Research should benefit the society: Prof. P.J. Narayanan, Director, IIIT-H

Prof PJ Narayanan, Prof Guy Brown Promod Varma at Silver Jubilee R&D Showcase inaugural

January 2023, Hyderabad: IIIT Hyderabad’s Silver Jubilee annual R&D Showcase this year on campus was a big draw. As this year coincides with the institute’s silver jubilee, the Showcase was themed Tech Alchemy, from Ag > Au representing completion of 25 years of the institute, now moving forward to its next milestone.

The inaugural session of the Showcase marked with keynote talks by Mr Pramod Varma, Chief Architect Aadhaar & India Stack, CTO EkStep Foundation, Architect sunbird.org and becknprotocol.io and Prof Guy Brown, Head of Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield.

Dr. Pramod Varma is a Chief Architect of Aadhaar, India’s digital identity program, that has successfully covered more than 1.3 billion people. He is also the chief architect for various India Stack layers such as eSign, Digital Locker, and Unified Payment Interface (UPI), and Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA), and all of which are now working at population scale in India. He also played an integral role in architecting India’s digital health infrastructure (ABDM), vaccination & immunization infrastructure (Co-WIN and DIVOC), and Unified Health Interface (UHI). Speaking on the occasion , the industry keynote speaker said

No matter how small you are, but you must make a large impact. We commenced work on vaccination & immunization infrastructure (Co-WIN and DIVOC) two months before the Prime Minister launched the Vaccination program. We were a small people, just four, but we made sure we impacted a billion people. We knew a systematic approach to the vaccination was important. Vaccinating myself was very important to open up the economy. It was very important to get people back to work.

He gave a broad umbrella view of India’s Digital transformation. There are more students studying India’s work and writing papers at Harvard, New York University than Indian students doing. That is not acceptable. We need more Indian students studying Architectural Patterns Digital platforms, how the program is rolled out, because we are one billion people. How did we achieve that? Write papers on these things. We can’t do, we are not good at writing papers, he told students.

Speaking on the occasion Prof P J Narayanan, Director IIITH said, It’s always a pleasure to share our research with the public. As a research-focussed institution, the enthusiasm of the students and the results of their research are what we cherish most and present to the world. The Showcase celebrates the spirit of Research & Development where faculty and students share their work with the public in keeping with our endeavour to promote applied research that benefits society”.

The Showcase also included 300+ research posters, demos and models from IIITH’s 28 research centres, confluences, research reflections and a research startup showcase by Centre for Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). There was also a showcase of seminal research works from 1998 – 2023.

It provided a unique opportunity for viewers to interact with faculty and students to understand their work in more tangible forms through demos, prototypes and presentations in keeping with the institute’s endeavour to promote applied research that benefits society.

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