Outsiders – A Beginning


India’s talent to design aircrafts

October 16, 2009

India’s talent is now being tapped for the design and system integration of aircraft as well. Aerospace majors such as Airbus and Boeing have formed partnerships with the IISc, IITs and IIM-B (to develop their next-generation air-birds, including A380s, A350s and the 787 Dreamliner.

Of the 130 people recruited in AECI 120 are engineers and the company will increase the number to 400 by 2012. Their company had decided to set up operations in India to source talent and develop competency here, especially in the R&D sector.

This provides students of these institutes to put to use their theoretical knowledge in the field.

Boeing has stated that another 100 engineers will collaborate with its various projects being carried out with premier Indian academia and R&D institutions. The Boeing lab will be partnering with IISc to develop and integrate advanced structural technologies to enable future aerospace structures. It will also be working with National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) for analysing and testing aircraft landing gear. Boeing, which started its Indian lab in Bangalore with 30 engineers, said that this lab was the third of its kind outside the U.S. As part of its internationalisation strategy, it will offshore 20 percent of its work by 2020, and India will get a big share of this followed by Russia and China.


IIT Grad/ Anti-Bush blogger jailed

17 Oct 09:

IIT Alumnus Vikram Buddhi was found guilty of posting online threats against the former U.S. President George W. Bush. He was locked up for allegedly threatening Bush via his internet blog.

Vikram, 37, is accused of starting a web discussion, calling on Iraqis to take revenge on the US by attacking President George W. Bush. Vikram’s supporters believe he is innocent, because the internet trail does not prove he posted the message

“On February 3, 2006, the Secret Service made a formal report saying Vikram Buddhi is not a threat to the US President or any Secret Service protectees,” says the student’s father Dr. Buddhi Kota Subbarao. “Suddenly, on April 14, they arrest him. There is no new development between these dates. So having said he’s not a threat, how he could become a threat in April 2006?”

In fact, Vikram’s family believes that he was targeted because a few months earlier he had publicly spoken out against possible racial discrimination at Indiana’s Purdue University. Vikram defended the case of a black student who was expelled for cheating, by highlighting the fact that three white students, guilty of the same act, were not.

.“The jury was not informed of the law, the defense attorney was told to shut up, and the jury’s questions explaining their confusion – the judge didn’t want to clear the confusion, so the jury got fed up and said guilty,” goes on Dr. Subbarao, “So all these show the trial is unfair, a mistrial must be declared.”

Meanwhile, the faculty and students of IITs want the Indian government to put pressure on the American administration to look at the legality of the trial.

They argue web postings are protected by the First Amendment of the US constitution that defends the right to freedom of speech.

What started out as two concerned parents demanding justice for their son is fast becoming an important precedent for the very nature of free speech in contemporary America. For a nation that prides itself on basic human rights and often lectures those who do not comply, it could soon face tough questions over its own laws of liberty.


Vehicles switched off at 6.30pm to create awareness on global warming risk

Chennai, 17 Oct 09:
Exactly at 6.30 pm on Friday, 17 October, as colourful firecrackers lit up the sky and the signal turned red at the Nandanam traffic junction, the headlights of waitng vehicles went off and engines were switched off one by one at four of Chennai’s busiest signals school and college students went around reminding motorists to switch off the ignition while waiting at signals.

Holding placards that spoke of the risks of carbon emission and the importance of using public transport, members of a city-based group of environmental activists, 350me, took to the streets to remind road users of a simple yet important way of reducing emissions.
The event was part of a month-long campaign by 350me to create awareness of climate change and global warming. A discussion and a message urging people to attend the COP15 conference, and a street play on marine pollution and environment on the Marina Beach had been conducted as a run-up to Chill Out, a free rock concert, on October 24 the International Day of Climate Action.


IIMs to set up campuses abroad

October 16, 2009

The Union Government on Friday agreed that board members and directors of Indian Institute of Managements (IIM) will be appointed by an independent panel of industrialists and academicians. Currently, these appointments are being made by the HRD Ministry. After meeting with the Directors of IIMs, Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal informed that, henceforth, the government would place ads in papers for these positions and then shortlist respondents.
Several issues related with the IIMs came up during the meeting. For starters, IIM faculty had been arguing that independent collegiums would allow for more transparency in the selection of directors and board members.
The government agreed to grant permission to the IIMs to set up campuses abroad and also approved performance-related incentives for IIM faculty. Though there was no discussion on the issue of pay structure, the faculty has taken positive view of the meeting. The meeting also decided to meet again in January 2010 to discuss how to implement the decisions taken in this meeting.


7th global IIT conference

Schaumburg, 9 Oct 09:
The 7th global IIT conference with the theme — entrepreneurship and global economy — took place from October 9 to October 11 at Schaumburg, Illinois.
The conference, which was giving out for the first time a number of awards, saluted the late Rajeev Motwani, Stanford Professor and an entrepreneur with a vast clout and also to a handful of current IITian leaders, including Padmasree Warrior, chief technology officer of Cisco. She was recently declared one of the 50 top women leaders in the world by the Financial Times.
“It was a sold out event”, said conference chairman Ray Mehra. “This was one of the largest professional conferences of its kind attended by professionals as well as students.”
“We were able to energise the alumni group and the community in the Midwest to work as a team and put on a great conference and build stronger ties”, he added.
“Its was not easy organising an event like this and yet we were able to find a broad-based support of sponsors amid one of the deepest recessions. Speakers ranging from Bill Clinton to Jim Rogers showed that we were able to attract indicates a growing level of respect for the IIT alumni.”


No more soaring kites in Chennai city

Chennai, Oct 09:
The Chennai police will book under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code anyone found flying a kite within the city limits.
The decision comes in the wake of the death of two boys who sustained injuries while chasing kites in the city on Saturday. At least four motorcyclists suffered injuries in recent days when the ‘maanja’ (thread coated with glass powder) used to fly kites cut their necks.
Though the city police were booking cases against those flying kites, the accused were let off with a simple fine. They will now be booked under Sections of the IPC that provide for arrest and remand.
Police patrol teams, plainclothes personnel and others deployed on security duty in beaches, parks and other areas were told to enforce the norms with immediate effect. Police were trying to locate the suppliers of ‘maanja’ in Chennai. Flying kites is a form of entertainment. But when strong threads are used to cut the strings of other kites, it becomes a risk to people moving in the area.
Flying kites with a normal thread in a secluded place is fine but the problem arises when the law does not differentiate between ordinary thread and ‘maanja’

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