Oct 052016

Watch Dr SP Sukhatme, Professor Emeritus, IIT Bombay speaking about “Can India’s future needs of electricity be met by renewable energy sources?”.

In this lecture, an attempt is made to answer two questions. How much electrical energy will India need in the future? Can this need for electricity be met by renewable energy sources? The first question is answered in two ways. In the first approach, the energy inputs required for various activities in the residential, commercial, transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and other sectors are considered, while in the second approach, the empirical relationship between the Human Development Index and the annual per capita consumption of electricity is used. The second question is answered by systematically considering all the renewable sources (solar power, wind power, hydro-electric power, etc) and estimating the potential of each source to supply electricity in the future. In an overall sense, the calculations show that the annual need of electricity can perhaps be met by renewable sources if India adopts a frugal policy for energy usage. However, this is not enough because the demand for electricity has to be met continuously on a daily basis. Many difficult technical challenges will have to be overcome in order to tackle this issue successfully. These challenges are discussed.

Dr SP Sukhatme is a well known figure in IITB having been there from 1965 to 2000, serving as HOD Mech dept. and Director.

Sep 142016

The IITBAA Pune Chapter had invited Dr Deepak Ranade on 27/Aug/2016 to talk about consciousness and the brain.

Dr. Ranade explored the anthropological basis of the nervous system and walked the audience through its evolution from the unicellular organism up to the present day human nervous system.

Consciousness is considered to be a uniquely human faculty. Dr. Ranade discussed the various facets of consciousness such as:

  • Is the brain the essential substrate for consciousness?
  • The Hierarchy of consciousness
  • Quantum physics and the Quantum approach to consciousness.
  • Neurotheology and the “God centre”

Dr. Deepak Ranade did his MBBS and MS in BJ Medical College in Pune. He is currently Professor and Head of Department Of Neurosurgery, at D.Y. .Patil Medical college in Pimpri which is recognised for its M.Ch (Neurosurgery). He has published several papers in Neurosurgery in reputed international journals of medicine.

Jun 282016

Arvind Pendse walked the audience through the story of how the Genetic code was deciphered.

Most people have heard words like DNA, chromosomes, genes and genetic code and probably have a vague idea that genes contain a manual of instructions that runs our life, both mental and physical. All living beings have such an instruction manual inside them. However, people may not be aware that the language in which this manual is written and the way the instructions are executed is the SAME in ALL LIVING BEINGS. Content is obviously different but the language and its execution is the same right from single celled amoeba to complex human beings.

This talk was about a detective story i.e. the long journey to uncover the fascinating mystery that had always puzzled mankind. Mystery about how life works, how this information is stored in us, and how it is passed on from generation to generation. How these questions were resolved by deciphering the genetic code in many small logical steps with co operation of many scientists from many countries working together.

The story has many twists and turns, shows how the scientists also make silly mistakes, how they also have biases and reject sound logical ideas, but how the self correcting scientific method prevails to uncover the truth in the end. Along the way Arvind talked about what is meant by scientific method and why it is probably the best tool we have to uncover truth.

Language of God – part 1/3

Language of God – part 2/3

Language of God – part 3/3

Jun 222016

We are happy to announce the 2nd annual bridge tournament held annually in memory of Late Prof M S Kamath, who as many of us would remember was a great bridge enthusiast himself. This is a PAN-IIT Bridge Championship Tournament for alumni members of all IITs and their friends/relatives. This event is sponsored by GS Lab.

This tournament is a pairs/trios (2-3 participants per team) event and atleast one participant in the team must from an IIT (any IIT, not just IIT Bombay) or related to an IIT alumnus (spouses, parents, children). It will be held over 2 sessions. Complimentary Lunch and tea/coffee will be served.

The following prizes will be awarded to the winning teams. A team can claim the prize in only one category.

  • Pan IIT category – 3 prizes: Rs. 2500 / 1500 / 500
  • Open category – 5 prizes: Rs. 2500 / 2000 / 1500 / 1000 / 500
PYC Gymkhana
Off Bhandarkar Road
Deccan Gymkhana
When: Sunday, 24 July, 10am-5pm
Cost: Rs 300/- per pair, Rs 450/- per trio

This is a PAN IIT event. Spouses & other family interested are welcome.

May 032016

In our endeavour to get interesting speakers, the IITBAA Pune Chapter invited Navin Kabra to talk on 16th April 2016.

In his words…
Modern life is quite different from the world our parents grew up in; and a lot of what we do in our lives and careers has no parallels in what they did. So it appears that we’re on our own as far as navigating this new world is concerned. I take timeless advice from the Gita and show how, with appropriate mappings to modern concepts, the advice is surprisingly effective. And I show how it parallels advice from modern gurus like Marc Andreessen, Paul Graham, and Scott Adams. I also try to provide empirical/scientific backing from the work of researchers in the areas of psychology, sociology, and game theory.

This is not about ancient-India-was-great, but practical, useful tips to bring order to the chaos of the internet-enabled life. We’ve all grown up hearing quotes from the Gita (including Karmanye vaadhikaraste). Some years ago, I decided to seriously read the Gita and then see what parts of it could actually be applied to modern life, and whether any of it appeals to my (modern/western/atheistic) sensibilities.

In the talk, I’ll pick out selected passages from the Gita (there’s a lot I rejected as not being relevant to this talk, and to my sensibilities as a materialistic atheist). For each one of those, I will give examples of situations from entrepreneurship, or professional/family relationships, or even simply social media management, and who how the Gita’s wisdom is a useful framework to evaluate alternative courses of action. For each, there will also be examples of advice from modern gurus, or scientists/researchers that is roughly equivalent.