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.