IEEE ComSoc Bangalore Chapter, India: Winner of the 2019 AP Chapter Achievement Award

By Dilip Krishnaswamy - IEEE ComSoc Bangalore Chapter Chair, India

At the outset, we would like to thank the IEEE Communications Society for recognizing the Bangalore Chapter with the 2019 Chapter Achievement Award for the Asia Pacific Region. Our sincere congratulations to the other chapters as well for their recognition.

In addition to the information that we provided in the previous edition of this newsletter (December 2019), we do have a few minor updates to share. We hosted a very well attended third 5G summit for the year at the Samsung premises in Bangalore on November 30. Also, as planned, we continued our fun study group meetings on quantum communications after concluding our study group meetings related to Massive MIMO. In November we organized the second edition of the ITS workshop related to smart automated vehicular systems for future smart cities. We also had a nice Distinguished Lecture event related to Satellite Antennas by Dr. Sudhakar Rao, followed by a discussion related to the fellow nomination process in December. IEEE ComSoc chapter members participated actively in the organizing committee and also gave invited talks and participated in panels at the IEEE International Conference on Advanced Networks and Telecommunication Systems (ANTS) at the BITS Pilani Goa campus in December.

We are continuing to plan for the IEEE 5G World Forum event on September 10-12, 2020 at the Leela Palace in Bangalore. Our sincere thanks again to the IEEE Future Networks team for providing us with this opportunity to host this event. In addition, we have started work to plan for the weeklong summer school to be held at IIIT Bangalore on June 20-24, 2020. We hope to host 80 to 100 students during the summer school, and we hope to have a series of lectures by distinguished speakers from academia and industry, related to the latest research and developments in 5G and future networks and emerging technologies to educate the students. In addition, we plan to have industry visits along with birds-of-a-feather sessions for like-minded student researchers to gather together and collaborate during the summer school.

This year there has also been a remarkable increase in chapter membership which now stands at around 375 active members with an increase of over 100 members since the past year. We also hope that additional student members can join the society as well in the coming future with the new $1 membership fee for students that the IEEE Communications Society has instituted. We therefore also hope that additional student chapters could form in our community.

A key concern that we see coming from different quarters is that new members find that they do not have access to IEEE Xplore after paying for the IEEE membership. Some academic institutions and a few companies pay an annual fee to subscribe to IEEE Xplore and hence provide access to their academic communities or employees respectively. However, many institutions, particularly at corporations, do not subscribe to IEEE Xplore annually. New IEEE members and IEEE ComSoc members who work at these institutions are surprised to find that they are not able to access IEEE publications after they become members. Perhaps the IEEE could consider giving free access to a small number (say 20) of publications per year per member on IEEE Xplore to help them with their scholastic or research pursuits? This is something that the IEEE could consider in general. Perhaps the IEEE Communications Society could also consider allowing certain additional publications to be freely available to members?

All in all, there has been very nice teamwork and great cooperation and coordination among all the chapter members this year. We plan to recognize many of our outstanding volunteers at the AGM on January 5, as we hand off responsibilities to the new slate that takes over in 2020. We thank the IEEE Communications Society for having provided the opportunity to serve our community in 2019.