Vyshak Iyengar, now an alumnus of Bangalore-based RNS Institute of Technology (RNSIT), had a brilliant idea during his college days. Unlike many engineering students across the nation, Vyshak was fortunate to have a favorable ecosystem around him, with which he could materialize his idea into an entrepreneurial venture – Cookie Jar. A media tech startup that focuses on creating great content online and offline, Cookie Jar has been curating content that aims to inspire aspiring and budding entrepreneurs for the past 16 months. The company has already hosted over 1000 people with several Forbes featured personalities, fund managers and investors as speakers.
Vyshak’s success as an entrepreneur is one of the many stories that we would get to hear when we visit RNSIT. “Many of our students have turned entrepreneurs,” says Dr. H.N. Shivashankar, Director, RNSIT. The institute has an excellent Entrepreneurship Development Cell, which is monitored by a core committee comprising of Dr. M K Venkatesha, Principal and Dr. H N Shivashankar, Director and other HoDs from different departments. This committee regularly meets and appraises the progress. Dr. Sreenivasan T, Professor & HoD Mechanical Engineering is the Chairman of RNSIT-EDC committee and Santosh Basavaraj, Assistant Professor, Department of MBA is a faculty coordinator to executive the entrepreneurial programs.
Dr. Shivashankar shares, “RNSIT – Entrepreneurship Development Cell (RNSIT-EDC) has signed a MoU with Entrepreneurial Development Institute of India (EDII) to execute its entrepreneurial activities. EDII is a nodal agency associated with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India to implement entrepreneurial programs at science and technology colleges.” In addition to that, the institute invites CEOs of various companies to the campus and provides inspirational talks to students. V G Siddhartha, CEO of Cafe Coffee Day, Arun K Chittilappilly, CEO of Wonderla and B.N Satyesh, Vice President of Tejas, Juniper Networks are the few recent visitors of RNSIT.
Innovation is the Buzzword
To encourage research and innovation in the campus, RNSIT has six recognized VTU research centers wherein more than 40 research scholars (some of them our own faculty members) are pursuing their research in various disciplines. The college has more than 22 PhD holders among the faculty who guide the research scholars, submit proposals to MODROBS, AICTE, DST, VGST, DRDO and many more, share their knowledge through delivering lectures (both in-house and at premium platforms), and conduct workshops and seminars to upgrade researchers. “At RNSIT, research is being encouraged among teachers and students in a well-defined, structured mode. Teachers are deputed (with salary) for completing their PhD work. Flexible workload, extra leave every month for discussion with the external guide/experts, grant of financial assistance in case of national and international paper presentations including TA, lodging and boarding, awarding cash incentives to the project coordinators on obtaining research proposals from national boards such as AICTE, VTU and LRDE, and so on are some of the schemes currently implemented at RNSIT,” explains Dr. Shivashankar.
At RNSIT, every department’s research proposals are thoroughly scrutinized, and modifications suggested by a research council comprising of the Director, Principal, HODs and senior professors before submitting to the concerned bodies such as VGST, NRB and many more. The institute arranges guest lectures from emeritus professors and noted scientists for identifying new research potentials and to encourage faculty for registering for PhD as well as to gear up activities of research scholars who are pursuing research. Dr. Shivashankar adds, “The UG and PG students are encouraged to publish their project work in reputed journals. For PG students the publishing of papers in recognized conferences is insisted upon before accepting their final thesis. Faculties are deputed to participate in workshops, seminars and conferences. Workshops on research methodology, usage of tools such as Latex, MATLAB, and so on and plagiarism check (and concerned ethical issues) are regularly held.”
At present, RNSIT conducts numerous research projects in the campus. Current Projects being carried out include “Detection of ANTI-Personal mines using GPR” and “Analysis and implementation of migration algorithms for GPR image” in EC department. These projects helped in Establishing a GPR Lab with AICTE & LRDE funding (of more than 40 lakhs) wherein more than 15 antenna designs were carried out by PG & UG students. The other ongoing research projects include “Diagnosis Tool for Lung Nodules that helps in Analyzing Tumors with the aid of CT Image Databases using CBIR Techniques” (VTU Sponsored), “System for Image Retrieval from Medical Image Databases by associating Content and Semantic of Images” (AICTE Sponsored), at CSE & ISE Departments, “Synthesis and Characterization of Vanadate Nanophosphors for Display Applications” (VGST Sponsored) at Physics department, “Investigation on Mean Convexities and results to Mean Inequalities” (VTU Sponsored), at MCA Dept. “Developing a nano sensor based on microcantilever suitable for the detection and quantification of an alpha glucosidase inhibitor “Voglibose” used in very low concentration” (carried out at IIT Bombay under INUP scheme), and the list hardly gets an end.
“The research activities at RNSIT aim at generating quality projects from teachers and students starting from second year onwards. In this regard, an open house project exhibition of pre-final year and final year students of various departments is conducted on a regular basis,” pinpoints Dr. Shivashankar. On the other side, RNSIT considers global partnerships as critical to the development of standards. In this respect, RNSIT has tied up with approved partners to provide ‘Google Certification’, ‘IBM Certification’ and ‘Microsoft certification’ to the programs delivered to the pre-final year students. Dr. Shivashankar adds, “We are also sending our students to TI – Texas Instruments design contests, National Instruments (Lab VIEW) project competitions and so on. Regular international conferences are held on-campus with partnerships from IEEE for paper publications, panel discussions, resource persons and many more.”
RNSIT keeps an active interface with the industries. STUDSAT – with ISRO and VTU Institutions (for student satellite project), Co-cubes, Olive Board & Monster – College Platform (for Placement Practice Test), Aspiring Minds Student Evaluation System, IBM Academic Initiative, Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance, Aricent Academic Initiative are few to mention among them. The institute also conducts several training programs on campus with industrial collaborations. Campus connect/Jump Start program for M/s. Infosys / M/s. WIPRO placed students; Head Start Foundation Program by Accenture for high performing students; IBM certification program on software like JAVA, Tie up with industries such as Schneider, Cerner, Nokia, LRDE, BHEL and many more for facilitation of Internships and project work to third and final year students, hands-on learning on latest controller boards from Texas Instruments, National Instruments (for LabVIEW training), ESA and so on Special Training through IEEE Chapter on Python, Android, Cloud Computing, IBM tools and many more are few significant ones.
Today, RNSIT is a proud institution, as its students regularly bag ranks at the state level – VTU convocations. It invariably includes the FIRST rank in core disciplines with competition from over 220 affiliated colleges under VTU. Dr. Shivashankar proudly says, “Our students have also won the 2500$ IEEE international design contest (ECE Dept.), BITES 2019 state level first prize in project contest (ECE Dept.)., CSI paper presentation awards (CSE Dept.), Shristi -18 State level project exhibition – 1,2 and consolation prizes, every year state level KSCST project sponsorships for selected projects across all disciplines, IETE -18 best student award (ECE Dept.), prizes in inter-state national level competitions (Mech, EEE, ECE Departments), TI design contests, Cypress semiconductor design contest.”
In the coming years, RNSIT aspires to become one of the top five colleges in Karnataka, while turning into a fully residential campus with quarters and self-sufficient amenities provided for the faculty, so as to turn the institute to one of high excellence on par with the NITs. “We want to improve Research & Development and consultancy with the two-fold objective of enabling our faculty to conduct their research and also earn revenue for the college. Setting up an Institute-industry interaction cell and an Entrepreneurship and Development Cell are envisaged to promote the industry interaction with the institute and also inculcate entrepreneurship ventures amongst the students,” concludes Dr. Shivashankar.
Dr. H.N. Shivashankar, Director
With over 48 years of teaching experience, Dr. Shivashankar is associated with RNSIT from 2003. He has published several research papers and two of them have fetched him gold medals. He has authored popular books such as Basic Electronics, C Programming and many more. He was a Fulbright scholar and was at the University of Southern California. He has served UVCE as a distinguished Professor & Principal and also as Chairman of Department of Electronics and Computer Science and Dean, Faculty of Engineering of Bangalore University. He has also served as Executive Council member of VTU. He was honoured with Rotary Award “Guru Vandana” (2013) by Karnataka Governor & “Teacher of the Millennium Award” for his valuable services to the community and students in particular.