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Industry-Academics Partnership

Much is discussed several times on Industry Academia alliance. Quite naturally so, with academia and industry getting increasingly into concerted efforts for bringing out best from within the individuals – initially in their role as pupil and subsequently as professionals. Well, academicians – especially from management discipline – put their ear to the ground to understand the latest trends outside the academic world. Having learnt the needs of society in general and industry in particular, they strive to appraise their students about the germane matters. Many a times they involve practitioners to ensure that students get pertinent and ample inputs on the latest issues. On this backdrop, the occasional jarring note harping on academicians’ inadequacies in turning the students into employable professionals comes as an unpleasant surprise. Let me express my reflections on that.

To some extent academicians and practitioners take sojourns in one another’s field: a few academicians getting into select consulting assignment and a few working professionals sharing their expertise via guest lectures in varsities. Still, preachers and practitioners are somewhat like sprinters in a 4 X 100 relay; role of the second picks up where the role of the first one is over. So, in the first place, a certain asymmetry is bound to be there, as their efforts are not simultaneous, but one after another. Secondly, the second runner catches up the speed by starting his jog a little before the job of the first one. So the first sprinter is at disadvantage because the clock begins to tick for him when he initiates from the speed of zero. In the similar way, an academician has to handhold the students when their tempo is almost zero.

Having said that, let me illustrate with a few examples how (and how much) efforts are put by B-schools like SITM – specializing in Telecom management – toward keeping their students abreast with current affairs. Various documents – corporate cases, white papers from surveying companies, annual reports, incidents, transparency related declarations etc. – all have been drawn from the latest and relevant happenings, with references to pinpointed pages/ sections within those large documents. Take a look at following:

Documents from wide sources
• Codebook – an eLearning tool on Cryptography – by Simon Singh
• Security Policy of London School of Economics, 2016
• Cyber Forensic Guide from Association of Chiefs of Police, UK
• Demo of the encryption tool – VeraCrypt (earlier called TrueCrypt)

Time-transcending Classics
• MIT Guide on Lock-picking, 1991
• Glasgow Airport Attack, Business Continuity Journal, Vol. 2, Issue 3, 2007
• Aon Risk Maturity Index, 2013
• Crypto-story: Chinese Labyrinth – by Dr. Carsten Elsner, 2007

Latest Happenings
• Risk Framework of Airtel Annual Report 2017, pages 99-104
• Digital Identity Guidelines from NIST, June 2017
• CAG orders TSPs to pay the fees on under-reported revenue, CAG Order 11 of 2017
• Initiative of revealing the tower radiation, Tarang Sanchar website, May 2017

2017 security reports from Cisco and Symantec were also made a part of study. Stretching the point to most recent events, in the month of Feb 2018, students studied and made presentations on some incidents that were reported by the press in Jan 2018, e.g. Strava’s fitness tracking data spilled government secrets, 2,000+ WordPress websites infected with a keylogger, Lenovo’s fingerprint scanner has a hardcoded password, etc.

I am sure, it will help all to appreciate how the first sprinter is exerting his best!

-Dr. Pramod Damle

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