Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam’s visit to K. J. Somaiya college of Engineering

Dr. A. P. J Abdul Kalam – the ex-president of India, will grace the closing ceremony of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering (KJSCE) on the 26th September, 2009. KJSCE is an institute that has transformed learning into an art; and technology into a culture. There couldn’t have been a better occasion for Dr. Kalam’s visit than the completion of twenty five glorious years of the college. Young engineers at KJSCE will be displaying their innovative projects on this occasion. Definitely, it will be a Techno – exhibition to watch out for! Dr. Kalam’s interaction with the young minds will provide them with insights and unleash their potential which will help them flourish and reach greater heights.

A major highlight of the year was the accreditation of all the five courses in the college by the National Board of Accreditation. The college also acquired permanent affiliation to the University of Mumbai in the silver jubilee year. Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, the ex – Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), at the opening ceremony of the 25th year of KJSCE on 12th September, 2008 emphasized the fact that technology is in concurrence with society and humanitarian causes. He echoed the theme of the college for the 25th year – The Human Face of Technology; sensitizing the budding engineers with their environment and urging them to take technology to the masses; an idea reflected every October at Abhiyantriki, the technical festival of KJSCE. Last October had robots abound, classrooms turned into gaming arenas, debates on nuclear technology over canteen tables and project intricacies as the latest gossip! The silver jubilee year has lent a golden sheen to the students’ technical abilities at KJSCE. It would be interesting to hear Dr.Kalam’s views on the theme during the 25th year closing ceremony celebrations.

Prakalp, the platform for young technicians of Mumbai, saw engineers competing and innovating on their pet fields in form of futuristic project models. The National conference on ‘Emerging Trends on Computers, Communication and Information Technology’ conducted in March 2009, jointly by the Information Technology, Computer Engineering department together with IEEE Bombay Section, IETE Mumbai Centre, ISTE KJSCE Chapter, CSI Mumbai Chapter and University of Mumbai definitely set the ball rolling. It saw some of the best ideas come up. It was followed by another National Conference on ‘Global Challenges for Deemed universities in Indian Education by 2020’ on 4th April 2009.

Adding a feather to the cap was the Orion Racing India -a team of engineers from KJSCE. The team is into automobile design and fabrication for the past three years. Orion Racing India is the most successful Indian team to participate in an international engineering design event. Orion Racing India participates in Formula Student Germany, an international car designing event held at the Hockenheim ring, a renowned Formula 1 racing circuit.

Symphony, the annual cultural festival was literally a ‘symphony’ of different elements-of culture, of young enthusiasm, of budding talent; each lending its own individualistic beat. With seventy-five institutes from all over Mumbai getting in above five thousand students, the celebrations scaled new heights.

Well, if technology is human, then culture is the force that binds it into a society. At Somaiya, traditions which are both centuries old or young are cherished. At ‘Garba Nite’, Somaiyaites donned their traditional outfits, picked up their dance sticks and threw in some traditional beats on the dance floor. If Garba had Somaiya on its feet, then the Dahi Handi celebrations had its own pomp and fervor.

The 25th year closing ceremony of KJSCE, blessed by the presence of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam will surely be an event to look out for.

1 vote can change lives

I recently received an email from a friend, which had information about procedures pertaining to registering for the upcoming elections if you are not yet registered, and other relevant information and FAQ’s.

The documents enclosed in the email were those produced/published by the Rotaract Club of Bombay Film City for their i.vote campaign.
I thought it would be worthwhile to share all of it with our readers.

Remember. Bad politicians are chosen by good citizens like us who do not take the pains to vote.

Please let us step out of our homes for a few minutes and vote this coming election. Whoever you vote for but please do vote.

There is still time to make ur voter cards and registering for inclusion of your names in the electoral roll.

The following are documents with General Information & Forms to be filled for everyone throughout the country:

Voter Registration FAQs | Form 1A | Form 6 | Form 7(only if applicable)

The following documents enclosed in the email are pertaining to Mumbai. You will find the offices in your areas with their phone numbers in these documents. Please pass them on to every one whom you know in Mumbai.

Electoral Offices Mumbai City | Electoral Offices Mumbai Suburban

Jai Hind!

Gambhir and Laxman put India in a commandable position

Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman’s knock of double hundreds have out India in command in third test at Delhi. Now Australia can only at best think of drawing the game, thus losing all hopes of winning the four match series against India.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Kumble could not have expected a better performance from the batsmen. Laxman summed it up perfectly by rubbing it in by saying that the Aussies had a defensive approach in this game. You cant really find Laxman at fault here. For how often have you seen Brett Lee steaming in with just one slip and a sweeper cover on the off side. Rarely in the past few years, have Australia played catch up in a series and gone into a test match with a defensive mind set. The writing is on the wall, the Australian domination over world cricket is about to get over and this is where teams of the caliber of India, South Africa and Sri Lanka should put pressure on the aussies so that they lose the coveted No. 1 ranking which they have held for so long.
Feroz shah kotla, Delhi has been a great hunting ground for the Indian team as they have won most of their test matches played here. And who can forget Kumble’s magical ten wicket haul against Pakistan, a feat that is almost impossible to replicate in the future by any cricketer. It couldn’t have been a better first innings score for India. Even after the early departure of Sehwag and Dravid, Tendulkar and Gambhir calmed the nerves. Tendulkar was in a class of his own as he reached a quick fifty, playing some audacious shots which only he can muster. On the other hand, Gautam Gambhir started off sedately only to hit the gas after the departure of Tendulkar. Laxman joined Gambhir close to the end of the first day’s play and it was little known that the two would form the biggest partnership at this ground against the Aussies. If Gambhir was aggressive, Laxman was the usual relaxed. The both complimented each other and gave India what it wanted a solid partnership. Laxman was at his wristy best, even trying to play the flick shots on the off side and Gambhir wasn’t held back from stepping down the pitch and taking the attack to the opposition. The partnership of 278 runs was only broken after Gambhir had scored his first double hundred in front of his home crowd. Though Ganguly and Dhoni fell in quick succession in order to get quick runs, Laxman didn’t disappoint as he completed his second double hundred against the aussies and the thirteenth hundred overall in test cricket.
The test match is now poised clearly in favour of the aussies. The Australian top order will have to bat out of their skins in order to save the test match from here or else they may be staring at losing the series in the third test itself. Whatever happens in the Kotla test, India cannot lose the series from here.

Vishwanathan Anand retains World Chess Championship

Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand did India proud by retaining the World chess championship crown at Bonn in Germany after drawing with Russian Vladimir Kramnik in the eleventh game of the twelve game series thus winning by a score of 6.5 to 4.5.
India can be proud of the fact that Vishy has retained the world championship and hence can be called the undisputed king of sixty four squares. Anand had earlier lost the tenth match but had always been in the driving seat for retaining the world championship after taking a three point lead over his competitor. Starting with white pieces, Anand gave no chances to the Russian to win the match. Anand had been opting for the queen pawn opening through out the series but preferred to begin with the king pawn this time as Kramnik was pushed to the Sicilian defense. Anand clearly wanted to draw the game to win the championship. The game lasted just twenty four moves as the champion and the challenger settled for a draw giving Vishwanathan Anand the championship title.
Vishwanathan Anand has been India’s best sportsperson on a global level and this win just goes on to prove that. The 38 year old Indian grandmaster has several records and championship wins to his credit. Anand is the only player to have won five championship titles at the prestigious Corus Chess Championships. He also has five chess Oscars which are given to the best player in the world. He’s one of only four players in chess history to go past the 2800 mark on the World Chess Federation rating list. From April 2006 to April 2008, Anand had a peak ranking of 2803. In the year 2007, Anand was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, which is the second highest civilian award of India, He was also the first recipient of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in the year 1991-1992.
After this win, Anand has become the first player to win the world chess championship in three different formats, Knockout, Tournament and Match. Next in line he will have to defend his title at the World Chess championship in 2009 against the winner of the match between Veselin Topalov and Gata Kamsky.
Anand has been a great ambassador for the sport of Chess, as thousands of youngsters in India now want to take up this sport. Indians can be proud of the fact that we have a world champion in a sport other than Cricket. The parents of Vishwanathan Anand. Thanked the media for their love and support but we will always be grateful to vishwanathan Anand for his accomplishments and hope that in the near future he continues to play the way he has and goes on to defend his crown next year as well. In a cricket crazy nation it is great to see a person like Vishy emerging as a World champion in a sport which still doesnt have the media and the sponsors support. Kudos to a great sportsmen and a great person.

Why Indian students go abroad?

Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge or Yale? A dilemma of Atlantic proportions for the Indian students for these universities not only have the patina of history and heritage attached to them but also offer a wide array of opportunities in todays world.
There has been a growing trend of Indian students going abroad for education. In the past decade whether it is America, the United Kingdom or Australia, the number of Indian students going to study overseas has risen tremendously so much so that in 2007, maximum students going to US for further studies were Indians. This was the first time that India went past China. There has been such an increase in the number of students going abroad that even international carriers are cashing in by offering special fares and packages to students. The favoured destinations of the Indian students include the universities of America, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. More than fifty percent of the students opt for US for higher studies.
But to think of it why do students choose to go abroad. To begin with there are capacity constraints in the Indian universities. More than ninety percent of the students who appear for the entrance examinations to the IITs and the IIMs do not make it through and the colleges that are now being offered to them lack in quality of infrastructure. If the Indian universities were compared with the American ones, a startling fact would be revealed. To begin with there are just 4,400 AICTE approved universities in India whereas in a country there are more than 10,000 universities and this despite the fact that India is home to the highest number of young people in the world. This is another reason why india fals to attract barely any foreign students whereas more than five lakh students from different parts of the world flock to the American universities every year. The number of specialization courses as well as scholarships and fee waivers available abroad are also high.
The students going abroad have been great advertisements for India. India has exported the most sought after commodity in the world-Talent. Winston Churchill had once said, “Empires of the future will be empires of the minds”. Brand India may not have had all its glitter if it weren’t for the list of the thousands of Global Indian achievers. How the foreign universities help the students is by transforming young talented students into world class skilled professionals. The students who choose to go abroad have several benefits. There is an emphasis on practical learning as opposed to theoretical learning thus conceptual clarity is the key in any course abroad. The foreign universities have the best in technology and infrastructure to offer whereas the infrastructure in many of the Indian universities is woeful. The world is a globalised village and hence it is imperative that students develop a global perspective. This is made possible due to interaction between students from various backgrounds. The teachers in India may not be paid enough but in foreign universities they are committed to mentoring and guiding the students. Placements and career opportunities are also better abroad. Moreover students get to study in some of the best universities of the world. Thus going overseas for education is being looked upon at as not just a harbinger of limitless opportunities for the students but also as a potent catalyst in the strengthening of the Indian economy.

Chandrayaan launched successfully

India’s first ever unmanned flight to the moon was launched successfully today at 6.22 am from the Satish Dhawan space research centre in Sriharikota. The launch was a successful one and Chandrayaan 1 is expected to be a four day journey.
The launch of Chandrayaan 1 will mark the arrival of India in the big league of countries that have planned and executed space missions. The rocket called the PSLV(Polar satellite launch vehicle). The satellite has entered the geostationary transfer orbit and from there another apogee motor will kick it and launch it in the lunar orbit. The lunar orbit is at a distance of almost 3,87,000 kms from the surface of the earth. Once in the lunar orbit, the speed of Chandrayaan will be reduced so that it gets captured by the gravity of the moon and gets attracted to its surface. Once close to the surface of the moon, the Moon impact probe will be dropped from Chandrayaan which will land on the moon in order to collect scientific data and samples.
The entire process is made up of four parts, the first one today was launched with a solid state engine where as the second and the third lap will be powered by liquid propelled engines. The last part will again be launched by a solid state engine. The 1,380 Kg Chandrayaan is carrying eleven pay loads. Five of the payloads have been completely made in India, two have come from the United States of America, three from Bulgaria and one from the European space agency.
Not just the Indian scientists and members of the space fraternity, but scientists all over the world were glued in to witness the launch of Chandrayaan. Several other countries are also involved in the entire process of making Chandrayaan. A mini synthetic aperture radar which has been provided by NASA is also on board Chandrayaan. This radar will help find the ice or any possibility of water.
India has taken a huge leap forward by the launch of Chandrayaan. Chandrayaan is the 14th flight of the PSLV and is the thirteenth successive one in a row. India is the sixth country in the world that has gone on to send a mission to the moon. The United States of America, Soviet Union, European space agency, China and Japan. Thus it has now entered the big league of countries who have launched major probes into the solar system. The united states of America is the only country which has sent manned missions to the moon.
All Indians will be keeping their fingers crossed hoping that the entire mission will be successful. For the moment it has had a perfect successful launch and we hope and pray that the mission will go as planned.

Ganguly justifies his selection

Ganguly’s brave knock of 102 against Australia has justified his selection in the Indian test team and has also ensured that he will go out with a bang. His sixteenth hundred in tests has set the balance in India’s favour at the Mohali test.
If the first day of the Mohali test had belonged to Sachin ramesh Tendulkar for surpassing Lara’s record and reaching twelve thousand runs then the second surely belonged to Sourav Ganguly. His innings of a hundred and two showed his determination to perform even at the last lap of his career. This might not have been a signature Ganguly innings for the circumstances were different when he came out to a bat. On a flat placid track, the Indian top order had caved in meekly before Ganguly and Tendulkar began the rescue work. Ganguly’s knock was a patient one as he took time to settle down and then got his shots going. But yet the innings was of paramount importance to build up a big first innings score and put pressure on the Aussies. The character of a player can be determined under the most trying circumstances and Ganguly has almost always delivered when the chips have been down.
This might be his last series in Cricket, but Ganguly wants to ensure that the faith that the new selection panel has had in him is justified. There have been talks about voluntary retirement schemes being offered by the board, and the selection committee giving a compromise formula by offering him the last chance to perform. But Ganguly with his splendid innings has made sure that he hasn’t let the selectors down and his innings has contributed tremendously to the team placing India in a very strong position to have a stranglehold on the Mohali test.
Ganguly’s cricketing career has been full of ups and downs and ever since his comeback a couple of years ago he hasn’t set a foot wrong. Especially in the test matches Ganguly has emerged as the most consistent Indian batsman who has performed well at home as well as overseas. It was just the Sri Lanka series that he ran out of form, but didn’t all the Fab four perform way below expectations in that series?
It is a sports person himself who knows best when he should hang up his boots and know one has the right to instruct him as to when to do so. It is often a tough decision to make for sportsmen as they have devoted their entire life to the sport. Ganguly has made the right decision as this was a very high profile home series against the World champions and his announcement of retiring before the series began has taken off the pressure from him. Now we are seeing a different Ganguly as opposed to what he had got used to seeing for the past year. This Ganguly is more determined to go out on his own terms and make the most of the last chance to play for his fans. Lets just hope that Ganguly does well in the remaining tests as well and has a grand exit from this sport.

The great Indian baggage lost problem

Have you ever had your airline baggage misplaced, mishandled or lost? Don’t worry thousands of flight goers have to face this problem ever year so much so that many flyers have now developed a phobia of having their baggage lost in transit.
Take Amitabh Bachchan, a frequent flyer in India as well as overseas. His luggage has been misplaced eighteen times by British Airways. The latest being when he was in transit from Toronto to Trinidad. On this occasion it was Air Canada. If it could happen to the greatest of stars, it could happen to just about any one. Karan Johar, Rahul Bose have all had their luggage misplaced and have often arrived abroad with their designer suits missing. The lost baggage problem that affects the Indian airlines these days is of immense magnitude. Thousands of baggage are lost by domestic as well as international airlines in India. And quiet often the scene is so chaotic at some of the airports that you have no idea how to get to the lost baggage section, and then the document have to be shown and filled and then comes the compensation. But the mental agony and the turmoil that the person goes through is unbearable.
Misplaced or mishandled baggage costs the global air industry a whopping $2.5 billion every year. And with more and more flights getting added, this figure is only going to rise. Some airlines in India do offer compensation to the travelers to the tune of Rs.450 per KG whereas others give you a bag of important necessities and accessories to aid you till your missing baggage is found. This unclaimed and lost baggage industry has become a major industry in the states where a company buys and collects unclaimed baggage from the airports and puts it up for sale at an internet portal. Thousands of visitors flock to the unclaimed baggage centre in Alabama in order to find their long lost baggage. Every day seven thousand items are added to the list and people buy it goods at cheaper rates than the rates at the market. A similar system could be applied in India too.
Travelling by air has its own perils hence. Imagine arriving at a foreign destination with your clothes, office files and other important stuff missing. It could be even worse when you lose your currency, travel cheques or other documents. In the chaos at the airports, it could happen to anyone. Either to a VVIP or an ordinary person like us. Luggage losses are growing rapidly and a method has to be found to curb them for compensation can never really satisfy a customer. Losing your prizes personal possessions can be the worst feeling for any traveler. The chances of baggage getting misplaced are very high these days for they have a paper loop around them and if that loop comes off then tit becomes very difficult for the airport authorities to find out as to where the baggage is headed. Technology will have to come to the rescue of this problem for travelers even refrain from writing their name and address on the luggage these days for security reasons. So here’s hoping that a solution be found out to the Great Indian baggage lost problem else you and me will continue it be gripped in this fear whenever catching a flight next.

Sati still prevalent in India

The Indian society might have progresses and move forward but the social evil of Sati continues to haunt us. The shocking incident of a seventy one year old woman performing Sati in Chattisgarh a few days back is an eye opener for all of us.
The practice of Sati has been a part of our society for ages with its inception being traced to the time of the Gupta period. Though Sati is illegal an is highly condemned in our society, the act of Sati bring performed in the 21st century has shocked people. Lalmati Verma aged seventy one and a resident of Chechar village in the Raipur district in Chattisgarh. Her husband Shivnandan Verma, a local had died of natural causes. Lalmati had come to the funeral dressed in a new sari. When the husbands body had been almost burnt and the villagers were about to leave, Lalmati jumped into the pyre and was reduced to ashes in moments. Lalmati had three sons who were totally unaware of their mothers plans. Lalmati verma was a member of the Kurmi caste, which is registered in the list of the OBC’s(Other backward classes).
It is yet not known whether Lalmati Verma chose to do this voluntarily or was pushed by someone. A police case has been registered and investigation is on. But the incident is a glaring example of how such incidents continue to occur in rural India inspite of all the modernization and the development that urban india is facing today.
Since partition there have been more than forty cases of Sati which have been documented. A majority of the cases have occurred in rural areas, with main reasons being attributed to lack of education and awareness of the law. Sati has always been condemned even at the time of the Mughal rulers, Humayun, Akbar and Aurangzeb had made all attempts to abolish the practice of Sati. Several religious groups have condemned the practice with Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhs speaking out against it. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, at the time of independence had fought to abolish the practice of Sati during the time of the freedom struggle.
The government has made its effort to ban the evil practice. After a few incidents that were reported in the 1980’s. The government passed the Sati prevention act of 1987 and also the Rajasthan Sati prevention ordinance of 1987, for most of the sati acts were performed in regions of Rajasthan. Jaipur was also the last princely state to ban Sati during the British Raj in the year 1846.
The Sati prevention act of 1987, makes it illegal to “abet, glorify or attempt to commit Sati”. Abetment of Sati, includes forcing someone to commit Sati. Abetment can be punished by Death Sentence or Life imprisonment, while glorifying Sati is punishable with one to seven years in Prison.
Our society has moved forward by leaps and bounds in the past few decades, but some old practices like Sati are still prevalent in rural India despite several attempts made by the government to ban them. The key is to spread awareness amongst rural areas and make the people realize the evils associated with this practice. Till such cases of Sati continue to be performed we cannot call ourselves a developed nation. It is a shame for our society till this heinous practice continues to go on.

G7 nations vow to stop financial crisis

The world’s seven largest economies finance ministers and central bank governors met in Washington and have agreed to do whatever they can in order to tackle the financial crisis which has spread and threatens to take the entire world into recession.
The G7 countries were in agreement that the current financial meltdown all over the world called for ‘urgent and exceptional action’ and that governments would “take all necessary steps to unfreeze credit and money markets”.
It isn’t just the G7 countries that met, even the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank also met on the weekend to be able to find a solution to this crisis. The financial crisis that first engulfed America has now spread to parts of Europe as well as Asia.
The sub prime market crisis which hit America has now caused losses worth almost $200 billion to the top banks of the world. The effects of this crisis are now being felt all over the European markets. The stock markets of the world are on the downslide including the Indian stock markets. The G20 countries that comprise of the twenty most developed countries in the world also met on Saturday to be able to come up with a solution for the crisis.
What started as the subprime mortgage crisis in America with Lehmann Brothers, one of the largest investment banks of America went bankrupt and Merrill Lynch was sold to Bank of America. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sacchs became retail commercial banks and dropped investments. All the countries in the world are expected to face less growth this year as all the economies of the world are going to be hit hard by the financial crisis, and some countries may slip into recession.
The G7 meeting occurred at a time when there is gloom all across the world and there was a feel in the market that the G7 block would not be able to find a way to stem the crisis which now seems to have spread beyond America and Europe. The government in America passed a $700 billion package to save the economy of the country. Britain also followed suit, it is expected that Germany will also be releasing a similar plan in the coming days on the lines of America and England. All the meeting ministers affirmed that they would supply public funds to banks which would be on the brinks of a collapse. But there was no common solution that emerged after the meeting. Thus the countries were not off the opinion that a single common solution taken by the G7 blocks could help reduce the financial turmoil. Defending their stand, the G7 block opined that people would be naïve to think that seven different countries facing a different set of problems having a different economy structure and political system would be able to come with the same policies in order to curb the financial crisis.
The international monetary fund too expressed its concern saying that the global growth for the current year could not be expected to cross three percent. Amidst the financial turmoil over the world, the Indian growth rate can also be expected to come down from figure of eight plus percent. The G7 countries have all shown a resolve to do whatever they can to stop the financial crisis. It waits to be seen whether their resolve and plan of action will be able to have a calming effect on the markets worldwide.