India’s technology sector has been growing by leaps and bounds, and standards development activities have followed suit, especially during the past decade. Sri Chandrasekaran has witnessed this growth firsthand. As chair of the IEEE-Standards Association (IEEE-SA)’s first Standards Interest Group, he has spent the past two years helping to promote the country’s standards development activities in areas such as the smart grid, cloud computing, and telecommunications.
Chandrasekaran is now playing a much larger role. He was recently appointed IEEE-SA’s senior regional program manager, responsible for creating and overseeing new standards-related initiatives and programs in India. Before he joined the IEEE-SA staff earlier this year, he worked for 17 years at Freescale Semiconductor (formerly Motorola), in Noida, India, where he helped develop internal software tools and methods.
He was chair of the technical group tasked with Verilog-AMS Analog and Mixed Signal language development, which integrates IEEE 1364 and IEEE 1800 standards with the Verilog A standard modeling language.* In 2011 he was appointed chair of the IEEE-SA India Special Interest Group—a position he will continue to hold while working at IEEE’s office in Bangalore.
As India’s technology sector grows, so must its involvement in standards development, Chandrasekaran says.
“India has a vibrant engineering community with a large presence from all technology areas,” he says. “It’s also moving away from being a service-based industry. Recently, we have seen a number of India-based R&D companies compete in the global market.”
India’s technological growth presents IEEE-SA with two major challenges: getting technology companies to comply with international standards and enticing representatives from government, industry, and academia to become involved with the standards development process.
“It’s important for the tech community in India to participate to ensure that products developed in India are compliant with standards in global and local markets. And it is important that standards being developed are relevant and applicable to India,” Chandrasekaran says.
The country also faces unique challenges, he points out. Although the technology industry is growing quickly, many rural communities still lack electricity. This presents IEEE-SA in India with another responsibility: developing standards with local conditions in mind.
“India is increasingly relying on distributed resources, including solar, wind, and hydraulic power, to bring electricity to communities that do not have it,” he says. This means IEEE-SA members in India must educate local communities on the importance of smart grid standards, including the IEEE 1547 standard for connecting a microgrid to a main electric power system. Adopting these standards, Chandrasekaran explains, will ultimately help rural communities get access to power while keeping energy costs down.
GETTING THE WORD OUT
Introducing standards development in India is only half the battle for the IEEE-SA. First, it must bring together representatives from industry, government, and academia and educate them about the process. Then it’s necessary to get them to work together. Chandrasekaran sees his most important task in the role of senior regional program manager as reaching out to these groups and fostering collaboration.
“We’ve developed technology-specific outreach programs at different organizations in which we give an overview of the standards development process and explain how engineers can participate in our various programs,” Chandrasekaran says. IEEE-SA members also attend conferences around the country to share information about their standards activities and provide details how organizations can get involved.
“I am a strong believer in the benefits India can derive from an increased engagement with IEEE-SA,” he says. “Fortunately, I have seen an enormous interest from the community to get involved in standards.”
*this article has been corrected from the original version