IEEE SIGHT Day at the IEEE Kerala Section

IEEE SIGHT was inaugurated by Dr. Peter Staecker (IEEE President 2013) on 15 December 2011 in Trivandrum, Kerala, India and the first petition to form a SIGHT group was submitted on 28 April 2012.

In the year 2020, the SIGHT Steering Committee decided to celebrate 28 April as SIGHT day in recognition of the first SIGHT group petition submission.

The year 2020 started with a pandemic threat across the globe and the threat became a reality by the beginning of March. Most major cities and nations across all continents started to impose restrictions and complete lock downs. People were restricted to their respective homes or other places of stay and were not supposed to venture out to the public places.

Among these restrictions, IEEE Kerala Section SIGHT Group decided to hold a program to celebrate the first official SIGHT day on Tuesday, 28 April 2020. There were requests from many student branches under the section to conduct a webinar for the student members of their institution. Most of these requests were to conduct a webinar about SIGHT Group formation and possible activities that groups can undertake as SIGHT projects. This prompted us to conduct a program at the section level so that students, members from educational institutions, and others could participate.

The IEEE Kerala Section is very fortunate to have among its members Mr. Amarnath Raja, who conceived the idea of IEEE SIGHT and was the first Chair of IEEE Humanitarian Activities Ad-hoc Committee. He was instrumental in forming SIGHT within IEEE. Mr. Amarnath Raja agreed to be the speaker for the SIGHT Day seminar and spoke about “SIGHT, Formation of SIGHT Groups and SIGHT Projects.” The webinar was mainly for IEEE Student Members to understand about SIGHT, its structure, the process for forming a SIGHT group, and various projects being executed by different SIGHT groups across the world.

Amarnath Raja talked about the structure of IEEE and how HAC and SIGHT fit into the structure. SIGHT is a subcommittee of HAC, which in turn is a Committee of the IEEE Board of Directors. He touched upon the history of how humanitarian technology got introduced into IEEE and how that influenced the change in the tag line to “Advancing Technology for the Benefit of Humanity”. He mentioned how he was instrumental in introducing the idea of SIGHT groups under HAC to execute humanitarian engineering projects within the local community to help the underserved. He also explained the SIGHT group formation process, and showed several SIGHT projects executed by groups under various Sections.

Of the 143 participants registered for the online webinar, more than 65 attended the session. Participants asked many questions and got most of those questions answered. Overall the online session was a big success and helped students to get their doubts clarified before they start new SIGHT groups in their institutions.

Midhun M, Secretary, IEEE Kerala Section SIGHT was the moderator and host for this online
session. Jayakrishnan MC, Chair, IEEE Kerala Section SIGHT delivered the welcome speech
and Sooraj S. Kumar delivered the vote of thanks.