Dr. Akinori Nishihara, Director, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE], Region 10,

Mr. Stephen Welby, Executive Director and COO, IEEE, Dr. K.R. Suresh Nair, General Chair, TENCON 2019, Dr. Sameer S.M., Chair, IEEE Kerala Section,

प्रियसहोदरीसहोदरनमारे[Priya Sahodaree Sahodaranmare], ल्लारकुम्एन्टेनमस्कारम[Ellavarkkum Ente Namaskaram].

It gives me great joy to inaugurate TENCON 2019, the Annual Technical Conference of the Region Ten of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers[IEEE], popularly known as I Triple E.

Let me begin by complimenting the Kerala Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for organizing this Conference of the Asia Pacific region which encompasses India, China, Japan, Australia, South Asia and South East Asia. I am happy that the Kerala Section of I Triple E is one of the largest and most vibrant in the world, with over 9000 members and many global awards to its credit.

With India and Japan accounting for almost 75 percent of the Asia Pacific membership of the Institute, and Kerala being one of the most vibrant sections, it is befitting that TENCON-2019is being organized here, as a celebration of Engineering, Science and Innovation. I am told that this is the second time that India is hosting the Conference, the first being in Hyderabad in 2008.

It is a matter of pride that among the 1200 attendees representing 19 nations and various categories like students, professionals, researchers, academicians and industrialists, quite a good number of participants are from India and more specifically, from Kerala.

I have been informed that the four day TENCONwould provide a platform for discussions on ten most relevant emerging technologies including Data Science, Robotics, Power Electronics, Computational Intelligence and Healthcare technologies. Such platforms are an encouragement for the academia and practicing professionals of Engineering and Technology to exchange ideas and research experience for the benefit of society. The students also get an opportunity to listen to and interact with the experts in frontier areas of technology.

As we all know, we are living in a technology-driven world. Today, technology has become a major determinant of the return on capital and it even impacts the strength of an economy. Yet, many policy makers feel that if one wishes to found a more just and rational social order, it is not enough to count on the notions of technology alone. It is worthwhile to recall the comment of Thomas Picketty, the French economist, in his book Capital in the 21st Century :-“Technology, like the Market, has neither limits nor morality”.

Such thinking may have arisen from the general perception that technologists live on an Ivory Tower, distanced from society due to their professional pursuits.  However, from the social point of view, technology has to be guided by a level of moral and ethical thinking, especially when there is some technology in every area of life. The importance of such moral commitment is also evident in the theme of this Conference - Technology, Knowledge and Society.After all, every technology must utilize existing knowledge and generate new knowledge for the benefit of society.

Incidentally, I feel it my duty to inform the delegates from outside Kerala about how our young technologists utilized technology and knowledge for the benefit of Kerala society, during the devastating natural calamities in the last two years. In fact, the most meaningful use of technology and social media was seen during those disastrous days. With the Mantra of Advancing Technology for Humanity, our young professionals could set up a web-portal in a few hours and help to coordinate relief and rescue efforts, by organizing a team of 57000 volunteers across the State.

I am glad that this Conference has Special Tracks on Industry, Humanitarian activities, Women in Engineering etc. Coming to Industry, Kerala has been encouraging universities and colleges to ensure linkage with the Industry so that students understand the requirements of the job scenario. There has also been great emphasis on skill development to improve their employability.  Besides, Kerala has a very active Start Up ecosystem which has been responding to the needs of the Industry as well as society. For instance, the recently conducted Huddle Keralahad showcased a venture which helped in bridging the gaps in the education of hearing impaired students.

Earlier, one of our Start ups had created a Robot to clean the sewers and man holes and it is now being tested in other States as well. All these prove that our technologists have a genuine concern for society. 

However, one of the issues that needs to be looked into, is the relatively low participation of Women in core engineering jobs.  I am not overlooking the huge presence of women in the Software industry. But, mere presence does not guarantee the right level of participation in the significant areas of work. We need to conduct a social audit to ascertain the true levels of access allowed to women in high-end operations and research in engineering and technology.

Technological Conferences like this play an important role in encouraging the spirit of research in Engineering. Today, majority of engineering graduates enter jobs even before they finish their course. In their haste to be employed, they often ignore higher studies and research options. And, it is well known that India badly needs more researchers in Engineering sciences.

I hope that the paper presentations would encourage at least some of the students to take up research as their future activity.  When more people come into research, we can certainly expect better solutions which would make life easier for the common man. There is nothing more beautiful than knowledge manifesting in our actions. Karmani Vyajyathe Prajna, is what our Upanishads have taught us. 

Once again, I greet all the delegates of TENCON 2019and wish I Triple Eand this conference all success.


लोका: समस्ता: सुखिनो भवन्तु ।

[Lokah: Samasta: Sukhino Bhavantu]

Valare Nanni

Jai Hind