IEEE Kerala Section History
IEEE Kerala Section – The Genesis
Until early 1973 there were less than 10 IEEE members in the state of Kerala. However in 1973 many IEEE members came to Trivandrum to work with the newly established KELTRON (Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation). An effort was made to form a subsection as a part of the then India Section. However for various reasons including unrenewed membership of some of the signatories (minimum 15 required) of the application, led to a delay. Another effort was made with many extra signatures of members. By that time Bombay Section was formed and Kerala Subsection came into existence in early 1974. Mr M R Sitharaman then with KELTRON was the main person behind this.
Mr KPP Nambiar was elected the Chairman, with DS Rane as Vice Chairman, RM Vasagam as Secretary and SP Rao as Treasuree. The Subsection became very active and had regular technical meets, some of them jointly with the Institution of Engineers. The activities increased manifold. In its first year itself the Kerala Subsection had the honour of hosting Dr Harold Chestnut (then immediate Past President of IEEE). He was accompanied by Mr FC Kohli. With the formation of India Council, Kerala Subsection was made a part of the Bangalore Section, The Kerala Subsection also hosted the ACE 1980 ( Annual Convention and Exhibition) of the India Section. The event was a grand success. IEEE President for 1980, De. Leo Young graced the occasion. The activities of the subsection increased further and a need was felt for conversion to a Section.
The first petition for conversion to a Section was made in 1981, but for some reason or the other it did not progress. 2 more efforts were made. Finally, in 1983 Dr IG Sarma, then Chairman of Bangalore Section forwarded the application with the Section’s consent, and IEEE Kerala Section was approved. The office bearers were: KPP Nambiar- Chairman, DS Rane- Vice Chairman, NT Nair- Secretary, AA Suhair- Treasurer.
The section formation gave a big boost to the activities. The first IEEE student chapter was formed at the Engineering College Trivandrum with Dr Gomathy as the advisor.
IEEE Kerala – A special Note
IEEE movement in Kerala may be considered to have run parallel to the establishment of KELTRON, India’s premier electronics development corporation in govt. sector. The top management of KELTRON who had already understood the role of professional societies especially, IEEE in R&D, Management etc, encouraged more young engineers to get associated with it and enjoy the benefits of technology inputs flowing through IEEE. Other major organizations like VSSC, KSEB, Engineering colleges at Trivandrum (CET), Quilon (TKM), Calicut(REC) etc. also joined this movement and enriched the activities.
Weekly Technical Talks
Another unique feature of IEEE Kerala initiative was the joint working with other sister professional societies like the Institution of Engineers (India), Computer Society of India, and IETE, in organizing technical talks, seminars, workshops etc. In fact this model was later adopted in other parts of India.