IIT Mandi is one of the five IITs who are developing applications for Aakash tablets. Other IITs being IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IIT Guwahati and IIT Kharagpur where AADLs (Aakash application development labs) have been set up.
A "Workshop on competent use of Aakash tablet and on Android" was organized on May 5, 2013 to impart training to the students on the technology employed to develop applications for Akash tablet. About 65 students from J. L. N. Engineering College Sundernagar, Himachal Pradesh participated in this workshop.
A workshop for IIT Mandi staff was organised at the Kamand campus of Indian Institute of Technology Mandi (IIT Mandi) on April 27, 2013. The workshop was addressed by the Director, IIT Mandi, Prof. Timothy A. Gonsalves, Prof. Lalit Malhotra, Prof. Subrata Ray, and the Registrar, Dr. R.C. Sawhney.
About 160 staff members of IIT Mandi participated actively in the group discussions on various topics related to the speedy progress of the Institute, which is in its growing phase. The IIT Mandi administration noted down the key inputs given by the staff members during the group discussions, which would be helpful in smooth and efficient functioning at the basic level of the Institute.
The workshop ended with the dham (traditional Mandi meal)
The new buildings in the Kamand campus of Indian institute of Technology Mandi (IIT Mandi) were formally inaugurated by the Hon'ble Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. M. M. PallamRaju, on 9th March, 2013. Shri.Virbhadra Singh, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh presided over the function. Other dignitaries gracing the occasion included: Shri M. Natarajan, Padma Shree and Chairman, Board of Governors of IIT Mandi; Shri. Kaul Singh Thakur, Hon’ble Minister for Health & Family Welfare, and Shri. Anil Sharma, Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development, Panchyati Raj & Veterinary, Himachal Pradesh.
As part of the ceremony, Dr.PallamRaju inaugurated the newly constructed “Advanced Materials Research Centre”. This building will house labs and sophisticated instruments worth about Rs. 20 crores for designing and studying novel materials. Researchers will investigate the basic structure of materials, and develop novel materials for electrical, electronics, biological, and other applications. It will be used by about 40 postdocs and PhD scholars led by an inter-disciplinary team of 15 faculty, including two Distinguished Visiting Professors: Prof. K.E. Gonsalves from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and Prof. Subrata Ray, formerly with IIT-Roorkee.
In addition, the Chief Minister inaugurated the “Prashar Hostel” building, a newly constructed student hostel at Kamand. The hostel buildings, patterned after the Himachal village architecture, have a number of architectural features to make them a home away from home for the students. The buildings have insulated double walls and roofs, and double-glazed windows. This is designed to protect the students from the heat of summer and the chilling cold of the Kamand winters.
Also, as part of the day’s celebrations, Dr. PallamRaju gave a valedictory address to the India-UK Advanced Technology Centre (IU-ATC) workshop being held at the Kamand Campus. IU-ATC is the largest India-UK ICT research collaboration, which employs 200 scientists in both countries. The workshop brought scientists from India and UK in a two day event to discuss progress on the project that focuses on advanced telecommunication networks and multimedia services.
IIT Mandi has made great strides since its start at IIT Roorkee on 27th July, 2009. After shifting to a transit campus in Mandi in mid-2010, development of the Kamand campus was taken up at high priority. The 530-acre campus is located on the bank of the Uhl River at Kamand, 16 km from Mandi. With the inauguration of its new campus, the Institute has attained the distinction of being the first among the new IITs to have full residential and academic facility on its permanent campus. This remarkable feat was due to the hard work put in by the faculty, staff and students. The Government of Himachal and the people of Mandi have provided all support. The CPWD put in extraordinary efforts to get the work completed despite the difficult terrain and vagaries of weather. The building design is done by M/s BDP and the major construction by M/s Ahluwalia Contracts. Other works are handled by several local contractors.
IIT Mandi’s move into its new campus has progressed at a rapid pace. In April, 2012, IIT Mandi broke ground for 11 new buildings in its South Campus. These buildings with a floor area of 10,000 square meters comprise of residential and academic blocks. During 2012, a number of renovated Animal Husbandry buildings, some prefab buildings, and two brand new permanent buildings were completed and put to use at Kamand. In fact, in March, 2012, a Mechanical Workshop started functioning in a renovated hay store. In May 2012, IIT Mandi commissioned its first sophisticated instrument, a powder X-ray diffractometer (XRD) worth Rs. 1.75 crores, in the renovated Stable Complex.
In June 2012, Professor Timothy A. Gonsalves, Director, IIT Mandi, was the first to shift with his wife and dog Rusty to his newly-constructed residence on the Kamand campus. A few MS and PhD students shifted with him. On 23rd September 2012, the new Dining Hall was inaugurated and the 108 students of the 2nd year B. Tech. batch occupied their hostels. By the end of 2013, IIT Mandi expects to have 600 students, 70 faculty and more than 100 staff members in its fully residential campus at Kamand.
IIT Mandi’s new campus has seen the renovation and reshaping of a previously existing stable of the Animal Husbandry Department at Kamand. The stable now houses a PC Lab, Physics and Chemistry Labs, and a 120-seat Electronic Classroom connected to the National Knowledge Network (NKN). The NKN allows IIT Mandi to enhance their academic efforts by connecting to other IITs for distance education through virtual classrooms. In the initial stages, for rapid construction purposes, IIT Mandi has chosen to use low-cost eco-friendly prefab buildings made of bamboo materials.
Currently, the facilities on the new campus include a Mechanical Engineering Workshop, Computer Lab, Conference room, NKN classrooms, medical unit with ambulance, newly-constructed dining hall, provision and stationery stores, PNB branch with ATM, SBI ATM, administrative office, engineering office, and faculty and staff quarters. The Kamand campus has a number of sports facilities for IIT students that include volleyball, badminton, table tennis, cycling, hiking, and trekking. The new campus has hosted several important national meetings held at IIT Mandi. It iscurrently hosting its first international workshop with 30 participants from UK and 70 from India.
The construction in the North Campus will start soon. The construction of 1,15,000sqm at a cost of about Rs. 500 crores is planned to be completed by 2015. The campus will then accommodate over 1,600 students and 160 faculty, sufficient for the growth of the Institute up to 2018. The coming of an IIT to Himachal can be seen as a turning point for Himachal and J&K. IIT Mandi is expected to give this Himalayan region a world-renowned centre for learning, research and innovation, a source of technology solutions for the unique problems of the Himalayan region, an institution that will nurture the future engineers, scientists and scholars who will take India to global leadership in the 21st century.
A two day workshop of the India-UK Advanced Technology Centre (IU-ATC) of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, Systems, and Services is being held at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi on March 8th-9th, 2013. This workshop titled “8th Indo-UK Technical Workshop on Next Generation Network Systems and Services” is the first international workshop to be held at the new Kamand Campus of IIT Mandi. About 30 participants have come from the UK, with about 50 from various parts of India. The valedictory address for this workshop will be delivered by Dr. M. M. Pallam Raju, Hon’ble Minister for Human Resource Development, Government of India, in the afternoon on 9th March, 2013.
IU-ATC aims to develop next generation wireless technologies tailored to the Indian needs. This consortium is simultaneously developing low-cost applications using wireless networks to serve the needs of the masses, especially in rural India. The main purpose of the workshop this year is to reflect on the research work done to date since the last workshop at Cambridge University, UK; and, to take on board further recommendations from funding agencies, which include the Department of Science and Technology-DST (India) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council-EPSRC (UK).
IU-ATC is by far the largest consortium for collaborative research between UK and India including nearly 200 researchers (students, faculty, postdocs, and industry researchers) from India and UK. This consortium has helped create a network of Indian and UK scientists of a magnitude that did not exist up to now. The IU-ATC is the first large multi-institution, cross-continent project involving academia in India and UK coupled with active industry participation. Currently, the consortium comprises of nine leading research universities in UK, six IITs and the IISc, R&D organisations and major industrial partners in UK and India, and a number of small and medium enterprises.
From the U.K. side, the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland is the lead institution in IU-ATC. Eight other research-based UK universities form a part of IU-ATC: University of Surrey, Lancaster University, Queen Mary University of London, Southampton University, University of St. Andrews, University College London, University of Bristol, and the University of Cambridge. From the Indian side, IIT Madras is the lead institution and it is joined by five other IITs (IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Mandi, IIT Kanpur, and IIT Hyderabad), IISc Bangalore and two R&D organisations IIT-M's RTBI and CeWIT. Companies in the consortium include: BT, Toshiba, Infosys, Wipro, and Sasken among others. The consortium is headed by Prof. Gerard Parr, University of Ulster and Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, IIT Madras.
The IU-ATC aims to provide a holistic approach to next generation wireless networking technologies, from the physical layer to the network protocols, and applications on such networks that are relevant especially to rural India. With this focus, current research in IU-ATC is divided into three high-level areas: Applications and Services; Core Network Systems and Protocols; and, Heterogeneous Wireless Access Networks.
These three research areas within IU-ATC are focused on promoting a “digital economy” that aims to support research and skilled people to effect early adoption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by a variety of user sectors. The IU-ATC research areas are not standalone, but rather they encourage inter-area exchange and sharing of deliverables. This ensures that research test-beds provided by academic and industry partners are coordinated and managed to provide the maximum benefit for the individual research areas and for the project as a whole.
Some socially relevant projects under IU-ATC include E-Agri, E-Health, E-Education, and Emergency Services. The E-Agri project aims to develop technologies that will help connect farmers with experts who would be providing them with much needed farming information. This project also provides experts the tools by which they can quickly and easily search for the latest and relevant information. E-Health involves developing a computer-to-patient voice communication over low-end mobile phones for follow-up after initial treatment. E-Education involves developing a “virtual classroom for education.” The Emergency Services deals with developing an end-to-end system to manage effective delivery of services in case of flood, fire, and other emergencies. These applications are currently being developed at the IIT Madras' Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI). Some of these applications will be deployed in Himachal Pradesh in the coming months by IIT Mandi. An over-arching activity will explore and develop technical solutions to provide scalable wireless and fixed access to Cloud-Computing resources in support of these applications. The whole area of Cloud Applications and Services is important across both the Indian and British governments.
Furthermore, the IU-ATC consortium provides excellent opportunities for training young and senior academicians and research scholars to work in multinational research teams. The consortium has a number of young faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students from leading institutions in India and UK, who work under the guidance and support of their senior mentors.
IU-ATC is funded equally by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in India and EPSRC in UK. The industry partners fund their own participation. The 1st phase ran from 2009-2012. For the 2nd phase from 2013-15, DST has committed funding of about Rs. 20 crores for the Indian side, with the UK side receiving a matching amount from EPSRC.
Beyond the current research areas, the IU-ATC will develop initiatives to attract funding from strategic industry partners and the UK and India governments to become an international Centre of Excellence in ICT Research and Technology Transfer that covers all layers of the communications stack. For this purpose, the IU-ATC will provide an internationally leading resource of expertise and infrastructure to develop, at low financial risk and exposure, the research capacity of indigenous Indian companies in the ICT Engineering and Software sector. IU-ATC will also play a leading role in establishing competitive technology and knowledge transfer between the UK and India in the ICT domain over the next 10 years.
Keeping up with the tradition, Exodia-2013, Tech-cum-Cult fest organized by the students of IIT Mandi from March 1st-March3rd was a big hit with the audience this year too. Around 550 students took part in the fest from the reputed technical institutes from all over India like IIT Kanpur, IIT Ropar, IIIT Hyderabad, BITs Goa and so on. The fest was a right mix of cultural, technical and literary events. The band of ex-euphoria member, EKA; Kathak performance by Monisa Nayak, Mr and Ms. Exodia and musical show by you tube artistes were some of the highlights of the fest.
It was a sheer treat to watch the cultural show organized during Exodia that included Band Slam, Alap, Instrumania, Big Stink, Envision (Documentary-making contest) , Synchronians (group dance), Groove fanatics (solo dance) and so on. In Brand Slam musical bands from different parts of the country participated where as Alap was a solo singing contest which attracted around 30 participants. Instrumania gave an opportunity to the students to exhibit their talent in playing musical instruments like guitar,flute,table,dhol and so on.
Various literary events like: The Big Question, Survivor, Biggest Liar and Devil’s advocate very well exhibited students’ speaking and argumentative prowess. The participants put their arguments logically with apt choice of words.
Several technical events like Contirve, Junkyard Wars, Designots, Pneumatic Missile, Dementia, Obfuscation, Quick Thesis Contest, Clash of Avatars (Sumo), Escalade and NitroBlaze as part of Exodia helped the creative minds to innovate and design running models.
IIT Mandi celebrated its fourth Foundation Day on February 24, 2013. The day was commemorated with various sports events, cultural activities, and award ceremony for students, staff and faculty and a Dham (traditional Mandi food) for all.
On the occasion, the Director, IIT Mandi, Prof. Timothy A. Gonsalves, recounted the accomplishments of IIT Mandi in the short span of four years which included being the first new IIT to have academic, research and residential facilities on its permanent campus at Kamand. He added that the linear model of developing IIT Mandi’s Kamand campus in the green, rustic and remote river valley of Uhl is apt. The chief guest on the occasion, Prof. H. Schweppe, Visiting Professor IIT Mandi, distributed the certificates and trophies to students, staff and faculty members as recognition of their exemplary performances.
Students, staff and faculty members actively participated in sports like volleyball matches and tug-of-war. B.Tech.students presented a dance and staged a small play on the role of society in fighting AIDS.
A three-day workshop on "Aspects of Professional Leadership" was conducted by Dr. Chinmoy Sarkar at IIT Mandi as part of HSS programme from February 20 to 22, 2013. About 60 students from various disciplines and batches attended the workshop.
The workshop focused on the methodology to use one’s previous experience to develop new products or services as a leader and hence, conceptualize their thoughts to reach the undiscovered destination thereby attaining success. According to Dr. Chinmoy Sarkar, “The destination could be reached mainly by innovating and collaborating.” He also discussed his model named "AXELL" which stands for "Access Excellence" and focuses on gaining insight from the previous experience to develop a prototype, reinventing the thought-out product by innovating as well as collaborating in a step-by-step mode.
By the end of the workshop, students were divided into 12 teams and they presented their self-developed plans/ existing innovations by correlating it to the 3-Dimensional "AXELL" Model. Students found the workshop enlightening as it helped them think beyond the conservative base and tread the path to innovation as leaders.
The School of Engineering, IIT Mandi, from February 4, 2013, organized a short-term course of one week on Computer Aided Drafting for Engineers and Designers. The course drew 32 candidates from organizations like DRDO, Irrigation & Public Health Department, as well as the industry and the academia.
Prof. Kenneth Gonsalves, Prof. B. K. Mishra, Dr. Pradeep Parameswaran and Dr. Vishal S. Chauhan inaugurated the course in the academic block of IIT Mandi.
In the inaugural speech, Dr Pradeep parameswaran informed the participants about the Institute’s vision and achievements. Next, Prof. Ken Gonsalves, visiting professor at IIT Mandi, spoke about the research development activities in nano/microfabrication for electronics as well as in bio-nanotechnology, and that IIT Mandi would be among the few IITs to have a cleanroom facility.
Prof. B.K. Mishra from IIT Roorkee underlined the importance of Computer Aided Drafting in the field of engineering and design. He then introduced the participants to the basic fundamentals of drafting and designing.
The short-term course covered part modeling, assembly modeling and computer aided engineering drawing in various field of engineering (i.e. mechanical, civil, chemical, electrical, electronics and architecture).
The participants found the course very effective and appreciated the instructors’ helpful attitude. The speakers inculded Prof. Sunil R. Kale ( IIT Delhi), Prof. B. K. Mishra (IIT Roorkee), Dr. Rajeev Kumar (IIT Mandi), Dr. Vishal Singh Chauhan (IIT Mandi), Dr. Om Praksh Singh (IIT Mandi). Ar. Nitin Gautam (Build Con Pvt Ltd New Delhi) and Er. Sushil Suril ( SolidWorks corporation New Delhi).
The course concluded with certificate distribution by the Director of IIT Mandi, Prof. Timothy A. Gonsalves. While addressing the participants, he said, “Short-term courses are means to expose the audience to the wide range of applications in the area and about different methodologies to tackle real life problems”. Dr. Rajeev Kumar and Dr. Vishal Singh Chauhan were the coordinator and co-coordinator respectively of this short-term course.
IIT Mandi celebrated the 64th Republic Day function with patriotic fervour and traditional gaiety in front of the Academic Block in Mandi and on the main campus at Kamand.
It was for the first time that the R-Day function was organised on its permanent campus at Kamand. On the occasion, the guest of honour, Mrs. Priscilla Gonsalves, hoisted the National Tricolour and took salute by the security personnel in the presence of faculty members, staff and M.S., Ph.D. and B.Tech. students.
The Tricolour was also unfurled in the Academic Block of the transit campus in Mandi by Prof. Lalit Malhotra in the presence of the Deputy Registrar, Mrs Lalita Sharma, faculty members and staff. On the occasion, he said, “The Republic Day should not be observed as a mere ritual but everyone should take an oath to accomplish their work with perfection to realise their dream of a progressive and developed India.”
The event left everyone with the strong determination to excel in their respective fields for the welfare of the nation.
The first batch of students of IIT Mandi, graduating in June 2013, has reasons to cheer as companies have already recruited 43 students.
In the first and second round, 25 B.Tech.students of the Computer Science branch, 14 of Electrical Engineering and two of Mechanical Engineering have received placement offers. IT giant Microsoft has offered a package of Rs. 16.2 lakh each to Raj Kamal Singh, Samrat Gavale and Sumeet Singh Arora.
Two MS students, Sujeet Kumar and Srimanta Mandal, have bagged job offers from Samsung. The MS is a unique research-oriented Masters degree programme. Spending 2-3 years in an individually-designed programme, each graduate does a substantial thesis that advances the state-of-the-art. This enables them to take on challenging design assignments in industry. Some MS graduates continue for a PhD to prepare for a career in research and teaching. Dr.Arti Kashyap, the faculty advisor of the Career & Placement Cell of IIT, said that so far Microsoft, CISCO, Google, Samsung, Infosys, Cognizant, Finisar and Nucleus have visited the campus. More companies are coming in the next round that starts in the last week of February. The Institute expects that most students will have jobs offers in hand soon.
The Director of IIT Mandi, Prof. Timothy Gonsalves, said that good opportunities were coming for the first batch of students and companies were coming to Mandi inspite of the remote location. He hoped that at least a few students of the first batch will start their own companies. Rather than competing for jobs in established companies, such entrepreneurs will provide jobs for others.