Prepared by: Sabarinath Pillai, Vice-Chair for IEEE Kerala Section
IEEE Kerala Section was formed as a Subsection of the Bangalore Section in 1975 and later elevated into a Section in 1983. Since 1975, IEEE Kerala Section has been involved in the technical development of the southern Indian state of Kerala in terms of providing technological knowhow to policy/decision makers as well as the future generation of Engineers, all the while upholding the ethics of the IEEE towards contributing to its Vision.
Awards and Achievements
Over the years, Section volunteers, Affinity Groups and the Section as a whole has been appreciated both by the R10 and the MGA in terms of awards. Individual awards like the Larry K Wilson Transnational Award, the Young Professionals Achievement Award, Outstanding Student Branch Counselor Award or Affinity Group awards like the Women in Engineering Award, The Life Member AG Award and even society awards like those from PES definitely have contributed towards the Section receiving the Outstanding Large Section award in 2004, 2009 and 2014.
The e-Scientia project installed at the Centre of Science in Society, Cochin attracts close to 10,000 school-level students on a yearly basis; thus contributing towards enthusing students at the pre-university level to pursue STEM education. Kerala Section, in collaboration with an NGO, Chakshumathi works towards helping the visually challenged pursue science education.
Kerala Section annually hosts a series of conferences. Apart from the TENSYMP 2017 and the TENCON 2019 conferences which are flagship events of Region 10, Kerala section has hosted the IEEE India Council conference, INDICON and also organizes RAICS & SPICES both bi-annually as Kerala Section flagship conferences. The recent TENCON needs special mention as it has been highly appreciated in terms of quality of technical content, quality of planning and execution and quality in terms of financial utilization.
Membership and Strength
As of 31st December 2019, Kerala Section stands strong with 10000+ members. The strength of Kerala Section lies in its student network backed by the energetic Young Professionals, who work under the advice and guidance of the veteran senior members of the section.
Contributions to the Society
IEEE Kerala Section and its volunteers believe in giving back to the society which creates and upholds humanity. Activities in giving back to the society are spread across various fronts.
Right from the devastating 2004 Tsunami which hit the coast of South India till the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the volunteers of Kerala Section have jumped right into the battle ground to provide technological solutions to ease the situation on the ground. Volunteers from Kerala Section travelled close to 500km to a coastal township, Nagapattinam, on a weekly basis and set up initial communications systems right after the Tsunami hit this coastal area. Later, volunteers from Kerala went on to set up coordination centers which was later accepted by the Government of Tamil Nadu state as the central coordination center for emergency relief activities. Volunteers from Kerala travelled to Nepal after the earthquake, and also engaged in relief activities in Haiti. The Student Initiative, Keralarescue.in, which was started by 7 student members in Kerala as a data collection portal immediately after the 2018 floods in Kerala went on to be accepted by the Government of Kerala state as the central relief measures coordination portal which later also saw contributions pouring in from 1519 professionals/technocrats from various parts of the globe. Currently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, our engineers and young professionals have stepped forward to design and implement low-cost ventilators, robotic sanitizers, all accepted by the Government of Kerala to be used in the field for immediate relief activities.
It was perhaps the activities of Kerala Section, especially the 2004 Tsunami related activities, that got recognized at the global scale which led to the formation of Humanitarian Technologies Adhoc Committee and later SIGHT, even including the adoption of the tagline Advancing Technology for Humanity.
Recognitions to Professionals
IEEE Kerala Section takes a forward outlook in appreciating the contributions of the general public who provide technology-related solutions for the benefit of mankind. Initiating a KPP Nambiar Memorial Award, in remembrance of the founder Chair of Kerala Section is one of many such activities. Mr. E.Sreedharan, the Metro Man of India, who designed and executed the world-class Delhi metro and Dr. K. Sivan, Director of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) are distinguished persons, who have been bestowed with this award in past years. In addition, awards like Friend of IEEE, Best Teacher Award, Best Researcher Award are bestowed on eminent personalities, who have proved themselves in their respective domains.
Kerala Section is perhaps the first section in the world to pilot a unique hub and spoke model, the Local Integrated Network of IEEE SBs in Kerala (LINK), for sensitizing the 7500+ student members of the section. From 5 student branches across Kerala in 2003 to 91 Student Branches in 2019, the journey was a smooth sail with this unique approach. This model gained publicity and was adopted on a global scale as the Global Integrated Network of IEEE SBs (GINI) which has resulted in tremendous growth in the student activities across the globe.
Apart from these, IEEE Kerala Section hosts an annual IEEE Job Fair for the Graduate Student Members; connecting employers with employees.