IEEE ComSoc Bangalore Chapter: Winner of the 2021 Chapter of the Year Award

By Aloknath De - IEEE ComSoc Bangalore Chapter Chair 2021, India

A joyous moment for IEEE ComSoc Bangalore chapter to celebrate the winning of 2021 Chapter of the Year Award (CoYA) amidst 200+ ComSoc chapters globally. Also, it marks a three-years-in-a-row win of Chapter Achievement Award (CAA) at the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. As Chair 2021 and 2020 as well as Chair-Elect 2019, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the execom members, industry captains, academic community, young professionals and the student volunteers for making these happen. To the Team: my sincere appreciation on your wonderful dedication and contribution, even during the challenging pandemic time. Let me scribe here some of our actions in 2021 for our society and her members.

One of our goals has been to ensure that the students and young professionals continually learn new technologies and relevant skills during the lockdown and home-operation period. In 2021, we conducted a global summer school on “Beyond-5G and IoT: Human-Machine Communication.” This three-day program with 125 student registrants from 25+ countries has been a hallmark initiative for the year. The summer school covered the convergence of long and short-range communications as well as dimensions pertaining to human-machine interaction and collaboration. As Program Chair, I am indebted to the organizing team for meticulous planning and 15+ expert speakers for volunteering their time.

For the last decade or so, many of our member companies and academia have been researching for 5G wireless communication system: from device to network. New applications are emerging with the true power of high speed for faster communication, low latency for interactive communication and novel protocols for machine communication. Through workshops and forum, we have deliberated on the system architecture, security nuances, interactive applications and deployment intricacies of 5G. We conducted an exclusive 10-hour tutorial on 5G for our student branches. We also had a detailed seminar on Indian academia-developed 5Gi features those recently got absorbed in the global 3GPP standard.

In early-2021, along with IEEE Kharagpur Section, we organized a workshop on 6G requirements and plausible use cases. With my then-recent experience of co-editing world’s first 6G book with Springer, I could initiate a series of exploratory seminars and symposia on advanced topics. The themes cover intelligent reflecting surface, blockchain and security, quantum communication, synthetic-aperture radar imaging, low-power sustainable technologies, some organized with other sections. Recently, an IISc-IEEE monthly seminar series is instituted under able guidance of the chair-elect 2021to celebrate IISc ECE department 75 years. All these have facilitated the Bangalore ComSoc chapter to be in tune with the latest developments in the world and has equipped to embark on new initiatives towards 6G at the international level.

We also realized that our members are quite keen to enhance their ability of research and innovation. The Research Methodology workshop with authorship lab has provided benefit to numerous researchers. We had a very stimulating session with young professionals on ‘How to Create a Research Mindset.’ A presentation by me on ‘Intellectual Property: Why, What and How’ drew 500+ participants in India Council forum. And as part of our Open Innovation promotion, in partnership with Samsung, we conducted second edition of Open Source mini-conference with themes around 5G, IoT and Edge Computing where IEEE-SA, Linux Foundation, Red Hat, Nokia and many others actively participated.

We value professional growth and accordingly, we were happy to see member strength crossing 500 as on 31st Dec. 2021. We focused on membership upgrade qualifications and membership benefit package including India medical insurance. We invited members to join an “Ask Us Anything” session addressed by leaders from industry and academia. Nine of our student branches have been organizing training and awareness sessions in their campuses or online. In May 2020 newsletter, I highlighted how Graduate theses presentations in 7-minutes (Grate-7) and PhD Ethically Driven Innovation and Technology for Society (EDITS) have become two popular programs among the graduate students. In 2021, we launched a new scheme — ”Protsahan” (meaning “encouragement”) with 15 awards to first authors for good research publication in any established conference or journal. It has made appeal to non-members, some of whom are becoming ComSoc member.

Bangalore is ‘silicon valley’ of India and our chapter has a rich representation from industry, startup and academia. Alongside People and Technology, 2021 witnessed a great deal of thrust on Process. A landmark achievement has been to have a written Bye-Law (approved on 12th Sept) for the society. On the other side, our finance base has grown 3X in the last two years, giving a comfortable position for initiating new programs. More women members have joined in our Execom. The event flow from organizing events to capturing details in vTools has been system-automated by our volunteers. This, in turn, has resulted in a prompt and accurate reporting of activities. The social media has been effectively leveraged with LinkedIn promoting our events and YouTube sharing video presentations. And, finally, the chapter website sums up all the information for easy access by members.

As we progress in 2022 and the pandemic wanes, I am confident that the new Execom team will consider adding Distinguished International Lecture series as well as introducing social impact programs in Bangalore vicinity. There is room for kick-starting student hackathon program for Karnataka colleges. Additionally, we can steadily grow D&I engagements, ESG initiatives and ensure that the regions ‘Beyond Bengaluru’ are well-covered in all of our programs. I wish the new team to take our beloved chapter to a greater height! And I sign off with a great sense of resilience, accomplishment and gratitude. It is time for me to take up the responsibility of Bangalore Section as 2022 Chair-Elect and 2023 Chair.

The joyous moment for the Bangalore Chapter announced winner of the Chapter of the Year Award