Page 64 - IACC Newsletter October November 2013 Issue 13

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Birla Institute of Technology and Science ring Nasdaq bell
Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani became last month the first academic institution from India to ring
the opening bell at the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. Some 25 alumni gathered on December 23 at the US exchange to ring the
bell. "The Nasdaq invite to us is an indication that the global community is warming up to brand BITS, that it is recognizing
the research and innovation that BITSians are doing," said Rohit Koul, CEO of the BITS Alumni Association. Koul, a 2006
graduate of BITS Pilani and now a software engineer in Oracle America, is in India for a three-day global meet of the
alumni that begins in Hyderabad on Friday.
There are over 10,000 BITS alumni in the US. Some 200 of them are faculty members in top US universities like MIT,
Stanford and Princeton. Over 300 are entrepreneurs. This includes Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder of SanDisk, and Preetish
Nijhawan, co-founder of Akamai.
The alumni association's chairman Raju Reddy, who graduated in 1981, founded Sierra Atlantic, which grew into a global
company with over 2,000 employees before being acquired by Hitachi in 2010. "My journey is typical of many of my fellow
alums...We even have an Emmy winner amongst us. And a Mars Rover scientist too," Reddy said on the occasion of the
ringing of the bell.
TOI could not find any record of any other academic institution in India having rung the Nasdaq bell. Some said the IITs
were perhaps extended an invitation but had not used it. The opening and closing bell ceremonies at the Nasdaq
MarketSite in New York's Times Square serve as platforms to generate exposure for companies, non-profits and other
associations, make news announcements or celebrate milestones.
For BITS, founded by industrialist GD Birla in 1929, the year marks the 50th anniversary of it achieving the deemed
university status. The alumni association also used the Nasdaq opportunity to highlight the global meet in Hyderabad, the
second such in its history. The first was held in 2011.
"At the last event we had initiated discussions on a project to connect all four BITS Pilani campuses (in Pilani, Goa,
Hyderabad and Dubai) with high definition video conferencing facilities. We launched that project called BITSConnect 2.0
last January. It's proving to be extremely useful for students to listen to lectures from faculty in other locations, for remote
recruitment," Koul said.
More than 1,200 alumni will gather in Hyderabad over the next three days. Koul said there would be discussions on
making BITS a leading institution in Asia. "We'll discuss research initiatives, like creating an endowment for research,
creating academic chairs."
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Indo-US doctors share knowledge
With the aim of enriching the local knowledge base and make collaborative effort towards a healthier India, 8th annual
summit of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) started in the city on Thursday. Titled 'Global
Healthcare Summit', the three-day gathering of prominent medical practitioners of Indian origin from around the globe
will discuss ways of providing affordable, cost effective and efficient health services.
The summit will be attended by chief minister Narendra Modi, former President A P J Abdul Kalam and Union health
minister Gulam Nabi Azad. "We have excelled in our professions and have carried out many voluntary works back in the
US. It's time to give back to our motherland," president of AAPI Jayesh Shah said.
Over 350 international delegates will share their expertise on prevention, diagnosis, treatment options and their crucial
opinions towards advancements on healthcare. The summit will also conduct sessions on skill development, clinical
practice workshops, meet-the-expert sessions and research conferences which will highlight around 60 abstracts of
medical achievements out of which 50 are of the Indian delegates.