R10 Large Section – IEEE Kolkata Section

Prepared by: Sushmita Mitra, Chair for IEEE Kolkata Section

Way back in 1971, members of IEEE over the entire Eastern and North Eastern region of India got together to form the Eastern Regional Sub-Section of IEEE in India. After the formation of the India Council, the Eastern Regional Sub-Section was given the name of Calcutta Sub-Section, under the Delhi Section of IEEE, India. The Calcutta Sub-Section was raised to the status of a full section on 28th September 1978. Over the years, activities of IEEE Kolkata Section increased manifold and spread through many cities and state capitals under its jurisdiction. Several Technical Society Chapters and many Student Branches have been formed. Currently the Section has eighteen Chapters and four Affinity Groups. There are more than fifty Student Branches as of now and this figure is continually on the rise. The Section maintains a healthy student to member ratio, while working closely and coherently with its chapters and affinity groups – not only in technical, education and membership development activities but also in outreach programs. In December 2021, Kolkata Section achieved a membership milestone of 4247.

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One key area of focus has been membership development, by improving the support networks and funding opportunities for Chapters and Student Branches. As students are a vital component of the Section’s future, substantial efforts have been made to provide leadership training, open communication channels, encourage greater responsibility, reward initiative & success, streamline processes, and provide clear pathways to funding. The Section is regularly organizing a “Dare to Dream” episode-based online program. This strives to bring forth the role of pioneering women in science and engineering, in order to inspire young girls to STEM.

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A second major initiative has been to bridge the gap between industry and academia, through enhancement of industry academia engagement. The Section has been working on implementing initiatives that can bring experts from industries and renowned academic institutions. The greatest success on this front has been the formation of Industry Academia Dialogue Forum, with full support from the Industry relations committee of IEEE R10. Under this forum two events have already been organized. This type of initiative has helped the members from both domains to network and collaborate under one umbrella.

A third area of focus has been on improving visibility and communications. The Section has streamlined e-notice communication, upgraded & enhanced its website, and has engaged with social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook (targeted at younger members).

The Kolkata Section and its volunteers have won several awards and accolades. Some of the recent achievements include:

2021 IEEE Region 10 SPNIC has recognized Kolkata Section for their valuable inputs in response to SPNIC’s survey on another virtual conference.
2021 Recognition as one of the top three Sections achieving highest voting percentage, amongst 60 Sections in Region 10.
2021 and 2018 Outstanding Section Membership Recruitment and Retention Performance.