Lecture on “Linkages Between the Water, Energy and Carbon Cycles in the Global Climate System”

IIT Bombay organised an Institute lecture on Monday, March 13, 2023. The speaker was Prof. Dara Entekhabi, Bacardi and Stockholm Water Foundations Professor, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Professor of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.

Prof. Entekhabi’s topic was the “Linkages Between the Water, Energy, and Carbon Cycles in the Global Climate System.” He spoke about how water, energy, and carbon cycles together maintain the climate system and support life on Earth. The cycles are intimately linked together. As a result, perturbations in one can affect the other cycles and how strongly or weakly they are linked determines how modifications of one cycle transfer to another.

Prof. Dara Entekhabi received his B.S. (1983) and M.S. degrees (1985, 1988) in geography from Clark University, Worcester, MA, and his Ph.D. degree (1990) in civil and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA. He is currently a Professor with joint appointments in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at MIT. He is the Science Team lead for NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission that was launched on January 31, 2015. His research includes terrestrial remote sensing, data assimilation, and coupled land–atmosphere systems modelling. Prof. Entekhabi is also a fellow of the AMS, AGU, and IEEE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Lecture on “The Accelerating Expanding Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, And Einstein’s Cosmological Constant”

Dr. Bharat Ratra, Distinguished Professor of Physics, Kansas State University, USA, delivered an Institute lecture on “The Accelerating Expanding Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, And Einstein’s Cosmological Constant” on March 14, 2023.

Dark energy is the leading candidate for the mechanism that is responsible for causing the cosmological expansion to accelerate. Dr. Ratra described the astronomical data which persuades cosmologists that (as yet undetected) dark energy and dark matter are by far the main components of the energy budget of the universe at present. He reviewed how these observations have led to the development of a quantitative “standard” model of cosmology that describes the evolution of the universe from an early epoch of inflation to the complex hierarchy of structure seen today. In what was a non-technical lecture, he also discussed the basic physics, and the history of ideas, on which this model is based.

Dr. Ratra is a physical cosmology theorist investigating dark energy and dark matter that constitutes 95% of the universe’s current energy budget. His 1988 discovery, alongside Dr. Jim Peebles of Princeton University, of dynamical dark energy models launched him on a 30+ years quest to evaluate dark energy models using observational data. The implications of Dr. Ratra’s research on dark energy are revolutionary within the field of physics.

Dr. Ratra has authored more than 140 scholarly works and has been cited over 20,000 times in the scientific literature.

IIT Bombay Celebrates National Science Day

IIT Bombay celebrated National Science Day to commemorate the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’ by Sir C.V. Raman for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930. As part of this celebration, the Institute organized a lecture on “Bioinspired synthesis of organic molecules” which was delivered by Prof. Debabrata Maiti, Department of Chemistry, on February 28, 2023.

IIT Bombay Hosts Award Ceremony for Winners of IITB-Spoken Tutorial Awards 2023

IIT Bombay hosted an award ceremony to honour the best performers of the Spoken Tutorial project on March 4, 2023. Around 140 people received the awards under two broad categories – MASTER (Most Accomplished Spoken Tutorial Educator Resource), and Spoken Tutorial Alumni Resource (STAR). Apart from the awardees, the event was attended by several heads of academic institutions, industry leaders, bureaucrats, and decision-makers.

Spoken Tutorial is a flagship IT literacy program developed at IIT Bombay and was established in 2009 with generous funding from the Ministry of Education (then MHRD) through NMEICT.

Over the past 13-plus years, the project has trained 70+ lakh learners across India and offers more than 90 skill-based IT literacy courses ranging from basic computer skills, programming languages, domain-specific free/libre open-source software,  numerical computational tool, etc. Many of these courses are also available in 22 Indian languages as per Schedule VIII of the Indian constitution. Many colleges across India have adopted Spoken Tutorial skill-oriented courses as part of their curriculum.

Using Spoken Tutorials, one can learn various free and open-source software all by themselves.  The self-paced, multilingual, features of the project ensure that anybody with a computer and a desire for learning can learn by themselves from any place, at any time, and in a language of their choice.

Mr. Yogesh Andlay, co-founder of Nucleus Software, and INSquare was the Chief Guest. He delivered the keynote address on the ‘Role of Education in Nation Building.’ During his speech, he encouraged all the awardees to contribute to society by becoming leaders in their own right. Ms. Ashima Mittal, IAS (C.E.O. Nashik Zilla Parishad & IIT Bombay Alumnus) was the guest of honour. She was also the recipient of the MASTER award, as she volunteered to promote Spoken Tutorials during her second year of B. Tech. studies at IIT Bombay, back in 2011. She now organises training programmes for health workers in the Nashik district using the Health Spoken Tutorials.

The event also hosted a panel discussion on ‘Making India a Talent Powerhouse – The Spoken Tutorial Way.’ The panel included representatives from academia and industry and discussed the way forward for upskilling the Indian population. 

Speaking about the event, Prof. Kannan Moudgalya, the Principal Investigator of Spoken Tutorials said, “We started Spoken Tutorial with the intention to take high-quality education to India’s rural population. We worked tirelessly to build IT literacy modules that would be both low-cost and suitable for self-learning. When these awardees spoke about how Spoken Tutorials helped them in their academic performances and in finding jobs, it was an extremely gratifying experience.”

IIT Bombay Professors Earn Accolades

IIT Bombay Hosts Workshop on Millets

IIT Bombay and India Tourism Mumbai commemorated the International Year of Millets (2023) by organising a joint workshop on February 28, 2023, at P.C. Saxena Auditorium. Large numbers of students from various Mumbai colleges attended the workshop.

Mr. Jerson Fernandes, Executive Chef at Novotel Mumbai, hosted the session. Mr. D. Venkatesan, Regional Director (West and Central Region), India Tourism, welcomed the attendees and introduced the guest speaker.

Mr. Fernandes spoke about the importance of millets and why they are referred to as a superfood. He also conducted an on-the-spot quiz at the end of the workshop. Students, staff, and faculty from the Institute also took part in the workshop.

IIT Bombay Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for Hostel 19

The Institute celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony of its upcoming hostel (H19) which is being built to house the increasing number of students on campus.

The state-of-the-art housing facility will comprise best-in-class amenities including spacious rooms, computer rooms, recreational spaces such as television and music rooms, sit-out areas, a gymnasium, a dining hall, and a cafeteria amongst other provisions.

Revamping ageing hostels and building brand-new, top-quality living spaces for students forms an integral part of IIT Bombay’s overall infrastructural upgradation. The Institute wholeheartedly believes that a comfortable, joyous, and thriving living environment enhances the student’s educational experience and shapes them into well-rounded individuals.

With the ground-breaking ceremony of Hostel 19, IIT Bombay has taken another critically important step forward in this endeavour.

IIT Bombay Celebrates 64th Foundation Day

IIT Bombay celebrated its 64th Foundation Day on March 10, 2023, by honouring the contributions of its faculty members as well as alumni who have left their mark in their chosen fields of profession.

The Foundation Day ceremony started with a welcome address by Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director, IIT Bombay who highlighted the key milestones achieved by the Institute in the past 64 years. He said, “The strong foundation that IIT Bombay builds among its students helps create an alumni base that provides leadership roles, no matter what career profession they select in their life.”

The Chief Guest of the function Mr. Sajjan Jindal, Chairman, JSW Group of Companies, in his address said, “The future belongs to those who dream big and work tirelessly to achieve their goals. It is important to remember that success is not just about personal achievements but also about making a positive impact on the world around us. IIT Bombay can be the catalyst in the development of our great nation. As an alumnus of IIT Bombay, you have a duty to give back to the institution and the nation that gave you so much. Whether through financial support or by sharing our knowledge and expertise with current students, we can help ensure that the future generations of IIT Bombay graduates continue to be among the best and brightest in the world.”

Next, the event conferred several awards to faculty members of the Institute.

IIT Bombay conferred the Prof. S.C. Sahasrabudhe Lifetime Achievement Award (2022-2023) on Prof. Devang V. Khakhar, Former Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering (2002–04) and Director of IIT Bombay from 2009 – 2019, in recognition of his outstanding contributions as a teacher, researcher, and an administrator. The IIT Bombay Prof. S.C. Sahasrabudhe Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes outstanding individuals whose pioneering spirit and demonstrated inventiveness throughout their careers that have had a tangible societal impact even as they have been inspirational to others.

The Institute also honoured its faculty for their research achievements.

The ‘Prof. S.C. Bhattacharya Award for Excellence in Research in Pure Sciences (2022)’ was conferred on Prof. Samir Maji, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, for his outstanding contributions in the area of Protein aggregation, Biochemistry, and Biophysics; and Prof. Debabrata Maiti, Department of Chemistry, for his outstanding contributions in the area of Bio-inspired catalysis, Green Synthesis, C-H activation, and Photocatalysis.

The ‘Prof. H.H. Mathur Award for Excellence in Research in Applied Sciences’ was conferred on Prof. V.S. Raja, Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science, for his outstanding contributions in the area of Corrosion Mechanisms and Materials Development.

The Institute then recognised select alumni of IIT Bombay, who have excelled in their field of work and made the Institute proud, by conferring them with the Distinguished Alumnus Awards (DAA).

Media Delegation From Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Countries Visits IIT Bombay

The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, arranged for a delegation comprising 35 journalists/editors from Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries to visit IIT Bombay on March 28, 2023, as part of a familiarisation programme for foreign media. Prof. S. Sudarshan, Deputy Director (Academic and Infrastructural Affairs), IIT Bombay, and Prof. Amit Agrawal, Dean (International Relations) interacted with the delegation. The delegation also visited the IDC School of Design to get a broader perspective of the curriculum taught at the school.

IIT Bombay Hosts Faculty Alumni Network (FAN) – Distinguished Alumni Meet (DAM) 2023 in Chennai

IIT Bombay hosted the Faculty Alumni Network (FAN) – Distinguished Alumni Meet (DAM) 2023 from March 31 – April 2 at Fishermen’s Cove, Chennai.

The FAN-DAM event returned to India after a period of four years and assembled several of IITB’s accomplished alumni serving in the industry and academia together with senior administration and faculty from IIT Bombay. Together, they deliberated on several strategic matters related to the growth of the Institute as well as research forays.

The FAN meeting witnessed discussions on emerging and relevant areas of research including semiconductors, circular economy , health sciences, and AI/ML amongst others. The DAM saw our distinguished alumni deliberating on critical topics such as faculty value proposition, and the holistic development of students, amongst others that can fuel the Institute’s continued development.

Please look for a detailed write-up on the event in our May 2023 newsletter.