IEEE ComSoc Kerala Chapter, India, Activities in 2018

By Lillykutty Jacob - Kerala Chapter Chair, India

Last year was a vibrant year for the ComSoc Kerala Chapter with a plethora of activities: three new ComSoc SB chapters; ComSoc Webinar series; ComSoc Project Contest at the state level; several high impact workshops; monthly technical talks by eminent speakers from academia and industry; ComSoc Distinguished Lecturer Talk; Webex meeting of the administration; and much more. A few high impact events initiated in 2018 toward ComSoc membership development are briefly reported below.

Webinar Series: The ComSoc Kerala Chapter initiated the webinar series in 2018, which has had a great impact on the general public of Kerala state. Each webinar attracted hundreds of IEEE members and non members.

UG Project Contest (State Level): For the first time in its history, the ComSoc Kerala Chapter organized a Project Presentation State Level Competition for the Under Graduate (UG) students of Kerala. The contest rules and instructions were as follows: (i) submissions should be in or related to topics in communication engineering and its applications; (ii) the submitted project proposals should have tangible outcomes; (iii) the maximum number of members per team should be four; (iv) the shortlisted teams should present a final report in IEEE paper format and a demo/presentation at the IEEE LINK event KITES 2018; (v) three of the best teams will be awarded cash prizes: first place, INR. 10000; second place, INR. 5000; third place, INR. 3000; (vi) all other shortlisted teams will be awarded INR. 2000 each. The important dates were: (i) deadline for project proposal submission: 10 October; (ii) announcement of shortlisted projects: 1 November; (iii) final selection: 11 November. There were a total of 22 proposals, out of which five were short listed for presentation and demonstration, and the winners were selected from among them.

Graduate Congress - GraTE’7’ (National Level): An annual national level workshop with the title “Graduate Congress: Graduate Thesis Evaluation in 7 minutes (GraTE’7)” was conceptualized jointly by the IEEE ComSoc Bangalore and Kerala chapters to recognize and award the top/best thesis works at the post graduate and Ph.D. levels in the field of information and communication technology (ICT). The award comprises a INR. 20,000 cash prize for each Ph.D. thesis and INR. 15 000 for each master thesis along with a certificate of merit for both the candidates and their supervisors.

The first edition of the event was limited to applicants who graduated from institutions/universities in the Kerala and Karnataka states only. However, the plan for the next edition would be to cover the entire nation. It was initiated in November 2018 by opening an online portal for the applicants to submit the synopsis and other necessary documents. Twenty- one short listed theses after initial screening and evaluation were called for presentation in the final round. In the Graduate Congress organized on 30 March 2019 at Amrita School of Engineering Bangalore, each candidate was given seven minutes to present their work in front of evaluators/experts. Experts were chosen from industry and academia, and they are also the executive members and officers of both sections (Kerala and Bangalore).

The Graduate Congress began with a welcome note by Ms. Sreebha followed by a brief introduction to GraTE’7’ by Dr. Navin Kumar (past Chair of the IEEE ComSoc Bangalore Chapter) and started with presentations. Twenty-one theses were presented. of which six were in the category of postgraduate and 15 were in the category of Ph.D. The Graduate Congress had seven evaluators:

  • Dr. Dilip Krishnaswamy, Chair of the IEEE ComSoc Bangalore Chapter and Vice President at Reliance Jio.

  • Dr. Lillykutty Jacob, Chair of the ComSoc Kerala Chapter and a Professor at NIT Calicut.

  • Dr. Aloknath De, Chair Elect of the IEEE ComSoc Bangalore Chapter and Corporate Vice President and CTO at Samsung Electronics India.

  • Dr. Ganesan Thiagarajan, Vice-Chair of the IEEE ComSoc, Bangalore Chapter.

  • Dr. Gopakumar A, Past Chair of the IEEE Malabar Subsection and a Professor at MES Kuttippurum.

  • Dr. Lakshmi Narasimhan Theagarajan, Asst. Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Palakkad.

  • Mr. Subhas Mondal, Chief Architect, Wipro Ltd.

GraTE’7 featured many prominent theses, and post lunch of GraTE’7 had discussions by the evaluators. The Graduate Congress was concluded by awarding one best thesis under the category of PG and five best theses under the category of Ph.D. Prof. Lillykutty gave thanks to all the award winners and participants as well as Cisco Systems India (Private) Ltd who sponsored the cash awards. The awards were distributed by all ExCom members available from both the Bangalore and Kerala sections.