Manav Kataria's Blog

Posts tagged “IITB

Google+ Implements Our Hack! :)

It is a humble compliment to see how Yahoo!, Facebook and now Google have found the USP of our concept valuable.

FriendCircle was the winner of Yahoo! University Hackathon – HackU 2010 at IIT Bombay in October.

Yahoo! intended to use it in their products but we don’t really know how they’ve done it.

Facebook, in a few months had a small feature with a rather inconspicuous and not so convenient UI on their news feed settings which allowed the user to show more of <friend>.

Google, has recently released Google+ a new social networking platform with one of its USP based on Friend Circle. Though we have been a few steps ahead, they do seem to be heading in a similar direction:

Click to Enlarge

Google+ Circle

Click to Enlarge

FriendCircle

Want to try out FriendCircle? Leave us a note.

-Manav

(on behalf of my HackU team:
Sumit Somani, Mayank Singhal and Gaurav Toshniwal)


Met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

(December 22, 2010) The Dean of International Relations invited the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and a few students for an interactive session. Mr. President was a comfortable speaker and very frank diplomat.

I was surprized and delighted at the same time with the frequent use of  words (translated)  “I would not like to hide/conceal from you what we discussed with your government …” coming from a politician! There was sense of loyalty, trust and straightforwardness in every word. This was so unlike Indian politicians.

I’ve recently started respecting politicians. Unfortunately, I see a clear difference of strata between ours and the ones that I like! I’ll refer to them as “Diplomats” and ours, well – “Politicians”

Outlook & Impressions

Very humble, straight-forward and elegant. A charming personality. Short height. No unnecessary attitude or style. I doubt any lady in the room would not call him handsome!

One starking difference about Russians  – Never hesitate in doing what is right!
Whether its performing (what some of us might call) lowly activities like testing the mic or throwing a coffee cup into the bin, kicking-butt of the enemy who attacked your country or just speaking your mind. They have no hesitation or fear of Public, which makes their case seem so genuine in action!

I only wish/hope our Indian counterparts were as inspired by him as I was.

Discussions

IIT Bombay was developed by funds & training from USSR. So in a way, his visit had a symbolic significance and we intended to strengthen ties with them in various technological fields like

  • Weapons,
  • Controls,
  • Health-Care and
  • Nano-Technology Collaboration with India.

We also talked about:

  • UNSC support,
  • Anti-Terrorist Military Collaboration,
  • Russian Republic Communism vs Democracy,
  • Peace, Economy and Technological Development with India.

Photos of the Month

These were clicked on Daa’s Birthday Party. The third one isn’t mine, but I love it! 🙂

Studio: H6 Canteen


My first ever B-Plan

Avenues is the Annual Business Fest organized by SJMSOM – the School of Management at IIT Bombay. They have a Business Plan Competition called Navonmesh which works on a unique model of bridging real innovations to a well honed business plan.

The competition lists innovations that have a potential for success but lack a good business plan around them. The innovations were primarily selected from:
Department of Scientific and Industrial Research > Technopreneur Promotion Programme

The first step for the participants was to select an innovation to work from the list given by organizers and make an executive summary around it. We choose to work on “Retractable Auto-Disable Syringes” innovated by a Doctor.

They are basically Single Use Safe Syringes and have a huge potential market in India. The competition is significant but there is scope for big success!

Our Executive Summary (3-pages) made thru the initial screening phase, second only to ISB, Hyderabad. We were then required to come up with a comprehensive Business Plan (24 pages) addressing the specific pain points of the innovator.

Our Team: Chandrama Naha, Viral Thaker and Me

It was amazing to see how each of us adapted and relatively became experts on-the-fly in the domain we started to work on:

  • Viral lead the Market & Competition Analysis and Risk Analysis & Mitigation.
  • Chandrama did all the Financial Analysis, Operations and Logistics.
  • I handled the Business Strategy, Marketing and Strategic Alliances.

It was a lot more fun that I’d ever imagined! With all the discussions, fights, disputes and still sticking together! 😉 😛 And to have moved a step closer towards real-world entrepreneurship.

It wouldn’t have been possible without Viral and Chandrama. Kudos to them! And special thanks to Disha and Aaron for all their support! 🙂


National UID Project – Status, Questions & Concerns

Project Summary:
http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Nilekani_unique_card_project_bill_is_Rs_3,000_crore

Implementation: Phase One – 100Million UIDs
Timeline: December 2010  – March 2010

Pilot State Chosen – Karnataka

Three Pilot tests completed by June 2010. Quoting Deccan Herald

About 20 sets of gadgets comprising a two-mega pixel web camera to capture image of the person, slab finger scanner to record the finger prints, single finger scanners, iris camera are being used. The whole process takes about five minutes or even less than that. The details are being collected across 14 centres in Mysore

Queries and Concerns

  • Technical Security
    How do they ensure protection and manipulation of information once it is stored in their repository? What threat does it pose to the nation if their database gets leaked or hacked?
  • Information Validation
    How do they ensure validation of information at the time of storage into the database? What if the information was manipulated at source?
  • Paperless ID Verification
    If a (secondary) purpose is to avoid the hassle of providing identity support documents, it may not be a bad idea to provide address details to the organization as well. Kinda like a directory service with access control options.
    Otherwise, the residents would still have to submit documents of address proof -and we’re back to square one?!
  • Authentication
    “The authority will not issue any cards” — How do they authenticate my identity otherwise?

Official Project Document:
Creating a Unique Identity Number for Every Resident in India — UDAI Working Paper -Version 1.1