website. This is a part of the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (MHRD) Swayam (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) initiative that envisages offering online courses to students by the faculty of centrally funded institutions. As per the Swayam website, the courses hosted on Swayam will be in four quadrants — video lectures, especially prepared reading material that can be downloaded/printed, self-assessment tests through tests and quizzes and an online discussion forum for clearing the doubts.

MOOCs will be offered as soft core courses and optional elective courses in second and third semesters at the postgraduate level. If a student opts for the courses under MOOCs, there will not be any regular teachers for these courses. Students can take the course material on the Swayam platform. They will have to take the online examination conducted by the respective university/institution which offers MOOCs identified by the UGC. The number of credits that a student who opts for MOOCs will be the same as the credit that a soft core or open elective course carries under Mangalore University regulations. The credits earned by the students under MOOCs will be adopted by the Mangalore University while declaring the result and awarding the degree. If a student takes more courses under MOOCs than the number of courses prescribed for the PG programme, Mangalore University regulations provide for extra credits. These extra credits will be considered as additional credits and will be shown in the marks card under the heading ‘additional Swayam/MOOCs’. According to Prof Byrappa, when a student opts for MOOCs, s/he has to register as per the regulations pertaining to the UGC (Credit Framework for Online Learning Courses through Swayam) Regulations, 2016. – Courtesy

REVA University students’ innovation to end manual scavenging?

The Times of India | Dhwani Desai | TNN | Sep 17, 2017 | Bangalore |

There is no doubt that Bengaluru is the hub of innovations, and a team of students from REVA University has proved this once again with an innovation that will hopefully help put an end to manual scavenging.  Students of REVA University’s School of Mechanical Engineering — Suraj N, Santhosh Reddy KV and Vinay Kumar P — won a national-level award by IIT Bombay, e-Yantra, in April 2017 for Best Demonstration and Presentation for their project, Sewage Blockage Removal Robot. The students were guided by Dr Jagadeeswaran N, associate professor, School of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr Veena KN, associate professor, School of Electronics and Communication Engineering. The inter-disciplinary team of faculty members and students also includes Praveen V Vijapur, assistant professor, School of ECE; Spoorthi KB, Srinivas HA and SV Ullas Kumar, students of the School of ECE; and Harshit M and Akshay GV, students of the School of C&IT.

HOW THE ROBOT WORKS

The students have developed a robot that will clear sewage blockages. Advanced technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Computational Intelligence (CI) and Internet of Things (IOT) have been utilized in this project. The robot is placed in drainages, where it opens up and detects blockages. Once a blockage is detected, the material that is causing the obstruction is picked up on a tray and taken out of the manhole, thereby not requiring any human involvement.
 BWSSB KEEN ON IMPLEMENTATION

 Manjunath M, public relations manager, REVA University, informs us that the team is currently working on the final robot, which will have advanced features. In the meantime, the team has approached MY Hanumanthraj, officer, Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), who has shown interest in testing, and possibly using the robot in the future in the city. The BWSSB has also extended support towards the building of the final, updated version. A patent has been filed and the Prime Minister’s office has also been informed, since the project is in line with national initiatives such as Make in India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India and the Smart Cities project. – Courtesy

Saint Gits College Team wins QuEST Ingenium 2017

Technology | Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala |

Jobby George and Jose Tom

Thiruvananthapuram: Two Mechanical Engineering students, who graduated from Saint Gits College of Engineering, Kottayam won the QuEST Ingenium 2017 finals here on Friday. Jobby George and Jose Tom won the top honours for their project – “Electricity Generation Using Speed Breakers.” The winners will get a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and a trip to the Airbus facility in Germany, where they will be given an exclusive tour of the facility. Park College of Engineering & Technology from Tamil Nadu for their project “Design and fabrication of a fighter aircraft with yawing wing,” and Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu for “Hi-Tech bionic prosthetic legs” have been declared first and second runners up respectively. The seventh edition of QuEST Ingenium received more than 7,500 applications from 650 engineering colleges across India.

The top 10 teams were invited to present their projects to a panel of judges and eminent personalities from the industry in the final. Nidhi Mathur, Co-Founder of Niramai, was the chief guest of the event. Burkhard H.R. Heinke, Project Leader, Airbus Cabin Electronics Buxtehude Pre-development, delivered a keynote address. The students of MVJ College of Engineering (MVJCE), Karnataka received Special Jury mention for their project “Advanced prosthetic hand for handicapped.” The Most Popular Project Award, a special category of award selected by the public by voting on social media, was bagged by Sri Sairam Engineering College, Tamil Nadu for their project “MOBSCOPE.” Airbus, Siemens, Qatar Airways and MSC Software were the major sponsors of the competition this year. – Courtesy

KIIT University gets prestigious IET, UK accreditation

Bhubaneswar: The B.Tech programmes of KIIT University have got the accreditation of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) of UK. With the IET accreditation, KIIT has become the only university in India to get this prestigious recognition. Jeremy Watson, President of  IET and Nigel Fine, Chief Executive IET,  handed over the coveted certification to Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS in Bangalore on Friday. The accreditation would remain valid till 2022. Notably, the IET accreditation is an internationally respected benchmark awarded to high quality programmes that provide an ideal preparation for aspiring engineering professionals. The IET accredited courses are at par with internationally recognised courses in UK and other western countries. Moreover, it is the second most prestigious accreditation for Engineering in the world. IET accreditation is looked favourably by the employers and enhances career prospects of engineering degree holders. This stupendous achievement is yet another reflection of the world class quality of education provided by KIIT University. The process of getting accreditation was rigorous and KIIT started efforts for it in 2013. – Courtesy

Lord Parashuram must have been an engineer: Goa CM Manohar Parrikar

The New Indian Express | By PTI  |   15th September 2017 | Opinion |

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar (File | PTI)

PANAJI: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today said that Lord Parashuram who is believed to have created Goa must have been an engineer who reclaimed the land from the sea. Parrikar was addressing the Engineers Day function in the city. “This is a day when India recognises the importance of engineering talent,” the chief minister said. Referring to the origin of Goa as per mythology, Parrikar said “it is said that Lord Parashuram created Goa. I believe that Parashuram must have been belonging to the clan of engineers who reclaimed the land from the sea.” “It was thousand years back that we knew about the instances like Hastinapur or Pandava Palace which showed the use of all kind of technology.  “Engineering is a very old art and skill that existed in India, which is recognised in the  modern era,” he said. – Courtesy

Oldest recorded zero in Indian text is centuries older than initially thought

Hindustan Times, London | Sep 14, 2017 | Prasun Sonwalkar |

The surprising results of the first ever radiocarbon dating on the Bakhshali manuscript, which contains hundreds of zeroes, reveals that it dates from as early as the third or fourth century, some five centuries older than previously believed.

The 70 leaves of birch bark that make up the Bakhshali manuscript are housed in this specially designed book at the Bodleian Libraries’ Weston Library, Oxford.(Image courtesy: Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)

The idea of ‘zero’ – crucial to mathematics and all calculations – is widely believed to have originated in India, but carbon dating at the University of Oxford has now proved that an Indian text mentioned it as early as the third or fourth century – much earlier than thought. Considered the oldest recorded origin of ‘zero’, its mention in the Bakhshali manuscript dates it to a period hundreds of years than previously thought. It was found in 1881 in a field in Bakhshali village near Peshawar, and has been in the Bodleian Library of Oxford since 1902. The library said on Thursday that the surprising results of the first ever radiocarbon dating on the Bakhshali manuscript which contains hundreds of zeroes reveals that it dates from as early as the third or fourth century – approximately five centuries older than scholars had previously believed. This means that the manuscript in fact predates a ninth century inscription of zero on the wall of a temple in Gwalior, which was previously considered to be the oldest recorded example of a zero used as a placeholder in India. The findings are highly significant for the study of the early history of mathematics, it said.

“The zero symbol that we use today evolved from a dot that was used in ancient India and can be seen throughout the Bakhshali manuscript. The dot was originally used as a ‘placeholder’, meaning it was used to indicate orders of magnitude in a number system – for example, denoting 10s, 100s and 1000s”, the library said. While the use of zero as a placeholder was seen in several different ancient cultures, such as among the ancient Mayans and Babylonians, the symbol in the Bakhshali manuscript is considered particularly significant for two reasons. First, it is this dot that evolved to have a hollow centre and became the symbol that we use as zero today. Secondly, it was only in India that this zero developed into a number in its own right, hence creating the concept and the number zero that we understand today. This happened in 628 AD, just a few centuries after the Bakhshali manuscript was produced, when the Indian astronomer and mathematician Brahmagupta wrote a text called Brahmasphuta siddhanta, which is the first document to discuss zero as a number.The document will be displayed in the ‘Illuminating India: 5000 Years of Science’ exhibition at the Science Museum in London from October 4. It is part of a season of exhibitions and events that celebrates India’s contribution to science, technology and mathematics.

One of the pages of the Bakhshali manuscript, which was found in 1881 in a field in Bakhshali village near Peshawar. (Image courtesy: Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)

Although the Bakhshali manuscript is widely acknowledged as the oldest Indian mathematical text, the exact age of the manuscript has long been the subject of academic debate. The most authoritative academic study on the manuscript, conducted by Japanese scholar Hayashi Takao, asserted that it probably dated from between the eighth and the 12th century, based on factors such as the style of writing and the literary and mathematical content. The new carbon dating reveals that the reason why it was previously so difficult for scholars to pinpoint the Bakhshali manuscript’s date is because the manuscript, which consists of 70 fragile leaves of birch bark, is in fact composed of material from at least three different periods. Marcus du Sautoy, professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, said: “Today we take it for granted that the concept of zero is used across the globe and is a key building block of the digital world. But the creation of zero as a number in its own right, which evolved from the placeholder dot symbol found in the Bakhshali manuscript, was one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of mathematics”. “We now know that it was as early as the third century that mathematicians in India planted the seed of the idea that would later become so fundamental to the modern world. The findings show how vibrant mathematics have been in the Indian subcontinent for centuries.” – Courtesy

AICTE ties-up with Youth4work to help 8M Youth showcase their skills to get Jobs

India Education Diary | |

Delhi: All India Council of Technical Education, under which more than 10,300 technical institutions & about 80 Lac students are regulated, today signed an MOU with Youth4work.com, a leading assessment and Skill profiling portal in India which has over 21 Lac Youth across India tested and profiled for their skills. The aim of the MOU is to get all students under AICTE to get access to Youth4work’s Skill based test online for Building their skill profiles and get Internship & Job opportunities. All AICTE approved institutes & students studying in 1st years to Final year will benefit from this collaboration. Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman of AICTE says, “The need of imparting right skills for institutes and finding the right person with skills for employers is one of the key challenges that India faces in this era. The platform with its unique way of skill based testing & profiling technology for youth is a powerful way to address this need.” “Now all Students can give an online talent test on Youth4work, which builds their online skill profile and enables thousands of employers to find and contact them based on the skills for the internships and Jobs that they have. We encourage all institutes and students across India to build their profiles and showcase the skills directly to the recruiters associated with us.
Rachit Jain, CEO of Youth4work says, “Being an engineer myself, I really believe that there is no dearth of Skills in Indian Institutes, The challenge for every student in India is to identify his/her own talent and showcase it in front of the world. India has 16 Lac technical students graduating every year, which is more than population of most cities across the world. The problem that companies are facing today is to find the right person for the right job with the right skill set and that’s what Youth4work is trying to do by showcasing the uniqueness and skills in front of employers” “We believe that every person is unique and employable. Our technology and assessments allows students to give any of the 500+ skill test that we have online and get ranked. More than 20 Lac youth globally have built their profile and over 12,000 employers use our platform. With this tie-up we aim to profile 10 Million Youth across India in the next 18 months” With governments initiative like Digital India, Startup India and Skill India and the focus of AICTE on Providing Skill based outcomes and trying to improve quality of education, this is an interesting development which has powerful use of tech that allow Millions of Youth in India to be publically profiled, searchable & contactable for their skills. It provides a platform to the students across the nation even from remote towns to showcase themselves. Hopefully we will see extensive participation from all institutes under AICTE in this. –

AICTE Circular : http://www.aicte-india.org/downloads/aicte_mou_youth4work_12_9_17.PDF

Courtesy   /    https://www.youth4work.com/     –   Youth4work – Competitive Exam Preparation, learning new skills, talent assessment and getting a job has become much easier!  Click hereto download the mobile app – Android :  https://play.google.com/store/apps/dev?id=4804375862035154346&hl=en     –      Ios:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/developer/youth4work/id1032749142

HireMee’s Skill Testing App Connects Graduates with Employers

India Education Diary | |

Bengaluru: HireMee, a digital portal and mobile application, has joined hands with All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to connect thousands of recruiters with tens of thousands of students spread across mini metros and deep interiors of the country with the first of its kind skill testing recruitment platform. Under the agreement HireMee will provide its unique placement solution to students of colleges and institutions affiliated to AICTE. The Council will, in turn, support HireMee to expand the scope of its portal and app by helping expand its reach among AICTE accredited institutions. Dr Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, Chairman of AICTE, said, “HireMee is a dream come true app for the youth looking for jobs. By locating the right candidate for a job, HireMee will not only bridge the “recruiter-student” gap but will also contribute to employment generation in the country especially the rural literate population. The MOU was vetted by AICTE teams to assess its value to the student community.”

Mr Chocko Valliappa, Founder, HireMee said, “We aim to flip the current recruitment model where most recruiters work on tight budget visiting only a handful of top ranked institutes in the respective field for campus placement. Students from other lesser known and far off institutes are left out of the campus placement. We have lots of brilliant students in these institutes and we want all of them to realize their potential to the fullest. HireMee does not charge students for accessing its portal and app and at the same time ensure that they get jobs commensurate with their skills and capabilities.” The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between AICTE and HireMee was signed by Dr Anil D Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE and Mr Chocko Valliappa, Founder, HireMee in the presence of and senior officials from AICTE and NASSCOM at New Delhi on Tuesday at New Delhi.

Recruiters to get Skill Assessment Score in pre-assessed student profile
HireMee conducts free skill assessments for students by giving them a 7-digit score that goes into their pre-assessed profiles. Students can upload their video profiles through the mobile app. These two features provide the recruiter with a detailed analytics of each candidate. The employers can then shortlist candidates directly from the HireMee website or mobile app. Mr Chocko Valliappa added, “We aspire to conduct one million job assessments in 2017-18 so as to generate 100,000 jobs by 2018 end. The MOU with AICTE will help us move a step ahead and help us bridge the “recruiter-student” gap.

Helping companies Discover Their Diamonds
HireMee, a social enterprise of Vee Technologies, a Bengaluru and New York based strategic services company, grooms and channelizes the young minds to achieve their career dreams and helps the recruiters get pre-assessed candidates. Since opportunities for campus placement in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are limited the students have to hunt for job often ending up with one that is ill-suited to them. HireMee aspires to connect millions of students across India with a wide range of recruiting companies.

HireMee Advantages

• Direct connect
Connects recruiters with students and colleges faster and with ease
• Video profile
Minimizes assessment time
• Pre assessment
Students Knowledge, Skill and Personality shine
• Minimal logistics
We go to hundreds of institutions saving everyone time and money
• Higher Reach
Thousands of companies connect to millions of students – Courtesy  /

AICTE MoU : http://www.aicte-india.org/downloads/aicte_mou_HireMee12_9_17.PDF        /      https://hiremee.co.in/

Click here to download the mobile app—–> Andriod:   https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobility.hiremeeapp        /      Ios:   https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/hiremee/id1210630369?mt=8

UGC’s approved journal list has 111 more predatory journals

The Hindu | Srinivasan Ramani |  R. Prasad  |  Chennai, September 14 |

Directory of Open Access Journals flags them “for suspected editorial misconduct”

Representational Image

The University Grants Commission’s (UGC) approved list of journals or white list appears more grey than white. In June this year, the UGC released a revised list of 33,112 approved journals in which university/college faculty and students may publish papers. It has now come to light that UGC’s revised list contains 111 potential predatory or fraudulent journals. Last week, The Hindu reported that the revised list contains 84 predatory journals that are found in librarian Jeffrey Beall’s (University of Colorado, Denver) list of “potential, possible, or probable” predatory journals, bringing the total to 195. The journals from the UGC white list (45,925, including inactive journals at ugc.ac.in) were “web-scraped” and individually “string-matched” with the list of journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) flagged as “suspected editorial misconduct by publisher”.

Earlier, the same list was compared with Mr. Beall’s list. An exact string match between the names of journals in the lists was taken as the criteria to flag the journal as predatory. Of the 586 journals that the DOAJ had recently removed from its directory on grounds of “suspected editorial misconduct by publisher”, the UGC list contains 114. Three of the 114 journals have an overlap with Mr. Beall’s list. By all accounts, the probability of the revised list containing more predatory journals cannot be ruled out. For instance, the UGC list has included some journals, which have all the tell-tale signs of predatory journals. They are neither found in Mr. Beall’s list nor are they among the DOAJ’s rejected journals.

 Malpractices aplenty

A few of the predatory journals that have been removed from the DOAJ database want the authors to assign copyright to the journals, which goes against the grain of open access, while a few others offer an e-certificate to authors of published papers and a hard copy of the certificate for a fee. One journal also offers authors a unique payment option — by paying a registration fee of ₹3,000, authors will be allowed to publish multiple articles without paying any article processing charge. Most journals have fake impact factors (an indicator of importance of the journal in the field). In a sting operation in late 2012, a “mundane paper with grave errors” was sent to 167 journals included in the DOAJ database and 121 from Mr. Beall’s list. While 82% publishers in Mr. Beall’s list accepted the questionable paper, nearly 45% of DOAJ publishers did not reject the paper. About six months after the results of the sting operation were published in October 2013 in the journal Science, the DOAJ began its mammoth exercise of removing the bad apples. The DOAJ has cleaned up its database by removing nearly 3,800 journals. Following the introduction of new criteria for listing in March 2014, DOAJ has received 1,600 applications from Open Access journal publishers in India, which is the “highest number” in the world. But of the 1,600, only 4% (74) were from genuine journal publishers and accepted for inclusion in the DOAJ directory. – Courtesy

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