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The 53 Annual Convocation KGP gets ready for Prof. George F. Smoot The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. - Aristotle 'Human beings have had the audacity to conceive a theory of creation and now, we are able to test that theory.' The fifty-third Annual Convocation, to be held on 15th September, will see 2006 Nobel Prize recipient, Prof. George F. Smoot, grace the occasion as the Chief Guest. Born in Yukon, Florida, he graduated from Upper Arlington High School, Ohio in 1962. He then joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he obtained dual bachelor's degrees in mathematics and physics in 1966. After getting his PhD in particle physics from M.I.T., he entered the field of cosmology. An active researcher in astrophysics and cosmology, he has been an astrophysicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) since 1974 and a physics professor at University of California since 1994.

He has authored more than 200 science papers and was a co-author of the popular scientific book Wrinkles in Time (Harper, 1994) that elucidates cosmology and the COBE discovery. He is also a member of various reputed science and physics societies. He has been associated with projects on ground-based radio-telescope observations, b a l l o o n - b o r n e instrumentation, and satellite experiments. The most famous of these is 'COBE' (NASA Cosmic Background Explorer satellite), where Dr. Smoot, along with Dr. John S. Mather analyzed data which was obtained by measuring high precision diffused infra-red and microwave radiations from the first few moments of the formation of the universe. By 1992 they had mapped the primordial hot and cold spots in CMB radiation. These spots are related to the gravitational

field in the early universe, and are the seeds for giant clusters of galaxies that stretch hundreds of millions of light years across the universe. He was responsible for measuring small variations in temperature of the radiation. Consequent research on the data obtained from COBE confirmed the validity of the Big Bang Theory. After their phenomenal success in the discovery of the basic form of cosmic microwave background radiation as well as its small variations in different directions, George F. Smoot and John C. Mather were jointly awarded the highest award in the field of physics in 2006, the Nobel Prize.

Internship Harsh Vijay Singh writes about his summer internship at GE. Page 2

Bhaat Avenue Bhaat Ave is back with even more bhaat! Page 3

Tech Avenue A new section featuring cutting edge technology. Page 4

Department In Focus The AgFE Department examined in-depth. Page 5

ISIC Why you should have an International Student ID card. Page 6

Innovation Cell Read about KGP’s latest startup society. Page 6

During the last three and a half decades, Prof. Smoot has thus helped conceive and test the theory of origin and evolution of the universe.

And the award goes to...

Prof George F. Smoot Professor, University of California, Berkeley

The convocation ceremony is that time of the year when one more batch of IITians receives its prestigious IIT degree and throws up its hats in jubilation. This year the convocation will be held on the 15th of September and the Chief Guest is Prof. George F. Smoot. The awards to be given in the convocation ceremony have been decided and the coveted list is given below.

Nobel Prize (Physics) Winner 2006 Chief Guest, 53rd Annual Convocation, IIT Kharagpur.

The Scholars' Avenue congratulates all the awardees and wishes all graduates an illustrious future. President of India Gold Medal (Highest CGPA) Mr Arka Majumdar Department of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering — Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy Memorial Gold Medal (Best all-round performance) Mr Shreepriya Das Department of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering — The Prime Minister of India Gold Medal (Highest CGPA among dual degree and MSc students) Mr Kaushik Sengupta Department of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering — Dr Jnan Chandra Ghosh Memorial Gold Medal (Best all-round performance among dual degree and MSc students) Mr Anindya Dutta Department of Biotechnology — Prof JC Bose Memorial Gold Medal (Highest CGPA among two year MSc students) Mr Amit Singha Roy Department of Physics and Meteorology

Solemn graduates at last year’s convocation

Ø NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (May 1991) Ø Popular Science Award (Nov 1992) Ø Aerospace Laureate, Aviation Week & Space Technology (Apr 1993) Ø 1993 Distinguished Scientist, ARCS Foundation, Inc. (Apr 1993) Ø Kilby Award (May 1993) Ø Gravity Research Foundation Essay First Award

(May 1993)

Ø Productivity Group Award, Goddard Space Flight

Center, NASA (May 1993)

Ø Golden Plate Award, (May 1994) Ø Lawrence Award, (May 1995) Ø Einstein Medal, Albert Einstein Society, Switzerland

(2003)

Ø Gruber Prize with John Mather (2006) Ø Daniel Chalonge Medal, International School of Astrophysics (2006)


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The ‘GE’ eXPerience soul on Earth, whose life has not been touched by the General Electric Company. That's truly, real imagination at work.

How big can you imagine? An overall market capitalization of close to $380 billion, ranked consistently among the topmost Fortune 500 companies – world's most respected and admired companies in the year 2007 and, revenues to the tune of $163 billion, profits in excess of $20 billion, over 125 years of extraordinary leadership and a worldwide employee base in excess of 300,000, across the boundaries of nations, races and colour. Does this beat your imagination? What started with a modest vision by Thomas Alva Edison in 1876, sparked by probably the greatest invention of all times, the incandescent bulb, in Menlo Park, New Jersey, has gone on to become synonymous with corporate excellence and set standards for all others to vie for. Back then, it was merely a bulb, today it's nothing less than a colossus. There's hardly a

Starting with electric bulbs and fans, today, the company's operations have proliferated into the sectors of infrastructure materials for aviation, rail, oil and gas, energy and power generation; financial services, real estate, healthcare, nanotechnology, plastics and other advanced materials, just to name a few. Each 'business' is itself a vast enterprise, many of which would, even as a stand alone company, rank in the Fortune 500. Employees form the heart of this success saga. Half of GE's employee pool comes from outside America's shores, from over 100 countries. I had an opportunity to work at GE's John F. Welch Technology Centre (JFWTC) at Bangalore, as an intern. The first sight of the state of art complex in the trade hub of Bangalore is really awe-inspiring. Home to more than 2500 employees representing all areas and disciplines of science and technology, it's one of GE's four Global Research Centers across the globe, the others being in Niskayuna, Munich

and Shanghai. It is truly an engineers' paradise. As an intern, I was part of the Early Identification Program (EID), which requires interns to work on real technology and get real world hands-on experience, working with some of the world's most prolific researchers and scientists. It is the final destination for students who want to pursue a career in research. The whole internship program is meticulously structured. Each intern is assigned to a team of engineers working on a specific project under the expert guidance of managers, for appropriate training and orientation. The nature of projects ranges from the purely analytical to product development. The environment is extremely conducive towards work. Laboratories are well maintained and well equipped. The work of an intern, if successful, is highly regarded and aptly rewarded. A series of lectures and seminars were also organized for knowledge and skill enhancement. And before you know it, you might just find yourself working on a problem with a guy sitting diametrically across the globe! Another of GE's landmark training initiatives is the Edison Engineering

Development Program (EEDP). This highly prestigious program is designed for fresh engineering graduates, spanning two years and consists of classroom teaching as well as hands-on practical experience. EEDP "Edisons" receive broader exposure through rotational assignments as they actively contribute to various technical projects. GE ranks high in terms of work environment and culture. And this really has to be seen to be believed. Flexible working hours, conveyance arranged to and from office at any hour, recreation facilities at the Employee Recreation Centre, a modern gymnasium, lunch, tea and snacks at subsidized rates at the beautiful cafeteria, social, cultural, and sports events and excellent learning opportunities contribute to its status as one of the most respected companies in the world.

- The author, Harsh Vijay Singh, is currently a senior year student of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Member of the Steering Committee of the Kshitij Team and Governor, Technology Literary Society.

Changing the basic ingredient Over the years, IIT Kharagpur has tried to carve out a more f l e x i b l e academic system, aiming at capability based learning where students would get wider options to exercise. In the process, there have been attempts to revise the course structure and curriculum, also intended to distribute the workload more evenly over the years of course completion.

and theory credits were unified into one course. The summer breaks were stretched to nearly three months. To compensate for this, class timings were changed to start at 7:30 instead of at 8 and the duration of classes was increased to 55 minutes instead of 50. The total credit load was reduced from 200 to 170 through the merging of several related courses. Also, notably, the present time table presentation model with slots was formulated in the same year.

Starting with the batch of 2006, a new curriculum has been introduced for all B.Tech, Dual Degree and 5 year Integrated MSc courses. The Scholars' Avenue spoke to the Dean (Undergraduate Studies), Prof BS Sastry to find out about important changes and the motives behind them.

While most of these proposals found support, many departments felt that merging didn't do justice to the courses. Also, the availability of time table slots for breadth courses emerged as an important problem. Coupling of lab and theory meant that failing in any one lead to doing both the lab and theory again as a backlog. Also, many breadth courses had a lab component and this severely limited the student intake because of limited lab space. Hence, some of these changes have been reversed in the

The last major curriculum revision that took place was in 2000-2001 under the then Dean (UGS), Prof S.C. De Sarkar. Minor degrees and breadth subjects were introduced into the academic schedule for the first time. Lab

revised system. The course of Basic Electronics for first year students has been shifted to second year in order to reduce the workload. The total number of credits has seen a marginal increase to 180 due to reversal of the merging of a few courses. Lab and theory credits have again been separated for greater flexibility. However, the timetable difficulties still remain. The number of people successfully completing minors has come down sharply in the recent years mainly due to slot and time table difficulties. Barely a year into the new curriculum, there is already talk of another radical change in both the structure and content of the syllabus. A committee is being formed to design a framework that the various departments will be required to fit into. We hope the new changes are a step forward to further IIT Kharagpur's attempts in improving the many diverse programmes it offers.

O NLINE N E WS To read these articles online and to give your feedback on them, please visit our website at www.scholarsavenue.org. scholarsavenue.org also provides the latest campus news through our coverage of events as they happen. Send letters to the editor at: editor@scholarsavenue.org Web hosting provided by:

T E A M S CHOLS A V E Riti Executive Editors ? Mohapatra, Saahil Bhanot, Umang Jain Editors ? Aditya Marathe, Anuj Dayal, Arish Inam, Robin Anil, Sheekha Verma, Sreeja Nag, Suvrat Bafna Sr. Reporters ? Anup Bishnoi, Deepak Cherian, JS Deepthi, Mithun Madhusudan, Pranesh Chaudhary, Srinath Sinha, Vinayak Pathak Reporters ? AVN Murthy, Bharat Bhat, Mayank Kedia, Pallavi Jayannavar, Siddharth Singh, Suyash Bire


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iew...... v R e H Aap Kaa Our Verdict: “HR, surroor and freewheelin’ autoHRickshaws” As-salaam aleikum. Caps off to the one and only Indian HRockstaaa phenomenon, the Elvis of India, whose tunes have captured just about every loudspeaker you thought you could lay your hands on. Just when you thought HRepetition was the new wave in music nowadays after hearing JunooJunooJunuuJunuu and Aashiq B a n a a y a a f r o m t h e aforementioned countless loudspeakers, 'HR' (more affectionately known among us as Himesh Da) sends your tunenumbed mind into yet another frenzy, by gracing the silver screen with his charm, and the omnipresent cap, looking like a cross of a Sunil Shetty-wannabe and a bare-chested Wolverine! Frankly, we believe the HRelease of Aap Kaa Surroor is an example worthy of a B-School case study: A successful campaign selling stupidity in its element, and enmasse. It seems this monument of narcissism has dug a deep hole in the IQ chart of Indian viewers worldwide. Himesh Da is truly the complete Indian Family Entertainment

Man of Dreams - a hugely famous HRockstar, down-to-earth, likes HRomely girls for company, HRebuffs advances from busty lawyers in skin tight club wear, HRespects father-in-law-to-be, and sports no vices - the true Middle Class Media Messiah. The new-age SuperHRero™. Among his other repertoire of SuperHRuman™ skills, he can drive flimsy Beetles faster than top-end Audis, and decode complex safe codes in an instant because 'har awaaz me sur sunaai deti hai'. From being put into a jail, quite obviously in the wrong continent (going by inmate nationality), Himesh Da realizes true fairytale love in the seemingly innocent character played by some grossly underage teen debutante who should really be trying as hard to complete school. At the same time, he's managing a 'HRocking' career, so to speak, and valiantly resisting advances from an out-ofplace Mallika Sherawat, desperately trying to play a Black Magic Woman. Cut to the night of the alleged incident, and the death of reporter Nadia Merchant who’s

as much a daughter of HRaj Babbar, as Saddam being alive. HR Da is under influence, contrary to his wish of course, and later realises he's been framed by his event manager over a few gHReenbacks. In a brilliantly devised plan, his manager thinks popping HR Da off will keep the loan sharks sated. Huhaaa, you say! Wrong! Enter SuperHRero™ HR. All he needs is a flimsy Volkswagen Beetle, and a little bit of help from his friends - the hitherto unnoticably large Indian auto HRickshaw community of Germany - to tear across the city through the narrow alleys and backdoor routes (known thanks to

his inbuilt SuperHRuman™ GPS system) and catch up with the gun-toting manager's agents. After a long boring Bolly-style battle that has you glancing covertly at your watch, HR makes the manager confess and you know everything's HRight with the world once again. Hugo Weaving once famously said, "Everything that happens, happens for a reason". This obviously excluded HR and his film. To HR and his band of merry 'Junoon'ers, we recommend an ice pack, some sleeping pills and a CD of Gayatri Mantra. In short, Aap Kaa Surroor is all about 'H R'. Love him or hate him, it's HR all over the place. As is this review.

Saturday, August 26th 2007

VOL. II NO. 1½

Cycling Without Pedals Dream Or Reality? A group of students from IIT Kharagpur has developed a technology, which, as it claims, could help solve the speculated energy crisis of the future by reducing the energy requirements of the people drastically. The technology involves building townships where commuting from any point to any other would always be a matter of travelling down the slope. This apparent replacement of the non-renewable sources of energy, which have been traditionally used for powering vehicles of locomotion, with gravitational potential energy has received copious appreciations in research

throughout the process and had to go through many brainstorming sessions at Bondhu's. One of the biggest challenges was to be able to come up with a feasible model in less than seven dimensions, which was later resolved by the seemingly simple suggestion of fixing elevators at some strategic locations. circles and is being widely regarded as a peculiar show of innovation. An implementation of the technology is soon to be seen in the KGP campus. The development stage was never trivial for the group. The team faced several challenges

DID YOU KNOW?

The apparent elegance of the idea has baffled many of the experts of the field and has left them pondering over the question, "Why didn't I think of it?" The members of the group behind it are themselves not very clear about the motivation behind

the idea and mysteriously ascribe it to an overdose of Black Dogs and heavy metal. Some even go as far as calling it a result of a supernatural activity. Though the implications of this new technology have not been fully worked out yet, there are some who believe that it will only lead to an uninhibited economic crisis by hopelessly eliminating all the demand for motorized vehicles. However, for those who have gone through the frustrations of cycling up the slope, it is going to be a source of immense pleasure and satisfaction.

You might be in the Matrix and you might have just found out.


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Wingardium Leviosa! The next time you see your local magician levitating his curvaceous assistant, don't go "Bah! Trick of the light!" It could be for real. Levitation could very likely leave science fiction books and enter e v e r y d a y l i f e . A team o f theore tical physi cists from t h e Unive rsity of St. Andre ws has engineered a force that is normally attractive and made it repulsive. Named "Casimir Force" after its discoverer, it is neither a gravitational, nor an electromagnetic effect. It is a quantum mechanical effect that hasn't fully been understood as yet. It is caused by fluctuations in energy fields

occupying the empty space between two surfaces. This is the force that enables a gecko to walk across the ceiling. The Casimir force poses a p r o b l e m f o r nanotechnologists, because it causes friction between the tiny mechanical devices. Reverse engineering the Casimir force might, however, be able to prevent tiny objects from sticking to each other and hence overcome this problem. The force was reversed using a lens that had already been constructed. With manipulation of the force, moving parts in machines could run a lot more smoothly. This would be a breakthrough in the field of lubrication. The team said that although levitating something as large as a human might seem unrealistic at the moment, it should not be written off. We are all slaves of time (for the time-being at least!), and only t i m e w i l l t e l l . . .

A Farm For People? Did you ever imagine that the sheer power of a crowd's excitement at a rock concert could help amplify the sound of the music ? Working on the idea to harness human locomotive power, architecture students from the Massachussetts Institue Of Technology (USA), James Graham and Thaddeus Jusczyk, recently unveiled the "Crowd Farm," a conceptual design that would derive energy from moving feet in prototype stool that Exploits crowded places. A crowd farm the passive act of sitting to would be a responsive sub generate power. The weight of the body on the seat causes a flywheel to spin, which powers a dynamo that, in turn, lights f o u r L E D s . A single human step can only power two 60W light bulbs for one flickering second. But get a crowd in motion, multiply that single step by 28,527 steps, for example, and the result is enough energy to power a The students' test of the Crowd Farm in a train station and public space in Torino, Italy moving train for one second. A large scale crowd farm setup could thus harness the flooring system made up of collective energy of commuters blocks that depress slightly bustling through subway under the force of human steps stations, shoppers marching installed beneath the walking through mega halls or fans lobby. The slippage of the dancing at a rock concert . b l o c k s A l t h o u g h against one another as people constructing a crowd farm will walked will generate power prove to be expensive, it through the principle of the r e m a i n s a n i n n o v a t i v e dynamo, a device that converts proposal to harness human the energy of motion into that power as a sustainable form of of an electric current. The energy and to minimize the students' test case, displayed ubiquitous waste of kinetic at the Venice Biennale, was a energy.

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Mars Ahoy!

Ok, so maybe your dream of hitch hiking to the nearest star system may still be just that, a dream, but don't lose heart. An American company, Claramunt, intent on colonizing space, is working on a project that will bring your dream that much closer to reality. ”Galactic suite” is all set to become the first hotel planned in space, and also the most expensive hotel in the galaxy, with its $4 million price tag for a three day stay. During that time the guests would see the sun rise 15 times a day and use Velcro suits to crawl around their pod rooms like Spiderman.

The three-bedroom boutique hotel's joined up pod structure, which makes it look like a model of molecules, was dictated by the fact that each pod room had to fit inside a rocket to be taken into space. The major trouble in designing came in designing bathrooms suited for zero gravity condition, but they may have solved the issue of how to take a shower in weightlessness -the guests will enter a spa room in which bubbles of water will float around. The price though also includes eight weeks of intensive training at a James Bond style space camp on a tropical island. Not only that, the guests also take part in scientific experiments on space travel. To tackle the fear associated with space the rocket taking the tourists will stay docked for the entire duration of the stay. Next step says Claramunt – The red planet.

The Genographic Project "The greatest history book ever written, is the one hidden in our genes.” It is this that has prompted IBM and the N a t i o n a l G e o g r a p h i c Society to launch the Genographic Project, a genetic research initiative that aims to reveal the intimate details of human migratory history. Launched on 13 th April 2005, the project is expected to reveal rich details on human migration trajectories and stimulate a deeper understanding of humanity's connections and differences. The project seeks to explain how the present human beings, descendents of the same ancestor from Africa who lived 60,000 years ago, have ended up in every corner of the world and in so many colours and features.

the world to collect gene samples of indigenous people living in those regions and also of the general public. The samples will be sent to the IBM's Computational Biology Center, where advanced analytical technologies and data sorting techniques will be used to discover new connections and patterns. The resultant database will house one of the largest collections of genetic information of human population ever assembled; serving as an unprecedented resource for anthropologists, geneticists and historians.

Electricity Bills (Jan-June, 2006) When DNA is passed from one generation to the next, most parts of it remain intact, altered only occasionally by mutations which become 'genetic markers'. It is these markers that allow geneticists like Dr. Spencer Wells, scientific director of the project, to trace our common evolutionary time line back through the ages. Field labs have been set up in various countries all over

Even common people can participate in the project by donating their gene samples. More information on this can be obtained from the National Geographic website. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2010.


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In Focus-AgFE "Enjoy life sip by sip not gulp by gulp." This article is the first in a series where The Scholars’ Avenue will focus on each department of the institute and try to bring to you a comprehensive historical fact book. More than 1000 B Techs, 1500 M Techs, 350 PhDs, 200 Diplomas, the highest number of Consultancy and Sponsored projects in the campus worth 80 million rupees-well, these are the vital stats of a 55 year old department of our institute which still evokes these responses from the nescients and nascents - Agriculture and Food, who?? The only department outside the institute's arena, it has been silently dedicated to the service of the nation and has been continuously upping the ante for need-based research and technologies. Popularly known as Ghasi inside the campus, it has indeed kept its roots intact and today, ICAR, top universities and labs around the world as well as top notch companies are

flooded with alumni of this department. The courses available in the department provide ample flexibility to the students for acquiring expertise in Farm Power and Machinery, Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, and Food Process Engineering. In order to meet the present demand of agricultural and food industries, specialized training in watershed management using remote sensing and GIS, ergonomic database and processing of food, fiber and fodder, utilization of biomass and non-conventional energy sources is also imparted. The faculty has nearly as many PhDs as it has members and many times more the number of books and publications and many patents in the pipeline. It

A tractor mounted hydraulic sprayer

has a 100 hectare farm of its own to go with an aquacultural tank and many laboratories for the wide range of specializations. The department has the credit of introducing the concept of modern rice mills in the country. The cavity well technology, developed way back in 1977 when the present HOD Dr. B. C. Mal was pursuing his PhD from this very department and the mechanization of Chhena and Sondesh production are all gifts of this department. A low energy consuming fishing shrimp trawl, an agrimower and an improved tractor seat for the operator along with the drip irrigation technology also constitute its long list of achievements. Recently, the department was in the news when the Union

Minister of State for Commerce, Dr. Jairam Ramesh, announced a grant of Rs. 160 million to be given in next five years to set up a tea engineering research facility. This correspondent was told by Dr. Mal that Dr. B. C. Ghosh is expected to take charge of the tea project which involves development of new design and modification of available machinery. Both of them hoped that the department which has always been a pioneer in research areas regarding tea production, especially in the instant tea technique from fresh leaves, will reach greater heights with this addition to its repertoire. Dr. Ghosh also exhorted the graduates against brain drain and Dr. Mal asked for more hard work to be put in so that they enjoy their lives sip by sip and to the hilt.

Electrifying! As part of a series of articles, The Scholars’ Avenue brings you an update on the electricity bills of various halls

The last issue of The Scholars’ Avenue (April 17) published figures for the period January to June 2006. This time we bring to you figures for the period July to December 2006. Watch out for our coming issues for a more comprehensive outlook on the disparity in electricity charges for the halls.


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Discover the World with ISIC UNESCO approved International Student Identity Card More than a hundred undergraduate students go abroad as interns every year. Most would never come to know that they could have well paid much lesser for their airfare and other needs during their entire trip. All this, with an internationally accepted student identity card! UNESCO endorses the International Student Identity Card and recognizes it as the unique document for student travel and cultural exchange, as well as the only official internationally recognized proof of student status. The ISIC comes with a bagful of goodies; it is your passport to more than 32,000 discounts in 106 countries worldwide. You can use the

ISIC to avail 1,200 discounts on flights, buses, trains and ferries; 2,800 discounts on entrance to the world's leading museums and cultural sites; 2,700 discounts on entertainment and attractions; 2,400 discounts on youth hostels and hotels; 21,000 discounts worldwide on bars, restaurants and shopping, and much more. In addition to these benefits, the ISIC can be used as a calling card with the ISIConnect facility which is embedded in it. You can save up to 70 % of your calling cost from over 70 countries. It also gives you access to a free 24hour multilingual ISIC Emergency Help Line. Also you get access to a global network

of 5000 travel organizations that specialize in the needs of students and youth travellers in 106 countries. In India, you can avail discounts with the ISIC in most major cities. You can avail a 15 % discount at any Domino's Pizza outlet and 5 % discount at any Oxford Bookstore anywhere in India. In addition to these there are scores of restaurants and retail outlets where you can avail discounts. In India the potential of the ISIC may still not be realized fully but for all of those going abroad it only means a lot of convenience and lots of discounts. You can travel further, stay longer and

experience more with an ISIC taking advantage of the benefits worth USD 500 million worldwide. As an ISIC holder, you become part of a worldwide community of over 4.5 million students who share a passion for travel, adventure and discovery. You can access the ISIC website www.isic.org for more information. Watch out the future editions of The Scholars' Avenue for more on the ISIC and how you can get one for yourself!

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We invite all the second year students for the selection of Reporters for the Scholars’ Avenue Team on the 30th of August. Look out for notices for further details.

Innovation Cell 19th August, 2007, the day of Autumn Semester Registration, Dr Dhrubes Biswas, Chief Technology Officer and head of the Technology Entrepreneurship Promotion Programme (TePP) calls for a meeting with the faculty of IIT K h a r a g p u r o n t h e recommendation of Prof GS Sanyal to discuss the ways of capacity building and popularization of entrepreneurship amongst the students of IIT Kharagpur. Later, in an interview with TSA, he said that the meeting, which evolved into a brainstorming discussion, helped him come up with some good ideas that can establish a vibrant entrepreneurial culture in IIT Kharagpur. He said that many MoUs have already been signed between IIT Kharagpur and Ivy League colleges like the University of Colorado Boulder, UC Berkeley, and Stanford, to promote social entrepreneurship. IIT Kharagpur is arguably one of the best institutions for learning in the world and it has played a major role in nurturing and developing talent in students. IIT Kgp's alumni have earned great laurels and have spread our name to every corner of the planet. It is obvious that one of the reasons behind this is the emphasis we have laid on original and

breakthrough research and innovation. However, other universities are ahead of us in this aspect (for example MIT has 'Fablabs' where many products have been successfully developed).

According to Dr Biswas, lack of innovation in students and professors is a large factor holding back entrepreneurship and this problem deserves some serious contemplation to circumvent. Comprehending the importance of this, and keeping the future goals of the institute in mind, he proposed to start an Innovation

Cell (I-Cell). I-Cell is a student body which aims to develop an interest for innovation amongst the student community, starting from the time they first enter the institute. It will

organize periodic workshops, and lectures by prominent personalities to encourage students. In addition, it will make students more aware of the facilities of research available at IIT Kharagpur and will guide them about how they can be used to develop commercially viable

products, as well as to obtain intellectual capital through them with the help of E-Cell. It will arrange mentorship and guidance for students who have suitable ideas and products, but who lack the information about how to go about things. This body has been formed owing to the successes of E-Cell and will function as its sister organization. He also proposed to hold an international innovation conference in IIT Kharagpur next year. Dr Biswas also addressed first year students in an inspirational lecture on entrepreneurship organized by E-Cell on 1st August. He made first year students aware of the activities of E-Cell and the benefits of being a technoentrepreneur. He said that focused technical minds of the first year students can do wonders if they start working right from the first day here and students who have the zeal to think differently and in an innovative manner will become successful entrepreneurs of the future. The Scholars Avenue hopes that E-Cell-I-Cell duo will be the one-stop shop for all people who have any problems and queries related to innovation, intellectual capital, and related matters in IIT Kharagpur.


Aug 26, 2007  

All the highlights of the 53rd Annual Convocation and a round-up of the Department of Agriculture and Food Engineering. Read about an intern...

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