Monday, December 21, 2009

Foreign Delegates from NI-MSME visit ISiM

A 33 member foreign delegate team from the ‘National Institute for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NI-MSME), Hyderabad’ visited the ‘International School of Information Management’ on 19th December 2009 between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. NI-MSME actively supports the government in formulating policies for promotion of small enterprises and assisting national and international organizations including potential entrepreneurs through a host of services like research, consultancy, information, training, education and extension. This institution has trained more than 1.35 lakh Indian participants and more than 7,000 executives of 127 countries since its inception.

The visiting delegates were part of two programmes.

Total Quality Management (TQM) team

  1. Mr. Damai Peter Liah (Sudan)
  2. Mr. Ali Mahmoud Mohamed (sudan)
  3. Ms. Eman Ali Sawi Ali (Sudan)
  4. Mr. Hamidullah Naizi (Afghanistan)
  5. Mr. Syed Shahpoor Mehruban (Afghanitan)
  6. Mr. Kagashani Seperatus (Tanzania)
  7. Ms. Mazigo Jane Msilu (Tanzania)
  8. Ms. Ramsohok Hemlata (Mauritius)
  9. Mr. Mokaloba Tsoeu Joshija (Lesotho)
  10. Ms. Kozhabayeva Aigerim (Uzbekistan)
  11. Ms. Ntsinanyanna Olebogeng (Botswana)
  12. Ms. Xantthee Margaret Dubuison (St. Lucia)
  13. Ms. Rojsaengroeng Rapeeport (Thailand)
  14. Ms. Chinapanyathip Kueaanan (Thailand)
  15. Mr. Iroko Yao Oniakitan (Togo)

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) team

  1. Mr. Dickson Nyakeri (Kenya)
  2. Mrs. Su Su Hlaing (Myanmar)
  3. Ms. Aye Win (Myanar)
  4. Ms. Zogbo Setter Moluwoi (Liberia)
  5. Mr. Md. Elias Bhuiya (Bangladesh)
  6. Ms. Pattarin Kiatkamolkul (Thailand)
  7. Mrs. Nida Fsaisi Soboh (Palestine)
  8. Ms. Awatif Tawaor (Sudan)
  9. Ms. Sandra Lucrecia (Guatemala)
  10. Mr. Siyovush Bobokhonov (Tajakistan)
  11. Mr. Gashaw Abeje Melese (Ethiopia)
  12. Mr. Mohammed Jadana Abdul (Malaysia)
  13. Mr. Elisha Elias Shigella (Tanzania)
  14. Mr. Murat Alper Ozturk (Turkey)
  15. Mr. Wisam Saeed Aasi (Iraq)
  16. Mr. Falah Mahmood Shehab (Iraq)
  17. Mrs. Madhumatee Ramkhelawon (Mauritius)
  18. Mrs. Seraphine Nahigombeye (Burundi)

They were in India to be a part of the 8 week ‘International Training Programme’, the last leg of which included the study tour to learn about trends and practices in the field of management and intellectual property rights. “NI-MSME had identified ISiM as the premier information school that employs many innovative practices”, told Dr. N. Srilakshmi, Programme Director of the visiting team.

The guests, who arrived at about 3.30 pm were accorded a warm welcome. Jayanth, ISiM introduced the guest to Prof. Ramasesha, Senior faculty at ISiM. Prof. Ramasesha then briefed the visitors about ISiM and its genesis. He then brought in the importance and the relevance of Information Management in the current world. He pointed out that measures like transparency and efficient information management are integral part of every organization. He also brought in the co relation between the quality management and knowledge management. He opined that the stream of Knowledge Management was a derivative of Quality Management.

Mr. Jayanth Jagadeesh then addressed the gathering about some of the best practices followed by ISiM. He started with the concept of ‘cluster model’ of operation. Cluster model of operation is one wherein institutes/organization that share a common vision pool their resources. He briefed the gathering about how various ways in which educational institutes can pool their resources for mutual benefit. The delegates appreciated the concept and acknowledged that such a practice will lead to better utilization of the resources and improve the competency of all stake holders.
He then took up the case of ‘WikiGyan’ as an operational example. WikiGyan is an ISiM led initiative to build a platform which can engage the government, corporates and the society for mutual benefit. The idea is to build a platform (mutually agreed norms, regulations, templates) for sharing survey data and other forms of information. Once there is enough data populated one can take informed decisions/conclusions based on that. It is also noteworthy that this project is mentored by industry giants like Google and Infosys.

This was followed by a round of discussions. Some of the delegates posted their queries and a interesting round of discussion took place. The event concluded with Dr. N. Srilakshmi thanking Prof. Ramasesha and Mr. Jayanth for the valuable insight into the innovative concepts and management practices associated with the ‘International School of Information Management’.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

COMAD 2009

The 15th International Conference on Management of Data – COMAD 2009 was organized by International School of Information Management between 9-12th of December 2009. COMAD - modeled along the lines of ACM SIGMOD, has been the premier international database conference hosted in India. The first COMAD was held in 1989, and it has been held on a nearly annual basis since then. COMAD has always had a significant international participation, with about 30% of the papers being from outside India, including Europe, USA and East/South-East Asia.

The 15th COMAD was organized at two venues.
• Infosys Technologies Ltd, Mysore &
• ISiM, University of Mysore, Mysore.

The conference showcased,
• 3 Keynotes,
• 18 Research paper presentations,
• 6 Industry paper presentations,
• 3 Tutorials,
• 4 Demonstrations and
• 2 co-located workshops.

The conference itself was held at Infosys Technologies Ltd. and the workshops were conducted within the premises of International School of Information management (ISiM).

The two workshops were held on 9th Dec 2009 at ISiM.

The Business Intelligence workshop focused on the various concepts of Business Intelligence. The key highlight being the practitioners’ perspective on BI and its applications and how it is changing the way we manage our data today. The workshop also delved into the BI framework, terminology and the business problems that BI helps to resolve. Microsoft BI Suite Toolkit will be used to demonstrate the basics of Data Transformation, Analysis and Design of Reports. The workshop was conducted by the BI team of Infosys Technologies Ltd.

The prime focus of the PhD Workshop was to provide a platform wherein students who have already registered/planning to register for PhD can present their ideas before experts and peers in the field and get feedback from them for their work. Contributions were invited from PhD students working in the broad area of data management. After rigorous peer review, four papers were accepted for presentation at the workshop. The workshop will also include two invited talks – ‘Mining the Web for Business Intelligence’ by Prof. Rohini K. Srihari (University at Buffalo, State University of New York) and ‘How to Survive a PhD’ by Prof. Sharma Chakravarthy (University of Texas at Arlington, USA)’.

The conference was held within the sprawling campus of Infosys Technologies Ltd at Mysore. The program schedule was spread over three days from 10th – 12th Dec 2009. The program started at 9AM and went on till 5.30 PM everyday.

However, the major attraction of the event had been the three keynotes.

Prof. Sunita Sarawagi presented the keynote address on 10th of December on the topic of – ‘Querying for Relations from the Semi-structured Web’. Her talk covered mainly the issue of a class of web queries whose result is a multi-column relation instead of a collection of unstructured documents as in standard web search. Furthermore, she demonstrated the means to compile the result from several, possibly overlapping, tables and lists on the web, particularly in the cases wherein the user specifies the query either via a few example records, or a text description of columns of the relation.

Prof. Amr El Abbadi presented the keynote on 11th of December on the topic of ‘Fraud, Anonymization and Privacy in the Internet: A Data-oriented Perspective’. During the talk, he touched the varying security aspects of data in different contexts that arise in today’s internet applications. He also spoke of the increasing popularity of social networks that has initiated a fertile research area in information extraction and data mining. He opined that it could be leveraged for better understanding of sociological, behavioral, and other interesting phenomena.

Dr. Anand Deshpande presented the keynote address on 12th of December on the topic of ‘Top 10 Technologies to Watch 2010’. He delved on the ideas of Cloud Computing, Analytics, Scientific Computing, UID project, India Scale Issues, Mobile Commerce, User Interfaces – query and results, Enterprise Search – structured and unstructured data, Email, social networking and Game boxes.

The conference also extended a welcome tea party and a banquet to the delegates. The event witnessed an approximate number of 175 participants. The number has been the highest compared to the last few occasions. Participants came from all parts of the country and abroad.

The pictures taken during the WORKSHOP, CONFERENCE, WELCOME PARTY and BANQUET are shared as web albums.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

FOSS Challenge

A half a day ‘Student development Program’ was organized at ‘International School of Information Management’ on the issue of “Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)”. The talk/seminar was delivered by the group from Mahiti Infotech Pvt Ltd.

Mahiti is a 'Social Enterprise' based in the 'Garden City of India, Bangalore'. They empower clients to reduce the cost and complexity of Information Technology through the strategic use of Free/Open Source Software. They specialize in multi-platform, multi-lingual web applications, extranets, intranets, multimedia and kiosk applications. Their services include consultancy, software design and development, server cluster deployment, 24/7 monitoring, application maintenance and customized training / advocacy. We pioneer the implementation of solutions based on Free and Open-Source Software(FOSS).

Mahiti is an active contributor to the Free and Open Source movement. They have worked with over 500 organizations both voluntary and for-profit over the last 9 years on various web-sites, messaging, e-commerce, knowledge management, supply-chain management, CRM, collaboration, social networking and advocacy projects. They are also credited to have held numerous technical and non-technical trainings in FOSS for over 1000 organizations. Mahiti has been listed to provide training on Ubuntu Linux based desktop and servers.

They were in the ISiM campus on 17th November 2009 to talk about the merits and strength of FOSS over the proprietary software. They started on schedule at 1430 hrs.

The event started with the introduction of the guests to the audience. Ms. Ramya Lakshmi, Senior Programmer, Mahiti was the first one to address the gathering. Ramya, proud alumni of ISiM was accorded with a big applause. She introduced FOSS as programs whose licenses give users the freedom to run the program for any purpose, to study and modify the program, and to redistribute copies of either the original or modified program”.

She then, continued by pointing out some of the major FOSS success stories around us. She pointed out to Wikipedia as a bright example. Some of the other examples that were cited were,

  • The German Parliament (German Bundestag) uses Linux on its 154 servers
  • French agency for e-government made FOSS mandatory for all public administrations
  • National Health Service recently switched to Linux
  • US Department of Defence uses around 150 different FOSS applications for security and interoperability motives.
  • White House in Washington D.C has adapted the CMS Drupal which is an Open Source CMS.

Even in India, C-DAC (government supercomputer arm) has moved entirely to Linux.

Mr. Vishnu Kumar was the next one to speak. He emphasized on the importance of using FOSS at educational institutes. He argued that most of FOSS projects were incubated in academic institutions around the world. The Internet itself was an outcome of the cooperation of academics and defense institutions. He believes that Proprietary software use hidden source codes (that which teachers and students can't access, only use) in contrast to FOSS that allows user to create; modify and (re)distribute the program/software. He also pointed out that the Open Source Technologies as PHP, Python, Plone, Zend, Java, Joomla, Drupal, have become a necessity in the tool kit of the professional IT engineer.

He strongly criticized the practice of vendor lockin, the modus operandi in which the commercial software vendors push/promote their software into academical field (first free copies and later demand money). He firmly believed that the users deserve to know the source code of any software.

Mr. Vijay Rasquinha was the next to speak. He introduced many operations of Mahiti to the audience. He also demonstrated many of the online applications that were built within the stable of Mahiti. One of the impressive demonstrations was that of a cellphone utility that was implemented in Kolkata.

He strongly encouraged students to take up projects and internships that were on FOSS. He suggested that this would help them learn and understand the processing of any system. He also offered many projects within Mahiti to the students of ISiM. Many students showed keen interest in pursuing them.

Mr. Kolappa and Ms. Bhavana also then addressed the audience about the PHP and ZEND and its invaluable use in implementing solutions on FOSS.

The programme ended in the evening at about 5.30pm with thanking the guests for the wonderful talk on FOSS and its strengths.

Vijay, Vishnu, Kolappa, Bhavana and Ramya from Mahiti Infotech Pvt Ltd.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tech Talk - Cloud Computing

ISiM’ians were challenged to the Cloud 20/20 – Student Technical Paper Contest by the visiting team from Unisys, Bangalore. The challenge was put forth during their ‘Tech Talk’ at the ‘ISiM Lecture hall – 1’ on Friday, 6th of November 2009.

The event started on time. The itinerary of the program was as given below.

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM - Introduction to Unisys & its India careers
3:45 PM - 4:15 PM - Seminar on cloud computing & Unisys Secure Cloud
4:15 PM - 4:30 PM - Cloud 20/20 -Online Technical Paper Contest
4:30 PM - 4:50 PM - Quiz on Cloud computing & prize distribution
4:50 PM - 5:00 PM - Q & A Session and Refreshments

The event started of with Jayanth introducing the two guests – Mr. Tarun Bhool and Mr. Shivaram Venkat to the audience. The audience comprised mostly of the students of International School of Information Management.

Mr. Shivaram was the first speaker. He started his address with an introduction of Unisys and it’s operations in India. He pointed out that Unisys Corporation is a 136-year old global leader, providing Information Technology services and programs. It provides a portfolio of IT services, application software, and technology consulting that solves critical problems for business and governments in protecting their assets and improving their operational efficiencies. The heat was turned on when the discussions started on “Cloud Computing”. Mr. Shivaram explained the concept of the cloud and the various modes of operation on cloud. He particularly emphasized on three models,

  • SaaS – Software as a Service
  • PaaS – Platform as a service and
  • IaaS – Infrastructure as a service.

Then he went on to explain how SaaS can help the user (especially the Small-Medium companies) cut down their cost on investment on purchasing software. PaaS is the concept of hosting the entire desktop on the cloud. Answering a query, he suggested that the PaaS model was different from VPN in the sense that it is much more secure and its scalability is high. IaaS is yet again a boon for the small-medium corporates who can use the IT infrastructure on a rental basis for a specified time. The speaker also pointed out that as a pilot project, mailboxes of all Unisys employees are hosted on cloud.

The discussion was full of queries by the audience seeking clarification on most of the aspects of cloud computing. Most of the questions were on the credibility and legality of the technology. Many among the audience questioned the data security of hosting one’s information over a shared cloud. Some others questioned about the ownership of the data that resides on the cloud. Few others questioned if the legal systems across the world are ready to accept this technology.

The speaker opined that currently the technology is in its nascent stages and that these issues are being debated worldwide and solutions were being created as we speak. He was also posed with concerns regarding the connectivity and performance of cloud hosted services. The speaker was opinion that these were real threats but however was optimistic that these issues would be addressed as the technology evolves.

Mr.Chidananda and Mr.Jahfar interacting with Mr. Shivaram
After the intriguing debate on cloud computing, it was time for the ‘challenge’. Mr. Tarun was the next speaker. He started off with an insight into Cloud 20/20 – Student Technical Paper Contest 2010. Mr. Tarun then proceeded on to a quiz on ‘Cloud Computing’.

Mr. Tarun turns quizmaster and Pavan get a prize.
After the quiz session, Jayanth presented the vote of thanks. The event concluded with a round of applause for the guests for putting up a great show.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ISiM’ians visit EMC Corp’s datacenter

Date and Time:
14th Oct 2009: 1430 Hrs to 1730 Hrs.

EMC Data Storage Systems India Pvt. Ltd. ,
Bagmane World Technology Center, KR Puram Marathahalli Ring Road,
Mahadevapura, Doddanekundi Village, KR Puram Hobli, Bangalore - 560 048

ISiM’ians took up a visit to the EMC Corp’s datacenter in Bangalore in a bid to see and understand how a datacenter is set up and operated. The datacenter was located at the new campus of the company which is spread over 4.95 lakh sqft on the outer ring road near Marathahalli. The Bangalore R&D centre also happens to be EMC’s largest outside the US and has particular strengths in software for storage management, network management and content management.

An opportunity to visit such a facility to see and learn about the various components of the datacenter and interact with the storage specialists was too much a temptation for the ISiM’ians to resist. Lot of students volunteered for the visit out of which 28 students were shortlisted. The shortlisted students were accompanied by Jayanth, who coordinated the visit from ISiM. The ISiM’ians assembled at the venue and reported to Sunitha Anilkumar, who coordinated the visit from EMC Corp, at 2.30pm. Sunitha welcomed the group and led them to the datacenter. The datacenter was visually spectacular. It was the largest datacenter in the Asia-Pacific region spanning over 21,000 sqft. The components were neatly organized into 38 bays.

Sunitha then introduced the group to Pavan, one among the key data storage experts who manage the datacenter. Pavan started the tour of the datacenter with some exhilarating facts. The datacenter housed over 3,500 servers and 450 switches has the capacity to store data upto few petabytes.

1 PB = 1,000,000,000,000,000 B = 10005 B = 1015 bytes

According to Kevin Kelly of the New York Times (Published: May 14, 2006), "the entire [written] works of humankind, from the beginning of recorded history, in all languages" would amount to 50 petabytes of data. Some experts have also estimated that Google processes about 20 petabytes of data per day.

Pavan also pointed out the EMC Corp is the world’s largest consumer of HDD’s in the world. Orders are placed to several of their vendors/partners like Seagate, Hitachi, HP, SUN etc to manufacture custom-made HDD’s. These products conform to the specifications of the EMC Corp and become the propriety components of the company. These products are also loaded with unique firmware that makes them work only on EMC Corp’s network.

Answering a query, Pavan said that they face multiple challenges in efficiently running the datacenter. He also revealed the fact that cooling of the apparatus amounts to half of the maintenance cost of any datacenter. He pointed out that the electricity bill of their facility could be as much as rupees 65 Lakh a month. Apart from the cost of cooling, the maintenance and monitoring the center forms another significant challenge. However, EMC Corp have automated most of their monitoring process by building an application software – “EMC Control Centre (ECC)”. ECC not only alerts the user/admin in case of any abnormal behavior, it also aids in trouble shooting and configuring new devices into the network.

Acknowledging the fact that reducing redundancy and duplicates within the storage is important, Pavan said that the company has an application (Avamar) built that does the job of deduplication.

The students were then taken around the vast datacenter to show few of the new age devices of storage. The students got a first hand look at the interconnected servers and optical switches among other devices. Students were particularly amazed with the storage disks that were of the size of a chocolate bar and could hold 1 TB of data. One could not help but think of their desktops and the huge 80 GB HDD’s back home. Pavan and his colleague, Abdul explained in detail the various versions of the devices and how they evolved. They took the students around the facility explaining how the components are interconnected to form a single functional unit.

Talking passionately about EMC Corp’s ‘Green-IT initiative’, Pavan pointed out that a certain intelligent application has been implemented which will auto shutdown the datacenter on the weekends and also switch them back ON during weekdays. This initiative alone resulted in 10% power savings. He also mentioned about implementing sensor controlled lighting inside the premises which will switch off the lights when not required. There is also another technique of taking the data backup in batch cycles than in online mode to reduce the load on the processor. These initiatives, he pointed out, will help use the resources optimally and keep the earth clean and green.

The interaction continued for over 2 hours with students asking many questions to the experts. The tour ended by thanking Sunitha for coordinating the visit and Pavan for sharing his expertise about the storage systems.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

CXO Lecture Series - 1

Inline with our mission of engaging with the Government, Industry and other stakeholders, ISiM is launching the “CXO Lecture Series” – a series of lectures from chiefs of the corporate/government sector. CXO lectures are intended to encourage the CEO’s, CFO’s, COO’s, CGO’s (Chief Government Officer) and others to share their thoughts and vision on the current issues. These series of lectures are platforms for students to listen to and interact with the eminent experts from the government/ corporate who would be sharing their expertise. This is yet another initiative from ISiM to bridge the gap between the academia, government and the industry, which is the broad vision of the institution. The first in the series of CXO lectures starts this week, the details of which are below.


“eGovernance in India: challenges and opportunities”

Mr. M.N Vidyashankar, IAS
Principal Secretary, Department of e-Governance, Karnataka

Guest of Honour
Mr. Srikanth. A.S, IAS
Secretary, Department of Education (Higher education),
Government of Karnataka

Presided by
Prof. V.G. Talawar
Vice Chancellor, University of Mysore

Date and Time
October 9, 2009: 3.00 PM

International School of Information Management
University of Mysore, Manasagangothri, Mysore – 570006
(Adjacent to Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion)

You are cordially invited

Mr. M.N. Vidyashankar brings with him vast experience in understanding the dynamics of eGovernance. He has served the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) for over 25 years now and also holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School, USA. He has worked in several wings of the government. He was the Chief Electoral Officer & Ex-officio Principal Secretary to Government, DPAR (Elections), Principal Secretary to the Government of Karnataka, Dept. of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology between October 2006 and March 2008.

If you would like to share your thoughts or ask any relevant questions to the speaker, you may list them down here. We will ensure that it would be passed on to him.


Hi All,

I welcome you to the official blog of the International School of Information Management (ISiM), University of Mysore.