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The Hindu Business Line | Bengaluru | 15 August 2017 ||
Thomas Kailath’s research contributions span over six decades
The award recognises Kailath’s many contributions over six decades to information theory, communications, filtering theory, linear systems and control, signal processing, semiconductor manufacturing, probability and statistics, linear algebra, matrix and operator theory, which have directly or indirectly advanced modern communications technology. It also recognises his sustained mentoring and development of new generations of scientists. The Indian government conferred the Padma Bhushan on Prof Kailath in 2009.
Kailath earned a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune, in 1956. He then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT) in 1957. After his doctorate in electrical engineering in June 1961, the first Indian-born student to get one at MIT, he was invited by the late Prof. Solomon Golomb to join the pioneering Digital Communications Research Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In January 1963, he accepted an associate professorship at Stanford, becoming a full professor in 1968. He served as Director of the Information Systems Laboratory from 1971 through 1980, building it into a world-leading centre for communications, control and signal processing research. Kailath was Associate Chair of the Electrical Engineering Department Chair from 1981 to 1987 and in 1988 was appointed the first holder of the Hitachi America Professorship in Engineering at Stanford. Although Kailath became Emeritus in June 2001, he has been recalled to active duty, and he continues his research and writing activities to this day. – Courtesy
The Times of India | Ranjani Ayyar | TNN | Aug 4, 2017 |
CHENNAI: Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions (RBEI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) on Friday to set up the Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (RBC-DSAI). The mission of the RBC-DSAI is to create societal impact through multidisciplinary interactions with government, academic, research and industrial collaborators on core challenges in Data Science (DS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Centre will receive Rs 3 crore – Rs 4 crore funding per year for five years. Vijay Ratnaparkhe, MD, Robert Bosch, said, “This partnership is to accelerate research for societal impact, taking a long-term view. It will set a precedent in the way big-data is used to improve our problem solving capability in industry. At the same time, the collaboration will result in shared outcomes for the benefit of society.” Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT-M said, “IIT-Madras has been nurturing its interdisciplinary data sciences and artificial intelligence research group for more than three years now. The launch of this centre in partnership with, and generous support from, RBEI is an affirmation of the rapid growth and impact of the group’s research and teaching activities. I am confident that the RBC-DSAI will become a globally acknowledged centre working at the cutting edge of various aspects of machine learning, data science and artificial intelligence, leading to work with high social impact.”
The Robert Bosch Centre will undertake foundational research in many areas of AI and data science — deep learning, reinforcement learning, network analytics, interpretable machine learning, and domain aware AI. The areas of activity include research projects, knowledge management and dissemination, developing prototypes, outreach projects and setting up collaborative facilities and laboratories among others. The centre’s mandate requires interaction with industry and other universities, including international student and faculty exchanges. The objective is to advance scientific innovation for societal benefit. Several technologies currently require large datasets to improve their accuracy and to adapt these technologies for the Indian context. As part of Bosch’s research and innovation portfolio in India, the centre in IIT-M will become part of a network to support ‘Digital India.’ It will advance the country in the fields of innovation and research as the world moves towards more connected hardware and software products. This research network also includes the Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber Physical Systems at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. – Courtesy
Government of India
Early Career Research Award scheme aims to provide quick research support to the young researchers who are in their early career for pursuing exciting and innovative research in frontier areas of science and engineering.
Nature & Duration of Support:
- The Early Career Research for the purpose of the program refers to the first assignment of the applicant in a regular capacity in a recognized academic institution or national laboratory or any other recognized R & D institution in India.
- The Early Career Research Award is a one-time award and carries a research grant up to Rs. 50 Lakhs (excluding overheads) for a period of three years.
- The research grant covers equipment, manpower, consumables, manpower, travel and contingency apart from overheads.
- The applicant should be an Indian citizen.
- The applicant should hold Ph.D. degree in Science or Engineering or M.D or M.S degree in any area of medicine.
- The scheme encourages young researchers at the start of their independent research careers. The applicant, therefore, must hold a regular academic/research position in a recognized academic institution/ or national laboratories or any other recognised R&D institutions.
The term “Regular” in the context of ECRA refers to one or more of the following:
1. Those who are appointed by the institutions against the sanctioned post. Such positions are regularized/confirmed after the probation period is over.
2. Those who are appointed in a tenure post, but are likely to be renewed after the end of the tenure
Not Eligible: Research Associates, Guest Faculty, Visiting Scientist, Project Fellows, Faculty members whose contract is renewed every year; and those who are expecting to draw salary from the scheme.
(In cases where it is not covered in any of the above, SERB has the right to determine the eligibility)
- Faculties recruited through UGC-Faculty Recharge Program are eligible to apply. INSPIRE Faculty, Ramanujan, and Ramalingaswamy Fellows are also eligible to apply if they have been absorbed/appointed to a regular position. If such fellows are not absorbed/appointed in a regular position, and are receiving fellowship as well as research grant from the fellowship, such fellows are eligible to apply provided they have at least three and half years of tenure remaining at the time of submission of application.
- The upper age limit for the ECR award is fixed at 37 years, SC/ST/OBC /Physically challenged and women candidates can apply upto 40 years.
- Co-PIs are not allowed in the Early Career Research Award.
Selection & Mode Of Application
- The selection will be based on the recommendations of an Expert Committee that will be constituted by the Board. If desired by the Expert Committee, the applicants may be called for personal discussion.
- The Call for applications will be made twice a year (January and July) and will be notified through the website http://www.serbonline.in and http://www.serb.gov.in. The application form along with a proper research proposal highlighting the research work to be undertaken should be submitted online through the website www.serbonline.in
How to apply online:
For successful online submission of the application the following points may be noted:
- Applicants should first register into the online website click here to register
- After log-in, go to Menu –> Proposal Submission –> Form Submission. Select scheme “Early Career Research (ECR) Award” and Click on “Start Submission” Button.
- Some of the details of your proposal like Project Title (max 500 characters), Project summary (max 3000 characters), Keywords (max 6), Objectives of project (max 1500 characters), Expected output and outcome of the proposal (max 1500 characters), Budget (Manpower,Consumables,Travel, Equipment, Contingency, Overheads ) have to be entered at the time of proposal submission.
- Other relevant information of the proposal has to be uploaded in single PDF file not more than 10 MB as other technical document (OTD). Download Template
Termination and Transfer of the Project:
- If any Principal Investigator wishes to terminate the project, he/she shall inform the SERB through the host institute immediately with proper justifications. The implementing institute should not incur any expenditure from the date of termination of the project or the date of resignation of PI. The institute will also arrange for submission of documents mentioned above.
- SERB reserves the right to terminate the Early Career Research Award at any stage if it is convinced that appropriate progress is not being made or the grant has not been utilized properly.
- In case of projects sanctioned under Early Career Research Award, the SERB allows transfer of the project along with assets to the new institute, if required. The project cannot be transferred to any other person/s. The initial host institute will not incur any expenditure on the project after relieving the PI, without the consent of the SERB.
Documents required (in PDF) should be in prescribed format:
- Biodata (under user profile section) Download Template
- Certificate from Principal Investigator Download Template
- Endorsement Letter from the Head of Institution Download Template
- Age Proof Certificate (Class X marksheet or Birth certificate)
- Category Certificate (in case of Age Relaxation) – More Details —-http://serbonline.in/SERB/ecr?HomePage=New
The Economic Times | HARI PULAKKAT | Aug 01, 2017 |
VS Sangwan likes to answer his patient questions thoroughly, and so he didnt find anything unusual when he first met Ashutosh Richhariya . It was 2004. Richhariya, who was running a business in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, had run into trouble with his eyes and hence his business. He had come to LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), Hyderabad, to get treated. Sangwan, one of the leading ophthalmologists in the country, was preparing to operate him when the questions began to flow. Richhariya first asked Sangwan about corneal dystrophy, the genetic disease he was suffering from, where unwanted material gets accumulated in the cornea. It often begins in childhood and progresses with age and Richhariya was losing his vision in one eye when he met Sangwan. His vision improved after the surgery but he developed astigmatism, a common occurrence after eye surgery. Richhariya asked why he had got astigmatism and why it could not be stopped. “I told him that there are many uncontrollable factors,” says Sangwan. Richhariya was not convinced they were truly uncontrollable. When he came for the first time to LVPEI, Richhariya had already founded an instrumentation company called Shubda ElectroMechanial Engineers in 1997.
*Why Adaptive Optics is Important*
By 2002, it had touched revenues of Rs 100 crore. Richhariya had to shut down the business when the eye problems started. His astigmatism after the surgery really troubled him, as his eye power was changing every two weeks. Then he got glaucoma and later cataract. Richhariya is an engineer and an MBA, and so could look at a problem from two vantage points. “I was really disappointed that there were so many uncontrollable factors,” says Richhariya. “So I wanted to use the tools of quality management to understand non-conformation.” He felt he could figure out the problems in the processes followed during surgery, and then find out ways of fixing them. Sangwan encouraged him. Richhariya decided to look at the eye more closely, especially from the vantage point of an engineer.Sangwan encouraged him. Richhariya decided to look at the eye more closely, especially from the vantage point of an engineer. Meanwhile, he had to earn a living. In 2012, he joined Mahakal Institute of Technology, a new engineering college in Ujjain, as a lecturer. While he taught there, Richhariya continued to research on the cornea. He had sought Sangwans help to use the library at the eye institute, and he spent long hours in there reading. Richhariya didnt have a PhD. The management of Mahakal Institute told him that he would not get far in academics without a PhD degree. He did masters in engineering and found a professor at Ujjain Engineering College , Sunil Punjabi of the department of mechanical engineering, to be his guide. Since Richhariya wanted to research corneal biomechanics, he sought the help of Sangwan, too, who also promised to be his guide. He asked Sangwan for permission to watch his surgeries. He took corneal samples and studied them. In a few years, Richhariya had mastered his domain, but he had to surmount some systemic problems.
*Bridging the big divide*
Engineers and doctors did not see eye to eye in India, and there was little collaboration between the two disciplines. So there were very few experts, not to speak of equipment, to help Richhariya in his research. He had found out mechanical stresses of the eye produced changes in refractive index and not just changes in shape as was believed by ophthalmologists. His theory was not easy to test without high-quality optical equipment. One world class Institute at Indore, the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RR-CAT) had the necessary equipment. It was not far from his home town of Ujjain, and Sunil Punjabi used his connections to provide Richhariya access to do experiments there. As he worked on corneal biomechanics, Sangwan watched him closely and began to feel that he was a serious researcher. Ophthalmologists in India have their own battles with equipment. They were too expensive and poorly maintained due to lack of technical expertise. Expensive machines often stopped working in government medical institutions, as they run out of money to get equipment serviced. Top-ranking private hospitals maintain theirs at great expense. LV Prasad Eye Institute, for example, bought a phacoemulsification machine, used in all high-end eye hospitals for cataract surgery using ultrasound. It cost the Institute Rs 50 lakh but it is poorly maintained as there are no experts available. Service is often late. Its hand piece, which delivers the ultrasound waves, can last longer if maintained regularly in the hospital. When it breaks down, the manufacturer insists on replacement rather than repair, adding to the cost. “Engineers are as important in a hospital as doctors,” says Sangwan. He saw in Richhariya an engineer who could change things, at least in his institution.
Richhariya, however, had his own plans. He applied for a Fulbright Fellowship to go the US to work in the best labs in his discipline. Interviewers for the scholarship were amazed at his knowledge of corneal biomechanics. “Within 30 minutes they told me I would get the fellowship,” says Richhariya. Sangwan, meanwhile, spoke to institute founder Gullapalli Rao to sponsor Richhariyas work in the US for an extra year. Rao had worked at the University of Rochester, which had one of the worlds leading optics labs. He readily agreed to send Richhariya there. Rao also agreed to hire Richhariya to start an engineering division at LVPEI when he returned. David Williams of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester was then developing a remarkable new technique for imaging the eye in extraordinary detail. Called adaptive optics, it is now being used in state-of-the-art optical telescopes to compensate for distortions of the atmosphere. In telescopes using this technique, mirrors change their shapes a thousand times a second to counteract atmospheric distortions of celestial light. Williams developed similar techniques to compensate for the distortions caused by fluids in the eye. Richhariya worked in his lab to understand the technology. Specifically, he worked on an Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (AOSLO), which can image individual cells of the retina. “He learned not just to use the instrument,” says Williams, “but also trained to set up the instrument in India.” When he returned, Williams gave Richhariya the instrument parts, which he assembled himself at L V Prasad Institute. “It is difficult,” says Williams. “Not many in the world have this capability.”
The instrument is now assembled on a large table top. The university of Rochester owns the intellectual property, but Richhariya is free to modify as he likes. LVPEI has begun to use it for its research and to detect retinal diseases at an early stage. Richhariya is now associate director of the engineering group, which works on instrumentation used in the hospital. He has expanded LVPEI reach through academic partnerships with two IITs in India and the University of British Columbia in Canada. A partnership with IIT Hyderabad had begun informally even before Richhariya started the engineering division. D Balasubramaniam, former director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular biology in Hyderabad, had gone to IIT to give a talk in 2012. After retirement in 1998, Balasubramananian had become research director of LVPEI, where he had helped develop, among other things, pioneering techniques for using stem cells to produce corneal epithelia. This later became the largest successful human clinical trials of stem cells. “Balasubramanian threw some challenges to the engineers,” says Sumohana Channappayya, professor of electrical engineering at IIT Hyderabad. “He asked us, can we build an artificial eye? Or how can we help people who are visually impaired?” Some professors took the challenge and began working on eye-related engineering problems. Now, IIT Hyderabad works with LVPEI on long- t erm basis. The eye institute sponsors three MTech students for three years on research problems that have relevance in ophthalmology . After Richhariya joined formally, he also started a project with IIT Madras, on using lasers for eye surgery. Anil Prabhakar and Balaji Srinivasan at IIT Madras had developed a new generation of lasers called fibre lasers, which can withstand dust and reduce cost of equipment. These two institutions, along with the IIT Madras startup Unilumen Photonics, is working on a project to develop a pico-second fibre laser for ophthalmology, partly funded by the Department of Biotechnology. Unilumen will manufacture the product, when ready. LVPEI will also look at manufacturing other devices from its research. The adaptive optics device helps image the retina at cellular level and can catch degenerative diseases well before they become evident on other imaging equipment. One day, this could become a product that is manufactured in India. Meanwhile, LVPEI is developing a handheld device, along with the University of British Columbia, to catch eye infections early. Richhariya joined LVPEI in December 2012. he submitted his PhD thesis in 2013. It was so unusual that the Rajiv Gandhi Technical University, the Bhopal-based institution where he had registered for his PhD, took three years to find experts to examine the thesis. Richhariya got his PhD last month. – Courtesy
Ananya Barua | Hindustan Times, Pune Jul 07, 2017 |
Under this programme, students will spend one year in a medical college, two years in the engineering college, and one year in the industry, said Dr Bharatkumar Ahuja, COEP Director, in an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times.
The College of Engineering, Pune (COEP) plans to introduce a course in ‘clinical engineering’ immediately after receiving the Deemed University status. Under this programme, students will spend one year in a medical college, two years in the engineering college, and one year in the industry, Dr Bharatkumar Ahuja, COEP Director said in an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times. He said that the re-structuring of courses through tie ups with industries to provide tailor-made programmes for their employees would be among other initiatives. Clinical Engineering is an interdisciplinary subject which involves applying and implementing medical technology to optimise health care delivery. Roles of clinical engineers range from training and supervising biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) to serving as technological consultants for other hospital staff and working with governmental regulators on hospital inspections/audits. With regard to an expansion of curriculum, Dr Ahuja has some big plans for the 163-year-old engineering college, COEP. “One of the first changes that we would want to bring about after attaining the deemed university status, is the introduction of dual degree programmes, which would enable more student diversity and also introduce collaborative research programmes with foreign universities,” he said.
The Hindu Business Line | Kolkata, May 17 | |
Sources of energy
“The power to be generated from solar energy depends on the availability of sunlight while wind energy will be produced during nor’wester and tropical storm. The power from biogas will be generated from vegetable waste collected from the campus kitchen and outside markets,” the professor said. “In the integrated project, by the Centre for Excellence for Green Energy Systems (CEGESS) of the institute, we are aiming to generate 32 kW of power from whichever resource available and synchronise the smart grid to take the power in the system for use. Thus we will not be depending on one resource,” Roy said. Roy added that the world will be faced with serious situation with the depletion of hydrocarbon source. “Since coal-hydrocarbon based energy technology leads to environmental degradation, the future lies in renewable energy based technology,” he said. The eminent scientist said, this being the age of smart technology, the institute needed to look forward. “The government planners and academicians should be involved in big way as technology is changing very very fast.“The next 50 years will witness unimaginable change in technology, which cannot be static,” he added. – Courtesy
The Hindu | Mangaluru | Manipal, May 09, 2017 |
The Indian Patent Office has granted patent to an invention by Raghunath Manohar of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), a constituent of Manipal University. A statement issued by the university here said that Mr. Manohar’s invention, “A Multi lens System which is a microscope and a component of a telescope”, was approved recently. He had applied for it in 2009, and is the only inventor of the device. Earlier, he had received a U.S. patent for “Marking Gauge”, of which too, he was a sole inventor. Giving details about the invention, Mr. Manohar, Deputy Engineer (Laboratory), Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing, MIT, said that the telescope has 9 lens, which form the erecting lens system using 9 biconvex lenses of same focal length and diameter 10 cm and 50 mm, respectively. The optical system in the apparatus has eight PVC tubes of the required size. This is called the distance tube pieces. The above are slid into a slightly larger PVC container pipe having a collar at one end with a hole at the centre to view the image.
The Times of India | Saurabh Sinha | TNN | Apr 6, 2017 |
NEW DELHI: A mechanical engineer from IIT Delhi is on his way to develop hybrid planes in the US and hopes to sell the same in India for about 1,100-km-long regional flights by early 2020s. Ashish Kumar, CEO and founder of Kirkland (Washington)-based Zunum Aero, is developing regional hybrid-electric aircraft whose range will go up to 1,600 km by 2030. “Boeing and JetBlue (via JetBlue Technology Ventures subsidiary) are backing us. We will first come out with a sub-20 seater hybrid aircraft. We hope to have the first prototype flying in two years and begin commercial production in early 2020s,” Kumar, a PhD in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Cornell University, told TOI.
“Our planes will be way cheaper for airlines to operate. They will not go as high as commercial aircraft due to the distances they will be covering. While they will be slower than other planes, their ability to land at airstrips closer to final destination will significantly reduce door-to-door time for flyers,” said Kumar. Founded in 2013, Zunum Aero is building a family of commercial hybrid-to-electric aircraft designed for regional transit, and powered by quiet range-optimized powertrain and propulsion technologies. The company’s vision is to develop 1,000-mile electric air networks to bring fast and affordable travel to every community. “The shift of the industry to large aircraft and long ranges driven by gas turbines has concentrated almost all air traffic to just one percent of our airports, creating a massive transport gap over regional distances where there is no high-speed alternative. Hybrid propulsion is an industry-changing solution, enabling mid-sized aircraft on regional routes to have better cost efficiencies than airliners,” he said. The hybrid planes, Zunum claims, will have 80% lower emissions. The low operating cost of these planes, Kumar says, will allow airlines to offer cheap fares. “We are looking at India in a big way,” he said. – Courtesy / Read more… / http://zunum.aero/
Economic Times | By PTI | Mar 30, 2017 |
NEW DELHI: Telecom gear maker Ericsson has signed an agreement with IIT Delhi to jointly work on a programme for 5G technology development in India. “Ericsson and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly roll out a ‘5G for India’ programme,” Ericsson said in a statement. Under the agreement, Ericsson will set up a Centre of Excellence with a 5G test bed and incubation centre at IIT Delhi and use this facility to drive the development of the country’s 5G ecosystem. The first series of tests under this programme are due to begin in the second half of 2017 and will place India on par with other developed countries in terms of 5G network and application deployment. Globally, limited deployment and 5G trials are expected to start by mid-2018 while commercial availability is slated for 2020.
“The 5G for India programme is a major step towards understanding the power of 5G technology and how it can help aid Digital India initiatives, including the development of smart cities. The programme will focus on delivering research, innovation and industrial pilots that use next-generation 5G networks as an enabler,” Ericsson’s Head of Region India Paolo Colella said. This programme has been conceptualised to fast-track realisation of Digital India initiatives and aid application development for Indian start-ups and industries, the statement said. In addition to hosting the Center of Excellence, IIT Delhi will conduct research and development to explore how some of the country’s challenges can be addressed with mobile technologies, it added. “IIT Delhi has been committed to developing the latest technologies in close collaboration with industry. We are glad to be hosting the Ericsson Centre of Excellence and Incubation Centre, providing a big leap forward for 5G technologies ecosystem development in the country,” IIT Delhi Director Ramgopal Rao said. – Courtesy