SASTRA University is a Deemed-to-be University that aims to provide value-based higher education to produce good scholars as well as good humans. The university shapes the future of students by fostering a teamwork approach to students as well as faculty members. Read on to know about the recent happenings at the University:
SASTRA STUDENT DESIGNS WORLD’S LIGHTEST FEMTO SATELLITE FOR NASA LAUNCH
Date: December 28, 2020
S.Riyasdeen, a second year Mechatronics Engineering student of SASTRA Deemed University won the Cubes in Space global design competition for space launch in NASA rocket & scientific balloon. His 37mm sized FEMTO satellites VISION SAT v1 & v2 with a payload of 30mm weighing 33gms make it the world’s lightest FEMTO-Satellite. Using polyetherimide thermoplastic resins and 3D printing technology, Riyasdeen won this global competition conducted by NASA in which around 1000 students from 73 countries participated.
Mentored by INRO Labs, Chennai, his satellites are designed to record around 17 parameters with 11 sensors and VISION Sat v1 shall be part of the SR-7 NASA Rocket Mission expected to be launched from the Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia, USA in June 2021 and Sat v2 shall be part of the NASA Balloon Mission RB-6 scheduled for launch in August 2021. “The SASTRA-TBI in 3D Printing & IoT will offer an incubation grant of Rs.5 Lakhs to Riyasdeen to further pursue his ambition of establishing a successful start-up” said SASTRA Vice-Chancellor Dr.S.Vaidhyasubramaniam.
SASTRA-TCS PARTNERSHIP FOR PROCTORED HYBRID END-SEMESTER EXAMS
Date: December 14, 2020
The academic council of SASTRA has approved the remote proctored hybrid end-semester exams for students of SASTRA for the semester just ended for the academic year 2020-21. After detailed deliberations on the pros & cons of online exams, the Academic Council found the hybrid model doesn’t compromise the integrity of the exams and at the same time students need not travel to campus from distant locations. SASTRA is partnering with TCS-iON centres located in over 130 districts across the country to offer over 50,000 assessments to over 10,000 students. Students shall be given the choice to choose their closest exam center and appear for the exams based on their schedule.
The question papers shall be delivered securely online and answers to be written in answer scripts available in the exam centres which shall later be sent to SASTRA for evaluation. “This SASTRA-TCS partnership is the first of its kind during this pandemic and is a win-win for all stakeholders” said Dr.S.Vaidhyasubramaniam, Vice-Chancellor of SASTRA. He also assured that students who will not be able to take this exam in the centres, can take it whenever it's offered on campus during the end of the semester and this will not affect their academic class or distinction.
CYCLONIC JOB RAINS AT SASTRA
Date: December 11, 2020
In almost a similar YoY performance, 2300 job offers were made to the SASTRA 2021 batch of students by 70 campus recruiters that virtually visited the campus and conducted recruitment in the last 2 months. The maximum salary was Rs.27 Lakhs per anumn and over 1500 students walked away with unique placements. Leading recruiters like Amazon, PayPal, CISCO, Oracle, Morgan Stanley, Deloitte, IBM, TCS, Infosys, CTS, WIPRO, HP, Mindtree, CapGemini, Accenture, GE, Ford amongst others were SASTRA’s proud campus recruiters.
Over 500 students received multiple offers upto four giving them a sumptuous choice to choose from. In an effort to prepare students for successful campus recruitment, a 14-day pre-placement training was organised free of cost to the students who rose to the occasion during these turbulent times and walked away with satisfying job offers. The 65% conversion rate leading to an offer is first of its type and aligned with recruiter’s feedback on the improved quality of students at SASTRA reflective of its merit based admission and high quality education.
“SASTRA’s Merit seems to be the job vaccine during this COVIDian campus recruitment that has provided students the much needed immunity against unemployment and a comforting relief during the heavy cyclonic job rains at SASTRA” said Dr.V.Badrinath, Dean of Corporate Relations.
Ph.D. program on Media in honour of the late journalist Cho S. Ramaswamy
Date: December 01, 2020
In memory of multifaceted journalist Cho S.Ramaswamy, whose caliber as an intellectual, Chanakya, an excellent satire speaker and a veteran journalist.To encourage the researchers on the evolution of Media, SASTRA Deemed university has introduced a full time Ph.D programme on "The Evolution of Indian Media before and after Indian Independence. Applications are invited from the post graduate candidates of recognized institutions.Candidates with prior degrees related to Journalism , History, Public Policy will be given preference during selection. Selected Ph.D . scholars will get attractive stipend and quality mentorship.
SIX-PACK WISH LIST AT SASTRA CONVOCATION
Date: October 31, 2020
Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-Founder of Infosys and Chairman, Axilor Ventures delivered his six-pack wish list at the 34th Convocation of SASTRA Deemed University. Addressing the graduands virtually, he advised them to ride the appropriate digital wave, work as a team player, engage in lifelong learning, set aspirational standards, follow one’s heart and be courageous. He added that the fourth industrial revolution is a game changing opportunity powered by multiple technologies like AI/ML, IoT, AR/VR, Cloud Computing, Smart phones, 3D printing, Genomics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, etc.
“These disruptive technologies are going to transform every business. New solutions have to be created. New business models have to be invented. The world will be different in the next 30 years and you have the opportunity to create this new world” said Kris who enthused the youth to be creators of the next generation world. The best outgoing B.Tech. student award was presented to Shrute Kannappan who is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea. Shrute accepted the award and delivered her acceptance speech virtually from South Korea. The Founder Chancellor’s best Ph.D. thesis award for Engineering was presented to Dr.Kishan Kumar and for Sciences to Dr.M.Veena. 81 Ph.D. graduands & over 12 special award winners were presented their degrees & awards in physical mode while over 4,800 graduands were presented and conferred their UG & PG degrees virtually. Chancellor Prof.R.Sethuraman, Presided over the Convocation. The convocation procession led by the Nadhaswaram team, dress code of hand woven Kurta or saree with stole along with contemporary and next generation procedures powered by modernity & technology provided a diverse flavour to the 34th virtual convocation of SASTRA.
SASTRA LAUNCHES ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAMMES
Date: October 26, 2020
The SASTRA Deemed University has launched 12 UG & PG degree programmes in the online mode on October 26, 2020 pursuant to the recent UGC Online Regulations. The programmes offer a wide array of choices for learners with a diverse learning appetite. The B.Com. programme in collaboration with reputed CA coaching academy KS Academy provides a dual-mode engagement for students to pursue B.Com. as well as undergo foundation-inter-final coaching by KS Academy. Similarly, the BBA in Logistics Management is in collaboration with the Logistics Skill Council of the Union Ministry of Skill & Entrepreneurship and provides a focussed approach to build capacity in the logistics sector. The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) focusses on a variety of Indic arts and culture with courses in Music, Yoga, Temple Architecture, Harikata, Vaishnavism, Saivism, etc. Other programmes are BCA, B.A., M.Sc., MBA. M.Com & MA Sanskrit & Divya Prabhandam. The online programmes are offered by faculty of SASTRA and also adjunct faculty & practising professionals with specialised expertise in a variety of disciplines using a MOOC platform compliant with various norms & standards prescribed by UGC. “The online registration for the programmes have started at www.sastra.edu and will continue upto December 31, 2020. After admissions, classes shall begin from the 3rd week of January, 2021” said Dr.S.Gopalakrishnan, Director of the Online & Distance Education Department of SASTRA.
SHAI EVRA TO RECEIVE 2020 SASTRA RAMANUJAN PRIZE
Date: October 14, 2020
Shai Evra is awarded the 2020 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize for outstanding work on high dimensional expanders in the area of combinatorial and geometric topology, and on “Golden Gates” for three dimensional unitary groups. The prize notes that he employs deep results from representation theory and number theory pertaining to the Generalized Ramanujan Conjectures. The prize recognizes his fundamental paper in the Journal of Topology and Analysis in which he extends both the combinatorics and automorphic form theory to generalize the construction of Gromov and others on expander graphs.
The prize further recognizes his spectacular work with Tali Kauffman in a paper to appear in the Journal of the American Mathematical Society in which they answer in the affirmative a difficult question of Gromov whether there exist bounded degree expanders in every dimension d larger than 2. The prize notes that this work makes delicate use of the ideas of L. Lafforgue on the Generalized Ramanujan Conjectures, and is related to broader questions in quantitative geometry, topology, coding theory and theoretical computer science. Finally the prize recognizes the recent seminal joint work with Ori Parzanchevski on the construction of “Golden Gates” for three dimensional unitary groups thereby going beyond earlier classic work of Lubotzky, Phillips, and Sarnak on Golden Gates for unitary groups of dimension 2.
The prize notes that this work made use of the full strength of Deligne’s proof of the Ramanujan Conjecture, as well as Rogawaski’s work on automor phic forms on three dimensional unitary groups. The Prize realizes that the construction of Golden Gates for two and three dimensional unitary groups are basic building blocks for the construction of gates in quantum computation. Thus Evra’s fundamental work will have major implications even outside of mathematics, extending into theoretical computer science.
UNDERSTANDING TAX LAW IS AKIN TO UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY MADRAS HIGH COURT JUDGE
Date: October 05, 2020
“Understanding tax law is akin to understanding economy which is to be understood from a society’s underlying structure – its health, wealth, productivity, defense mechanism and civil order,” said Justice M.M.Sundresh, Judge of Madras High Court. Delivering the valedictory address at the XVI Nani Palkhivala Tax Moot Court competition, the judge appreciated the level of commitment & deep research done by the participating students who argued before the jury on an intricate issue concerning an international business under Indian tax law as applicable to business entities sharing resources between more than one country. The virtual five-bench jury headed by Justice M.M.Sundresh comprised Retd. Justice R.V.Easwar, Senior Advocates & ASGI N.Venkataraman, Vikramjit Banerjee and Senior Advocate & AAG of Tamilnadu Arvindh Pandian. The student team from Taminadu National Law University, Trichy was adjudged the winners while the team from RGNUL, Punjab ended close runners. The winning and runners team were awarded trophies, certificates and a cash prize of Rs.1,00,000 & Rs.50,000 respectively.
Student participants in all the 16 teams were presented a copy of the book Nani Palkhivala – Courtroom Genius by SASTRA which is also celebrating the Nani Palkhivala Centennary Year. Ashwani Nag & Sridatta Charan of the Symbiosis Law School Pune were presented the best speaker & researcher awards respectively while best memorials award went to National Law University, Delhi. The moot problem was designed by Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Attorneys which also offered internships to SASTRA students Sai Sashank & Shreya Gopal, the moot convenors. The entire event including the prelims, quarter finals, semi-finals and finals was organised online involving over 50 judges & 200 students as participants & organisers without any technical glitch watched by over 1000 interested persons.
SASTRA DISTRIBUTES FREE TABLETS WITH INTERNET TO SCHOOL STUDENTS
Date: September 17, 2020
The Management of SASTRA Deemed University, Thanjavur distributed around 250 Acer tablets with six months internet plan to its non-teaching staff members to enable their children to attend online classes. 250 Acer tablets with 6 months internet plan of Airtel, costing Rs.35 lakhs, were handed over to the staff members of SASTRA by the Vice-Chancellor Dr. S. Vaidhyasubramaniam. He urged the children to use this facility for attending day-to-day online classes organized by the schools during this tough time & wished the students all success in their academic pursuits.
TAX PAYERS ARE NATION BUILDERS
Date: Aug 10, 2020
“Honest Tax-Payers are nation builders”, said Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, delivering the 16th Nani Palkhivala Memorial Lecture while inaugurating the Nani Palkhivala Centenary Celebrations and launching the TATA Palkhivala Chair on Artificial Intelligence & Alternate Dispute Resolution at a virtual event organised by SASTRA Deemed University, Thanjavur.
Recalling the life and legacy of the Late Nani Palkhivala, she termed him a versatile genius. Speaking of the commitment on the part of the Central Government to ease the burden on the tax payer and simplify the tax structure of the country. She said that the assessment and scrutiny processes were to undergo comprehensive reform and that transparency in handling tax disputes was the primary agenda of the Ministry of Finance. Observing that digitised assessment and ‘faceless’ appeals were on the cards, she said that trusting the taxpayer was important. She pointed that the number of scrutiny as a percentage of tax assessees, was 0.25% and that between 2014-2020 the number of scrutiny cases has greatly reduced.
Terming the COVID challenge as unprecedented and unparalleled, she said that governance paradigms were fast changing and that India would emerge as a global leader in the post COVIDian world order. She also said that a direct cash transfer through the Jan Dhan Accounts was a transformative experience and that India had transited from the Cash-Card to the digital era of payments.
Highlighting the impact of Atmanirbhar Bharat, she listed the five pillars: economy, infrastructure, governance systems, vibrant demography and supply changes as cornerstones of a strong economy. She said that Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation were critical ingredients of the economic framework and that a five year infrastructure scheme was a landmark in supporting economic activity.
Hailing SASTRA Deemed University’s efforts in saluting the memory of the Late Nani Palkhivala, N Chandrashekaran, Chairman – TATA Sons recalled Nani Palkhivala’s association with the TATAs and said that SASTRA was leading the thought leadership themes in nation building. Giving a perspective of the situation relating to case related arrears pending before India’s courts, he said that increasing confidence in judicial machinery and cooperation between parties for dispute settlement was essential to create a transformational change in the litigation scene. He stressed on the need to build bridges between law and technology and asked students to re-orient their learning and research priorities especially in the light of Artificial Intelligence being used in relation to Alternate Dispute Resolution.
Dr S Vaidhyasubramaniam, Vice Chancellor, SASTRA Deemed University said that a yearlong celebration was being planned in the memory of the Late Nani Palkhivala whose contribution to law was legendary. He said that initiatives relating to moot courts, a Chair Professorship for taxation, research in the areas of common law, online courses in legal subjects and legal aid camps were being planned along with a valedictory function being planned in 2021. He also thanked TATA Sons , for endowing the Chair Professorship in the memory of Nani Palkhivala for research in the converging areas of Artificial Intelligence and Alternate Dispute Resolution.
SASTRA FOR ONLINE END-SEM FOR GRADUATING BATCH AND CIA FOR JUNIORS
Date: June 09, 2020
The Academic Council of SASTRA conducted its 38th meeting in virtual mode recently. The members comprised senior faculty from IISc., IITM, IITD & IITB besides Deans, Associate Deans and Professors of SASTRA. The council discussed at length the issues of student attendance, end-semester examinations & assessment and approved the following:
1. The end-semester exams shall be conducted online followed by an oral assessment for final year engineering, law, education and MBA students belonging to the 2020 graduating batch. For the students belonging to the junior batches, the grades shall be based on the internal exams conducted so far with an option for the students to appear for improvement exam whenever it is offered next.
2. The council also approved that faculty shall be given the discretion to administer project based end-semester exams for eligible students belonging to junior batches
3. The Academic Council suggested to blend online component in atleast 20% of courseware moving forward and also adviced to work with policy makers like UGC, AICTE, NCTE, BCI, to optimise & re-work the teaching day requirement of 90 days under the emerging paradigms of online education
4. Students with minimum 50% class attendance (regular & deemed 100% online) shall alone be permitted to for assessment
5. SASTRA Vice-Chancellor Dr.S.Vaidhyausbramaniam briefed the council on the feedback collected from students, faculty and other concerned stakeholders of SASTRA and proposed various models before the academic council decided to approve the above
SASTRA FIGHTS CORONA VIRUS
Date: Mar 30, 2020
The 3D printed ventilator splits printed by SASTRA University were tested at the Taminadu Government Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital at Chennai and worked satisfactory on the ventilators. The Dean of the Hospital Dr.R.Jayanthi connected six Y-splits printed by SASTRA which was based on a design adopted form an open source community and found it to work well on four patients if connected to a single ventilator. The hospital has ordered for 100 splits and SASTRA is taking efforts to supply the 100. Such 3D printed splits have been worked out during the Las Vegas shoot out in 2017 and also during COVID-19 crisis in Italy. “We have created a community of over 200 3D printing service providers who shall be involved in crowd sourced printing to scale this at a national level should such a situation arise” said Dr.S.Vaidhyasubramaniam, Vice-Chancellor of SASTRA. He also added the 3D printed splits were given to AIIMS Delhi for testing also. The AICTE has also sent instructions to all engineering colleges having 3D printer facilities to be part of this initiative. In another research work,
SASTRA is also approaching competent authorities to validate its preliminary simulation findings in the University’s lab on the efficacy of three medicinal plant molecules as anti-COVID agents. These molecules were tested in SASTRA labs and simulation studies and docking experiments indicate that the plant molecules can block primary entry of nCoV-19 into the human body. SASTRA has laso designed & fabricated agri-drone which is now being used by the Thanjavur District administration for spraying disinfectants. Besides technology & science, SASTRA is also providing food from its hostels to over 500 relief workers during this entire lockdown period and also supplied sanitisers & soaps to 1500 households in nearby villages.
STEM Lab facility by SASTRA to Rural and Urban Schools
Date: Mar 18, 2020
In continuation of vision and mission of SASTRA University “progress through quality education”, SASTRA proudly announced the creation of “SASTRA-CNR Rao Labs” in honor of Bharat’s Ratna Prof.CNR Rao visit to our campus and celebrating his 80th birthday.At the beginning itself, SASTRA committed to establishing this lab facility in 10 schools at a cost of Rs.5 lac each and now announced the list of selected 10 schools for this creation of “SASTRA-CNR Rao Labs” in rural and urban schools across Tamilnadu.
SASTRA Deemed University has launched the SASTRA-CNR Rao Lab. An initiative to set up a laboratory facility with DIY kits on Robotics, IoT, 3D Printing, AI, and Drones to strengthen the science and technology-based learning at the school level. As part of this initiative, SASTRA had called for competitive proposal submission from all over Tamilnadu (State, Central and Pvt. Schools) and advised to a detailed presentation on the lab’s objective, outcome, and need of this next-generation technology.
More than a hundred schools submitted their proposals from which 25 schools were shortlisted for interaction and presentation on the above DIY Kits and their school’s vision on STEM. The shortlisted schools made their presentation on their project proposal at SASTRA Thanjavur Campus. From the 25 shortlisted participant schools, ten schools were selected based on their objective & outcome of this laboratory set up in their respective schools. (Adhyapana School, Madurai, Swami Dayananda School, Manjakudi, Chinmaya Vidyalaya Matric, Trichy, Govt Model Girls Hr. Sec.School, Manachanallur, Trichy, Sri Matha, Matric Hr. Sec. School, Kumbakonam, PSBB KKN, Chennai, Akshaya Academy, Coimbatore, PS Senior Sec. School, Chennai, Gurukulam Matric & Sitadevi Garodia Hindu Vidyalaya, Chengalpet.),
Schools have been selected from rural and urban areas based on the requirement and interest level of the teachers and management to utilize this new Laboratory to the students from 6th to 12th std. Few schools opted to use this lab up to 9th std by adopting this in the working hours and others opted it as a special course but as compulsory for learning and experiencing the lab. Many schools felt that this lab will kindle new ideas and facilitate the students to choose their career fields after 12th standard.
Scientists receive Awards at SASTRA University
Date: Febraury 29, 2020
“Connect Education, Research & Innovation in a seamless way to deliver Science & Technology Products” said Dr. Arabinda Mitra, Scientific Secretary, Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India, while speaking on the occasion of the National Science Day at Thanjavur.
Delivering the keynote address at the Science Day Awards Ceremony at the SASTRA Deemed University, Dr. Mitra highlighted that India is the 3rd largest startup producer in the world and emphasized the need to consolidate the Science & Technology achievements of India to realize its goal of India becoming a 5 trillion economy. He also highlighted the new initiatives of the GoI in areas such as Technical Textiles, Quantum Computing, Genomics, Deep Ocean Technology, Biodiversity, etc., which are socially relevant. He also mentioned that deep ocean technology is gaining momentum because of the abundance of coastal areas available across India.
While appreciating SASTRA’s initiative to recognize outstanding scientists in diverse fields, Dr. Mitra appreciated the University’s initiatives to reach out to the best scientific minds and to institute awards in honor of scientists who have made outstanding contributions to science.
Dr.Mitra presented the SASTRA - G N Ramachandran Award to Prof. T. P. Singh, AIIMS, New Delhi, the SASTRA –ObaidSiddiqi Award to Prof. Upinder Singh Bhalla, NCBS-TIFR, Bangalore for the year 2020, and to Prof. Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, the USA for the year 2019. He also presented SASTRA – C N R Rao award for the year 2020 to Prof. J. N. Moorthy, IISER, Trivandrum and Prof. S. Sampath, IISc. Prof. S. Swaminathan, Dean & Planning Development, SASTRA welcomed the gathering and highlighted the genesis of these awards instituted in the honor of three doyens of Indian Science. As part of Science Day celebrations, SASTRA is also hosting an International Conference on Synergy of Sciences in which 20 invited speakers from different countries are addressing more than 300 participants from across the country.
SASTRA University presents Di
stinguished Alumni Excellence Award to its Alumni
Date: January 27, 2020
SASTRA University with immense pride recognizes its Distinguished Alumni for their outstanding service and excellence in their respective fields and for building a resurgent India. The 2019 SASTRA Distinguished Alumni Excellence Award was presented to S. Pazhanikumar, a 1992 Mechanical Engineering graduate, and currently Scientist at DRDO-CVRDE for his outstanding public service and contributing to India's defense.
The 2019 SASTRA Distinguished Alumni Excellence award for Corporate Service was awarded to 1994 Electrical Engineering graduate, Mr.S.V.Ramananm, CEO India and Asia, Intellect Design Arena. Girish Mathroobootham, 1996 Electrical Engg graduate, Founder & CEO of Freshworks, was presented the SASTRA ALUMNI Award for his exceptional entrepreneurial excellence.
All awards were presented in the SASTRA Alumni Global meet, held recently at SASTRA's center in Chennai. The event was presided by the President of SASTRA Alumni Association Mr.Sridhar Gopalan and Dr.S.
England’s Royal Society recognizes SASTRA-Ramanujan Award
Date: December 21, 2019
The Royal Society of England recently featured the SASTRA-Ramanujan Award in its December 2019 Special Issue of The Philosophical Transactions. This issue was released to commemorate the Centenary of Ramanujan's election by publishing a paper titled Ramanujan’s Legacy: The work of SASTRA Prize winners.
“This confirms the prestige of the prize as a journal with a hallowed tradition that published Isaac Newton’s early papers has chosen to publish about the SASTRA-Ramanujan Award winners,” said Prof. Krishnaswami Alladi, Department Chair of Mathematics at the University of Florida and the Chairman of the SASTRA-Ramanujan Award Committee. The award has been globally recognized with 4 of its winners winning the Fields Medal, added Prof. Alladi.
The SASTRA-Ramanujan 2019 Award was presented to Adam Harper of the University of Warwick for his outstanding contributions to the probabilistic number theory. The cash prize of USD 10,000 and a citation was presented by Prof. Ken Ono. Harper was a Ph.D. student of Prof. Ben Green at the University of Cambridge and Green was the 2007 Award winner.
Dr. Harper will deliver the Ramanujan Birthday Commemorative Lecture at SASTRA campus in Kumbakonam and also participate in the International Conference on Number Theory. There will be speakers from the USA, UK, Canada, and India to deliver scientific talks to over 150 delegates from all over the country.