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Hi-Tech Pune Maharashtra 2008 Conference – Day 1

Hi-Tech Pune Maharastra Conference 2008

The Hi-Tech Pune Maharashtra 2008 conference got underway today. Organized by Suresh Kalmadi backed Pune Vyaspeeth, this is the 5th installment of this conference, and in addition to IT, the focus this time is on Bio-Technology and Animation. The conference is spread out over three days (18th June to 20th June) and there is a fairly interesting schedule of presentations by a diverse set of speakers.

I am live-blogging this conference so, 1) refresh on a regular basis if you’re reading this on Wednesday evening (Pune time), and 2) please excuse the terse and ungrammatical language.

The event is being live-webcast by the organizers. Go to the Pune Vyaspeeth homepage and click on the broadcast link at the bottom of the page.

The first day is mostly talks by dignitaries – Suresh Kalmadi, Jyotiraditya Scindia (Minister of State for Communications & IT Government of India), Dr. Ashok Kolaskar (VC UoP), Narayan Murthy, Dr. K. I. Varaprasad Reddy (MD, Shantha Biotechnics).

The talks:

  • Missed talks by Deepak Shikarpur, Suresh Kalmadi and Dr. Kolaskar
  • Anand Khandekar Director Pune Development Center & Chief Mentor NVIDIA: “Animation is going to be the next big thing. Especially in Maharashtra and Pune. And it is not restricted to the elite – it will create jobs for the rural sector too. The government must extend the same incentives for the budding animation industry as it did for IT industry earlier”
  • Mr. Ashish Kulkarni, CEO, BIG Animation: “Animation for a bunch of recent movies was done in Pune. Dashavatar, Golden Compass. All of the animation for the upcoming Krishna movie will be in Pune.
  • Lifetime achievement award for Narayan Murthy
  • Lifetime achievement award for Dr. Reddy.
  • Dr. Reddy heard comments that India was a beggar country begging for vaccines from the west. At that time one of the vaccines (I forgot which one) cost $28 – completely out of the reach of most of the poor Indians. Stung by the criticism, he gave up his career in Electronics and started Shanta Biotech. He tried to acquire the technology and was told by the company that recombinant DNA technology was so far ahead of the capabilities of Indian scientists that it would take them 20 years to absorb the technology – and hence there was no point in transfering the technology to India. Miffed, Dr. Reddy hired local scientists and developed the technology indigeneously in about 5 years and introduced it at a price of Rs. 50. Today it sells for Rs. 20.
  • But Dr. Reddy worries that the situation today is less than ideal. Due to the booming IT sector and the huge salaries offered there, people are no longer opting for careers in sciences. (At least not people that you would actually want to hire.)
  • Jyotiraditya Scindia: is a great speaker. Spoke very well about innovation. Spoke about India’s tradition of innovation and education. Said that in modern times, our temples should be the IITs and other great educational institutions. Spoke about the need for greater collaboration between industry and educational institutions. I am not doing justice to his speech – maybe someone else who attended will do that tomorrow.
  • William A. Haseltine, President, Haseltine Foundation:  India is not a subset of the world. India is a representative of the world. You have everything, from large business, and high tech to tribals and poverty. You solve the problems in India and you solve the problems of the world.

The scheduled presentations are over and I am heading off to the “networking dinner”. I hadn’t expected on getting an invitation for this conference, so I have not really made place in my calendar for the attending the next two days of the conference. I might drop in for a couple of hours each day, but can’t stay the whole day. If anybody reading this is attending the conference and would like to write a report on the sessions, please let me know.

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Company Profile: VeriSoft

Verisoft is an independent testing services provider. While it is a “horizontal” testing company providing services in many industry segments, they have specialized skills in Video Games testing. Customers range from major video-games publishers in the US to betting and casino games companies in UK. Types of testing provided: Game-play testing, localization, pre-submission, compatibility testing

[edit] Games Testing

Testing video/computer games involves a number of aspects:

Functional Testing
to ensure that the games functions such as collisions, players attributes, menus, events, button functions, scoring /statistics, are according to the game design.
Compatibility Testing
to ensure that the game functions consistently, without any conflicts with other standards software, across all typical PC configurations on the market.
Multiplayer Testing
to ensure if games are designed to be played across the Internet or local network. These tests ensure games provide a smooth multiplayer gaming experience for end-users.
to test a computer game capable of supporting thousands of players simultaneously, and which is played on the internet online.
Localization Testing
to ensure that local language version of games perform consistently with the original versions.
Compliance Testing
to ensure if the games are designed as per pre-defined standards, rules or a technical requirement document such as TCR/TRC, Lot Check, etc.
Game Play Testing
to give a professional and independent evaluation of the game play quality, such as realism of animation and fight damage, balance of the game, exploits etc.

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[edit] People

Badmash.tv: Pune-based animation studio

Badmash.tv is a Pune-based animation studio that has just launched with the intention of developing animated content (think flash-based movies like The Singhsons, a parody of The Simpsons), that will be distributed through websites they create, and also mobiles, iPhones etc.

Their first project is Dishoom 2008, about Amitabh Bachchan’s historic bid to become the first Prime Minister of the United States. (Yes, “Prime Minister”. Less competition that way.) This candidate stands for change, as seen from his blog post:

Like today, during my visit to the holy city of Toledo, I met a woman named Bertha.

She used to be a steel worker. Just a few hours ago, she stood in front of me with sorrow in her eyes and begged for change. I said, “Lady, that’s exactly why I am here. Change!”

She extended her Dunkin’ Donuts cup. I tried to refuse, but she kept shaking it. Finally, I reached into the cup and accepted her $2.10 contribution.

Badmash used to be a comic strip with an Amitabh fixation out of Berkeley a few years ago that was quite successful with over 200,000 visitors per week. Turns out that the same guys, Sandeep Sood and Nimesh Patel, are behind Badmash.tv. VC Keyur Patel who likes giving birth to new companies got the idea of converting some of their strip ideas into animated TV shows and shorts aimed for mobile phones. Thus was born Badmash.tv. And another 5 such animation properties are on the way, including some joint ventures with US studios.

Related news: Design and animation institute planned in Pune – JV with CCIV France.