Let It Matter

May 16, 2022 0 comments ISMAANA Admin

As we live and breathe,
Let every breathe matter.
As we walk and move,
Let every step matter.
For every wish that comes true,
For every blessing granted –
Be thankful and let gratitude matter.
Let every thought and dream matter.
Every action and deed matter.
Let the right direction matter.
Let joy and life matter.
Let life matter,
Let it all matter.

-by Shailja Kumar

Mrs. Shailja Kumar lives in Spring, TX. She is the wife of Atul Kumar, President-ISMAANA. Her primary interest is in modern art and sculpting. She has also been writing poems both in English and Hindi. She is currently working on publishing her first compilation of poems.

Ode To My Friend

May 16, 2022 0 comments ISMAANA Admin

We were together in the best of times,
And when he got separated it was because of sweat and grime,
I tried other friends, but it wasn’t quite the same,
It didn’t look right, feel right, gel right, soon became a shame,
But one fine day, after a nice long shower,
I found myself in a colorful tower,
And who should I see, in one corner of the pile,
Lying on the ground, looking forlorn without a smile,
He seemed to have suffered the same fate as me,
But who cares now, it all is history,
I jumped as soon as the time was right,
His face showed glee, I will never forget the sight,
They say, our best healer is time, our favorite clock,
And I gladly agree, now that my friend is found, the other sock!

-by Pulkit Bhatnagar

Pulkit Bhatnagar is the son of Yogesh Bhatnagar, a Petroleum Engineering Alumnus of IIT(ISM). He works in the field of Fiber Optics and lives in Atlanta with his wife Pragya and daughters Maanya and Sumira. In his free time, he loves to garden, play tennis, and put on a circus with his two girls.

The Ses-Tea-Na

May 16, 2022 0 comments ISMAANA Admin

A ‘Sestina’ is a complex French verse form, usually unrhymed, consisting of six stanzas of six lines each and a three-line envoy. The end words of the first stanza are repeated in a different order as end words in each of the subsequent five stanzas; the closing envoy contains all six words, two per line, placed in the middle and at the end of the three lines. Here’s presenting a sestina on everyone’s popular love – chai!

She wakes up groggy, the tap water quietly goes tip-tip
And she wishes he’d put the good ol’ cup of tea
‘Softly on the table by the bed and she’d take a refreshing sip
Just right as usual, not too hot, not too sweet, not too weak’, this chai
‘Not too strong, not too much milk, and not a drop spilled in the saucer
A most amazing cove, Jeeves’. And there even be a Marie biscuit!

But what a pity! What a pity! There is no Marie biscuit
Or Jeeves or even the elusive cuppa; get up and start following Papa’s tip
Put half water, half milk in the teapot; reserve 1 spoon tea, 1 spoon sugar in the saucer
Drop it in when it comes to a boil, wait for the blush to appear in your tea
You will know when it is perfect, your toasty, misty, tasty chai
A perfect start to a perfect day commences from the first sip

Instantly, a million thoughts enter the mind, clamoring themselves for a sip
But wait, before the tsunami starts, I need to dip my biscuit
And sink deliciously into the comfort and clarity of my chai
Sweetness and a slight bitterness envelop the taste buds all the way to the tongue’s tip
I contemplate how to fix my TV remote and solve world hunger in the same sip of tea
The thoughts spill fast, as my tea spills of its own accord on the saucer

No rush though, this is Sunday morning, hence the little light blue cup ‘n saucer
Is the first friend I talk to; followed by more friends, more calls, more texts, and a sip
Chatting with mom, with books, with paintings and my bes-tea,
While we all exchange musings on our current, favorite rusk or biscuit
Did you grate or pound or candy your ginger, what’s your secret tip?
Is it poha or pakodas with your kadak adrak ki chai?

The discussions get animated, we have our veins coursing with chai
Each jittery and excited, talking, laughing, the cup clinking back onto the saucer
Giggles galore, gossiping wide-eyed, the little finger joining in too – with its frolicking fingertip
But before we know it, we are at the end, it is time for the last sip
Time for the dregs and the last bit at the bottom of soggy biscuit
What a pity, what a pity, our hearts sing as one for more tea!


‘Hell, it is well known, hath no fury like a woman, who wants her tea
and can’t get it’. A 5 am trek to the Hawaii Starbucks for tea latte ‘urf’ chai
Is perfectly normal, along with madeleines in lieu of a Marie biscuit
Or flitting off to a friend’s for milk like a furtive flying saucer
Something, anything, to satiate the need for the next sip
I am a tea lover, nay, an addict! I proclaim with a hat tip

An ode to tea is now complete, I can’t however, fit this ‘saucer’
In this ravishing rhyme for my beloved chai, and the super slurpy sip.
Tip-tip, tip-tip, all I can do is drown myself in tea like a biscuit.

-by Palak Verma

Palak Verma is daughter of Prem Kumar Verma, a Petroleum Engineering Alumnus of IIT(ISM). She is a Data Analyst and lives in Atlanta. On weekends (after her chai) she likes to go on nature walks, write, paint and vibe to her favorite Spotify playlist.

Piyush Dutta Invention and Innovation Prize 2021

May 16, 2022 0 comments ISMAANA Admin

In Jan 2019 ISMAANA member Shri Piyush Dutta established an Innovation Prize of $1500 per year to be awarded to an IIT(ISM) undergraduate student/ team of students who come up with the best idea of building a patentable product. The product prototype had to be built and demonstrated to show that it worked. In October 2021 Shri Piyush Dutta further expanded this Innovation Prize. It was expended to each of the four undergraduate year students. The prize money was expanded to $3000. Each year students have different requirements with varying winning prize amounts.

For the year 2021, IIT(ISM) has selected a team of two fourth year students “Saswata Som and Shweta Kumar”. These students will share the prize amount of $1,500. The following describes the award-winning project. ISMAANA is thankful to Shri Piyush Dutta in setting up these awards, thus challenging the IIT(ISM) students to work on innovative ideas and projects.

Title of the Idea: minAR

While being one of the most important and earliest established professions, mining remains a mystery to most laymen. Even students studying this discipline face difficulty grasping the concepts, due to its vast size as well as difficulty in accessing mines and mine equipment for study. The mines are dangerous for inexperienced people to visit unsupervised, and the mine equipment are dangerous to handle for untrained people as well. This is a problem we are trying to overcome through our solution.
The title of our project is minAR and it combines mining and advancement in technologies such as Augmented Reality to present a solution that will help students and laymen, as well as professionals to visualize and learn more about mining from the comfort of their homes. We have developed a 2-part solution (consisting of an android application and a website) which
combined, provides users with features like:

  • Mine walkthrough: Walk the inside of a mine from home.
  • Mine Equipment tutorials: Learn about different mine equipment by visualizing them in 3D
  • Mine block model visualization: See mine block models in real 3D simulation judging ore grades easily Using our application is very convenient as well as easy for students. What we vision is every student having the application on their mobile phones. Professors can guide students through the inside of a mine while explaining everything through a virtual tour in VR. Students can also learn more about equipment such as haul and dump trucks, as well as their components, by seeing them in Augmented reality in their own rooms. They can move around studying different features of the equipment. These models must be uploaded on our website. The app also contains the components, also visible in AR, as well as the different circuits used inside the equipment. Users can also view the block models of mines, which can previously be made in mine planning software such as Surpac, and then uploaded through our website. The website also provides features such as news about recent mine related incidents, as well as an interactive quiz section. So, our solution is basically a one stop learning platform for mine related topics.

The solution is novel because it provides following features:

  • Portable: Previous virtual tour of the places had to be done using costly headgears which are not affordable or readily available to everyone. Using smartphones anyone can do it because everyone has a smartphone nowadays
  • Repeatability: Unlike physical visits, students can visit a mine as many times as they like
  • Experience: Before handling dangerous equipment in real life, they can do so virtually and learn all precautions
  • Immersive Visualization: Students can see preexisting mines and interact with objects easily

President’s Note

December 30, 2021 0 comments ISMAANA Admin

Dear ISMAANA members:

We wish you and your family a very happy holiday season. For the last 20 months we have been living with the Covid-19 pandemic but the ferocity of the pandemic has now ebbed with an aggressive program of vaccinations. Many nations are opening their borders for visitors and there is a sense of relief and hopefulness. Recent development of the new Omicron variant however is creating new sense of anxiety and frustration.

Over sixty percent of population in US is fully vaccinated, This, still leaves a large share of the population unvaccinated, many of whom are opposed to vaccination. It is a matter of considerable concern as unvaccinated population continue to get infected and prolong the misery of this pandemic.

India went through a severe second wave of pandemic in spring of 2021 with large number of hospitalizations and deaths. Many of us lost our near and dear ones and the whole nation underwent a prolonged grieving period. With a very aggressive program of vaccinations cases are down over 97% since the peak and death rates are down over 95%. Currently over 30% are fully vaccinated and another 30% had one shot. It is estimated that by first quarter 2022, most eligible adults will have at least one shot of vaccine.

Pandemic had great impact on educational institutes. All of 2020-21 academic session at IIT (ISM) was held online. While students are gradually trickling back during new academic session of 2021-22, full in-person classes are expected to resume in January 2022.

We congratulate Dr. Raja Ramani (MinE.’62) for being inducted into National Mining Hall of fame Museum located at Leadville Colorado USA. It’s a great honor and first time an IIT (ISM) alumni is inducted into such a prestigious museum.

During the pandemic, ISMAANA’s role of helping our alma mater continued. We had 2 fund raising initiatives for Covid relief raising over to Rs. 50 lakhs for PM Cares fund. We continued to award 56 merit cum means scholarships, and eight academic achievement awards. Piyush Datta innovation award of Rs 1 lakh was awarded to 2 groups of students for their innovative projects. Additionally, eight more innovation awards were started and expected to be awarded during the current academic session.

Naresh Vashisht Center for Tinkering and Innovation was utilized for seminars and two innovation competitions. As in-person classes resume activity for the center is expected to accelerate. We started a monthly online seminar for students under the leadership of Dr. Ganesh Thakur. We also started an online internship program mentored by alumni faculty members in North American Universities. Currently we have 5 interns under mentorship of Dr. Anil Kumar, VP ISMAANA and Dr. Amit Acharya of Carnegie Mellon University.

We started a fund-raising program in 2018 to enhance our endowment funds to continue and expand the academic excellence award program and to fund outstanding research projects at our alma mater. Additional funds are also needed to help IIT (ISM) students attend international seminars and conferences. Scarcity of funds limits us from considering many such requests during the year. We thank many of you have already contributed to the alumni fund. If you wish to donate, please write your tax-deductible donation check to “Indian School of Mines Alumni” and send it to our treasurer Atul Kumar at 46 Huntsman Horn Circle, The Woodlands, TX 77380.

If you have any feedback to improve ISMAANA’s role or would like to contribute articles or news events or have any other comments, please send us a note.

Thank you.
Dipak Sarkar
President ISMAANA (’67 PE)

Dr. Raja Ramani (MinE’62) inducted into National Mining Hall of Fame of USA

December 30, 2021 0 comments ISMAANA Admin

At 34th Annual National Mining Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Denver CO on October 23, 2021, Dr. Raja V. Ramani was inducted into the National Mining Hall of Fame. The museum is located in Leadville, Colorado, USA, dedicated to commemorating the work of miners and people who work with natural resources. The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is the only national mining museum with a federal charter, set up by US Congress in 1988.


Dr. Raja V. Ramani is currently Emeritus Professor of Mining and Geo-Environmental Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University His current activities include teaching, research, consulting and service to the worldwide mineral industry through his academic and professional affiliations.

Dr. Ramani, is a graduate of the IIT IISM) (Mining Engineering, 1962), He obtained his M.S. (1968) and Ph.D. (1970) degrees in mining engineering from Penn State University

Dr. Ramani’s contributions to mineral engineering have been widely acknowledged with awards from academia and technical and professional societies. Dr. Ramani is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Indian School of Mines (1978), SME Book Publications Award (1981), JSPS (Japan) Eminent Scientist Fellowship Award (1983) and Fulbright Scholar Award to Soviet Union (1989-1990). In 1989, he was elected a Distinguished Member of SME and was awarded the APCOM Distinguished Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the application of computers and operations research in the mineral industry.

Dr. Ramani is married to the former Geetha V. Chalam, has two sons Deepak [Ph.D.] and Gautam [M.D.], and lives in State College, PA.

At the Hall of Fame ceremonial dinner, IIT (ISM) alumni attending the event from top left Pradip Gangopadhyay, Mihir Sinha, Rohini Sharma, Ravi Batra and Hemanta Mukherjee

Dr. Ganesh Thakur elected to the National Academy of Inventors in USA

December 30, 2021 0 comments ISMAANA Admin

Dr. Ganesh Thakur, a 1970 Petroleum Engineering graduate of IIT (ISM), and currently chairman Emeritus of ISMAANA, has been elected to the rank of U.S. NAI (National Academy of Inventors) Fellow as he has demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society. This prestigious award is only given to a few prolific academic inventors every year.

About the NAI: The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. The NAI was founded in 2010 with a focus on recognizing and encouraging inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhancing the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encouraging the disclosure of intellectual property, educating and mentoring innovative students, and translating the inventions of its members to benefit society.

In February 2016, Dr. Thakur was elected to the NAE (National Academy of Engineering) for leadership in the implementation of integrated reservoir management techniques. Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.

Dr. Thakur also served as the 2012 SPE International President and 2019-21 SPE Foundation President (the first person of Indian origin to serve in these capacities). He currently serves as a Board Member and Treasurer of TAMEST (Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, Science and Technology).

Dr. Thakur is a veteran of the oil and gas industry, serving almost four decades with Chevron Corp. and retiring as Vice President of Technology in 2014. Since 2016, he has been serving as Distinguished Professor of Petroleum Engineering and Director of Energy Industry Partnership at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas, USA, where he leads a team of researchers, scientists and professors in the areas of CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage), machine learning and artificial intelligence, and management of oil and gas reservoirs.

ISMAANA Scholarship Programs

December 30, 2021 0 comments ISMAANA Admin

Currently ISMAANA has two types of ongoing scholarship and academic excellence programs.

Academic Excellence Awards

Following is a list of eight final year students who were chosen for ISMAANA academic excellence awards in November 2021.

Sl.No Admission No Name Discipline OGPA upto 6th sem.
1 18JE0451 Mr. Madhav Singhal B. Tech Mining Engg. 9.04
2 18JE0118 Mr. Aniruddhe Anand B. Tech Mining Engg. 8.79
3 18JE0764 Mr. Shashank Shekhar B. Tech Petroleum  Engg. 9.31
4 18JE0147 Mr. Anurag Jain B. Tech Petroleum Engg. 9.13
5 18JE0844 Mr. Sudeep Kumar Gupta Integrated M.Sc Tech Applied Geophysics 9.01
6 18JE0135 Mr. Ankita Jaiswal Integrated M.Tech Applied Geophysics 8.67
7 18JE0494 Mr. Mohammed Fazal Khattal Integrated M.Tech Applied Geology 8.74
8 18JE0445 Ms. Leeviya TS Integrated M.Tech Applied Geology 8.30

ISMAANA started these awards in 2015 to recognize top two students from four earth science branches based on the first three years of academic performance. Starting new academic year in August 2022, these eight academic excellence awards shall be awarded to top 8 students in four earth science branches and four major departments of electrical, mechanical, electronic engineering and Computer science.

Merit cum means scholarships

These scholarships started in 2017 and currently ISMAANA has alumni commitment for 56 such scholarships that are based on family income and academic performance. Amount of these scholarships range from $1000/year to $1370/year. These scholarships are intended to mainly cover student expenses related to room, board, and transportation. During 2021-22 academic year 38 scholarships were continued for undergraduate students who carried over their scholarships from 2020-21, while 18 new awardees will be selected from new applications at the beginning of second semester starting January 2022. Following is a list of our generous alumni with number of scholarships each of them are funding.

# Alumni Sponsored scholarships # Alumni Sponsored
1 Naresh Vashisht 20 9 Shishir Agrawal 1
2 Avinash Ahuja 10 10 Yugal Gupta 4
3 Suresh Chugh 4 11 Mahendra Verma 2
4 Mohinder Gulati 1 12 Atul Arya 1
5 Pramod Thakur 1 13 Sriram Muralidharan 5
6 Jitender Tuli 1 14 Raj Prasad 1
7 Dipak Sarkar 1 15 Bijay Banthia 2
8 Zoeb Mogri 1 16 Rana Roy 1

Ishwar Singh (PE’70) is starting a $3000/year scholarship in the Petroleum Engineering Department of Texas A & M University (TAMU) for an IIT (ISM) graduate pursuing Master’s or PhD degree program at TAMU. The scholarship is scheduled to start in Fall semester 2021.

If you need more information about these scholarships or would like to sponsor additional scholarships, please call Dipak Sarkar at 714 826-2810 or write to dksarkar@aol.com.

Naresh Vashisht Center for Tinkering and Innovation (NVCTI)

December 30, 2021 0 comments ISMAANA Admin

In an endeavor to provide an enabling physical environment for young creators to go hands on and give shape and expression to their innovative ideas IIT(ISM), Dhanbad is in the process to develop a world-class “Tinkering and Innovation Laboratory” consisting of five separate units including 1) Mechanical Tools unit, 2) Electronics unit, 3) Gaming and animations design, 4) Battery cell assembly unit and 5) Robotics and automation unit.

Activities of NVCTI during 2021

AVISHKAR: Jharkhand School Innovation Challenge (JH-SIC) 2021

Naresh Vashisht Centre for Tinkering and Innovation, IIT (ISM) Dhanbad organized AVISHKAR – Jharkhand School Innovation Challenge (JH-SIC) 2021, an inter- school innovation challenge during February to August 2021 in four stages. The event was launched with the aim to inculcate an innovation culture and provide a competitive platform to the budding innovators of Jharkhand to showcase their imagination and creativity. Student teams of a maximum of four members from classes VIII to XII were invited to identify problems and to submit innovative, and viable solutions, related to the following themes: a. Energy harnessing, b. Water and Sanitation, c. Environment, d. Education and e. Health & Well-being.

The Grand Finale of the Jharkhand School Innovation Challenge (JH-SIC) 2021 was on 14th August 2021 through Zoom Platform. The finalists were asked to present their developed product before a jury panel. After a rigorous selection process, following ideas/teams are declared winners in various categories:

BeingArtifex Skillathon’21 NVCTI, IIT (ISM) Dhanbad

BeingArtifex Skillathon’21 was organized by BeingArtifex (A IIT(ISM) Student Startup) in association with NVCTI, IIT (ISM) Dhanbad, with around 1000 students, 20 NGOs, and around 150 Schools’ involvement. It started on 25th April 2021 with a month-long registration period. This period was properly used making the students engaged and letting them know more about this grand event. The Pre-Event included Speak up and Skill up in which the students were vitalized to break the ice by sharing their pre reckoning views towards the technical field.

It was followed by a BFX IQ Test of 3 consecutive mental aptitude tests and an Idea Pitch to explore the raw innovative ideas among the ardent participants. It was sponsored by renowned companies like Codingal, MU Gamma Consultancy, Engineering Parcel. In the end awards worth 3.75 Lakhs, and other exciting prizes were distributed to the top performers. This resplendent event was inaugurated on inhabiting all the founders of our esteemed sponsoring companies. This was bifurcated into three individual webinars where we had Sagar Dodeja (ex-IES), Arvind Arora (Motivational YouTubers), Tushar Kansal (clustered from Harvard Business) as our Chief Guests.

Workshop and talk-series on the Robotics and Automation unit of Naresh Vashisht Tinkering and Innovation Lab (NVTIL)

On 3rd November 2021, at 7 pm, NVCTI organized a Webinar on the Robotics and Automation unit of Naresh Vashisht Tinkering and Innovation Lab (NVTIL) to introduce the students to the field of robotics and the NVTIL lab unit dedicated to it. The speaker was Prof. Arun Dayal Udai, Lab-in-charge of Robotics and Automation Unit from the Department of Mechanical Engineering in IIT(ISM) Dhanbad.

Winners of various technical events organized by NVCTI

Samsung Innovation Award 2021

Position Name of Team Members Adm. No. Title of Proposal
First Mr. Ayush Somani
Mr. Gaurav Kumar
Mr. Gyanendra Das
Invo-AI: An Innovative E-Invoicing Solution
Second Mr. Sai Bhargav Reddy Vootkur
Mr. Kotapati Siddarth
Mr. Choudary Rahul Kedia
Biomass Logics
Third Ms. Ankita Jaiswal
Ms. Somya Jain
Mr. Prakrit Raj
Try First

App-it-up 2021 (App development competition)

Position Team Members (Name/Branch) Team Name
First Piyush Garg, ECE
Saksham Dwivedi, PE
Prakhar Pratap Mall, EE
Ansh Tandon, EE
App Crew
Second S Pranitha, EE
Bhavesh Sharma, EE
The Problem Solvers
Third Niharika Kumar, ECE
Eesha Yadav, ECE

Innovation awards

December 30, 2021 0 comments ISMAANA Admin

ISMAANA members have sponsored several innovation awards to foster innovative thinking and ideas at IIT (ISM)

Dr. Piyush Dutta (Mining’60) Innovation and Invention Prize of Rs. 1 lakh was established in January 2019. Dr. Dutta is now sponsoring 3 additional innovation awards that shall be given to First, second, and third year, students.

In addition, following innovation awards are sponsored by ISMAANA members and are in place to be implemented in the current academic year of 2021-22.

  1. Dr. Anil Kumar (PE’65), ISMAANA Vice President has sponsored 2 innovation awards of Rs 50,000 each for any undergraduate student of IIT (ISM). Awards shall be given for original engineering products design/concepts, and prototype demonstrations that will reduce import of that product/component to India.
  2. Ishwar Singh (PE’70) ISMAANA board member has proposed 2 innovation awards of Rs 50,000 each for any undergraduate student at IIT (ISM). Awards to be given for the best original conceptual idea presentation, report, and/or prototype demonstration that shows advancement in technology.
  3. Madhuchhanda Das (PE’93) is sponsoring an innovation award of $700/year for any undergraduate student at IIT(ISM). The award shall be given to winners of annual competition for most innovative idea, conceptualization, presentation and prototype demonstration.