Wednesday, January 16, 2019

IBM Earns Over 800 Patents In 2018; India 2nd Highest Contributor

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IBM inventors from India earned over 800 patents – the second highest contributor to the company’s global record of 9,100 patents in the US in 2018 – with nearly half in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, cyber security, blockchain and quantum computing.
One of the patents filed from India went to IBM inventors Shivali Agarwal, Gaargi B Dasgupta, Shripad J Nadgowda and Tapan K Nayak, the company has said in a statement. They developed an AI-based approach for structured representation and classification of noisy and unstructured data in tickets used in service delivery.
Ticket analysis helps create problem diagnostics, prediction of outages and prevention of issues in service delivery, for example for help desks.
“IBM is committed to leading the way on the technologies that change the way the world works – and solving problems many people have not even thought of yet,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO.
Among more than 1,600 AI patents included “Project Debater” that, with the use of Machine Learning, can debate humans on complex topics — identifying evidence such as relevant text segments in unstructured text data, which supports or opposes a claim or topic under consideration.
IBM inventors received more than 2,000 cloud computing and over 1,600 AI patents.
The new patents were granted to a diverse group of more than 8,500 IBM inventors in 47 US states and 48 countries.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

New research could allow fast diagnosis of viruses like Ebola and Zika

The researchers at CIRAD were searching for a way to diagnose viruses quickly and early in the infection process, so they could avoid the time consuming and potentially dangerous process of transferring contaminated samples to a lab. They struck on using the portable sequencer MinION device, which in the last few years since its development has become a common tool for biological analysis techniques like de novo sequencing, targeted sequencing, metagenomics, and epigenetics. The CIRAD team were able to both test and validate that the device could be used in plant virology, making it an invaluable potential tool for diagnosing viruses in real world outbreaks.
“Using a diseased yam plant, it took us just a few hours to sequence the entire genome of two single-strand RNA viruses, a macluravirus and a potyvirus,” CIRAD researcher Denis Filloux said in a statement. This fast and accurate diagnosis technique is a first step to providing real time detection of chronic viruses with a mobile device which can be used even in isolated and remote areas.
A new technique will make it possible to detect viruses in the field. In this case, a yam plot in Guadeloupe. D. Filloux, Cirad
A key aspect of virus outbreak management is shortening the time between taking a sample of a possibly infected plant and diagnosing it as carrying a particular virus. With this development, this process can be achieved in a shorter time to help public health officials to detect potentially harmful outbreaks at an earlier stage than was previously possible. With the new technique, the device will be able to examine the whole genetic structure of a virus quickly: “The technology is characterized by the production of long nucleotide sequences, which makes it possible to sequence the entire viral genome,” Philippe Roumagnac, a virologist with CIRAD, said in the statement.
This technology would be especially valuable in developing countries where there is often a lack of laboratories which can diagnose viruses and limited understanding of how to manage outbreaks and transport contaminated samples.

 Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/mobile-virus-diagnosis/ (Accessed on January 16, 2019)

Harsha Bhogle, wife Anita, Nykaa chief Falguni among those on IIM boards

As industry representatives with an emotional connection to the prestigious business schools, the alumni are expected to guide the decisions of the boards.

Harsha Bhogle, who is an IIM Ahmedabad graduate, has been nominated to the board of IIM, Udaipur. Anita Bhogle, who also studied in the same institute, is now a member of the board of governors of IIM Jammu.
Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, speaker and author Anita Bhogle, beauty products maker Nykaa’s founder and former investment banker Falguni Nayar, and ReNew Power Limited chief Sumant Sinha are among the graduates of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) who have now been snapped up by various IIMs for board positions — in keeping with the new IIM Act passed last year that mandated alumni from the IIMs on the boards.
“There is a requirement that up to five alumni should be on the board of every IIM. Several IIM graduates who are now big names in different fields are part of these boards,” said a government official who asked not to be named.
To be sure, since there are 20 IIMs now, with many being set up recently, the newer IIMs have been allowed to taken on alumni from other IIMs on their board.
Harsha Bhogle, who is an IIM Ahmedabad graduate, has been nominated to the board of IIM, Udaipur. Anita Bhogle, who also studied in the same institute, is now a member of the board of governors of IIM Jammu. Another IIM Ahmedabad alumna, Falguni Nayak is also on the board of IIM Bodhgaya. Sumant Sinha, who is the brother of Union minister Jayant Sinha, studied at IIT Delhi and then IIM Calcutta. He is on the board of his own alma mater, IIM Calcutta.
“Sinha was appointed as a member last year. His name again figures in the reconstituted board,” the government official said.
The idea of getting alumni on the board isn’t new, but the new IIM Act codified it. As industry representatives with an emotional connection to the prestigious business schools, the alumni are expected to guide the decisions of the boards.
Another eminent alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, Sachit Jain, the vice chairman and managing director of the Vardhaman group, is on the board of IIM Amritsar. Sridevi Raghavan from Kozhikhode is a senior vice president of HDFC. She is also a member of the board for IIM Kozhikhode.
Sanhjay Mukherjee, an IPS officer who graduated from IIM Calcutta, is on the school’s board.
“Some of the members of the newly constituted boards have also been repeated, especially in the older IIMs. However, many have been appointed for the first time. The IIM boards are star-studded. And they will be more so when the positions marked specially for eminent members are filled up,” a senior human resource development (HRD) ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
Following the passage of the IIM Act 2017, the HRD ministry in consultation with the law and justice ministry, initiated the process of re-constitution of boards for the IIMs. The process is underway.

 Source: Hindustan Times dated January 14, 2019

Lateral breakthroughs: NEW DIRECTION Consultancies, fellowships, even senior positions in govt are now open to graduates and executives, and new institutes are helping students prepare

This approach of lateral entry into the government has worked well in countries such as the us and UK. if implemented comprehensively, it will help bring in fresh ideas and new approaches to governance here too. DEVASHISH SHARMA, founding member of PeopleStrong, an HR firm
Not all government jobs require an entrance exam. Lateral entry allows qualified candidates — those with a relevant graduate or postgraduate degree, and / or experience in the field — to bypass the civil service exams and directly interview for consultant positions.

“Such candidates can apply for positions in government bodies such as NITI Aayog, the National Skills Development Council and Quality Council of India,” says Luis Miranda, member of the governing council at the Indian School of Public Policy. “If there is an opening for the position of a risk management consultant in these institutions, for instance, MBAs and chartered accountants are accepted. If there is a vacancy for the position of an urban planning consultant, your architecture degree could help you get a job.”
Right now, the job profiles available are a bit scattered, says Devashish Sharma, founding member and chief of strategic accounts and alliances at PeopleStrong, a human resource solutions firm.
“Most of these jobs are for consultants, but there are also positions open for fellows and even joint secretaries in certain departments.”
In June last year, the central government invited lateral entry applications for 10 joint secretary positions from “individuals with expertise in the areas of revenue, financial services, economic affairs, agriculture, road transport and highways, new and renewable energy, civil aviation, and commerce”.
“This approach of lateral entry into the government has worked well in countries such as the US and UK,” says Sharma. “If implemented more comprehensively, it could help bring in fresh ideas and new approaches to governance.” CORRIDORS OF POWER Towards that end, the Indian School of Public Policy, a Delhibased private institute, will launch its flagship programme in policy design and management in August.
“The one-year Master’s equivalent course will help students learn about what the government is looking for in lateral entry candidates, and what such a job would entail. Students will learn leadership skills, administration and communication,” Miranda says.
Faculty will include senior academics, policy experts and former administrators. “The plan is to have students placed with government organisations, consulting firms, thinktanks and maybe even run for election at the end of the programme.”
Graduates can also apply directly for fellowship programmes such as the state government’s Chief Minister Fellowship Programme and the fellowship programme of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
The central government also launched the India Smart Cities fellowship and the Delhi government announced an Urban Leadership Fellowship last year.
Before deciding to make the move, make sure it’s the right one for you. “These jobs are generally contractual, so you may not get the desired career growth, and you also will likely not get the type of job security that generally comes with a government position,” says Sharma. “Secondly, you should know that it’s very different from working in a corporate setup. There are processes in place and intricate protocols to follow. There is considerably less democracy and much stronger power structures in place.”


Source: Hindustan Times dated January 16, 2019

10 percent EWS quota to be implemented in colleges and universities in the academic year 2019-20 itself- Shri Prakash Javadekar

Benefits of 7th CPC to be extended to teachers and other academic staff of State Govt. / Govt. aided degree level technical institutions in the country- HRD Minister
Union HRD Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar while addressing a press conference in New Delhi today, informed that in a landmark decision, the Government  has decided that from the academic year 2019-20 itself, 10 percent Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota will be implemented across 40, 000 colleges and 900 Universities in the country. This 10 percent quota for EWS will be over and above the existing quotas for SCs, STs and OBCs and General seats.
Adequate additional seats will be created in these colleges and universities to implement the quota for EWS. The UGC and AICTE will be provided the operational mandate within a week to implement the quota.
In another major announcement, Shri Javadekar informed that the Government has approved proposal to extend the 7th CPC to the teachers and other academic staff of the State Govt. / Govt. aided degree level technical institutions in the country, which will have additional Central Government  liability of Rs.1241.78 crore.  
He said that the Central Government will reimburse 50% of the total additional expenditure (from 1.1.2016 to 31.3.2019) to be incurred by these institutes for payment of arrears on account of 7th CPC implementation.
This will directly benefit a total of 29,264 teachers and other academic staff of State Government funded institutes. Besides, about 3.5 lakh teachers and other academic staff of private colleges/ institutions within the purview of AICTE will also benefit from the approval given today, he added.
The Minister said that the implementation of pay commission recommendation in State Government Aided / funded AICTE approved technical institutes will help them in attracting and retaining the faculty of high academic standards.

Source: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=187513 (Accessed on January 16, 2018)

Tech courses: Fewer seats for direct admission to second year

To reduce vacancies, AICTE cuts excess seat quota for 2019-20 by half

Getting direct admission to the second year of technical courses is set to get tougher in 2019-20, as the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has cut the intake capacity for lateral admissions to half, in a bid to reduce the vacancies.
Lateral entry allows engineering and pharmacy diploma holders and those with BSc (Information Technology) and Bachelor of Computer Administration (BCA) degrees to be admitted directly to the second year of a technical course. Those who have passed Class 12 examination or completed a vocational course from an Industrial Training Institute (ITI), too, can be admitted to the second year of diploma courses. These students are accommodated in the supernumerary (excess) quota created for them or given seats left vacant during the first-year admissions.
So far, technical colleges could laterally admit up to 20% more students than the number of seats allotted to it, and move them to the supernumerary quota.
Maharashtra’s lateral admissions in 2018-19 stood at 52,826 for engineering degree and 35,669 for diploma courses.
According to AICTE’s approval process handbook for the upcoming academic year, the number of supernumerary seats in an institute will now be capped to 10% of the actual intake. “Usually, around 50% of the seats in the first year of engineering colleges remain vacant across the country. Diploma students seek lateral entry to these seats, so there is no need for additional seats,” said Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman, AICTE.
Reducing the supernumerary seats, instead of doing away with the excess seats altogether is the regulator’s way to balance the aspirations of students and colleges, said experts.
“Many colleges with large vacancies have been requesting us to do away with the supernumerary seats, to get some students who otherwise look to get absorbed in popular colleges. Excess seats also affect the quality of education. Reducing the intake will ensure bright diploma holders get accommodated in good institutes,” said Sahasrabudhe.
Gopakumaran Thampi, principal, Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, Bandra, said, “With fewer seats available in degree programmes, diploma holders will be forced to seek employment, instead of pursuing higher education, while others may look to get enrolled in the first year of the course. AICTE should have retained 20% excess seats as it was not affecting the quality.”

 Source: Hindustan Times dated January 16, 2019

India moves up in 2019 global education rankings

Twenty-five Indian institutions figure in the 2019 ranking of top 200 in 43 emerging economic countries – seven more than the number that figured in last year’s table, according to data released by Times Higher Education (THE) on Tuesday.

EDUCATION Updated: Jan 15, 2019 22:53 IST
The Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings shows that the Indian Institute of Science retains the highest spot for India (14th), followed by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (27th).(HT file)
Twenty-five Indian institutions figure in the 2019 ranking of top 200 in 43 emerging economic countries – seven more than the number that figured in last year’s table, according to data released by Times Higher Education (THE) on Tuesday.
The Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings shows that the Indian Institute of Science retains the highest spot for India (14th), followed by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (27th). However, each slips a place this year, mainly due to increased competition.
THE said the 2019 table presents a mixed picture for India, with several new entrants and high risers, alongside several institutions that drop back.
The Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee scales 21 places at 35th, due to improvements in research (volume, income and reputation) and industry income (knowledge transfer).
The Indian Institute of Technology Indore (61st) and the JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research (joint 64th) are the highest new entrants for India this year.
The Savitribai Phule Pune University climbs 87 positions to joint 93rd, alongside the National Autonomous University of Mexico, with a rise in its research score, and a significant rise to its citations (research influence) score, organisers of the ranking said.
Mainland China with 72 institutions remains the most represented country in the annual listing, claiming four of the table’s top five positions.
Ellie Bothwell of THE said: “Indian institutions have immense potential for success – not only on the emerging stage, but globally. But, while progress is clearly being made, other economies that previously lagged behind – such as Egypt and Malaysia – are starting to advance at a much faster rate.
“In this year’s table, India’s institutions perform well in teaching. However they are significantly behind the global average in terms of international outlook. Strengthening this will further elevate the nation’s global reputation for higher education, encourage important research collaborations and help attract international students.”
2019 COUNTRY/REGION TABLE: INDIA
Institution name
2019 ranking
2018 ranking
Indian Institute of Science
14
13
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
27
26
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
35
56
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
=46
49
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
55
=45
Indian Institute of Technology Indore
61
NR
JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research
=64
NR
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
66
63
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
=75
=70
Savitribai Phule Pune University
=93
180
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune
=109
NR
Tezpur University
116
=99
University of Delhi
=130
=127
Jadavpur University
=130
=117
Banaras Hindu University
=134
201 - 250
Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad
139
NR
Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
140
=114
Amrita University
=141
=195
Panjab University
150
130
Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar
=153
NR
NR indicates not previously ranked
= indicates a joint position
credit: Times Higher Education (THE)

IBM Earns Over 800 Patents In 2018; India 2nd Highest Contributor

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