Link1, Link2), had something to tell me. Yes, we do visit villages / slums in our attempt to get our students acquainted with how
majority of Indians live. Thereby, we gather some first hand experience on various issues. This includes the financial inclusion - how people save money and how they borrow money, the level of functional literacy and awareness, possibility of use of I.T. backbone (reaching up to Panchayet Office for sure) and telecommunication network etc. Head was asking me to write a post on this in my blog being moved by the recent 'chit fund' issue. I did not know that what I write primarily to address young population, was noted by seniors and they consider my writing worthy enough. I shall try to put my thoughts together on that issue and shall try to write down something. However, this post is to publicize three vacancies in our lab. for project positions which we want to fill quickly. The tenure of the project is two years. We have lost about three weeks of precious time in the project and walk-in-interview is considered the preferred way to fill at least some of the vacancies and get started with the project.
We are hiring like this after two years. We consciously took a decision to go slow in taking responsibility of new projects till we serve our commitments to the existing projects to the satisfaction of the sponsors. Even then we are currently serving three plus one projects where I have major responsibilities. The plus-one is an inter-department project.
The currently advertized project that attempts to reduce misuse of ultrasonography (USG) machines in sex-determination by tracking, is a big responsibility - not in terms of monetary value of the project but in terms of its direct social impact (besides NSS and NSO involvement). Besides the meeting I had with domain experts, the formulation of the project involved discussion with past and current students - the deficiencies of the solutions proposed so far, what we can do etc.. They will also contribute to the project in addition to the project staffs that we are hiring through this advertizement.
We are looking for the right people to fill-up the vacancies.
Some of the NSS (National Service Scheme), IIT Kharagpur students wanted to contribute. The following was observed in our discussion. The community service work IIT students perform through NSS helps them find their relation with the society. The benefit accrued to the society is mostly long-term and indirect in nature. The impression that is etched in the mind of the students as they perform their NSS service will have a bearing in whatever they do as they grow up in ladder and acquire higher positions of influence. A technology institute of higher learning like ours also gives opportunity to come up with solutions that can directly benefit the society now and here.
We are happy to share that one of our recently developed prototype was considered among the 'Top 100' innovations by DST-Lockheed Martin India Innovation Growth Program 2013 (Link). This got a good review from international reviewers but could not make it to 'Top 50'. Our congratulations to 'Top 50' innovators and wish them our very best. We shall try to do better when we are ready with our next innovation. We see ourselves as serial innovator. We are clear in our mind not to form a start-up company or require funding as such as our solution space is simple and low cost. But it is important for us to participate and get valuable feedback. We are good at algorithms, data crunching and interpretation. If we can harness that strength in any system level development by overcoming data acquisition related weakness, we can contribute more quantitatively and qualitatively.