IEEE India Bulletin Vol. 10 No. 1 March 2000
IEEE Councils, Sections and Chapters, spread out over 180 countries across the globe, send their annual reports by 22nd February ever year. If any unit should fail to do so, the IEEE staff at the Head Quarters begin working with the Regional Directors and its constituent Society Presidents for declaring the unit delinquent. This is the first step toward dissolving the unit.
In April 1997, as the Executive Vice-Chairman of India Council, I was asked to deal with the problem of four such delinquent Chapters. I worked with the office-bearers of the Chapters to restore them back to normal working by December 1997. Again in 1999, as the Chairman of the Council, I had to deal with the problem of delayed Reporting by a Section. In all these cases, it was found that the basic problem was the difficulty of locating the unit's records. In the normal course, it is expected that the outgoing Chairman of a unit would hand over all the records to the incoming Chairman. However such records are usually distributed among the Secreatary, the Treasurer and the Chairmen of various Standing Committees, if the unit does not hava a central staff. The new office-bearers become busy in the contining series of technical programs and publication work. By the time they feel the need for the records, these may not remain available. It is therefore important that the outgoing Chairman should pass on all the previous years' records to the incoming Chairman. If the outgoing Chairman is not able to obtain the records, due to the non-availability of some of the office-bearers of his team, he should pass on a list of such files to the incoming Chairman. Moreover, in each case the old office-bearer should be clearly informed so that he may convey the files safely to the imcoming Chairman at the first available opportunity.
India Council has prepared a list of minimum necessary records required to be passed on the incoming office-bearers. The outgoing or the incoming office-bearers can obtain the list, if needed, by sending a mail to me. I request the Chairman of every Section to send to me the list of its office-bearers and Execom for 2000, along with the postal addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Every Students Branch is similarly required to send the list of its new office-bearers, its annual report and its annual plan to the Region and to the Head Quarters. I may request the Counselors of each of the Students Branches in India to ensure that a copy of the Report of their Branch is sent to the India Council's Vice Chairman (Student Activities). His address is as follows:
A hiatus in the publication of the Bulletin: India Council's Bulletin had been totally regular due to the extremely valuable services rendered by Proferssor V. K. Damodaran. Due to certain postal problems in the begining of this year, we could not publish a couple of issues. This brought home to all of us the importance of this medium. From this issue, the bulletin will again become regular as before.
Thodomal Engineering College, Mumbai, with 695 student members has the distinction of being the student branch with highest membership in the world (1999).
Another student branch of the India Council, Crescent Engg. College, Chnnai, with 578 members is ranked fourth in the world (1999).
Outstanding Branch Counselor and Advisor award for 1999 goes to Dr. C. D. Suriyakala, of Sathyabama Engineering College.
Congratulations Dr. Suriyakala !
'Half Century' by Madras Section! Madras Section has 50 IEEE Student Branches - the first Section to achieve this landmark!.
Which Section is going to be the second?
Four new Student branches have been formally approved in the Bombay Section on 10 Jan 2000 by the IEEE Regional Activities Board. The branches are as follows:
Reported by :
The World's largest IEEE Student Branch is the TSEC (Thadomal Shahani Engg. College, Bandra, Mumbai) branch in Bombay Section with 695 student members as on 31 Dec 1999. Congrats to the team at TSCE and especially Prof Kranti jumar, the Principal and Prof. Shaiwalla, the Branch counsellor. This student branch has many chapters and last year the Computer chapter of the sutdent brnach was adjudged the Best Student Branch chapter by the Computer Society of IEEE.
The Bombay Section membership has risen to 3,999 as of 31 Dec 1999 and it is the third largest section in the Region 10.
issue is sponsored by
[This is a report on the Visit of TAB Colloquia to India published in the February 2000 issue of "The Institute" published by IEEE HQ.]
Each year, the Technical Activities Board (TAB) Colloquia Steering Committee organizes a visit to IEEE sections and student branches, as well as industry leaders, from a particular IEEE region. The Colloquia programs include meetings, lecturers and presentations regarding aspects of electrotechnology and IEEE programs.
This year, the TAB Colloquia traveled to parts of Region 10. The seven-member Colloquia team met with members and students in the Indian cities of New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Bangalore and Calcutta as well as Seoul (Korea) and Hong Kong.
The IEEE delegation included Wes Spencer, 1999 chair of the TAB Colloquia Committee and delegate from the IEEE Power Engineering Society; Ken Laker, 1999 IEEE president; Michael Adler, 1999 vice president, Technical Activities; Vijay Bhargava, 1994-95 vice president, Regional Activities and 2000 president of the IEEE Information Theory Society; Shah Rajagopal, delegate from the IEEE Engineering Management Society; Mary Ward-Callan, managing director, Technical Activities; and Fanny Su, manager, IEEE Asia Pacific Operations Centre.
Technical lectures included the topics of power engineering, semiconductors, CDMA and life-long learning.
"The TAB Colloquia is an invaluable means for the IEEE and its leaders to gain first-hand knowledge about the IEEE activities in a given part of the world and to hear of our members' concerns," said Bhargava. "Conversely, the sections visited can use this to energize (or reenergize) themselves."
F. C. Kohli, founder of the India Council, hosted the delegation at Tata Consultancy Services in Mumbai, one of the largest employers of IEEE members. President Laker noted that, in India, "Industry attaches significant value to IEEE membership and supports IEEE membership for its eligible engineers. The Tata Corporation is a glowing example."
In Korea, the Colloquia delegation met with section officers and industry representatives from Samsung. The emphasis was on the publication of involvement in IEEE products.
The Colloquia members came away from the trip with several ideas for improvements in communication, services and career planning. "On this trip we identified a long list of action items that we need to follow up on," noted Adler. "One of the easiest is to improve the connection between the societies and the student branches. Other ideas include developing a search engine for engineers, career information for students, more technical meetings, a hard-hitting IEEE online technological forecast, and more local activities to interest students as well as people from industry."
These trips help to clarify some of the local issues that are faced by IEEE members. For example, Raghavan Muralidharan, chair of the IEEE Bombay Section, emphasized the value of having a copy of key Web pages available on CDs. Because accessibility to the Internet is difficult in many areas of India, having the data on a CD makes it easier for more people to see the information.
All of the Colloquia delegates were impressed with the vitality and energy of the students they met. Students wanted more information on mentoring for their projects; career planning, technology and leadership skills.
"They were an outstanding group and were very open with many constructive ideas as to how the IEEE could better serve students," said Adler. "They also told us about an incredible list of initiatives they were undertaking, and they demonstrated a very high level of energy in their student branch activities."
The I.E.E.E Student Chapter of the College of Engineering, Chengannur organised a technical symposium based on 'Trends in IT' on the 19th of January, 2000. The event was inaugurated by the Secretary, IT Department, Govt. of Kerala. Mrs. Aruna Sundararajan IAS.
On 7 February 2000, Prof. V. K. Damodaran, India Council Member and the Editor of IEEE Bulletin talked to the Student Branch Members on "Electronics and Computers in Energy Management." The session was atttended by more than 150 students.
If you should put even a little on a little and should do this often, soon this too would become big.
-Hesiod (700 BC)
Thinking is a momentary dismissal of irrelevancies.
-Buckminster Fuller (1969)
A Concept Whose Time is Here
The IEEE, which we like to point out is "the largest technical professional society in the world," is under siege. Powerful new forces are undermining the organization's future. They include competitive pressures by aggressive and nimble commercial publishers with very deep pockets, continuing high (and costly) IEEE membership turnover, and lack of a cohesive, consistent IEEE image or brand.
To gauge the effect of this lack of a consistent and unifying image, the IEEE conducted research during 1998 and 1999 among key IEEE constituent groups - volunteers; other members; students and influential individuals in industry, government, and academia.
Here are some of the Findings:
* The IEEE is not meeting current or evolving member's needs well enough. In recent surveys conducted among the IEEE's global membership, more than 75% said they personally value their membership, but only 25% perceive it to be of value to their employers.
* There is a widespread image void about what the IEEE is, who it represents, what it stands for, and where it should be headed. In the same surveys, fewer than half of the members responding said the IEEE is suited to represent information scientists, systems analysts, and software engineers.
* Alternative sources of technical information are a key competitive threat to the IEEE. One-third of the members in the surveys affirm the Internet is becoming a better source of technical information in their fields than the IEEE. And in a related survey, nearly 63% of non-members assert that the IEEE is the best source of technical information in their field, but significantly more (86%) rely on the Internet.
Does all this Disturb You as much as it does Me?
Longtime IEEE members who have seen this data are very concerned about it. Since early this year, the Branding Ad Hoc Committee, authorized by the Board of Directors and established by the IEEE President, has been examining IEEE branding issues and is now developing recommendations to provide to the board in November 1999. With the value of the IEEE name worth literally billions of dollars, the global reach of the organization, and the leadership reputation for its published content, we believe it is possible to refresh and energize the Institute.
To accomplish this, we need a new, motivating positioning to fill the image void. We need a branding and identify system to support that idea and unify our diverse elements. And we must aggressively market our positioning to our key audiences.
In other words, the IEEE must change how we operate, communicate, and define ourselves. Change is difficult. It is always more comfortable to stay with the familiar. But our technological world is rapidly transforming itself, with industries converging at ever-faster rates, and new fields emerging with jobs that were unimaginable a decade ago. In the face of all this, the IEEE must step up to manging its brand and leveraging its great value.
The management visionary Peter Drucker said, "Whom the gods would destroy, they first give 40 years of success." In three years, 2003, the IEEE will mark its 40th anniversary.
For more on the IEEE Branding activities, check this site: http://www.ieee.org/organizations/committee/branding/index.htm
The IEEE has cared to pick the Institute volunteers from the various Sections all over the world for outstanding contributions in the respective areas of activity, to mark the beginning of the third millennium. The names of professionals from two Sections in India, have reached the table of the Editor. They are from:
to all of you dear recipients of the Millennium medal!
Kerala Section which turned 25 years old, on 17.02.2000 celebrated its birthday with the India Council Founder Mr. F. C. Kohli, as the Chief Guest and speaker. Dr. D. S. Rane, who as a member present at the launching of IEEE activities in Kerala then, was also present at the jubilee for presiding over the session held at the Technopark campus, Trivandrum. The Section Chair Er, K. G. Satheesh Kumar welcomed the gathering which included veteran volunteers of the Institute from Kerala Section.
The Broken link is again operational
We are sorry that we could not maintain the communication link between the ten thousand odd members of IEEE in India, from the start of the new millennium till this day. Two issues of the Bulletin had to be skipped -- i.e. during January and February. All this had happened because a Committee of the Postal department found our Bulletin unsuitable for enjoying the concessional rates for posting. The decision was made known to the Publisher cum Editor only on 31 December 1999. From then on, we were trying to appeal to department to repeal this disastrous decision. To pay Rs. 2 every month on every copy is beyond the capability of the India Council and the Sections which support the publication of this four page collage of news and reports.
Anyhow, Mr. R. Narayanan, present Vice Chair of Kerala Section (Corporate Manager - Education and Training, Tata Consultancy Services, Trivandrum) and the Editor made a joint effort to convince the Chief Post Master General, Kerala Mr. Bhowmick and we could succeed in getting this news link made operational again wef March 2000. On behalf of the readers of this Bulletin and the India Council of IEEE, let me express our sincere thanks to Mr. Bhowmick and to the Kerala Section of IEEE and Mr. Narayanan for their solidarity during the crisis.
As pointed out by the Chairman, in his message this month, the break in the nine year old link in communication between members have through several e-mails and telephone calls to the Editor and the Chairman, proved the efficacy of a newsletter of this kind, however small and devoid of colour it may be.
As the Editor and Publisher, I thank all our readers for patiently bearing with us for the inconvenience caused in this regard. As the largest technical professional body in the world, the IEEE working for excellence in the present day all important areas of electronics, electrical and communication engineering, expects a duly deserving better treatment from the all pervasive communication departments in future. With understanding noble officials like Mr. Bhowmick, we are sure to retain the respect and co-operation from this fellow professionals.
Let lEEEians in India enjoy liberally the benefit of this soft communicator in the days to come - that means let me have a flood of reports and announcements of activities from sections, branches and individuals.
Thank you for visiting this webpage.