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Prof CNR Rao asks IIT graduates to work for development of the country

The Economic Times |  By PTI |  Jun 23, 2017  |

GUWAHATI: Prof C N R Rao today exhorted the graduates of the Indian Institute of Technology here to be proud of the brand ‘IIT’ and use it for the development of the country. Delivering the 19th Convocation address of IIT-G as chief guest, the National Research Professor said, “IIT is the only brand that India created after Independence. Be proud of it and use it for the development of India”. “If IIT students decide to use this education in India, they will make a great future for this country”, said Rao who is also the Linus Pauling Research Professor and Honorary President of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru. Asking the students to decide now what they want to do in life, he said, “decide what your mission is. With dedication, doggedness and tenacity success will be yours. Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela won Independence for their countries through these qualities”. Speaking about China making huge monetary investments in education and development of science and technology producing 23,000 PhDs annually and generating the same amount of research work, he said, “China and South Korea are coming up with quality students so that they can compete with the best and become number one as the future depends on science and technology”.

He said “this is the role of IITs and other institutes to make India number one. That is the effort you have to make. There will be a lot of challenges, don’t ever think you cannot succeed. You have to succeed. it depends on you.” Stating that if government has healthy policies and society gives more support then India will succeed, he said that in the pre-Independence era when there was no IIT or government support for research, India produced eminent scientists like J C Bose, Noble Laureate C V Raman and mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan because of their passion for research. Speaking about himself, Prof Rao said, “I am 84 years old and have been researching for the last 68 years. I am doing research to do what I can for this great country till my last breath”. He also exhorted the IIT graduates to always remain humble as “greatness and simplicity go together. Have your feet on the ground. Make India on top of the world”. Altogether 1,308 students – including 583 B-Tech and 36 B-Des, 20 MA, 119 MSc, 363 M-Tech and 27 MDes, and 155 PhDs – received their degrees at the Convocation. Prof Rao also gave away the President of India gold medal to the Institute toppers among the B-Tech and B-Des programme students and Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma gold medal to the student adjudged best in general proficiency. Presenting his report on the activities and achievements of the Institute during 2016-17, IIT-G Director Prof Gautam Biswas said as per the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), India Ranking 2017, the Institute was placed in the 8th rank among all the participating universities and institutions and 7th among the top engineering institutions in the country. – Courtesy

The reason behind fewer girl students in IITs

Hindustan Times |  Vidhya Narayanan |  Mandi Jun 21, 2017 | Opinion |

Representational image

Representational image

  • Enrolment of girls in IITs in 2016: 8%
  • Girls joining engineering in India: 3 lakh
  • Girls qualifying JEE Advanced: 4,570
  • Girls admitted to IITs: 848

Neha Muthiyan, a third year student of computer science engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi, was not surprised when she found out that she was one of the five girls in a batch of 115 students. Right through her JEE preparation days, she had seen the number of girl students around her dwindling. The poor gender ratio is one of the sad realities of the premier institutes of technology in our country. In 2016, girls formed only 8% of the total students enrolled in IITs. It’s not that the girls aren’t bright enough to get admission. The fact is systematic societal biases deprive them of making it to these top institutes.  A study by the sub-committee of the Joint Admission Board (JAB), the overall advisory body in charge of admission to IITs, found that in 2016, 4,570 girls cleared the JEE (Advanced) but only 848 of them were admitted to an IIT.


The report said that societal biases are the main reason for poor representation of women in IITs. Most girls don’t have access to the kind of facilities that boys of their age have. Coaching plays a significant role in preparation for JEE (Advanced). But most parents are not willing to invest in a girl child’s coaching. Because of this, girls are denied a fair playing ground in the entrance exam. Another problem is that of lack of role models. While most boys would find someone or the other who would have been to an IIT before them, for girl students, it’s unlikely that they will have any sisters, aunts, cousins who did BTech from an IIT and who they could look up to. For many girls, there is also a problem of family-imposed restrictions on geographical mobility due to safety concerns. Neha says, “When my relatives realised that by clearing JEE, I will have to stay away from my hometown for four years; they were not supportive of it. Statements like ‘Girls shouldn’t be sent away from home’ or ‘Do engineering from your hometown’ had become pretty common.”


Why should the low number of girls in IITs concern us? Engineers develop most products and technology for society. Women form almost half of this society that consumes this technology. If there aren’t enough women involved in the creation process, it’s unlikely that these products can fully serve women. Male engineers may not necessarily understand the needs of women.


The JAB has made 15 recommendations to improve the gender ratio at IITs. One of the recommendations is to add supernumerary seats or exceeding the usual number in BTech for women in all institutes. This would not reduce the number of male students being admitted, unless the overall performance of male candidates is poor. Also, this won’t bring down the academic standards as only those girls who have cleared the JEE (Advanced) will be admitted. The idea is to ensure meritorious girls who clear the entrance exam don’t opt out due to societal pressures or unavailability of seats in branches of their choice.


To encourage meritorious girls to enroll in IITs, a special help desk was set up IIT Mandi, to advise girls who qualified the JEE(Advanced) 2017 exam on a range of attractive options in IITs. IIT Mandi, director Timothy A Gonsalves wrote to each successful candidate, urging her to avail of the unique opportunity to study in an IIT. – Courtesy

AICTE moots M. Tech syllabus overhaul

The Hindu | Nikhila Henry | 22 June 2017 |

Courses to be made more research, teaching and industry-oriented than earlier

A complete overhaul of M. Tech curriculum in private engineering colleges is on cards for the next academic year 2018-19. All India Council of Technical Education had decided to make M. Tech more research, teaching and industry-oriented than earlier, declared Manpreet Singh Manne, Director, All India Council of Technical Education. M. Tech curriculum will include a three-month compulsory teaching workshop and nine-month industrial training module. Till last year, the syllabus and norms had allowed students to submit for evaluation technological and engineering projects developed in their own colleges. AICTE arrived at the curriculum change as M. Tech graduates are most likely to be teaching engineering in undergraduate engineering colleges than opt for research and development. “As over 10,000 institutions which come under AICTE face 38% faculty shortage, M. Tech graduates will have to be trained to take up the job,” Mr. Manne who was in Hyderabad told The Hindu. Till recently AICTE, the body which monitors and controls technical, pharmacy and management education in the country had to allow adjunct faculty members because of teacher shortage. In an elaborate plan which will require meticulous planning and execution, Mr. Manne said colleges under AICTE will evaluate teaching aptitude among B. Tech graduates. “We will ask students doing their second year of B. Tech whether they are keen to teach. Those interested will be honed specially under the M.Tech programme,” he said. While the programme is tailor made to help aspiring teachers, those who want to continue higher education will also have to go through the uniform curriculum,” he informed.

 Online learning

The council which launched its online teaching platform, SWAYAM or Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds this year is expected to launch its first semester-based courses that follows credit system on swayam.gov.in starting July 9. Those who take the course will be given a cafeteria of study material including music and arts to chose from. As per the Swayam model, students will be allowed to get 20 credits if they take full length semester courses on the portal. These credits, recognised by all institutions in the country, can be added to the total Common Grade Point given by parent educational institutions. “Each student will be now be able to follow languages, music, art or any subject of their choice,” Mr. Manne said. AICTE has also been revamping the education portal by introducing internship for enthusiastic students. A total of 60,000 had registered with the site. However, the director said 300 to 400 college managements have been submitting their foreclosure requests each year during the past decade on account of fall in B. Tech admissions. Mr. Manne said AICTE, “will forcibly close any engineering or professional college that had filled less than 30% of the seats for five consecutive years”. – Courtesy

NPTEL offers 116 new certification courses this July session

Online course: Free for all, Certification exam: For a nominal fee.
Learn anytime, anywhere! Only requirement: Interest and enthusiasm to learn 🙂
The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) will offer 159 courses for its July to November, 2017 session.  All these courses are open for online enrollment.  Among these 159 courses, 43 are old and 116 courses are new.

NPTEL was initiated by seven IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Guwahati and Roorkee) along with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 2003. Prof Andrew Thangaraj, NPTEL coordinator at IIT Madras said, “It is a great opportunity for learners across the country to access the IIT and IISc systems as well as experts from other reputed institutions. This enables learning without boundaries. You learn what you are interested in, and get a certificate confirming your abilities in that area.” The courses will begin from July 24, 2017 or August 21, 2017 with examination dates being on September 24/October 22, 2017 (Sundays).   All courses are free. The certification examination is optional and comes at a fee of Rs 1000/course examination. https://onlinecourses.nptel.ac.in – Click here to Take a Look at the site :   https://onlinecourses.nptel.ac.in/explorer
List (tentative) of Online certification courses from NPTEL to be offered between July-November 2017: http://nptel.ac.in/LocalChapter/Assets/spoc_refdocs/Tentative_course_list_July_2017.pdf

AIB’s Video: This clip is for every engineering student who tries to get a job but fails each time

Newsable | By Rushali Pawar | June 20, 2017  |

  • The video series focuses on an average engineering student who struggles to get a job after four years.
  • During campus placement, he is told to speak English, a requirement so elitist in nature that it disregards other skills.
  • The video’s protagonist, Average Mishra, says that he’s realised engineering is a sham and the dream of a high paying job is a bigger sham.
 All India Bakchod’s new video series is a beautiful drama on the frustration and the sheer misfortune of those who don’t get placed during campus recruitment. The three part video series lists bizarre reasons why engineering students don’t get a job no matter how hard they try. The reasons for their rejection does not indicate how qualified or not they are. Instead, they are denied a job because they didn’t pass a written test or talk in a group discussion. In the third part of the video series, Average Mishra (Neveen Polishetty), who spends all his time playing counter strike and being zoned out, basically like any other engineering student, doesn’t get through campus recruitment.

At one point, he gives up, sits on the front steps to what looks like an important building, and rues. He is beyond sad when a college mate gives him a glimmer of hope: he’s actually made it through group discussion. What follows is a series of pointless discussions, technical interview questions that don’t test a student’s skill. He manages to make it through these challenges and finally, he enters a personal interview round which is anything but personal.

Mishra is told over and over again that he needs to speak English. This requirement is so elitist that this college student loses it, argues why he’s not comfortable speaking in a language that’s not native to him, or for many others who are comfortable only speaking their mother-tongue. This average dude in a nameless, faceless engineering college in India isn’t the only one who has gone through this. Almost every engineering student has had to face logic defying questions during interviews and has had to respond them with equally confusing answers.

What AIB does skilfully in their video series is this: they take a humanistic view of the plight of engineering students, who struggle through college to land a high paying job, only to realise that the dream they were sold was a sham. This video series is really a tribute to engineering students in India. It makes them believe that a college education or job in the IT sector doesn’t determine one’s talent. The video series is also a tribute to the engineers, and engineering  drop outs at AIB, who have gone against the norm and pursued a creative career, remaining true to themselves. – Courtesy

A Lalitha : India’s first woman electrical engineer

The Hindu | Metro Plus Chennai | June 19, 2017 |  S MUTHIAH | 


Attendees gather at the 1964 New York World’s Fair during the First International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists, hosted by the Society of Women Engineers in June 1964. Left to right: A. Lalitha (Indian delegate), unknown, Joan Shubert, unknown Canadian delegate, N. Sainani (Canadian delegate of Indian origin), and Dee Halladay.

Attendees gather at the 1964 New York World’s Fair during the First International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists, hosted by the Society of Women Engineers in June 1964. Left to right: A. Lalitha (Indian delegate), unknown, Joan Shubert, unknown Canadian delegate, N. Sainani (Canadian delegate of Indian origin), and Dee Halladay. – Image Courtesy – http alltogether.swe. org

When Dr Shantha Mohan, who is writing a book on the women graduates of the College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG), contacted me recently, seeking more information on May George (Miscellany, February 3, 2014 ), I got more information from her than I could give. I’d always thought that the College had admitted only two women students, its first, in 1940, but I learnt from her that three had been admitted. They were PK Thresia, Leelamma George and A Lalitha, all receiving their degrees in 1943 with the certificate having ‘He’ struck out and replaced with a handwritten ‘She’. A history of the College brought out by it in 1991 curiously states that the first women students were only two and one got her degree in Electrical Engineering, the other in Civil. Shantha Mohan provides me a wealth of detail about the Electrical Engineering student, Lalitha, so it must be presumed that the other two she mentions did Civil Engineering.

The first women graduates of CEG: P.K. Thresia, Leelamma George, and A. Lalitha -Image Courtesy - Mrs. Syamala Chenulu

The first women graduates of CEG: P.K. Thresia, Leelamma George, and A. Lalitha – Image Courtesy – Mrs. Syamala Chenulu

Lalitha, married at 15, was 18 when she had her daughter. A few months later, in 1937, her husband passed away. Determined not to stay at home and mourn or to remarry, she decided to take up a professional course. Lalitha applied to CEG in 1939, an all-male institution at the time. It was her good fortune that her father, Pappu Subba Rao, was Professor of Electrical Engineering there and he persuaded Principal KC Chacko (the first Principal with a Doctorate) and Director of Public Instruction RM Statham, who was all for women’s education (Miscellany, August 24, 2015) that it was time the College admitted women students — and Lalitha became CEG’s first woman student, a widow and a mother at that. With the gates opened, Thresia and Leelamma followed her in. Lalitha stayed on a year after they left to get her Honours degree. After a stint with the Central Standards Organisation in Simla, Lalitha spent a few years with her father, helping him with his research. He patented a Jelectromonium (an electrical musical instrument), smokeless ovens and an electric flame producer. But the need to make a living on her own beckoned, and she joined Associated Electrical Industries, a British firm.

Lalitha’s degree – note they had to strike out “He” and write in “She”- Image Courtesy -

Lalitha’s degree – note they had to strike out “He” and write in “She” – Image Courtesy –

She then began designing transmission lines, doing substation layouts and executing contracts. She was noteworthily associated with the work on electrical generators for the Bhakra Nangal Dam. After 30 years with AEL, including the time after it had been taken over by General Electric, Lalitha retired, much of the last years of her working life focused on supervising contract projects. She was the only woman engineer from India to attend the First International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists which was held in New York in 1964. Thereafter, she was active in international women’s engineering organisations internationally till she passed away in 1979. She had once said, “Electrical Engineering runs in my blood. My father, four brothers, nephew and son-in-law are all Electrical Engineers.” Shantha Mohan adds a request to all this information: “If you have information about women engineers from CEG from the 1940s to the 1960s, please let me know at Shantha_rm@yahoo.com  /  or facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/cegwomen/

The Philippines connection

Many moons ago, on December 22, 2014, I had written about Tambaram railwayman Noel Fuller’s search for roots. At that time he had discovered that his great grandfather, Albert James Fuller of Madurai, had married Ellen Matilda Narcis, really a Narcisonian and an Armenian. Her line Noel traced back to Coja Sultan David who arrived in Madras from Isfahan in Persia around the 1720s. Coja Sultan David became a leader of the Armenian community in Madras and his son, Aga Shawmier Sultan, was the owner of that ‘Great House in Charles Street’ in the Fort known as Admiralty, or Clive House . Noel’s search for his Armenian ancestors’ tombstones led him to that of the wife of Coja Sultan David which he found on St Thomas’ Mount. The Aga Shawmier Sultans, husband and wife, are buried in the yard of the Armenian Church in Madras, a church raised on the site of the Shawmier chapel which the family gifted to the community. All Noel could discover at that time was that Coja Sultan David had died in Pondicherry in 1754 and had converted to Roman Catholicism just before he passed away so that he could be buried in consecrated ground, the Armenians having no church of their own in Pondicherry. Pondicherry yielded him no tombstones, but the information that after the English had taken the city in 1761 they had ravaged it, reducing even tombstones to rubble. The story then goes that in 1765, when the East Indiaman Earl Temple was to sail for Manila, it needed ballast and the rubble of Pondicherry was loaded on it. In the South China Sea, the ship hit a reef and sank. Salvagers in 1997 found in it, intact, the 1,335 kilogram tombstone of Coja Sultan David. There’s a missing link here, but the tombstone, its engraving still clear, is now in the Philippines, an exhibit in the Manila Museum.

Wrong again

My computer help once again sent out the wrong picture and, so, last week we had, with Subedar Subramanian, Brigadier K Sampath, one of the speakers, instead of the Subedar’s son Durailingam as mentioned. My apologies to Brig Sampath and Durailingam. The chronicler of Madras that is Chennai tells stories of people, places, and events from the years gone by, and sometimes, from today. – Courtesy    /    Read More …  SWE,    &    LinkedIn Article

Kerala skill development platform to benefit 40,000 engineering students

The Hindu Business Line | Thiruvananthapuram, June 16 | Vinson Kurian |

Creating database

The sill development platform seeks to create a database of two lakh specially skilled engineering hands in the State over a period of two years, he told BusinessLine. The scheme is sought to be implemented on ground by linking engineering colleges with the IT parks at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and elsewhere in the State. At least one crore sq ft of space would be added to Technopark-Thiruvananthapuram and Infopark-Kochi and and other parks creating the incremental two lakh job opportunities. High-tech classrooms will be set up in the engineering colleges. ‘Live’ classes will be conducted here by linking up them with the IT parks using Kerala State Wide Area Network (K-SWAN).

Professional expertise

The State Government proposes to draw on the experience of professionals available in-house for the programme. The databank of students, who pass out of the programme, thus would in future be made available to recruiters. These students would be given certificates to prove their credentials. As of now, an estimated 20 per cent of the students get selected through campus recruitments. The skill development platform is expected to raise this percentage significantly, the spokesman said. The main sponsor of the programme is Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd. Also involved are the Kerala State IT Mission, APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, and the ICT Academy, the spokesman added. – Courtesy

1.5 million jobs in rural India within one year through “Earn While Learn” programme : AICTE chairman

The Times of India | Manash Pratim Gohain | TNN | Jun 15, 2017 |  1.5 million jobs in rural India within one year: AICTE chairman |

NEW DELHI: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and   launched “Earn While Learn” to educate and develop the skillset of over 1.5 million youth pan-India across industries, and provide them assured livelihood on Thursday.  The initiative will be implemented in collaboration with industries and business owners, said Anil D Sahasrabudhe, chairman, AICTE. The plan is to create 1.5 million jobs in 550 districts of India within one year.  The initiative has been launched jointly by AICTE under MHRD, National Career Service under ministry of labour and employment and AITMC, a non-government organization.

The announcement was made a “Global Summit 2017” where Sahasrabudhe said: “Earn While Learn supports the skill India mission and will be creating 1.5 million jobs in 550 districts of India within a year. Our vision is to develop local markets and address the requirements of rural India by educating youth residing in these districts and enabling them in developing and distributing products within their region. The initiative will uplift the standard of living in rural India by addressing critical challenges and livelihood issues.” The programme outlines the need to introduce new and innovative skills amount the youth increasing our economic growth and competitiveness. Avnish Ranga, general manager, AITMC said: “We will be training rural youth in macro technology to develop products that suit their region, thereby creating job opportunities for them. EWL will collaborate with industry leaders in creating these assembly facilities. These products will be assembled by young students and sold in the rural market, providing enhanced business opportunity for the industry, practical learning to the students, therefore, addressing challenges of the rural India such as fresh drinking water, transportation, electricity etc.”  EWL has formed strategic partnerships with corporates and will be launching the initiative in 50 districts in June 2017 and 75 districts in July 2017. The first phase will be launched in collaboration with various higher educational institutional across the country. – Courtesy  / Click here to Visit     All India Technical and Management Council (AITMC)

11 female engineering students win ‘Women of Mettle’ Scholarship Programme

Avenue Mail | Jamshedpur |

11 female engineering students win ‘Women of Mettle’ Scholarship Programme

11 female engineering students win ‘Women of Mettle’ Scholarship Programme

Jamshedpur, June 13 : Tata Steel, today, announced the winners of its pioneering initiative, ‘Women of Mettle’ Scholarship programme, aimed at encouraging gender diversity in the manufacturing sector. In keeping with its commitment to the young generation, Tata Steel announced the scholarship programme, ‘Women of Mettle’ in January 2017. The programme aims to identify, groom and encourage female engineering talent for a sector that historically has imbalanced gender representation. Female students in their second year of engineering from select 45+ engineering institutes across India were invited to be a part of this initiative. Through a rigorous multi-phase process, a total of 30 candidates were selected for the 2-day finale, which witnessed an amazing showcase of talent, hard work and competitiveness.

Top 11 candidates emerged as the winners of the 2017 edition. The winners are eligible for a scholarship amount of Rs 2 lakh (Rs.1 lakh in the 3rd and 4th year respectively), internship opportunity in their third year, sponsorship to participate in technical conferences, a pre-placement job offer and mentorship from the senior leadership of the organisation. Speaking at the Grand finale of ‘Women of Mettle’ Scholarship programme, Suresh Dutt Tripathi, Vice President, HRM, Tata Steel said, “Our constant pursuit of excellence has enabled us to take up new challenges and set industry benchmarks. Building an equitable culture and a diverse leadership team is a responsibility we take seriously. Women of Mettle is one of the first programmes in the manufacturing industry where we not only provide scholarships but a career at Tata Steel.” The winners of the Women of Mettle Scholarship Programme 2017 edition are- Sharon Manvika Deva from NIT Warangal, Megharanjini, CET Bhubaneswar, Dedeepya Regatti, NIT Warangal, Khyati Mahatab, CET Bhubaneswar, Ragini Sreenath, IIT Madras, Subhashree Nayak, CET Bhubaneswar, Urja Agrawal, CET Bhubaneswar, Anupma Arya, NIT Jamshedpur, Daria Nair, IIT Madras, Saloni Ranjan, BIT Mesra and Aakanksha from IIT Kanpur. – Courtesy

AICTE Public notice on clarification about distance education mode degrees & equivalence of various diploma / degrees

AICTE Public notice on clarification about distance education mode degrees

AICTE Clarification

AICTE receives many representations regarding clarification about distance education mode degrees. It is for the information of the stakeholders and the general public that AICTE as per its present policy does not recognize the qualifications acquired through distance education mode at Diploma,Bachelors  aster Level in the fields of Engineering, Technology,Architecture, Town Planning, Pharmacy, Hotel management & Catering Technology, and Applied Arts & Crafts & Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM). Further vide Gazette Notification No. F. 6-1/2013-DL dated. 10.06.2015 issued by MHRD, as per which UGC is empowered to deal with matters concerning education including technical education imparted through ODL mode.

Click here to download : 1 Page pdf : AICTE Public notice on clarification about distance education mode degrees

Public notice regarding equivalence of various diploma/degrees

AICTE receives many representations regarding equivalence of various diploma/degrees. It is for the information of the stakeholders and the general public that AICTE does not provide equivalence of the qualifications obtained from AICTE approved technical institutions at Diploma/UG/PG levels for higher education purposes as well as for employment purpose. It is up to theemployers to decide the suitability or a particular post in case of employment purpose and Institutions/Universities for higher studies in ase f academic purpose. However, AICTE has issued a notification dated 28.04.2017 regarding Major/Core branch of Engineering/Technology and the irrelevant/appropriate courses leading to degree in engineering / Technology for recruitment to teaching positions.

Click here to download : 1 page, pdf : AICTE Public notice regarding equivalence of various diploma/degrees