Monthly Archives: July 2013

University of Pune prepares a Math textbook, and puts it online for free download

In a heartening display of moving forward with the times, the University of Pune has not only published a new textbook to match the recently updated syllabus for first year Maths for B.Sc. and B.A., but they have made the entire textbook available online as a free download, reports Pune Mirror.

This is a great step forward. Students who are used to the slow moving and bureaucratic education systems in India, will notice three unique characteristics that should make them happy,

  • It is online
  • It is free
  • They are soliciting feedback and suggestions for improvements, which they claim they will incorporate in future versions

Any one of these would have been cause for celebration. All three is just too much.

No wonder University of Pune has been picked by the government of India as 1 of the 4 universities to get Rs. 300CR “National Innovative University” scheme.

Excerpts from the article:

In the absence of a single prescribed textbook, Bachelor of Science (B Sc) students studying under the University of Pune (UoP) have always had to shuffle between various reference books. With the Board of Studies realising this issue, the varsity’s Department of Mathematics has compiled an official mathematics textbook .

Not only is such an effort the first of its kind, it has also been uploaded on the University’s website for free download.

According to Dr S A Katre, Head of Department, Mathematics at UoP,

“During the process, we decided to go a step ahead and considering the changing times, came up with an online textbook.”


“It is for the first time that an official University textbook is made available online for free,”

And, most importantly, this is just the first step. There is more to come:

The book could be found for download at The department is now working on the books for the second term and will gradually take out books for further terms. Soon, the entire bunch of textbooks, particularly designed by adhering to the new syllabus for mathematics, will be ready online.

Read the full article

Don’t miss tech events: Subscribe to the PuneTech Calendar

You are probably missing many, many interesting technology events that are happening in Pune. (In spite of the fact that you’re subscribed to PuneTech – because you are not subscribed to the PuneTech calendar)

Every week, there are at least 5-7 technology events in Pune. And they are all listed in the PuneTech Calendar. However, because the number is so high, we don’t post all of them to the PuneTech main page.

The fact that you got this article, means that you are subscribed to the PuneTech main page. However, we only selected events are posted to the PuneTech main page. All others are posted to the PuneTech Calendar, which has a different feed/subscription of its own.

For example, you were probably aware of C. Mohan’s talk on the Global Technology Outlook, and you probably know about the Turing 100 Lecture on Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie. However, you are probably not aware of the following events all happening in the next 4 days:

  • A talk on Big Data with Hadoop
  • A Visual Studio Tech Tour by the Pune Microsoft Technologies User Group
  • An MCCIA Pune National conference on Cyber Security, where policy makers and decision makers from the Indian Army, Police, and other relevant Government organizations have been called for interactions with the security/tech community in Pune.
  • In-Product Email Marketing by K. Shashi, founder of
  • IPMA (Indian Product Manager’s Association) Pune’s Event: 5 Things Every Product Manager should know about Agile
  • 2-day Scrum Gathering India Regional Event for Agile Enthusiasts (Paid)

And a few more.

All you need to do is click here and sign up get email alerts whenever an event is added to the PuneTech Calendar, or if you’re one of the 10 remaining people in the world still using RSS, here is the RSS feed, or you can directly import the calendar.

Turing100 Lecture: Talk on Ken Thompson & Dennis Ritchie (creators of Unix)

In 1983, Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie were given the Turing Award “for their development of generic operating systems theory and specifically for the implementation of the UNIX operating system.”

Prof. T.M. Vijayaraman will give a talk on the life and work of Thompson and Ritchie, and the history of Unix, on 27th July, from 2pm to 5pm at Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Persistent (SB Road).

The event is free for everyone to attend. Register here

About the Turing Awards

The Turing awards, named after Alan Turing, given every year, are the highest achievement that a computer scientist can earn. And the contributions of each Turing award winner are then, arguably, the most important topics in computer science.

About Turing 100 @ Persistent Lecture Series

This is year 2 of the the Turing 100 @ Persistent lecture series. The series started in 2012 to celebrates the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing’s birth by having a monthly lecture series, and the success of the talk series in year 1 has resulted in the series being continued in 2013. Each lecture is be presented by an eminent personality from the computer science / technology community in India, and covers the work done by one Turing award winner.

The lecture series has featured, or will feature talks on Ted Codd (Relational Databases), Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn (Internet) Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie (Unix), Jim Gray, Barbara Liskov, and others. Latest schedule is here

This is a lecture series that any one in the field of computer science must attend. These lectures will cover the fundamentals of computer science, and all of them are very relevant today.

All the slides and videos of all the talks in the last year are available here.

The next talk in the series will be TM Vijayaraman talking about Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie. In August, Ajay Deshpande will talk about Barbara Liskov, and in September Hemant Pande will talk about Fran Allen.

Fees and Registration

The event will be at Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Persistent Systems, SB Road, from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday 27 July.

This event is free and open for anybody to attend. Register here

Event: Global Technology Outlook 2013 by Dr. C. Mohan (IBM)

On Wednesday, Pune is fortunate to have a very distinguished visitor – Dr. C. Mohan, an IBM Fellow, IBM Master Innovator, inventor of the presumed abort commit protocol in database, and a list of other achievements and awards that is so long that you’ll get bored reading the list.

Mohan is giving a talk on the “Global Technology Outlook” on Wednesday, 24 July, 6pm, at Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Persistent (SB Road). This talk should be of interest to not only technical people but also to a much broader set of people.

Abstract of the Talk

The Global Technology Outlook (GTO) is IBM Research’s vision of the future for information technology (IT) and its impact on industries that use IT. This annual exercise highlights emerging software, hardware, and services technology trends that are expected to significantly impact the IT sector in the next 3-7 years. In particular, the GTO identifies technologies that may be disruptive to an existing business, have the potential to create new opportunities, and can provide new business value to our customers. The 2013 GTO is built not only on its 31 predecessors, but the 100 years of IBM innovation. The 2013 GTO reports on six key findings which form 2 groups. The first group addresses The Rapidly Evolving Infrastructure while the second one addresses The Future of Big Data and Analytics. The six topics of GTO 2013 are: Mobile First, Scalable Services Ecosystems, Software Defined Environments, Multimedia and Visual Analytics, Contextual Enterprise and Personalized Education. In this talk, Mohan will share the GTO 2013 findings with the audience.

About the speaker – C. Mohan

Dr. C. Mohan has been an IBM researcher for 31 years in the information management area, impacting numerous IBM and non-IBM products, the research community and standards, especially with his invention of the ARIES family of locking and recovery algorithms, and the Presumed Abort commit protocol. This IBM, ACM and IEEE Fellow has also served as the IBM India Chief Scientist. In addition to receiving the ACM SIGMOD Innovation Award, the VLDB 10 Year Best Paper Award and numerous IBM awards, he has been elected to the US and Indian National Academies of Engineering, and has been named an IBM Master Inventor. This distinguished alumnus of IIT Madras received his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin. He is an inventor of 38 patents. He serves on the advisory board of IEEE Spectrum and on the IBM Software Group Architecture Board’s Council. More information can be found at his home page

Fees and Registration

The talk is at 6pm, on Wednesday, 24 July, at the Dewang Mehta Auditorium, “Bhageerath”, Persistent Systems, SB Road.

This event is free and open for anybody to attend. Please register here

National Conference on Cyber Security – focus: Defense & other Govt Agencies

The Defense sub-committee of MCCIA Pune has organized a national conference on Cyber Security, with the intention of bringing together people/companies who are interested in working in the area of cyber security with the key policy and decision makers from defense, police, and other government bodies. Should be a great conference for CEOs/CTOs/Domain experts interested in working with the Indian Government in the area of cyber security.

The conference is a 1-day conference, on 26th July, at MCCIA, SB Road Pune. Register here


Cyber warfare is emerging as the new dimension in warfare and cyber security is attracting lot of attention globally. Impact of problems in this domain is felt across all sectors including defence, governmental institutions, industries and commercial organizations and many others. Interactions and learning from collective experience is one of the best ways to prepare for meeting these challenges. The main propose is to initiate interactions and dialogue between users and practitioners from Armed Forces as well as IT and ITES companies and experts on cyber security.

Needless to mention that this topic has gained prominence in the recent times and Government of India has appreciated the importance and the need to seek private sector participation in this vital area of National Security. You would therefore appreciate the importance attached to this event for creating the much desired awareness among the private sector to support this endeavour of the Government in general and the Defence Forces in particular. A small concurrent exhibition is also being organised for industry to display their capabilities.


  • Innaugural Session
  • Technical Session – I: Cyber Warfare And Cyber Security – Defence And Homeland Security Domains
  • Technical Session – II: – Systems And Processes As Defence Against Cyber Threats
  • Technical Session – III: Equipment And Solutions Canvass For Cyber Security
  • Technical Session – IV: Armed Forces And Civilian Cooperation Models
  • Valedictory Session

Program Facilitators:

Senior officers from services HQs, Army CERT, DIARA, HQ Southern Command, DRDO, DGQA, MCTE and other relevant establishments. Also senior officials from Police, IB, NTRO & CRPF for participation. There will also be a substantive participation from civil cyber security fraternity.

Who Should Attend

The conference will offer an excellent opportunity for those who are interested / working in the vital domain of cyber security to hear and interact with key decision makers and policy makers from Defence and government agencies about national policies and perspective plans. These plans will necessitate participation and cooperation between government, Defence and civilian experts whether for equipment and systems, training or enforcement

Fees and Registration

This event is open for anybody to attend, and costs Rs. 2000 (1500 for MCCIA members). Please register here

Pune’s @SuhasKelkar, Pradeep Kulkarni, @Amdocs, @Allscripts win awards at Confluence 2013

Pune had a strong showing at the excellence awards given out at the recently held globalization conference, Confluence 2013, held in Bangalore by Zinnov (a globalization and market expansion advisory firm), with Punekars winning 2 individual awards (3 if you look closely), and 4 company awards.

At the conference – whose theme this year was “Unlocking India’s Innovation Potential,” Zinnov recognized individuals and companies in 7 different categories. There were 200+ nominations from 50+ companies (mostly MNCs).

Here is the list of Punekars who won:

  • Pradeep Kulkarni, Distinguished Engineer, Symantec, one of two winners of the “Technical Role Model (Senior Level)” award, for “technology stalwarts and have served by example and inspired individuals both within their organization and beyond to emulate them and follow a technical career path”. Note: the second winner in this category, is Sairam Veeraswamy, of EMC, who is also ex-Veritas, ex-Pune, so Pune can take some credit for him too.

  • Suhas Kelkar, CTO (APAC), BMC Software, one of two winners in the “Thought Leadership” category, for “visionaries or have demonstrated original thinking and contributed ideas and/or to initiatives that have had an impact on the overall technology ecosystem.” This is the second year in a row that Suhas has won this award.

Amongst the company awards, these Pune companies won:

  • Amdocs, one of two winners for “Best in Class Ability to Create Next Generation Leaders”, for “MNC Centers that have created a sustainable leadership engine. The company’s mechanism to create and feed leadership roles (both local and global) in a sustainable manner through programs to identify, train and groom talent was assessed.”
  • Allscripts, one of two winners for “Most Successful Attrition Management (Software/Internet R&D Companies)”, in other words, “MNC Technology centers that have successfully managed attrition within their organizations despite the industry average of ~11% in the last year. The assessment criteria, apart from the attrition numbers, evaluated the proactive measures taken by organizations to understand their employees’ needs as well as the innovative practices introduced to develop and retain people”
  • Honeywell, for “Innovation – Potential to Solve Large Problems”. This recognizes “organizations that have successfully solved or are in the process of solving large problems that has or will have a significant impact on society. These problems being addressed can be planet scale, restricted to developed markets or emerging markets but should have been addressed in the last (12 – 18 months) with the India Center playing a significant role in the initiative.”
  • Mercedes-Benz R&D. Same as above.

Suhas Kelkar, CTO (APAC) of BMC Software, “In general we Punekars had a STRONG presence there, an indication of rising importance of Pune belt in Software Products ecosystem. This is not just my opinion, but a general feeling expressed by various people at the conference.”

Event: Intro to Inquiry-oriented Education by Prof. K.P. Mohanan (IISER)

InnoVidya and IUCAA a talk by Prof. K.P. Mohanan on “An Introduction to Inquiry-Oriented Education” on Saturday, July 20, 2013, at 11am, at Bhaskara 3 Hall, IUCAA. This is the next talk in the InnoVidya/IUCAA SPARK lecture series.

Abstract of the talk:

Scientific inquiry is a form of rational inquiry that seeks knowledge by formulating our ignorance as questions and arriving at answers on the basis of data/observations. Most forms of science education focus on helping students to understand a body of knowledge — the conclusions resulting from scientific inquiry — and to apply that knowledge to solve problems. As an alternative, I have been pursuing an inquiry-oriented form of science education that goes beyond understanding and application, to help students acquire the capacity to engage in scientific inquiry, to function not only as consumers of knowledge, but also as producers of knowledge.

The youtube video clip on What Ruca Likes and Dislikes will give a brief taste of what an inquiry-oriented classroom is like.

In this talk, I will briefly outline what my colleagues and I have been doing to bring scientific inquiry into classrooms, textbooks, and examinations. It should be of interest to both students and educators.

About the Speaker – Prof. K.P. Mohanan

K.P. Mohanan received his PhD from MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), under Noam Chomsky, and taught at the University of Texas in Austin, MIT, Stanford University and National University of Singapore. At NUS, he initiated the General Education Program for undergraduate students, and as part of this program, created a web course on Academic Knowledge and Inquiry (

In January 2011, he moved to IISER-Pune to set up and develop the Centre for Integrative Studies. At IISER, he has created a three-course package on rational inquiry, covering scientific, mathematical, and conceptual inquiries. He is currently engaged in developing courses and programs on different types of inquiry based learning for high school and college students.

About the InnoVidya IUCAA Spark Program

The SPARK program is a series of events jointly conducted by InnoVidya and IUCAA. These are special events that <spark> imagination & curiosity of our young, build bonds between participants of different disciplines, catalyze interactivity & promote peer links

About InnoVidya

InnoVidya is a group of educators and industry professionals who want to reach out to students, teachers, trainers and working professionals and catalyze significant improvements in their learning ecosystems. In addition to the InnoVidya website and the InnoVidya mailing list, we also hold public lectures on the 4th Saturday of every month. Lectures usually involve talks by senior educators, industry visionaries, or social and/or for-profit entrepreneurs working in the space of higher education.

We are currently based in Pune, but we expect that this initiative will expand all over India.

If you’re interested in the state of education in India, please subscribe to get updates by email

Event Details

The event is on Saturday, July 20, 2013, at 11am, at the Bhaskara 3 Hall, IUCAA, at University of Pune campus.

Fees and Registration

This event is free and open for anybody to attend. Register here. There is ample parking at the venue.

Interview with Vaultize: Pune based Enterprise File Sharing and Sync Service

PuneTech has just learnt that Pune-based Enterprise file sharing and sync (EFSS) startup Vaultize has just received funding from Tata Capital Innovations Fund.

Vaultize builds cloud-based solutions for enterprise endpoint (i.e. laptop/desktop/mobile devices) sync, backup, encryption, security, and anytime/anywhere access to corporate file servers – all of this in a way that is visible to, and under the control of administrators in the company.

Through Vaultize’s endpoint encryption, sensitive corporate information remains encrypted on endpoints ensuring protection against unauthorized access and potential data leakage from lost or stolen device. In addition to on-disk protection, Vaultize’s patent pending encryption technology used in file sharing and backup ensures that the data is encrypted or decrypted only on endpoints – guaranteeing end-to-end protection

Vaultize, which so far has a presence only in India (with some sales outside via channel partners) will use the funding to scale up its expansion across the world, with immediate plans to establish operations in the US and Europe in conjunction with channel partners. The company will also use the funds towards building up its sales, marketing and engineering teams, and to enhance its global partner program.

PuneTech spoke with CEO and co-founder Anand Kekre. Here are some excerpts from the conversation:

Question: Another Pune startup in the storage and backup space,, has been in the limelight in the last few years. How is Vaultize different?

Actually, we are not in the same market as Druva. Druva is more of a backup solution. Also, while they do have cloud-based backup, their focus traditionally has been on on-premise backup.

By contrast we are in what Gartner calls the EFSS (Enterprise File Sync and Share) space. We are more concerned with providing access to enterprise data from any device, from any where, without compromising on security. We ensure the enterprise data can be accessed from any device – including personal mobile devices – while at all times ensuring that the data is encrypted at all times, whether it is being sent over the network, or when it is stored on the disk in the device.

There are two major things we do that are unique to our solution. First, all the data that is being shared, synced, or in general being moved around via Vaultize is encrypted at source. This ensures that the data is never at risk once it leaves the device. Specifically, any data going over the network, or stored on Vaultize servers is always encrypted and the encryption key is only available at the endpoints (i.e. devices). Second, we do data de-duplication at source. That is, if the speed/latency and network bandwidth consumption is greatly improved by detecting whether the Vaultize servers already have a copy of the data that needs to be sent/synced (for example, same attachment being shared by various people), and only sending across the unique content. And this is achieved without losing the benefits of encryption-at-source, using patent-pending technology.

Question: So, your software can ensure that use of mobile devices with enterprise data is secure?

Across the world, there has been a proliferation of consumer file sharing and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trends, and this has resulted in an increase in data loss, security and compliance risks.

There are two different aspects to ensuring security for BYOD devices. First, the enterprise needs to ensure that it is safe to allow a mobile device to connect to the enterprise network – i.e. it is an authorized device, and it only has authorized applications, and more specifically, does not have viruses and malware. This area is called Mobile Device Management (MDM). Vaultize does not deal with this issue.

Once a device has been allowed to connect to the network, Vaultize ensures that the data on the device is safe and secure by encrypting all the sensitive data on the disk, by being able to sync data across various devices, and geographies, and by providing secure (via encryption) access to the data from anywhere, in a way that compiles with all the enterprise security policies.

And it does all of this in a way that can be easily managed and controlled by the enterprise IT administrators.

Question: What is your team size currently, and how are you planning on expand
ing it?

Currently, we are about 15 people, all in India. Over the next year, we hope to expand our team to about 30-35 people. We will be looking to expand not only in the area of sales and marketing, but also engineering, QA, and support.

For more information about Vaultize, see

TiE Pune Chapter wins the “Best Turnaround” award at TiE Global Retreat

TiE Pune, the Pune Chapter of TiE the worldwide community of entrepreneurs, has just won the “Best Turnaround” award at the TiE Annual Global Retreat in Athens Greek. They competed with 61 chapters globally, and were selected from 5 finalists.

5 years ago, when PuneTech and the Pune Open Coffee Club started, TiE Pune was dormant, and used to have one event per year (or less). In fact, it could be argued, that neither Pune Open Coffee Club nor PuneTech would have actually gotten started if TiE Pune had been active.

In any case, in the last few years, there has been a remarkable rejuvenation of TiE Pune. Here is proof – in 2012, these were the activities of TiE Pune:

  • 23 My Story Sessions (where entrepreneurs like the founder of talked about their startup story)
  • 19 Breakfast with TiE sessions – morning meetings with a discussion around a theme
  • 18 half/full day workshops were conducted on various topics related to startups
  • 7 Stree shakti fellowships were awarded
  • 2 6-month long “Nurture” programs were conducted to nurture young entrepreneurs

To support TiE Pune in these activities, you should consider buying a TiE Pune membership.

For more information see the TiE Pune website

@RubyConfIndia 2013 Pune Event Report by @JonathanWallace

(This event report of the recently concluded RubyConf 2013, which was held in Pune a couple of weekends back, by @JonathanWallace first appeared at the @BigNerdRanch blog. It is reproduced here with permission, for the benefit of PuneTech readers.)

In my professional career, I’ve never felt prouder than when I was accepted as a speaker at RubyConf India. I’ve spoken at numerous user groups, helped organize events, and even performed in front of huge crowds, but this was the first time I had been given the opportunity to speak at a conference.

My goal was to put together a quality presentation on debugging that would help the attendees in at least one small way. If each person, from advanced to beginner, were to walk away with at least one new insight or piece of information, then I would be happy.

I found myself achieving that much and more. I met so many friendly people at this conference, had a lot of good conversations and made a number of #rubyfriends—more than at any other conference I’ve attended. And while the accolades and interest in my talk were wonderful, discussing my work, good code and great co-workers at Big Nerd Ranch was the best part of all.
The Talks

There were many other excellent talks at the conference and I enjoyed all of the ones I attended, but I found myself most inspired by three talks in particular:

  1. Siddhant Chothet‘s talk on accessibility and Ruby illustrated how easily the Ruby community could improve accessibility for users and developers. This talk wowed us as Siddhant demonstrated the challenges and impressive capabilities of blind developers. I would be remiss if I didn’t note that though Siddhant did have slides, he did not read from them, as he is blind himself. Not only was this his first talk at a conference, Siddhant gave the whole presentation from memory! If you want to support his work, check out the brails project.
  2. Sau Sheong Chang created beautiful music for us using pure Ruby, turning tweets into music. He shared just enough of the basics of music theory and the physics of music to walk us through his newly released muse gem. I love music and have played the piano for many years, and I look forward to creating music with one of my favorite tools, Ruby. Step one? Add a hubot script that makes use of muse in some fashion.

  3. Our own Andy Lindeman gave the closing keynote. In this talk, he revealed how much we all benefit from open-source software, thanks to the many developers who have given freely of their time and effort. I highly recommend that everyone in the Ruby community see the talk. While Andy’s talk focused only on the code written in Ruby libraries, I find myself flabbergasted at how much benefit we derive from open source, free technologies when considering the full stack of operating system, database server, web server, web browsers and client-side technologies!

Next year

But a summary of a few talks alone doesn’t do this conference justice. It’s definitely a should not miss, and I’m already planning a talk for next year. I hope to see you there.

(For another event report, see this post by student Vikas Yaligar.)