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BITSAA (BGM) Awards 2014
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Alumni Recognize Faculty

BITS alumni honour their distinguished teachers, during the BITSAA Global Meet at Hyderabad from 3-5 January, 2014, crowning the Golden Jubilee (1964-2014) celebration of BITS Pilani. Alumni around the globe recognize ten teachers for the difference they made in the lives of students. These teachers were accomplished and committed in their disciplines and infectively enthusiastic about the subjects they taught. They were recognized, because they welcomed, invited, and answered questions with sincerity, or inspired, encouraged, and motivated the students to explore the subject more, or engaged and involved them during the teaching-learning process, or were able to simplify concepts, or were good communicators in general, or were principled and self-disciplined - yet approachable, or served as a role model, or were helpful in some other way in the students’ professional growth.

Three of the recognized faculty members are no more with us. The legacy and impressions they left behind are a tribute to the enduring quality of the education at BITS.

The following bio-data for the faculty felicitated in BGM 2014 was synthesized with the help of alumni, faculty, and family. We apologize for any inadequacies in our coverage. We hope that alumni, in larger numbers, will continue the recognition of their outstanding teachers in future BGMs.

Prof. Suman Kapur, Pilani & Hyderabad Campus, 2004-Present

Prof. Kapur is Dean of International Programmes and Collaboration Division at BITS Pilani, and also a Senior Professor in the Biological Sciences Department. Recently she was appointed as Shri B K Birla & Smt. Sarala Birla Chair Professor for the period of 2011-2014. She has been Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University, the Malkolak Knowledge Centre, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She has been awarded many fellowships, such as the Lalor Foundation and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) National Science Talent Search (NSTS). She is a life member of many professional societies. Author of more than 80 papers in reviewed journals and presenter of more than 150 talks, she is also on the editorial board of eminent journals in her profession. Prof. Kapur earned her B.Sc. Zoology (Hons) degree from Delhi University and M.Sc. (Medical Biochemistry) and  Ph.D.,  from AIIMS, New Delhi.

Prof. Surekha Bhanot, Pilani Campus,1979-83, 2002-Present

In the Department of Electrical & Electronics/Instrumentation, Prof. Bhanot teaches courses such as Transducers and Signal Conditioning, Industrial instrumentation & control, Process dynamics and control, Electrical and Electronics Measurements, Electrical Sciences, and Analog electronics. She was also Warden of Meera Bhawan during 2004. Prof. Bhanot earned her BE (Mechanical) and M. Phil (Instrumentation) degrees from BITS Pilani, and her Ph.D. from IIT Roorkee. She has published in various journals in the subjects of artificial intelligence, sensors and controls. Surekha ji is a second-generation BITS employee.

Dr. Biju Raveendran
, Pilani & Goa Campus, 2003 – Present

In the Dept. of Computer Science and Information systems, Dr. Raveendran teaches and researches Operating Systems, Real-time Systems,  Embedded Computer Architecture; and Storage Systems. . He has published many papers in various conferences such as those sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).

Prof. Aditya Mathur, Pilani campus,1978-85

Aditya P. Mathur is Head of the Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) Pillar and Professor at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Previously he was a Professor and Head, Department of Computer Science at Purdue University. He also taught at Georgia Institute of Technology from 1985-87. He is one of the founders of the Department of Computer Science at BITS, Pilani, where he designed, developed, and taught the first course on microprocessors to undergraduate students from his seminal book, “Introduction to Microprocessors.” Dr. Mathur has been a prolific researcher with over 100 published works in international journals and conferences. His key contributions include a multilingual computer, the saturation effect in software testing, a theory of software cybernetics, and novel techniques for the estimation of software reliability. He earned his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from BITS.

Prof. V S Rao, Pilani & Hyderabad Campus. 1979 – Present

Since 2006, Prof. Rao is Director and Senior Professor at Hyderabad campus. He has taught courses such as Organic Chemistry, Structure & Reactivity of Organic Compounds, Organic Chemistry, and Stereo Chemistry & Reaction Mechanisms. His research interests are Drug Synthesis & Green Chemistry. He is a Member of the World Association for Cooperative Education, Boston, USA. At Pilani campus, he held various positions such as Dean of Practice School Division and Chief Warden. He earned his BS degree from Andhra University, MS and Ph.D. from BITS Pilani, and Certificate on Educational Economics and Education reesarch, from University of Bielfeld, Germany.

Prof. M S Radhakrishnan, Pilani & Hyderabad Campus, 1975 – Present

Prof. Radhakrishnan has been associated with the Department of Mathematics for over 35 years, first at Pilani campus and now at Hyderabad campus. He earned his MA degree from Annamalai University and Ph.D. (Mathematics), from BITS-Pilani in 1975.

Prof. Sandhya Mitra, Pilani campus, 1969-89

Dr. Sandhya Mitra, Professor of Biological Sciences, was an excellent teacher, who introduced the first undergraduate laboratory course in Genetic Engineering in India. She authored five textbooks, and successfully enthused and encouraged many students with backgrounds in different science and engineering subjects to pursue research in molecular biology and genetic engineering, as viable careers. She was instrumental in introducing, and organizing popular extracurricular cultural programs such as 'Mitali', 'Manjusha', and 'Urvashi', and also directed some editions of these. She introduced several items into the annual OASIS cultural festival, and started the series of lectures by students in the forum known as 'Ideation'.

(Late) Prof. Mohi Mohon Mukerji

Prof. Mohi Mohon Mukerji, or M-cubed, as he was known among his students, was born in Calcutta on 22nd May 1922. He went to school at Ballygunge Government High School, graduated with the equivalent of a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Jadavpur University, Calcutta, and earned his Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1946. Then, after teaching for a few years, he worked for Philips (India). In 1950 he married Ms. Roma Sen; they had two children, Jishnu and Anindita. In 1955 he installed the first digital computer in India at the Indian Statistical Institute in Baranagar, thus starting the history of IT in India. Later, he worked for Hindusthan Steel at the Bhilai Steel Plant as Electrical Engineer in charge of Testing and Commissioning. In this role he participated in the commissioning of the first Coke Ovens, Blast Furnace and Open Hearth Furnace in Bhilai. In 1959 he moved from industry to academia, joining the Birla Engineering College in Pilani, for the rest of his professional career. He was one of the first professors from Pilani to visit MIT for a year under the BITS-MIT-Ford Foundation scheme. While at MIT, he taught courses with Prof. Paul Grey, who later became the President of MIT, and Dr. Amar Gopal Bose of the "Bose Speakers" fame. Upon return to BITS he played a key role in setting up the first computer at BITS and in the creation of the Information Processing Center as its first Chief. After a long and fruitful career as a very popular professor at BITS, he retired in 1982 and moved back to Calcutta. Even in his retirement he kept active professionally, providing guidance to several IT startups, serving on their boards. He also became quite active in the Sadharan Bramho Samaj, the faith in which both he and his wife were born. After a long and fruitful life, he passed away in 2005.

(Late) Prof. K V Ramanan

Professor Ramanan is remembered for inspiring students as a passionate teacher of Electronics (especially electronic devices) at the Pilani campus - so passionate that he visited students in their hostels to clear their doubts about the subject matter. He also supervised a few Ph.D. scholars at BITS. Among his several books, the one titled “Functional Electronics” was adopted as a textbook across India; it was a function-based unified treatment of devices of different technologies: the vacuum tube, the bipolar junction transistor (BJT) and the field effect transistor (FET).

In 1970, when the two separate departments, Electrical and Electronics were merged into the EEE department, he was appointed as its Head. Always devoted to the causes of students at BITS, he helped many under-performing students clear up their course back log. He also contributed significantly in the formulation of the New Academic Regulations at BITS. Well known to be fearless and principled, 1974, when he saw the administration authorize police use of force to disperse the students’ peaceful picketing, he resigned from his position. Later that year, he was appointed as the Dean of the newly organized Academic Registration & Counselling Division (ARCD).

In 1952, Prof. K V Ramanan earned the BSc (Honors) Physics degree from St Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli, ranking at the top in the entire Madras Presidency.  Drawn towards the applied aspects of Physics, he studied at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore earning a DIISC in 1954, followed by a Masters in Engineering in 1961. He started teaching at the BITS’ predecessor engineering college in 1956.

He retired from BITS in 1986, but pursued further challenges in what he loved the most, teaching younger generations. First, he helped in the growth of RAIT (Ramrao Adik Institute of Technology), a Bombay University College which produced many University topper by the end of his tenure. In the final year of his life, he helped a small, resource-limited institution, MSEC (Mohamed Satak Engineering College) in Kilakarai, a small village in TamilNadu.

He is survived by his wife, three sons, a daughter, seven grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter. His wife, Vijayalakshmi and sons, Sriram, Shankar & Ganesh are settled in the USA. His daughter, Kalpana, lives in Mumbai.

(Late) Prof. Payare Parimoo

Born on November 6, 1938 in Srinagar, Prof. Parimoo went for higher education to the USA, earning a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Mississippi in 1965 and a Ph. D in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Missouri in 1970. After a brief scientific pursuit at CDRI, Lucknow and RRL Jorhat, Dr. Parimoo began his career at BITS, Pilani in 1974, teaching in the Pharmacy group. From 1977 for a decade, he was engaged in a series of successful foreign assignments at various pharmaceutical faculties in the USA, UK and Africa. Then, Prof. Parimoo rejoined BITS and, in 1991, became Group Leader, Pharmacy. In his career at BITS, Prof. Parimoo had supervised over fifty M. Pharm dissertations, guided four Ph. D students, and authored two textbooks - one in Medicinal Chemistry and the other, in Instrumental Methods of Analysis. At the time of his sad demise, he had three doctoral students working under him.

A researcher in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (especially, New Drug Synthesis and Pharmaceutical Analysis), he had over 90 research publications to his credit both in national and international journals and two patents. His research projects included support from MHRD, UGC, CSIR and NATCO, Hyderabad.

He also taught by example that one should pursue what one thinks is right even if one is alone – he showed that in the way he went about setting up labs, with little support.

Members of the selection panel

The following reviewed the nominations and information provided by alumni in response to the solicitation emailed by BGM 2014: Prof. L K Maheswari (former Vice Chancellor), Dr. Sushil Birla (Senior Technical Advisor, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission), Prof. Pumananda Guptasarma (IISER Mohali), Prof. Subrat Kar (IIT Delhi), Mr. Pradeep Sethi (BITSAA board member), and Mr. Chandra Bhople (BITSAA board member).

Awards Committee

Dr Ashok Agarwal (Chairman BGM 2014, Hyderabad), Anu Khendry (Agenda Lead BGM 2014, Hyderabad), Rohit Koul (CEO, BITSAA International), Shwetha Kailash (CMO, BITSAA International)
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