Monday, September 24, 2012

Agriculture Leadership Award to IIT Kanpur

Here is the announcement from Dean, Research and Development:

I am vey happy to inform you that this year IIT Kanpur is a recipient of the Agriculture Leadership Awards. These awards were given on 19th Sept, 2012 by the Hon'ble Union Minister of State for Agriculture Sri Harish Rawat at a function in New Delhi. Dr. M S Swaminathan was the Chairman of the Jury.
The award is in recognition of the innovative knowledge management model in agriculture extension developed by Prof. T V Prabhakar, Department of Computer Science and Engineering through several projects funded by ICAR, NAIP, BITCOE etc.
The detailed citation of the award says "IIT Kanpur, a premier engineering and research institute of the country, has successfully implemented various agricultural projects with innovative technologies and capacity building for sustainable development. Its Agropedia, a semantically enabled agricultural knowledge management repository is a first of its kind in Indian agriculture. The Institute’s yet another product, Openagri, an open access agriculture research repository, is a focused research space for hosting agriculture documents. IIT-Kanpur’s Voice-Krishi Vigyan Kendra (vKVK), developed to facilitate communication between extension personnel and farming communities is presently reaching to the extension personnel of 90 Krishi Vigyan Kendras and likely to be up scaled by ICAR to all 630 KVKs in the 12th Five Year Plan. KVK-Net and Agrotagger was also developed by this prestigious institution."

Other awardees include:

National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources for exceptional work in conservation of genetic resources
Nuziveedu Seeds Limited for exceptional work in agriculture extension
Suguna Foods Limited for exceptional business leadership in poultry sector in India
Indian Oil Corporation Limited for environment friendly products and farm sustainability
State of Kerala for innovative policy initiatives towards transforming horticulture
State of Madhya Pradesh for visionary leadership and exceptional performance in farm production


Here is the link to agropedia
And here is the link to openagri
Finally, you can find more about Prof. T V Prabhakar at his homepage

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Director of IIT Kanpur

Here is the communique issued by IIT Kanpur yesterday regarding the appointment of its new Director.

The Institute is pleased to inform that the Hon’ble President of India in his capacity as Visitor of the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, has approved the appointment of Prof. Indranil Manna as Director of IIT Kanpur for a period of five years on contract with effect from the date he assumes the charge or till he attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier in accordance with the terms and conditions laid down in the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 and the Statutes of IIT Kanpur. An appointment letter in this regard has already been issued to Prof. Manna by the Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Kanpur, which has been accepted by Prof. Manna.
A brief Curriculum Vitae of Prof. Manna is as follows:

Dr. Indranil Manna

Prof. (Dr.) Indranil Manna is working as Director of Central Glass & Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI) with effect from March 1, 2010. Born on January 22, 1961, Prof Manna obtained his B.E degree from Calcutta University (B.E. College) in 1983 and M Tech degree in 1984 from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. After a brief stint at Mishra Dhatu Nigam, Hyderabad, he joined IIT, Kharagpur in 1985 as Lecturer and rose to the position of Full Professor in 2003. He was in this position till he joined CGCRI as Director.

Prof Manna is a metallurgical engineer, a renowned educator and a prolific researcher. His significant contributions in the studies of amorphous/nanocrystalline Al-alloys, nano-fluid and laser/plasma assisted surface engineering greatly inspired the scientific community. His early contributions in moving boundary phase transformation are still widely cited. As a teacher, Prof Manna has developed several new courses and taught subjects related to phase transformation, materials engineering, surface engineering, thermodynamics and X-ray diffraction. His research interest spans from structure-property correlation in engineering materials including synthesis/application of nano-materials, surface coating/engineering, phase transition, fuel cells, sensors, bainitic steel and mathematical modeling.

Prof. Manna worked as guest scientist in several institutions of excellence and universities abroad such as Max Planck Institute at Stuttgart, Technical University of Clausthal, Nanyang Technological University, Liverpool University, University of Ulm, etc.

Prof. Manna is a recipient of INSA Medal for Young Scientists, Young Metallurgist and Metallurgist of the Year Awards, MRSI Medal, AICTE career award, DAAD and the prestigious Humboldt Fellowships. He is also a recipient of the Acta Materialia Best Referee Award for years 1999 and 2003, respectively. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Bonn appointed Prof Manna as Honorary DAAD Advisor in India for three years, INAE selected him for Indian National Academy of Engineering-All India Council of Technical Education (INAE-AICTE) Distinguished Industry Professorship for 2007-08 to work with Tata Steel, and the Indian Institute of Metals (IIM) conferred upon him the GD Birla Gold Medal for 2008.

He has published about 225 peer-reviewed papers, supervised 14 Ph.D, 35 M. Tech. and 50 B. Tech. theses, carried out 32 sponsored projects worth over Rs. 16 crore and also obtained a patent on amorphous AlCuTi alloy.

Prof. Manna is a Fellow (FNAE) of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, New Delhi; a Fellow (FNASc) of The National Academy of Sciences of India, Allahabad; and a Fellow (FASc) of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.

Prof. Manna was the President of the Materials Science Section of the 97th Indian Science Congress held in Trivandrum during January 3 - 7, 2010. The INAE has recently awarded him the prestigious "INAE Chair" for two years. To date, he remains the third recipient of this prestigious chair. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

IIT Kanpur Retains Premier Position in India Today Rankings

India Today has announced the 2012 rankings. Amongst the engineering colleges, IIT Kanpur has once again retained its top position. Here is the link to their story.

Even though I believe that it is very difficult to differentiate between the top few institutes in the country, it feels good to have some one of the stature of India Today rank IIT Kanpur as number one.

The ranking has come at a time when the very existence of the Institute as an institute of excellence is at stake, and when its autonomy is being challenged. I hope this sends out a strong message that something which is working fine can be improved but only with care and compassion, and after a lot of data, experimentation and analysis.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Convocation 2012

The 44th Convocation of the Institute was held on 2nd June, 2012. A record 1135 students graduated this year, thanks to the first under-graduate batch of enhanced strength (admitted in year 2008) graduating this year. The number is going to increase further over the next 3-4 years. The number of PhDs were 101, maintaining a 100+ number for the 4th year in a row. We are hoping that next year too, we will be in the 100-110 range for the number of PhDs, but year after that, we should cross 125 (considering the pipeline - how many admissions took place 4-5 years ago).

More than 80% of the graduates received their degrees in person, which is a very high fraction.

The function was held in three parts of about 2 hours, 1 hour, and 1 hour. This is to make sure that parents of all the students receiving degrees can be accommodated in the auditorium when they go on the stage to receive their degrees. In the first, we gave out only the PhD degrees, which is the highest degree that the Institute awards. Along with that, some of the awards, including President's Gold Medal, were given in the first ceremony. Director's report of the last academic year and the convocation address by the Chief Guest, Dr. E Sreedharan, were also in the first ceremony. The first ceremony was held from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

The second ceremony was from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM, and in this part, we gave away MTech (2-year), MSc (2-year), MBA, and MDes degrees, and PG Diploma for EXVLM.

The third ceremony was from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and in this part, we gave away, BTech, BTech-MTech dual, and MSc (Integrated) degrees.

 The coveted President's Gold Medal given to the student with the best academic performance in the graduating class among all disciplines of under-graduate programs of study was given to three students this time. Shubhayu Chatterjee (MSc, Physics), Ankit Kumar (BTech, Computer Science and Engineering), and Ashish Gupta (BTech, CSE). Overall, more than 100 students received awards and medals during the convocation.

There is also a nice tradition in IITK that the graduating under-graduate students elect the best teacher, and that faculty member is given what is known as "Gopal Das Bhandari Distinguished Teacher Award." This year, the award went to Dr. Swagato Kumar Ray of Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Here is the link to convocation website.

Friday, April 27, 2012

IITK Alumnus is Fellow of Royal Society

It is perhaps dated, but I just got this mail from Alumni Association, which I thought I should share on this blog.

Professor Krishnaswamy Vijay Raghavan has been inducted as Fellow of Royal Society.

Born on 3 February 1954, Prof Raghavan, is currently the senior Professor and Director of The National Centre for Biological Sciences. He is an inspirational leader successfully promoting excellence in Indian biology. Growing under his inclusive leadership, the National Centre for Biological Sciences is recognized internationally as a world-class institution. He has been an exemplary mentor, forging partnerships to grow life sciences research. He has worked to establish new institutions, drawing the best young scientists to India. An outstanding developmental geneticist, his contributions to understanding the cellular and molecular principles of adult muscle development in Drosophila are widely recognized. He has elegantly combined these studies with those on the development of the nervous system to study the control and development of movement.

Dr K VijayRaghavan, after doing B Tech in 1975 and M Tech in 1977 in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur obtained his PhD degree in Molecular Biology from TIFR Bombay. From 1984 to 1988 he worked at California Institute of Technology, USA in the area of Molecular Biology and Genetics. After returning from USA he joined NCBS as a Reader where he is currently a Professor and the Director.

Dr K VijayRaghavan has earlier worked on the function and analysis of a blood oxygeneator and heart- lung- machine at IIT Kanpur, genetic analysis of flight muscle in Drosophila, genetics of steroid hormone regulated genes in Drosophila and the molecular analysis of brain mRNAs in flies. His current interests lie in understanding mechanisms underlying animal development, in particular the formation of muscles in the fruit fly Drosophila Melanogaster. A Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences and Indian National Science Academy, Dr K VijayRaghavan is recipient of several awards as British Council Fellowship, Proctor and Gamble Fellowship (Caltech), Lucile P Markey Fellowship (Caltech) and Biotechnology Career Development Award of Rockfeller Foundation. In 1998, Dr K VijayRaghavan was conferred with the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Biology. Author of several technical papers in refereed journals, Dr K VijayRaghavan was also a member of the editorial board of Journal of Genetics. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Jubilant Biosys. He is also a recipient of Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT Kanpur.

The other two distinguished IITK alumni who have been inducted as Fellow of Royal Society in the past are Prof Mriganka Sur (BT/EE/74), and Prof Ashoke Sen (MSC2/PHY/78).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

IIT Kanpur has most innovative use of technology

India Today organized Aspire Education Summit 2012 last week (27th January, 2012).

They announced several awards for the best institutes and universities in India's education sector.

Award for the most innovative use of technology went to IIT Kanpur for making the most of what technology has to offer and using it in a way that enriched life. It was received by Prof. S.C. Srivastava, Deputy Director, IIT, Kanpur.

Complete news about the awards at this event can be read this link.