ICEIT Newsletter | May 2020
From the President's Desk

This is a traumatic time for the country and the whole world. Corona Virus Disease -19 (COVID-19) is wreaking all the havoc with no definite cure in sight. Even the nature of the virus is not fully understood. Various medical and associated technologies are under constant deployment for mitigating the effects of this pandemic. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are playing significant roles. Big data analytics which includes data collection, data analysis, trend extraction, model building and prediction on the fly, and that too in real-time, are essential to determine its impact and design its containment strategies. Even categorizing the individual to be corona affected is a challenging job as the testing test kits are not one hundred percent accurate leaving the scope for false negatives. ICT techniques like the use of artificial intelligence coupled with machine learning have been shown to be useful in this direction. Sensor based systems with Internet of Things (IoT) is a way forward. Inputs can be physiological extracts and/or organ images. It is imperative that broadband connectivity must be available for the purpose so that our medical fraternity acts with the greatest confidence to fight the disease. Concurrently all the bio-informatics need to be deployed for decoding the virus genome and develop vaccines and design new specific drugs and repurpose the existing ones. It is time to dedicate all our ICT resources to the fullest extent to defeat this menace.

World Telecommunication and Information Society (WTIS) Day 2020

Message from Secretary General

Every year on May 17, people around the world join the ITU family to celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

This year, I call on all of you to join me in advancing ITU's Connect 2030 Agenda, a shared global vision to bridge the digital divide and use the power of information and communication technology in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

I invite you to show the world what new technologies like 5G and Intelligent Transport, the Internet of Things, AI and blockchain can do to improve people's lives and facilitate social and economic development.

These technologies and new innovations hold great potential for human progress; they are a powerful tool to achieve each and every one of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Almost half the world's population is still not using the Internet, and overall growth in ICT connectivity is slowing. Time is pressing.

We need to coordinate and redouble our efforts to connect everyone to the global digital economy, and that for those connected, more must be done to ensure that connected life is safe and trustworthy.

On World Telecommunication and Information Society Day and for this new decade, let's harness information and communication technology to accelerate social, economic and environmentally sustainable growth and inclusive development for everyone, everywhere.

Houlin Zhao
ITU Secretary-General

Theme: "Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)"

Every year since 1969, we celebrate the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, which marks the founding of ITU on 17 May 1865 when the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris. The year 2020 represents a unique opportunity for ITU membership to commemorate ICT’s contribution to the advancement of the Information Society, and to present the ‘Connect 2030 Agenda for Global Telecommunication/ICT Development’ (PP-18 Resolution 200, Rev. Dubai, 2018) now linked to the Strategic Plan of the Union for the period 2020-2023, and specifically focusing on how technological advances in the coming 10 years will contribute to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by UNGA Resolution A/70/1 recognizes that the spread of information and communications technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress and to bridge the digital divide.

The theme “Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, will allow ITU membership to reflect on the ICT advances for transition to smart and sustainable development. It will focus on specific ICT-enabled solutions and emerging trends for fostering economic, environmental and social sustainability, contributing to the five strategic goals of the Connect 2030 Agenda:

Honours / Achievements

Prof Swades De Elected Fellow of ICEIT

Prof Swades De received B.Sc. (Physics) from Calcutta University in 1989, B.Tech (Radio Physics & Electronics) from Calcutta University in 1992, M.Tech (Optoelectronics and Optical Communications) from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, in 1998 and Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering) from State University of New York at Buffalo in 2003. Prof De joined department of Electrical Engineering at IIT Delhi in 2007 where he is currently a professor. Prior to this, he held faculty position at New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA. His other work experience includes Software Engineer at Hughes Software Systems and Systems Engineer at WEBFIL Ltd. of Andrew Yule Group. During the first half of 2004 he worked with the wireless networks group at ISTI-CNR, in Pisa, Italy, through a European research fellowship programme.

His academic research interests are broadly Telecommunication Systems, Communication networks with emphasis on performance modeling and analysis, multi-layer interaction studies, energy optimization and energy harvesting mobile ad hoc and sensor networks, broadband wireless access and mesh routing, cognitive radio networks, smart grid networks and optical wireless systems. Prof. Swades De has made significant contributions to cross-layer optimization in communication networks. He has been one of the early few researchers since the year 2000, who started looking into systems-level optimizations for energy-efficient network communications. He contributed to the pioneering concept of integrated cellular and ad hoc multihop relaying to effectively combat the ‘hot spot’ problem in cellular networks. The proposed approach has been extensively used in exploiting the co-existence benefits of 802.11 WLANs and cellular systems. His proposed trigger-based distributed routing, mesh multipath routing, cross-layer aware network performance, and virtual localization analyses have been very-well received. His proposed multi-criteria forwarding optimization in multihop wireless networks has been granted US (2011), EU (2010), and International (2008) patents.

Prof. De has been the first to propose and experimentally demonstrate the concept of multihop (store-and-forward) RF energy transfer, and analytically capture the benefits. His proposed learning-based IoT edge processing algorithm, that achieves significant bandwidth and storage saving, has been implemented in real smart meters. Two Indian patents have been filed on IoT edge processing. Some of his proposed novel-and-impactful concepts include network heterogeneity aware offloading, cell-edge network cooperation, cognitive multihoming, and distributed beamforming-based low-cost system architecture for rural broadband access over TV white-space spectrum.

Prof De has been well recognized through his professional activities. His honours and awards include Exemplary Editor Award, IEEE Communications Letters: 2018, Outstanding contributions award for establishing IEEE Technical Committee on Simulation webinar series in Dec. 2013, Erasmus Mundus Faculty Research Fellowship- Best poster paper award, ERCIM (European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics) fellowship. Prof De served as Editor/Associate editor for IEEE Networking Letters, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, IEEE Wireless Communications Letters, IEEE Communications Letters; Springer J. Commun. and Information Networks, Springer Photonic Network Commun. Journal. Prof De is a prolific researcher and he has published more than 150 papers in internationally reputed and conferences.

He is Senior Member, IEEE, Fellow of The Institution of Engineering and Technology, UK, Fellow of The National Academy of Sciences, India, Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering and Fellow of Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers.

Fellowship Citation
"In recognition of his outstanding professional contributions to the areas of Computer Communication Networks, Mobile Data Networking, Energy Efficient Protocols, and Optical Networking in the broadest sense , and thereby bringing the glory to the profession, ICEIT is proud to confer Fellowship of the Institution on Prof (Dr) Swades De."

New Organizational Members

Indian Institute of Technology Ropar

Indian Institute of Technology Ropar is one of the eight new IITs set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, to expand the reach and enhance the quality of technical education in the country. This institute is committed to providing state-of-the-art technical education in a variety of fields and also for facilitating transmission of knowledge in keeping with latest developments in pedagogy. These two areas of focus will enable students to gain exposure to recent trends in their chosen domains of study and gain practical experience through a wide variety of activities the institute facilitates in its own campus and arranges for in collaboration with industry and other institutes. At present, the institute offers Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech.) programme in the following disciplines: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. This programme is spread over a period of eight semesters. Institute also offers M.Tech programme in the following disciplines: Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Additionally, M.Sc programme is available with specialization in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Institute also offers M.S(R) programme.

Indian Institute of Technology Jammu

Indian Institute of Technology Jammu is a public research institution located in Jammu, (J&K), India. The Institute came into existence in 2016 when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Department of Higher Education, Government of Jammu & Kashmir and Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, was signed. The Institute was inaugurated on 6th August 2016. In the initial phases, the establishment of IIT Jammu was done under the mentorship of IIT Delhi. In 2018, IIT Jammu shifted the primary operations to the Main Campus in Jagti, Nagrota. The State Government, Jammu and Kashmir has provided land for the establishment of a permanent campus of the Indian Institute of Technology in Jammu, which consists of 400 acres. The main campus of the Institute is located on National Highway 44 and is about 15 kilometers from the Airport

The Institute conducts educational programs leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech.) in Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering., and Master of Technology (M. Tech.) in Computer Science and Engineering with specialization in Data Science and Information Security , Electrical Engineering with specialization in Communications and Signal Processing. The research programme leading to Ph.D. degree is available in Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences, Mathematics, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics .

The Institute aims at providing Education to create close links with research and practice so that they seamlessly feed into each other. Research would provide leadership and professional practice will help keep education up to date with current realities. The institution will have an impact at various levels: regional, national and global. At the regional level, it will provide mentoring and problem-solving support to educational institutions, civic facilities and technological interventions in traditional sectors such as crafts.

B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology Jalandhar

B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology Jalandhar was established in 1987 as a Regional Engineering College and was given the status of National Institute of Technology (Deemed University) by the Government of India on 17 October 2002, under the aegis of Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi. Subsequently, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, declared the Institute as Institute of National Importance under the act of Parliament-2007

The departments in the institute offer courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and are actively involved in research in their specific fields viz. Applied Chemistry, Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Bio-Technology, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Humanities and Management, Industrial and Production Engineering, Instrumentation and Control Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Textile Technology.

The Institute campus is wide spread over an area of 154 acres. It has many topographical features, various buildings of different nature with clean and wide roads surrounded by a green belt.

National Institute of Technology Sikkim

National Institute of Technology Sikkim, commonly referred to as NIT Sikkim or NIT SKM, is a public engineering and research institution near the city of Ravangla in Sikkim, India, It is one of the 31 National Institutes of Technology in India and has been declared as an Institute of National Importance by the Government of India. It is an autonomous institute and functioning under the aegis of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. National Institute of Technology, Sikkim is one among the ten newly sanctioned National Institutes of Technology by the Government of India under the 11th Five year Plan, 2009. NIT Sikkim started functioning in August, 2010.

NIT Sikkim offers a 4-year Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) programme in various engineering fields, as well as a 2-year Master of Technology (M.Tech) programmes and Ph.D. Programmes. Admission to undergraduate programmes is done through JEE (Main). Admission to the postgraduate courses is through the GATE for Master of Technology (M.Tech). The institute has academic departments in Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Humanities and Social Sciences.

NIT Sikkim is home to PARAM Kanchenjunga, one of the PARAM series of supercomputers. Unveiled in April 2016, it is the fastest supercomputer among NITs. Costing Rs 3 crore (US$420,000), it was built with collaboration of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

National Institute of Technology Delhi

National Institute of Technology Delhi (NITD) was established in the year 2010 by an act of the parliament and has been declared as an Institute of National Importance. It is an autonomous institute which functions under the aegis of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. It aims to provide instructions and research facilities in various disciplines of Engineering, science and technology, Management, Social Science and Humanities for advanced learning and dissemination of knowledge.

The mission of NIT Delhi is to produce human resources who are creative and innovative with high intellectual and ethical values. The Institute is imparting holistic education, along with inculcating high moral values to its students.

The Institute offers four-year bachelor degree programmes in Computer Science and Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, and Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Postgraduate master degree programmes are available in Electronics and Communication Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering (Analytics), Mechanical Engineering (CAD/CAM), Electrical and Electronics Engineering (Power Electronics and Drives), Electronics and Communication Engineering (VLSI), and Applied Scinces (Smart Materials and Technology). The Institute also conducts doctoral degree (Ph.D.) programmes in Engineering, Applied Sciences, and Humanities and Management.

News and Views

WHO: Digital technology for COVID-19 response (3 April 2020)

WHO has received overwhelming pro-bono support from technology companies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. On 2 April, 30 of the world’s leading digital technology experts gathered in a virtual roundtable to help advance WHO’s collaborative response to COVID-19. This pandemic has triggered an unprecedented demand for digital health technology solutions and has revealed successful solutions such as for population screening, tracking the infection, prioritizing the use and allocation of resources, and designing targeted responses.

“We need your commitment, so we can turn those ideas into reality and work with public health agencies and frontline health workers to put this pandemic to rest,” said WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in his welcoming remark. “We can only tackle this global threat - and get our economy back on track - by working together.”

The goals of the meeting were as follows:
Introduce WHO’s Digital Health & Innovation efforts for COVID-19 and seek support from interested technology companies in the design and execution of those initiatives. Build on WHO’s COVID-19 efforts through new collaboration and knowledge sharing, to deliver targeted solutions through a coordinated effort to support countries facing stages of this epidemic in different ways and different times.

Share and explore known gaps and areas that lack focus. Topics include user-focused solutions, combating misinformation, supply chain management, applications supporting health workers, community engagement platforms, support knowledge management capacities, research and development support, recovery planning work.

Secure volunteer and pro-bono resources from global tech companies to design and execute response initiatives with WHO.

Bernardo Mariano Junior, director of WHO’s Department of Digital Health and Innovation, called for unity in response efforts, “The world needs to be well prepared and united in the spirit of shared responsibility, to digitally detect, protect, respond, and prepare the recovery for COVID 19. No single entity or single country initiative will be sufficient. We need everyone.”

Industry associations urge govt to classify ICT infra support, IT-ITeS as essential services
(Financial Express, March 26, 2020)

The employees working in such services and their support staff should also be allowed to work with self-certifications and company identity cards, ITI, COAI and MAIT urged the government. Industry associations from telecom, electronic manufacturing and IT-ITeS sectors have collectively urged the government to classify as ‘essential’ certain activities like delivery of crucial items by e-commerce companies, ICT infrastructure support services and internet services. In a letter to cabinet secretary, Rajiv Gauba, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), COAI and MAIT urged that companies in IT services, e-commerce, communication and ICT infrastructure support services should be classified as essential services. These services are critical to the success of shelter-in-place and other coronavirus response measures, allowing students to engage in distance learning, families to stay connected, businesses to continue operating and enabling the delivery and pick-up of groceries, medical supplies, household staples and other essential items.

The ICEIT invites articles, interesting news and views, new technological developments which may include new products and processes, information regarding forthcoming events (conferences, workshops, symposia, exhibitions etc.), for sharing among the ICT community


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