Saturday, September 10, 2016

World’s Premier Database Management Forum VLDB Back in India

The 42nd International Conference on Very Large Databases (VLDB) made its return to India nearly twenty years later at The Leela Ambience Hotel. The five day-long conference saw attendance from academicians, industry experts, and entrepreneurs. Persistent Systems was the key organizing sponsor for this event.

First VLDB conference was held in 1975 and brought to India over two decades later in 1996, where it had a great impact on the database community of the country.

The conference comprised of two keynotes by renowned academicians- Professor Ion Stoica and Dr. Anand Rajaraman. Professor Ion Stoica from University of California, Berkeley shared his insights on the Big Data revolution, while Dr. Anand Rajaraman, a well-known serial entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, spoke on data-driven disruption.

Besides these, the event included an array of research paper presentations, tutorials, workshops and demos.

In conjunction with the VLDB conference, Persistent Systems also hosted a day long Digital India event on 5th September, 2016. The event aimed at addressing large-scale data problems of India due to its population and size and highlighting how technology can be instrumental in solving them.

The event was graced by Union Minister for Law and Justice and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad as the chief guest. He said, “The Prime Minister’s vision is for all the citizens of the country to be connected and have easy access to information. For this vision to be a reality, there are many India specific challenges that need to be tackled as discussed by representatives from both the academia and industry here at the Digital India and VLDB conference.  These challenges offer a unique opportunity to both the start-up community and more established players in the industry to innovate and find solutions that will disrupt the status quo while tapping the USD 350 billion opportunity Digital India holds for the technology sector.”

The Digital India event comprised of a keynote by Padma Prof. D.B Phatak from the Department of CSE, IIT-B followed by a panel discussion about India’s journey from data poor to data rich. A pan-India data-centric hackathon was organized by Persistent Systems and ACM at the Digital India event. The hackathon, which saw participation from about 9065 teams, consisted of online and offline participation revolving around 5 key themes including healthcare, employment, citizen services, social media and government and agriculture. Participants came together to build data driven applications and bring in big data and analytics expertise around the mentioned themes. In the concluding ceremony of the Digital India Hackathon, the first prize of two lakh fifty thousand rupees was won by a sensor and augmented reality based smart healthcare solution developed by Team Healthcare123.

The second prize of one lakh rupees went to Team StringIt, who developed a block-chain based election voting system.

Commenting on the success of VLDB 2016, Anand Deshpande, Chairman and Managing Director, Persistent Systems said, “We are delighted to bring VLDB back in India again after twenty years and are proud to showcase an outstanding program. VLDB conferences have always been a testament to the importance of researchers exchanging ideas with practitioners. The ideas that have been exchanged during the course of the conference underline the fact that data and data driven solutions will play a pivotal role in the years ahead, including in the success of the Digital India initiative.”
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