Tag Archives: students

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 (http://wiki.nus.edu.sg/display/aki).

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.

Life and Times of Alan Turing by Mathai Joseph

InnoVidya and IUCAA invite everyone to a lecture on the life and time of Alan Turing, widely considered the father of computer science, by Dr. Mathai Joseph, who can be considered one of the senior most computer scientists in Pune.

Alan Turing, was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, giving a formalisation of the concepts of “algorithm” and “computation” with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. The most important award in computer science, the Turing Award, is named after Alan Turing.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing’s birth, and hence we are celebrating it with a talk on his life and his contributions to computer science. This talk is targeted towards anyone interested in computers – no special knowledge of computer science will be assumed.

About the Speaker – Dr. Mathai Joseph

Dr. Mathai Joseph did his PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK, and joined the Tata Institute of F undamental Research in 1968. He was appointed to a Chair in Computer Science at the University of Warwick in 1985. At various times, he has been a visiting professor at Carnegie-Mellon University, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Warwick and University of York.

He joined Tata Consultancy Services in 1997 as an Executive Vice President and was the Executive Director of the Tata Research Development and Design Centre until his retirement in 2007.

He was Chairman of the Board of the International Institute for Software Technology from 2 005-2007 . He has written several books and numerous papers.

Mathai Joseph was elected as a Member-at-Large of the ACM Council in 2008. He is the President of ACM India and has been a member of the ACM India Council since it was formed in 2009.

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 email/RSS updates at: http://innovidya.org.

Event Details

The event is on Saturday, January 19 , 2013, at 11am, at the Chandrashekhar Auditorium, IUCAA, at University of Pune campus.

Fees and Registration

This event is free and open for anybody to attend. There is no need to register.

InnoVidya meeting: Changing Higher Education – 26 Nov

The gap between what our engineering colleges produce and what our industry would like to consume is widening, and will become an increasingly severe problem for the health of the software industry in India. Everybody realizes there is a problem, and there are lots of people working on this issue from various angles. Entrepreneurs are rushing in to fill the gaps, educators, especially those in independent institutes are trying interesting new experiments, and social media has the potential to change everything. InnoVidya is a platform that aims to bring together the people at the forefront of this revolution.

On November 26, we invite you to the first InnoVidya event – where the speakers will include Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Director of CoEP, Mohit Gundecha, CEO of hot and recently funded startup, YourNextLeap, and Arun Prabhudesai, CTO of My Open Campus, a startup that aims to change how students interact with everybody. But the excellent line-up of speakers is not the main reason to attend this meeting – come for the audience: trustees of colleges, directors and HODs of educational institutes, heads of software companies who are desperately searching for solutions, and other Pune entrepreneurs who are looking to get rich as the Indian education system is forced to transform itself by inexorable global changes.

This is a free and open event, on Saturday, November 26th, from 10:30am to 12:30pm, at Venture Center, NCL Innovation Park, Pashan Road. Please register here.

Agenda for this Meet

  • 5-minute InnoVidya Introduction by Raja Bellare
  • 30-minute talk by Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Director CoEP + 15 min Q&A
  • 20-minute pitch by Mohit Gundecha, Co-Founder & CEO YourNextLeap + 10 min Q&A
  • 20-minute pitch by Arun Prabhudesai, CTO MyOpenCampus + 10 min Q&A
  • followed by free time for hallway conversations.

Higher Education in India – Changing Scenarios – Anil Sahasrabudhe, Director, COEP

Anil is the Director of College of Engineering Pune (COEP). Anil joined COEP as the director in 2006. He holds a vision to take COEP to the next level with a view to enriching the life of every student who enters COEP.

Anil will talk about the changing scenarios in higher education in India.

Anil did his BE Karnataka University (Gold Medalist) and has a PhD from IISc Bangalore. In the past he has been a researcher at IISc, faculty at NERIST, Itanagar, and Professor at IIT Guwahati.

YourNextLeap – Smart Career Counseling and College Decisions

YourNextLeap is a recommendation engine which acts as a virtual career counselor to help students make smarter career and college decisions. It involves a suite of applications, which use psychometric evaluations and math models on past admission patterns, to give out personalized suggestions. Team YourNextLeap is excited about its mission to enhance the way millions of students and young professionals treat their careers. The team comprises of students from top US and Indian universities like BITS, NID, COEP, PICT, USC and Stanford University. More at http://yournextleap.com

About the Speaker – Mohit Gundecha

Mohit is the CEO & Co-founder of YourNextLeap. He was an early team member and head of India Operations for mig33, a mobile community with more than 50 million users. Prior to mig33, Mohit studied at Stanford University, where he co-founded Mobile Momentum with Prof. Tom Kosnik. Mohit has also co-authored a widely referenced mobile industry report, ‘Future of Mobile VAS in India’.

My Open Campus – Online Community for Faculty, Students, Employers and others

My Open Campus brings seamless collaboration to colleges, communities and closed user groups . MOC aims to bring all stakeholders (for e.g: students, faculties & administrators in a college) on single easy to use unified platform, where they can communicate and carry out all regular activities online.

MOC offers secure messaging, online assessments & exams, Information repository, student & Alumni groups, event management, Student database management, discussion forums, placements along with host of other features..

The vision of My Open Campus is to create employable intelligent students. There cannot be knowledge enhancement in an isolated and restrictive environment. Hence MOC brings together all stakeholders on a single platform to make learning a fun & social activity.

About the Speaker – Arun Prabhudesai

Arun is the CTO of Enhanced Education, the company behind MyOpenCampus. Having worked for over 15 years in I.T Industry across the globe, Arun returned back to India to pursue his dream of starting on his own. He has been quite active in Startup and Entrepreneur community is always in forefront in advising upcoming Entrepreneurs.

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.

More at: http://innovidya.org

And please join the mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/innovidya

Venue Sponsor – Venture Center

Entrepreneurship Development Center (Venture Center) – a CSIR initiative – is a not-for-profit company hosted by the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. Venture Center strives to nucleate and nurture technology and knowledge-based enterprises by leveraging the scientific and engineering competencies of the institutions in the Pune region in India. The Venture Center is a technology business incubator specializing in technology enterprises offering products and services exploiting scientific expertise in the areas of materials, chemicals and biological sciences & engineering.

Fees and Registration

This event is free and open for anybody to attend. Please register here. And join the InnoVidya mailing list (optional).

CREDENZ: PICT’s technical event for events – 16-18 Sept

CREDENZ is an annual National Level Technical event organized by PICT IEEE Student Branch. On 16th , 17th and 18th September. CREDENZ is being organized for the past 7 years and has carved niche for itself as one of the most regarded Technical Events, drawing entries from CS, IT and E&TC colleges all over India.

Events at CREDENZ:


  • Programming Models by Udayan Kanade, Founder of Oneirix Labs
  • Ruby On Rails by Gautam Rege, Co-Founder of Josh Software Pvt. Ltd.
  • Mobile Computing by Vikas Verma, V.P. Emerging Technologies, Cybage


  • Paper Presentation – Presentations by students – One of the most popular events of Credenz.
  • Business Plan Contest
  • M.A.D talks – Showcasing innovative and/or wacky ideas
  • ‘C’Lash- C/C++ coding competition
  • Quiz
  • RoboLIGA – Robotics event. Football tournament between bots.
  • Pixelate – Design / Art competition
  • WebWeaver – Web design contest

CREDENZ also has 3 online events:

  • Blog It Up – Create and run a technical blog.
  • Like – Use facebook to promote a social cause
  • Network Treasure Hunt

This event is open for anybody to attend. Students who wish to participate (in the free online events, or the paid on-campus events) can register here

MCUG Event: Understanding all the technology underlying a hyperlink click

The MIT Computer Users Group presents a talk by Anirudh Tomer and Toshish Jawale on what happens under the covers when you do something simple like clicking a hyperlink. The talk is at 1:30pm on Saturday, 20th August, in room A203, E&TC Dept. MIT, Kothrud.

About the Seminar:

To see this post you must have clicked a hyperlink, and it would have hardly took seconds to open that. So easy man!!!, but what you didn’t saw was how did the computer made this possible for you.

It all started at your Brain, here is the simple flow of all events that took place in LAYMAN’s TERMS

  1. Brain sends signals to your muscles to move the mouse on link and click on Mouse, your eyes help in that movement and tell brain to click at right place.
  2. Mouse sends interrupt via USB or PS2 to Host Controller.
  3. Host controller forwarded the interrupt to Processor.
  4. Processors sent interrupt to device driver.
  5. Device driver gave control to X server (i.e display server for Linux)
  6. X server gave control to browser
  7. browsers parses that link.
  8. browser contact network card via system calls and sent the request to FB server
  9. Routers take the packet from your network card and gave it to FB server.
  10. FB server processes the request and sends the reply back
  11. Browser gets the reply back and processes the HTML code to display the new contents.
  12. X server updates the video memory buffer with new contents
  13. Monitor reads the new content from that buffer and shows new content at screen, at 60HZ (say)
  14. Eyes get the same signal at 16HZ and send it to brain
  15. Brain processes the information and validates the information, if its the right one.

and all this happened in 1 second parallely, so A MOUSE CLICK IS SO COMPLEX. In this session we are going to cover all this in detail. Since this all started at brain and ends up at brain, we call it Brain to Brain

Who Can Attend

Anyone from this universe and its a free event. Goodies waiting for you as well. So if you are one of those who keeps the passion for understanding HOW STUFF WORKS, then this is a must attend session for you. Suggestions are most welcome

About MCUG – MIT Computer Users Group

MCUG (The MIT Computer Users Group) is a student group started by students and alumni of MIT College Pune, but has now grown to include 500+ members (students as well as industry professionals) from all over India. MCUG conducts various tech activities targeting students of computer science engineering.

Pune Startup YourNextLeap.com get Series A Funding

Pune based startup, YourNextLeap.com, whom we covered last November as a company to watch, has just announced that they have received Series A funding from Nirvana Venture Advisors.

YourNextLeap is a website targeting students and provides guidance on what university they can/should apply to after engineering, or after 12th std. They have online tools like University Suggestor and College Suggestor which help students decide which university/college to apply to, to maximize probability of getting admitted, and Branch Suggestor helps students choose which branch they would do well in.

With this round of funding, Amit Patni, from the Patni Family and Rajan Mehra, formerly the Country Head for eBay in India, join the Board of Directors. Nickhil Jakatdar, CEO of VuClip and Alok Kejriwal, CEO of Games2Win are already on the Advisory board of the Company.

See full press release

Mini DebConf – Conference for Linux Enthusiasts – 13 Aug

Mini DebConf is a developer conference for those interested in Debian Linux (which is also the Linux Distribution on which Ubuntu is based). The purpose of the conference is:

  • Introduce the Debian Project to new users and potential contributors.
  • Introduce some of the technologies that Debian uses which could benefit new contributors.
  • Hands on sessions to learn debian tools and processes.
  • Start working on projects with the help of experienced developers.
  • Sharing Skills and discussing how the overall FOSS movement be taken forward.

Mini DebConf conferences are being held across cities in India. This weekend it is coming to Pune. MiniDebConf Pune is scheduled to start on 13th August 2011 at Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, Bibwewadi, Pune.

On 13th there will be a series of talks and discussions introducing Debian. Second day will have hands on workshop sessions to teach creating debian packages. Third day will be a practical session of things they have learned on previous days. There will be cricket sessions in the evening. There is also a gpg key signing party on third day.

Sessions start at 10 am and last till 5pm every day. Complete schedule is available from event website

Chamba Mukt Cinema Project and Diaspora Decentralized Social Networking Project will have their booths at the conference venue. Debian, Chamba and Diaspora T Shirts will be available for purchase at the venue.


  • VALU (VIT Active Linux Users)
  • COFSUG (COEP Free Software Users Group)

Please check http://wiki.debian.org/DebianIndia/MiniDebConf2011/FAQ if you you have any questions, or send a mail to minidebconf.india@gmail.com.

About Debian

The Debian Project was founded in 1993 by Ian Murdock to be a truly free community project. Since then the project has grown to be one of the largest and most influential open source projects. Thousands of volunteers from all over the world work together to create and maintain Debian software. Available in 70 languages, and supporting a huge range of computer types, Debian calls itself the universal operating system.

Fees and Registration

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

Write Tech Articles for PING – PICT’s Student Newsletter

PICT’s IEEE Student Branch publishes a tech newsletter, called PING, that is distributed to various students and faculty of engineering colleges all over Pune. In the interest of increasing industry-student connections, we would like to encourage industry professionals to write some articles to be published in PING.

Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT), which is one of the top engineering colleges in the city, has an IEEE Student Branch which is one of the more active student groups around. Every semester, they hold a big event. In the odd semester, they have Credenz, a 3-day tech event with competitions, and talks and other events, and in the even semester they have Credenz Tech Days, a series of technical seminars. Both these events are attended by students from all over Maharashtra, and also students from other parts of India.

PING is published to coincide with Credenz and Credenz Tech days, and goes to over a 1000 students and faculty from various engineering colleges.

This time, we think it would be a good idea for PING to have articles from experienced industry professionals in addition to student written articles. The students have suggested the following topics in which they would like to see articles from Industry:

-Mobile Application Development
-Cloud Computing
-Ruby on RAILS
-Digital Scent Technology
-Face Recognition Technology
-Quantum Cryptography
-Social Networking Security Algorithms
-Brain Computer Interface
-Cluster Computing
-Linux Kernel 2.6

This only represents the list that the students came up with. But you should spend some time thinking about other topics that students should know about, and write an article on that topic.

Here is why we think you should take the effort of writing an article:

  • To help students: For many students who read PING, this will probably be their first exposure to what people in industry think. It gives them exposure, it gives them ideas, and you might inspire someone to take up an interesting subject.
  • To let students know about the cool things your company is working on. What better way to ‘market’ your company, than a technical article on an interesting topic, to be read by a 1000 students who were motivated enough to attend a tech fest? (But please make the article about the topic, not about your company. The ‘About the Author’ section can contain information about the company.)
  • To establish yourself as an expert in an area. Not only will these articles go in the newsletter, but will also go up on websites that students as well as professionals read. This is a good way to get some visibility for yourself.

Please write an article, and (send it to us)[mailto:punetech@punetech.com] at punetech@punetech.com. If you’re the kind of person who is good technically but not so good at writing article, don’t worry, contact us and we’ll help with the writing part. If you would prefer to simply talk to someone on the phone about the topic you’re interested in, and would like that someone to write the article based on the phone conversation, contact us and we can work something out.

Many industry professionals accuse today’s students of not being interested. Well, here is a bunch of students who are interested – now it is your turn to reciprocate.

eduVARTA – SMS-based education/jobs info-service for rural college students

eduVARTA is a new

eduVARTA provides informational SMS updates to rural and semi-urban college students with a focus on educational, jobs, and skills information. The idea is to empower students, and increase the opportunities they get, in terms of more education, employment and self-employment opportunities.

eduVARTA hopes to reach 5 lakhs rural and semi-urban college students (11th std. and up). Considering that the people behind this initiative are the same as those behind SMSOne, which is already reaching 5 lakhs rural and semi-urban households with local updates and ads, it should not be difficult for them to achieve their target quickly.

There is a pressing need for a service like. While students of colleges in cities like Pune are very aware of what is going on in the world, and usually end up getting decent jobs, there are millions of students elsewhere who are so devoid of information, basic skills, and confidence that even a little trickle of information can pay huge dividends. And, at this time, there is no better way to reach this population than SMS.

The eduVARTA website points out that provide the students with this kind of information:

  • Notices, announcements, alerts, decisions
  • Courses, admission, fees, due dates
  • Trainings, workshops, seminars, guest lectures, camps, study tours
  • Researches, articles, references, books, publications
  • Competition, Events, youth festivals, programs, gathering
  • Exams, competitive exams, results, forms
  • Sports, magazine, cultural, social committee activities
  • Higher education, job opportunities
  • Facilities, needs, demands
  • Achievements, appointments, success news, sad news
  • Alumni news, guest visits
  • Scholarships, awards, prizes

And the information comes from the following sources:

  • National Innovation Foundation, IIM, Ahmedabad
  • CIET, National Center for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi
  • Stanford Mobile Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Network, USA
  • Youth Employment Summit, USA & New Delhi
  • Youth & Sports Committee of Planning Commission, GoI
  • Digital Empowerment Foundation, New Delhi
  • NASSCOM Foundation, Mumbai
  • Development Communication India, New Delhi
  • Nehru Yuva Kendra Sanghathan (NYKS), New Delhi
  • National Service Scheme (NSS), Maharashtra
  • National Youth Awardees Association
  • Universities, Researchers, Career guidance organizations
  • and many individual honorary contributors…

A few days back, at the mbillionth awards 2011, eduVARTA was given the VODAFONE “Mobile for Good” Award by VODAFONE INDIA Foundation & Digital Empowerment Foundation. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 10L.

Check out the eduVARTA About Us Page to find out more about them.

Overview of Wikipedia Campus Ambassador Program in Pune

The Wikimedia Foundation has recently launched the India Education Program. The goal is to encourage professors in India to join a growing global community of educators who use Wikipedia as a teaching tool in their classes. Both teachers and students will receive guidance and support from Wikipedia experts as well as free educational materials developed by the Foundation and tested at first class universities in the United States like Harvard, Berkeley, and others.

This is the first time that they have tried the initiative outside the US. As a first step they have decided to run the program at select universities in Pune. This would give students the opportunity to participate in the world’s largest online encyclopedia and to improve their media literacy skills. Hisham Mundol the coordinator of the program in India shared with us that ‘Information about India and contributions from India is not adequately represented on Wikipedia, and we want to change that.’

As part of the plan they will have a number of Campus Ambassadors – volunteers chosen by the Wikimedia team, who would train students on how to write and edit articles on Wikipedia. These Campus Ambassadors will support both students and teachers during the course of the semester. This program generated an overwhelming response. ‘We got more than 700 applications and enquiries from all over the country. It’s been heartening and inspiring!’ says Hisham. They have selected 22 people who will work with educators in Pune.

At the core of the program, they propose to replace some coursework that students do (projects/reports/homework) with working on Wikipedia articles. The Campus Ambassadors would work with professors and teachers to identify potential articles on Wikipedia that can be created or improved through coursework for that particular semester.

Hisham and his team have been working closely with teachers and administrators in various institutions in Pune to evince interest in the program. ‘We also conducted detailed faculty workshops for 6 institutions in Pune where nearly 30 teachers and administrators attended. This was for the institutions that we have selected for the very first roll-outs. I’ve also visited Pune to support the training for the first lot of Campus Ambassadors that we have.’

They saw Pune as the ideal location for this program for a number of reasons. The large number of colleges and universities with over than 2,00,000 students attending was one of the main attractions. ‘Pune’s student community comes from all over the country, making it an ideal place to engage a diverse group of participants. In addition, the largest part of the success of any Wikimedia program is the community of volunteers, of which there is a vibrant and active community in Pune.’ Says Hisham.