Thursday, June 5, 2014

Goalposts unseen

For those of us who have received offers of admission or jobs, there is a sense of anticipation and maybe, achievement.

Didn’t get what you wanted? Alternatives can be an invitation to find your true calling.

Managing time key to enter management institutes

S. Sidharrth
S. Sidharrth of Madurai who scored 95.8 per cent in CAT and got a place at IIM, Ahmedabad. Photo: G. Moorthy

Monday, June 2, 2014

Project-based learning: An Essential bridge

Project-based learning: an essential bridge

The Hindu - Education Plus > Colleges. June 1, 2014 16:23
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The core idea of PBL is that real-world problems capture students’ interest and provoke serious thinking, as the students acquire and apply new knowledge in a problem-solving context. File Photo.
The HinduThe core idea of PBL is that real-world problems capture students’ interest and provoke serious thinking, as the students acquire and apply new knowledge in a problem-solving context. File Photo.

Project-based learning is an important component of college life today. Make it work to your advantage.

Project-based learning (PBL) is considered an alternative to the teacher led classroom model. In fact, this will integrate theory and practice. The benefits are plenty including improved writing skill, understanding concepts, people and processes in an organisation. Major dividends include learning about people, organisational idiosyncrasies and skills to handle them when employed.
The core idea of PBL is that real-world problems capture students’ interest and provoke serious thinking, as the students acquire and apply new knowledge in a problem-solving context.
This is a good idea in principle. However, what happens in reality is different. Let me describe two incidents.
The first was when I encountered five engineering students who were at a ‘Xerox’ shop to buy projects reports from the manager of that shop! The shop sells projects from a catalogue consisting of colleges with project titles. A little bit of correction here and there and bingo a report was in the hand!
The second: two years back I was approached by an unsuccessful real estate owner who wanted to set up a business selling projects to students, as he saw money in that! Neither was he educated to understand engineering projects nor did he have practical experience in this field. This trend undermines the basic purpose of project-based learning.
Are we casual?
We do help students by offering projects and do refer them to organisations. But many times the faculty don’t help the students in engaging with the project. The need for an interface between colleges and the industry is neglected as the students are left to fend for themselves. Some faculty justify this by saying that this approach will help students explore on their own. This position does not appeal to me, as the faculty’s further actions negate the seriousness of this statement.
Project learning is very important. It is the only “experience” that the student brings in when he or she goes for a job interview. It must not be neglected.
A mechanical engineering student wanted to do his project in an automobile company. In the pre-project interview the company asked these questions — why do you want to do your project in the automobile industry and why choose our company? As he could not provide a satisfactory answer, they rejected him saying that he had not done proper ground work and does not seem serious enough.
In another instance, a student of human resource management was send to a pharmaceutical company. She had studied the company and suggested some topics she was interested in. The interviewers were impressed with the ground work she had done and asked her to form a questionnaire.
She prepared the questionnaire on her own, had it vetted by others and presented it to the HR team. In her presentation, she made a statement on what she had learned during this process. This attitude was welcomed, and, at the end of the project, she was offered a job in the company.
Hints for the student
Plan: Now, knowing the importance of the PBL involve your guide in choosing the topic and its relevance to your career. Based on the topic choose the industry / organisation which offers a professional ambience for your project. Many organisations do not have time and space for this but accommodate students for reasons best known to them. Your ground work on the company and project work will surely pay off.
Learn: The sole purpose of PBL is to “learn.” Hence, maintain a learning diary and record your learning in terms of knowledge, skill and attitude. This will help you shape up for a job. Presentation: Report preparation in an approved format is essential. This experience will help you in future when you are employed, in preparing a project report. Let your report be authentic and reliable as this will be an important document for your interview. If you are thorough and original in answering project-related questions your chances are much brighter in getting a job.
For the faculty
Placements are a priority in colleges, and engaging your students in projects enhances their prospects. Arts and science departments have to redefine their project guidance system and educate the students in real time projects.
It is imperative for you to liaise with organisations where your students are doing projects. You will get firsthand feedback on your students for monitoring their projects. This step will build a rapport with industries, and in one stroke you can bring in seriousness and sincerity among students.
Evaluate the projects in terms of title quality, operational relevance, students’ learning and industry orientation. Colleges should aim to do projects with the government and with industries, where there is an abundant need.
The writer is a director and senior consultant with Bodhi.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Congratulations to S. Mani Krishna for securing 40th rank in Medical P.G Entrance Exam.. 

Really Proud of You. You are an inspiration to the fellow students of our Trust.
Good Luck & God Bless You.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Know Your Strengths - The Hindu - Education Plus - March 10, 2014 - NICE READING for ECE STUDENTS

Know your strengths

I am pursuing my B.Tech in Electronics and Communications Engineering (ECE). I want to take up a short-term course related to my field, to improve my career prospects. Please advice on the same.
 - Priya/ Likhita Vommi
Electronics and Communication Engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with design, development and operation of electronic and communication devices.
Like any other core branch of engineering, electronics and communication engineering is a broad discipline. Based on your strengths and interests you can choose one or two areas from the discipline, study them deep and explore career in relevant fields. Given below is information on some of the areas:

Electronic Design Automation (EDA): Electronic design automation is using software tools to design electronic systems like printed circuit boards and integrated circuits. If you want to pursue career in this field, you must concentrate on subjects like digital electronics, analogue devices and microprocessors, taught as part of the B.Tech curriculum. Along with this, you should gain proficiency in languages like Hardware Description Language (HDL), VeriLog, System VeriLog, VHDL, Python and Test Command Language.
Opportunities for experts in this field are in companies dealing with EDA, semiconductors, consumer electronics and telecommunications.
Vector Institute, Hyderabad offers short-term courses in VHDL, Verilog and System Verilog. For details, log on to

Digital Signal Processing (DSP): Digital signal processing is all about manipulating information signals. Put in simple terms, DSP is converting analogue signals like voice, music and video into numerical values, isolating individual components of the signal to analyse and rearrange them, and converting the digital signal back to analogue data with improved quality. Digital devices like mobile phone, ECG, TV, microwave oven, washing machine, car or satellite perform signal processing.
Professionals in DSP can find employment in industries related to consumer electronics, semiconductors and telecommunications. For a successful career in this field, you should be proficient in DSP architecture and languages like Matlab, C and C++.
Planck Technical, Hyderabad ( offers training in Matlab.

Telecommunications: Telecommunications deals with design, installation and maintenance of applications, equipment and infrastructure, involved in processing and transmitting information through the Internet, mobile telephones, wireless networks, broadband and satellite. Experts in this field can find jobs in companies dealing with telecommunications, wireless communications and networking.
Advanced Level Telecom Training Centre, Ghaziabad offers training in advanced telecommunications technologies. For details, log on to

Networking: Networking covers design and maintenance of networks. It includes both hardware and software aspects of networking. Candidates aspiring for a career in this field should be proficient in areas like operating system, microprocessor, computer architecture, assembly and disassembly of networks and troubleshooting techniques.
Cisco certifications ( are a series of tests that assess knowledge in different aspects of networking. The certification tests include computer-based test and lab test.                                                   
T. Muralidharan
TMI e2E Academy
(Queries for this column can be sent

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Why Microsoft and Everyone Else Loves Indian CEOs By Leonid Bershidsky

Nadella photo
Nadella photo
With the appointment of Satya Nadella as chief executive officer, Microsoft has joined a growing club of multinational corporations run by Indian-born managers. The list includes Pepsi, Deutsche Bank, MasterCard, Adobe Systems, Diageo, London-traded consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser and semiconductor maker GlobalFoundries.
At first glance, the commonalities among Indian CEOs are not particularly informative. They're all in their late 40s and early 50s, the age when a successful manager's career can be expected to peak. All graduated from U.S. or U.K. universities in addition to their Indian schools -- no surprise, since all of them were immigrants who needed a stepping stone into a new culture. Those of them who had management experience in India started out with global corporations, which is logical given that it would have been harder to make the leap to global prominence from one of the family-owned companies that comprise about two thirds of Indian businesses. At least three -- Nadella, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and Prem Watsa, who runs Fairfax Financial, the would-be savior of Blackberry -- went to the same public school in Hyderabad, which experienced a technological boom around the turn of the century that included the establishment of Microsoft's first development center outside the U.S. By the time the boom developed, however, all three were long gone from their hometown.
In other ways, the executives' backgrounds diverge significantly. They come from different parts of India -- Jaipur, where Deutsche co-CEO Anshu Jain was born, is 1,300 miles away from Chennai, the birthplace of Pepsi's Indra Nooyi. A few of the CEOs -- Nooyi, Ajay Banga of Mastercard, Ivan Menezes of Diageo -- went to the Indian Institutes of Management, business schools set up by the Indian government since the 1960s to create a local management elite. Most did not. Some, like Nooyi, Narayen, Benckiser's Rakesh Kapoor and Nadella, studied engineering. Others, like Jain, Menezes and MasterCard chief Ajay Banga, are economics and business graduates.
Yet there must be a reason why so many Indians, and not, say, Brazilians, Russians or Chinese, have made stellar corporate careers. The answer might be found in studies of the Indian management culture.
According to research from St. Gallen University in Switzerland, Indian executives are inclined toward participative management and building meaningful relationships with subordinates. "The leadership style traditionally employed in India fostered an emotional bond between superiors and subordinates," the 2004 study said. "The feeling that the company genuinely cares for its employees, provided a strong bond of loyalty that went beyond financial rewards."
In the "Indian club," there are no executives known for a dictatorial management style. Nooyi says: "You need to look at the employee and say, 'I value you as a person. I know that you have a life beyond PepsiCo, and I'm going to respect you for your entire life, not just treat you as employee number 4,567.'"
When Nadella replaced Steve Ballmer at the helm of Microsoft, his high standing with the company's rank-and-file was cited as a major reason for his promotion.
A 2007 study by researchers at Southern New Hampshire University, which compared Indian managers to U.S. ones, found the South Asians more humble. It is not by chance that Nadella started his first e-mail to Microsoft employees as chief executive by saying, "This is a very humbling day for me."
The study also found Indians to be particularly future-oriented, focused on long-term strategies. Narayen of Adobe says: "If you can connect all the dots between what you see today and where you want to go, then it’s probably not ambitious enough or aspirational enough".
In his email, Nadella paraphrased an Oscar Wilde quote on the same point: "We need to believe in the impossible and remove the improbable."
Perhaps most importantly, the Indian managers get to the top because they persevere. Most of those I mentioned had the patience to rise through the ranks at their companies, learning their business thoroughly from every angle. Nooyi joined Pepsi in 1994, Jain took his first job at Deutsche Bank a year later, Menezes has been with Diageo since 1997, Narayen was hired by Adobe in 1998, and Nadella's appointment crowns a 22-year career with Microsoft.
There is nothing specifically Indian about empathy, humility, patience and an ability to dream. Yet it is these qualities that appear to have created the "Indian club" of overachievers in global business.
(Leonid Bershidsky writes on Russia, Europe and technology for Bloomberg View. Follow him onTwitter.)
To contact the writer of this article: Leonid Bershidsky at
To contact the editor responsible for this article: Mark Whitehouse at

Friday, January 24, 2014

India-born Stanford Professor wins 2014 Marconi Prize for WI-FI Technology - Sri Murali Mohan's articles

Unlike the average Indian techie who comes to the US young, typically straight out of IIT, Arogyaswami Joseph Paulraj was late, arriving here after a long career in the Indian Navy.
But his accomplishments are no less. On Tuesday, he picked up the $100,000 Marconi Prize for 2014, a top global honour in communications technology whose past recipients include Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
As a professor at Stanford University Paulraj, 69, pioneered a wireless technology — MIMO smart antenna wireless technology — that is now the backbone of high-speed Internet communication, 4G and every router.
MIMO stands for “multiple input, multiple output”, which speeds up data transfer by splitting up traffic into multiple channels.
“It has taken efforts of thousands of engineers and researchers to make MIMO technology a reality,” Paulraj said, adding, with refreshing humility, “My role, in comparison, is indeed small.”
“Paulraj’s contributions to wireless technology, and the resulting benefits to humankind, are indisputable,” said David Payne, chairman, Marconi Society.
Paulraj couldn’t be contacted but according to information available on Stanford University’s website, work began on the “smart antenna” project in the 1990s.
Paulraj came to Stanford as a visiting scientist in 1992 and stayed on to found two companies, which he eventually sold.
He started at the National Defence Academy, Kharakvasla, graduated in engineering from Naval college at Lonavala and joined the Navy as an engineer.
He went to IIT Delhi for a PhD, and collected many awards and honours along the way including military awards Vishist Seva medal and Ativishist Seva medal.
Paulraj went on to be awarded the civilian award, Padma Bhushan, in 2010 and the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal and the Pan-IIT Technology Leadership Award in 2011.
“Paulraj is the only India-born scientist to receive both the Marconi Prize and the Bell Medal,” editor Anand Parthasarathy told IANS in Bangalore.
And the accomplishment is even more remarkable for a man who picked up most of his skills in a country that is so dependent on IT technology imports.