Tuesday, February 15, 2011


All eligible candidates (as per Advt.) are requested to make themselves available at given date, time and place (as mentioned in Advt.). No email acknowledgment is necessary. There is no shortlisting in advance. All those who appear and fulfill eligibility criteria, will be interviewed.

Deadline for sending CV by advance email :  Today i.e. 16.2.2011
Interview : Tomorrow i.e. 17.2.2011, 10 a.m. at Dept. of Electronics & ECE, IIT Kharagpur

Advt. is available in IIT Kharagpur website in 'Temporary Assignment' link and also here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wonderful People

Met some wonderful people yesterday, a Sunday. In the morning, Uttamda was at our residence. Uttamda, one of my inspiration from childhood is more than a Vivekananda scholar. A great organizer, master of time management, he ran a series of article titled "What we can do" in our magazine named "Unmochan". They were truly gem and I wish they are made available to every young person. Great to see Uttamda after a long time who is now teaching Higher Secondary students at Chittaranjan Railway School. Uttamda asked when I am going to upload the ABVYM Annual Camp 2010 pics. It is not yet there in ABVYM website. A team from IITkgp that had three NSS officers, spent one afternoon there. Few pics are available here.

Next, rushed to CEC community hall at about 12:30 p.m. There was a one day program arranged by Vivekananda Study Circle which runs a weekly study circle at F-127, Institute Main Building every Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and has taken up developmental work in a nearby tribal village, named Soladahar. Chiranjeev Maharaj from Deoghar centre of Ramakrishna Mission came along with Dipak Maharaj and others. Chiranjeev Maharaj came several times before and inspires this group a lot. There was reading from Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, song, Q & A, presentation of work carried out by study circle. It was great to see young study circle members doing work so sincerely where work is treated as worship.

As soon as this meet ended, arrived at Kalidas Auditorium at quarter to five. There was a TEDx event on "Ideas worth spreading". Announced in NSS bulletin board .. if we get some idea here for NSS, IIT Kharagpur to pursue. The event started at 3 p.m. and I missed nearly the entire first half. The speakers were talking in turn and taking Q&A from audience. Five lucky persons asking questions would get an opportunity to dine with the eminent speakers. This I highlight for some special reason. Our favourite in Signals & Systems class, Gopich.. was one of the lucky five. We congratulated him when his name was announced. He was quite surprised but I as an instructor of the class was not, having faced volley of questions from him, class after class :-) since January beginning. Gopi, are you listening?
Coming back to the TED event, it was great to hear Dr. P. Anandan of Microsoft, Srinivas Mohan, Visual Effects Director, our own student Manoj Mandelia who is turning innovation to start-up, Ashutosh & Swapnil duo of Tata Jagriti. While all spoke very well about the work they are doing, somehow I failed to connect with the theme of the conference "Ideas worth spreading". However, Srinivas Mohan briefly touched his life's journey, the struggle towards excellence for a  college drop out. It was truly inspiring. I was looking for his biography in the net. All I get his work but not him. The presentation by Swapnil & Ashutosh brought out what they wanted to tell about Jagriti Yatra in a very, very professional manner. It talked about outlay and not much about outcome. Probably, time was short and it needs some more time to see the outcome. All in all, it was nice to be with these set of wonderful people through out the day. I was honoured to be called by the organizers to hand over mementos to these distinguished speakers at the end of the function together with another professor. Pics of this Sunday and another wonderful Sunday in January, 2011 at my old place of work can be found here.

Here, I got the second referral of 2011, 'Senior Professor' during my introduction to the stage. This follows 'Active Blogger' of IEEE Techsym. While the first connect me to the older generation, the second one with the younger ones. Remember the dilemma in one Amul Advertizement : I am too old for something, too young for something else, but right for Amul Milk Chocolate. Till then let me cherish life, the delicious!

Friday, February 4, 2011

We are Hiring!

Four positions! Three here

Project TitleDigital Electronic Circuit Lab (VLS-7)
Reference NumberIIT/SRIC/R/VLS-7/2011/23 DATED 1st January, 2011
Temporary Position(s)Walk-in-interview on 17/2/2011 at 10-00 AM at Dept. of E&ECE for Junior Project Assistant / Junior Project Officer
Number of vacancies3
Consolidated CompensationRs.12,000/- p.m.to Rs.18,000/- p.m - (depending upon qualification & experience)
Coordinator / PIDr. Goutam Saha, Deptt of E&ECE
Qualifications & ExperienceM. Tech (Preferable) in Electronics / Electrical Engineering OR B. Tech / B.E in Electronics / Electrical / Computer Science & Engineering preferably with valid GATE/NET Score. Competence in Digital Circuits,MATLAB. Programming knowledge of .PHP, Javascript, Flash is desirable.
Relevant ExperienceCandidate should send prior intimation with their CV to the email ID gsaha@ece.iitkgp.ernet.in by 16.02.2011 with a subject heading “Walk in interview for JPA/JPO - MHRD” 
Last Date17 Feb 2011
Application FeeRs. 50(not for female candidates only) /-

And one here

Project TitleAutomatic Speaker Recognition on VoIP (VDA - IV)
Reference NumberIIT/SRIC/R/VDA-IV/2011/24 DATED 1st February, 2011
Temporary Position(s)Walk-in-interview on 17/2/2011 at 10-00 AM at Dept. of E&ECE for Junior Project Assistant / Junior Project Officer
Number of vacancies1
Consolidated CompensationRs.12,000/- p.m.to Rs.18,000/- p.m - (depending upon qualification & experience)
Coordinator / PIDr. Goutam Saha, Deptt of E&ECE
Qualifications & ExperienceM. Tech (Preferable) in Electronics / Electrical Engineering OR B. Tech / B.E in Electronics / Electrical engineering preferably with valid GATE/NET Score. Competence in signal processing, Speech Processing, MATLAB is desirable.
Relevant ExperienceCandidate should send prior intimation with their CV to the email ID gsaha@ece.iitkgp.ernet.in by 16.02.2011 with a subject heading “Walk in interview for JPA/JPO - VEICET� ” 
Last Date17 Feb 2011
Application FeeRs. 50(not for female candidates only) /-

May we get the best candidates :-)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cell Phone Hazard

Last month one of our relative sought an opinion from me. He has been approached for setting up of a cell phone tower at roof top. The monthly rent to be paid to him is significant. I wish I could tell him what he wanted to hear - a "Yes". But I could not. Besides the structural integrity of the old building in which the tower will be raised there is the concern of associated health risk.

The health risk associated with cell phone use and cell phone towers, the points and counter points made, are often equated with the ones made on cigarette smoking few years back. And we know where we stand now. The industries who make money out of it kept saying, "There is no conclusive evidence to link the two." The report titled "Electromagnetic fields and public health : mobile phones" published by World Health Organization in May, 2010 says, "To date, no adverse health effects have been established for mobile phone use." Such statements can be read in both ways. It always leaves a hint of doubt : There may be or there are 'adverse health effects' but not established as yet.

In a 2002 report published by Karen J Rogers titled "Health effects from cell phone tower radiation" cautions people. The author cites several references like [1]Microwave and Radio Frequency Radiation Exposure, San Francisco Medicine , Vol. 74, No 3, March 2001 [2]Mobiles Risk to children, Daily Mail (U.K.), May 11, 2000 etc. and and to quote a few paragraphs from page 1 of his report

Studies have shown that even at low levels of this radiation, there is evidence of damage to cell tissue and DNA, and it has been linked to brain tumors, cancer, suppressed immune function, depression, miscarriage, Alzheimer's disease, and numerous other serious illnesses. [1]

Children are at the greatest risk, due to their thinner skulls, and rapid rate of growth. Also at greater risk are the elderly, the frail, and pregnant women. Doctors from the United Kingdom have issued warnings urging children under 16 not to use cell phones, to reduce their exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation. [2]

Over 100 physicians and scientists at Harvard and Boston University Schools of Public Health have called cellular towers a radiation hazard. And, 33 delegate physicians from 7 countries have declared cell phone towers a “public health emergency.”

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in charge of setting the standards of exposure for the public, and claims that, based on scientific studies, the current levels are safe. But it is not a public health agency, and has been criticized as being “an arm of the industry”. Many who work for the FCC are either past, present or future employees of the very industries they are supposed to regulate. With an explosively emergent $40 billion dollar a year industry at stake, critics have stated “you can bet that their studies are going to show whatever they want them to show”.

Back home, Prof. Girish Kumar of IIT Bombay has been working with arduous tenacity to make people aware. He prepared a comprehensive "Report on Cell Tower Radiation" which is full of case studies and circulated widely. We received it in our mailbox some time back and this as well as the Rogers' report mentioned above are available in full at scribd. Prof. Kumar has explained it nicely with radiation beam pattern etc. and to quote from his report

Through the help of the above typical radiation pattern, let’s analyze the news reported in Mid-day, Mumbai dated Jan. 3, 2010, which stated -Mumbai's swanky Usha Kiran building says the four cancer cases there could be linked to mobile towers installed on the facing Vijay Apartments”. The picture taken from the Usha Kiran building of the several antennas installed onthe seventh floor of Vijay Apartments is shown in Fig. 2. People living in the 6th, 7th and 8th floor in the opposite building will get maximum radiation as they are in the main beam direction. People living on the other floors will receive lesser radiation as beam maxima is reduced considerably as can be observed from vertical radiation pattern. In the horizontal direction again, people living in the front side of the antenna will receive much higher radiation compared to people living in the back side of antenna.

NDTV published Prof. Kumar's view on June 26, 2010 which stated like this.

"Each antenna is transmitting with a gain of approximately 50, so we are looking at 4-5 kilowatts of power being transmitted by these antennas. Microwaves use only 500 watts of power and that too you cook food for just a few minutes. These towers are transmitting 24 hours so you are absorbing radiation 24 hours. The solution is that cell phone towers should transmit one tenth of the power they are currently transmitting,"

DNA publishes this on Jan. 30, 2010.

Dr RS Sharma of the Indian Council of Medical Research said that the government of India was among the countries that had adopted the worst standards of radiation levels. 

Today we find some action at Govt. end. Times of India today carried the following as a front page news.

Radiation from mobile phones and towers poses serious health risks, including memory loss, lack of concentration, disturbance in the digestive system and sleep disturbances, according to an inter-ministerial committee formed by the ministry of communications and information technology to study the hazards posed by mobile phones.
    The committee has also attributed disappearance of butterflies, bees, insects and sparrows from big cities to mobile phone-related radiation. 

Member scientist, ICMR, R S Sharma said compared to Europeans, Indian cellphone users are more at risk for adverse affect of radiation due to the country’s hot tropical climate, low body mass index, and low fat content.

"In the case of a person using a cellphone, most of the heating occurs on the surface of the head, causing its temperature to increase by a fraction of a degree. The brain blood flow is capable of disposing this excess by increasing the local blood flow and increasing body temperature," states the report. It says that the non-thermal effects of cellphone use — attributed to the induced electromagnetic effects inside the body's biological cells — are more harmful. 

"There is a 400% increase in the risk of brain cancer among teenagers using cell phones for long periods. The younger the child, the deeper is the penetration of electromagnetic radiation as children`s skulls are thinner.

Another government-funded study on radiation from mobile phones and towers at the Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU) found that the exposure to radiation from mobile towers and mobile phones could have an adverse impact on male fertility and pose health hazards by depleting the defence mechanism of cells.

Whether we consider cell phone as necessary evil or not, we may try to limit its use to the extent possible and develop a collective opinion so that common man who do not read all these reports, can avoid health hazard.
It is a collective responsibility for all of us who appreciate the underlying issues.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011


There is a reason to get interested in this article from rediff. It brings that 'I said so' smile in your face, not exactly sadistic though. It is more like getting an agreement from the community which is important for us to make development in a complementary technology space. It is useful for funding research, answering reviewers, keeping faith etc.

We work on certain area of biometric signature generation which is anything but fingerprint. We leave retina scan out of this because it is cumbersome and costly. The critic finds faults with us citing 'finger-print' based systems are a kind of full proof as finger print is 'unique'. While they accept that ours is easy to use and has much, much wider applicability, the percentage accuracy were always doubted or looked down upon vis-a-vis finger print based system. Almost all the points made in this article used to be cited by us but such reports by a lead media house help in developing a general agreement.

It is some time to have our developments available commercially but there are a lot of groups world wide pursuing that space and hope to have something in near future. Now excerpts from the Rediff article available with a video demo at http://www.rediff.com/news/report/fool-proof-uid-system-for-indians-blah/20110201.htm :

However, we wish the finger print based system developer very best so that they come up with a more robust system. Competition helps all and the solution may lie in multi modal system i.e. considering more than one mode : finger print is one and what we do, could be the other.
In a demonstration, an electronic systems expert specialising in biometrics exposed the gaping hole in the assumption that a fingerprint is a secure way to identify individuals. It would cost less than a dollar -- Rs 30 to be exact -- to fool the system, according to J T D'souza, managing director of Sparc Systems Limited. "...all one needs is wax, a small dish and a small tube of fevicol. ...making a finger print impression without the knowledge of the person is relatively expensive. It costs Rs 250."

He used a thin layer of skin-like substance which has the impression of his wife's fingerprint on his hand and moistens it with his breath. This fooled the system.

He explained that finger prints from the individuals are stored as images, from which the coordinates of several points on the ridges and valleys of the finger are recorded. "Each attempt to record the fingerprint on the scanner may yield different images owing to the amount of pressure applied and the moisture. Moreover, ridges and valleys on the fingerprint may be altered by years of hard labour.

Authorities in South Korea, which has the most extensive use of the biometric system, noted that in Seoul, the fingerprint of each person underwent progressive deterioration over a period of 1.5 years for over 50 percent of the individuals sampled, said D'souza. 

"Even forensic science experts can't confirm 100 per cent that two fingerprints are from the same person. 

A study on the fingerprint database of the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that a single query may throw up possible matches ranging between 5 and 50000.

"Contrary to popular belief, fingerprints are neither unique and nor does it remain the same for an individual over a period of time," said D'souza.