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Build IIT Kharagpur for the 21st Century

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Dear KGP-ians,

A very Happy Thanksgiving and Holiday Season to you and your family. I am writing to inform you that IIT Kharagpur has embarked on a new and exciting phase of expansion and diversification to become a global leader in education and research and , in doing so, realize the strategic goals set by the founding fathers of this great institute in 1951.

This transformation shall start, under the leadership of Director Acharya, who shall be assisted by Dy. Director M. Chakhraborty, Dean AA& IR Amit Patra, and Dean SRIC P. P Chakrabarti who, by the way are also alums of IIT Kharagpur.

In the next few weeks you shall receive a message from the Director, Damodar Acharya and Dean Amit Patra that describes the key issues that need to be addressed to ‘Build IIT Kharagpur for the 21st Century’ and how alums can play an integral role in achieving initial results by the Diamond Jubilee year, 2011.

Posted by: Roy Dasilva @ Nov 26, 2008, 9:18 am PST    Filed under: Fund-raising    1 Comment »

Asia 2020 Largest IIT Event in Asia Pacific at Singapore, Saturday, November 22 2008

ASIA 2020 is a biennial conference organized by IIT Alumni Association, Singapore which is the largest IIT event outside India. Asia 2020 will be addressed by the leading visionaries and influencers and will be attended by the key decision makers across the industry in the Asia Pacific region. Asia 2020 will have 4 key tracks (i) Leadership 2020, (ii) Development 2020, (iii) Technology 2020 and (iv) Lifestyle 2020. Join with over 500 participants in this remarkable conference to network and share your views with your fellow colleagues.

What : ASIA 2020 Conference
Where : Singapore
When : Saturday, November 22, 2008
Register : http://www.iiteverywhere.com/register.php

Posted by: Amar Narisetty @ Nov 10, 2008, 2:48 pm PST    Filed under: Events    Add Comment »

Arjun Malhotra’s journey from HCL to Headstrong - An old interview of Arjun Malhotra

Each of the five friends who believed in the IT dream and set up HCL in 1975 mapped their own successful paths; livemint caught up with Arjun Malhotra (1970 ECE, RP), one of the five who is now chairman, Headstrong. Read the complete interview at livemint. Here are some excerpts:

Arjun Malhotra, chairman and CEO of Headstrong, a global consultancy firm passed out from Kharagpur IIT, before joining DCM. In 1975, six friends Shiv Nadar, Ajai Chowdhury, D.S Puri, Subhash Arora, Yogesh Vaidya and Malhotra started Hindustan Computer Ltd (HCL). 23 years later he founded Techspan with funding from Goldman Sachs and Walden International. In 2003, Techspan merged with Headstrong and Malhotra led the seamless integration, resulting in Headstrong’s recognition as one of the fastest-growing IT-based Financial Services companies. Livemint met the U.S based Malhotra on his recent visit to India. Excerpts from a freewheeling interview:

When did you leave the company and why?
I wanted to be mentally free to pursue what I wanted to. When Internet came up and HCL was going through a reorganization, it was clear that they wanted to wait and watch which way it was going and then go behind it. From a company point of view this was good, but from a fund point of view it was no fun. It was like you are not to fool around with technology as it is evolving.

What are your plans for the future?
When I have the time, I would like to get into the education segment and focus on high school and the two years following that. But that is only if I have enough supply. Education today is a bigger business than IT and in the coming years, finishing schools will thrive if run and managed well. .
When we started NIIT the idea was to fill a need for good data entry operators with hands on training with quality education. NIIT is doing well today but they have not moved into regular education. Maybe public-private partnership here might be the answer.
If I have 50 defunct universities, I would attempt revitalizing them. This should be a priority, for there are a million people in Delhi alone who can be employed and if they are good, employers will not go to China and other countries to get the right people.

Posted by: Amar Narisetty @ Nov 10, 2008, 2:32 pm PST    Filed under: Alumni    Add Comment »

Bad to worse: In IIT with just 5% in JEE physics - Article in Times of India

Here is an interesting statistical article on the waning standards of IIT JEE Times Of India. Here are some excerpts:

In the IIT joint entrance examination of 2007, a score of 15% in mathematics was enough to make it to IIT-Kanpur. If you found that shocking, look at this year’s figures. In 2008, students could join IIT-Kharagpur despite scoring no more than 5% in physics.

This flies in the face of the seemingly reassuring statistics put out by IIT-Roorkee on its website in August stating that in the 2008 JEE conducted by it, the marks obtained by the last admitted candidate in the general category were 63 out of 162 in maths (39%), 72 in physics (44%) and 45 in chemistry

The website glossed over the fact that some of the admitted candidates who obtained higher aggregates (and, therefore, higher ranks) actually scored much lower marks in one or the other subject than those scored by the last admitted candidate.

Consider a sample of the anomalies that have emerged from the latest JEE following the drop in subject cutoffs (the first filter in the selection process) to 5 in maths, 0 in physics and 3 in chemistry.

- If the last admitted candidate had an all-India rank (AIR) of 6,773 scoring respectable percentages in all three subjects, the one who scored just 6% in maths obtained a much better AIR, 5,308, which was good enough to get him admission to IIT-Kharagpur or Roorkee.

Given their global reputation, IITs would do well to rationalize their cutoff procedure for the 2009 JEE in the light of the anomalies that have surfaced in the last two years with the 20 percentile formula.

Posted by: Amar Narisetty @ Nov 7, 2008, 11:12 pm PST    Filed under: Media    Add Comment »