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Red Hat-IIT Bombay open source challengenews
Our Corporate Bureau
08 July 2005
Mumbai: Thirty-three students bagged the prestigious Red Hat Scholarships Awards 2004-2005, titled ''the lord of the code'' — an education initiative designed to encourage open source software developers.

The first prize was given to a team of students from Army Institute of Technology, Pune for their project, Virtual Private Server (VPS) 2.6.5-1.358.

Jointly conducted with the Kanwal Rekhi School of Information Technology at IIT Bombay, the programme had participants from across India. Interesting projects like college information system, virtual private server, mapping a ILip movement to meaning, a front end for ''C'' compiler were submitted for review.

After the award ceremony, Red Hat also announced the launch of a new Red Hat scholarships program for 2005-2006.

Congratrulating the winners, Javed Tapia, director, Red Hat India said, that the largest number of engineers graduated out of India and "given the right guidance, the next Linus Torvalds (the creator of Linux) can emerge out of our country." He mentioned that open source has enormous potential for innovation, that currently, 300 of the world''s 500 super computers run on Linux. Tapia said the initiative for this challenge stemmed from the fact that there is a need to localise open source in India, given that the nneds of Indian users are quite different from those of others. This scholarship is specifically targeted at Indian students, as opposed to the other open source challenges that are open to people the world over.

"The open source movement is extremely relevant to India''s future in the digital age," said Prof D B Phatak, dean of the Kanwal Rekhi School of Information Technology. "Our objective with the Red Hat scholarships programmes is to inculcate the open source philosophy into the minds of students. Looking at the rate of adoption of Open Source in India, there will be a great demand for open source engineers. "

"While India does a lot of software development, there are very few programs that recognise programming talent. Programmes like Red Hat scholarships can help improve software quality and encourage young talent in India, making the country more competitive," Dr Phatak added.

The first prize of Rs2 lakh was won by Amit Yadav, Pranay Pramod, Narender Kumar, Nishant Kumar from the Army Institute of Technology, Pune, for their project on ''virtual private servers'' (VPS).

The project aimed to eliminate the need for individual servers for hosting different websites by providing several virtual servers on a single computer. This enables several websites to be hosted simultaneously on a single machine while being independent of each other. The method proves cost effective by decreasing expenses required on hardware as well as power supply.

The Tiruchirapalli-based the National Institute of Technology''s Ramasamy C, Muthiah A, Hemant Kumar, R Saravana Manickam received the Rs1.5-lakh second prize for their project ''Octave Gtk''

Octave-Gtk aims to bring the full-featured toolkit like GTK to GNU Octave, to make scientific computing tools with a GUI front-end scripted from Octave itself. This directly translates to end users, as a new and powerful paradigm for constructing GUI''s with minimal knowledge of the constructs, and easy interface for scientific programmes, in a really short time.

Octave-Gtk is an Octave Gtk binding, which helps you access the GTK C API from the GNU Octave''s, interpreted language Octave. This cross language interoperability is achieved by Octave-Gtk binding code, which enables type safe, idempotent access of functions and objects from the either domains of Octave and C, in a clean, and transparent manner, hiding the details to the end user.

A ''college information system'' designed to impart technology teaching and handling various management activities, while allowing students to access various teaching resources; manage schedules, projects and deadlines and enabling teachers to grade and monitor students'' progress was ranked third. The system was designed by A K Karthikeyan, O Ratna Srikanth, .Karthikbabu, Vamshi Krishna Sadhu from the Scient Institute of Engineering & Technology, who were awarded Rs1 lakh.

Consolation prizes of Rs50,000 were awarded to six other colleges from Coimbatore, Bagalkot, Manipal, and Mumbai.

The Kanwal Rekhi School of Information Technology (KReSIT) formally started operation with the first batch of M.Tech students in 1999. The focus of the school is provide a close interaction with industry and research with a focus on integration of

the various ''compartments'', and entrepreneurship. The funding for starting the school has come from two alumni of IIT Bombay — Nandan Nilekhani and Kanwal Rekhi

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Red Hat-IIT Bombay open source challenge