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Bajinder Pal Singh
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In #Rome, some buildings shook for 20 seconds, according to La Repubblica newspaper | #Earthquake

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My piece on whether this is the first ever confirmed case of a human being dying due to a meteorite

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SCG supports 10 million Baht for the AIT Library Modernization Fundraising Campaign

Continuing with a concerted push into tapping resources from the private sector, the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) has been successful in engaging SCG, ASEAN’s leading business conglomerate. In its meeting on 28 January 2015, the SCG Board has approved a donation of 10 million Baht towards the fundraising campaign for the modernization of the AIT Library. The donation from SCG, catapults the Library fundraising into big leagues, and brings good cheer in the New Year.
Architect's rendition of the modernization of the AIT library.

Mr. Kan Trakulhoon, President and CEO of SCG, had pledged the 10 million THB to AIT President, Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, on 13 January 2015 during the meeting at SCG Headquarters arranged by Mr. Chavalit Ekabut, Vice President – Finance and Investment & CFO of SCG, and also former President of the AIT Alumni Association. On the AIT side were Chairman of AIT’s Executive Committee, Dr. Sahas Bunditkul, AIT President Prof. Worsak, and Dean of School of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Voratas Kacitvichyanukul.

“AIT is focusing on cementing ties with the private sector, particularly where AIT alumni have risen to the upper echelons,” Prof. Worsak remarked as he thanked SCG for its gesture. It is indicative of the path that AIT wishes to traverse, not only in raising resources, but also in bringing corporates closer to the Institute, President Worsak added.

President Kan expressed his admiration of the strategic role played by AIT in the development of human capital in the region, and especially in Thailand during its 55 years of existence. “SCG has conducted business following sustainable development principles and good corporate governance. We believe in the value of the individuals as stated in one of its four business philosophies and we have witnessed that human capital development is the key of the Group’s success over the past 100 years. We are committed to develop individuals especially of the younger  generation, who will be a key driving force for prosperity of Thailand and ASEAN region in particular. SCG is extremely happy to support the AIT library modernization campaign, and we hope that this 10 million THB will act a good starting point, and the modernization of the AIT library will become a reality this year in order to leverage the better condition of learning and studying for Asian students,” he said. The President and CEO of SCG added that he was delighted to learn from Vice President Chaovalit that SCG has so far employed the most number of AIT alumni among all private organizations in Thailand, and perhaps in the world.

AIT and SCG have been strategic partners since 2007, when the two signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at strengthening human capital development in Thailand and the region. Under President Kan’s leadership, SCG has operated with a strong sense of societal responsibility, with an emphasis on education.

In the meeting, President Worsak reported that the AIT Campus was inundated by the great Thailand flood in October 2011 for over two months which caused tremendous damage to the campus including the AIT Library. In order to revive the facilities of the library, AIT has planned to renovate as well as modernize the library with state-of-the-art facilities. With this planned modernization, AIT would create a full-fledged contemporary library for its international students, which will act as a showpiece in the region as a world-class learning facility. In the 21st century, libraries are no longer mere places to refer to books or to complete assignments, but they are also meeting and learning spaces with multimedia centers, digital repositories, and wonders of modern architecture, design and technology, Prof. Worsak added.

In order to achieve the above objective, Dr. Subin Pinkayan, AIT’s Board Chair, advised that AIT needs to improve its infrastructure by incorporating impeccable services and technology, and also create spaces for students to study and meet. Integrated Technology will be used to equip the multimedia stations as well as the online repositories containing e-books, subscription to online databases, online journals, and open-access publications. In this regard, AIT invited SCG to be one of the supporters to AIT’s library modernization campaign which aims to raise the required fund of 50 million THB.

Dr. Sahas thanked Mr. Kan for his generous support. “This would help strengthen the important role of AIT in the globalization age,” Dr. Sahas remarked. He also praised the business philosophy of SCG which is based on its strong belief that human capital being its most valuable asset. This philosophy has been proven correct courtesy of the competence of its employees which has propelled the rapid growth of SCG in the international arena in recent years.

For further inquiries about the AIT Library Modernization Project and offer to donate, please contact:
Ms. Chalita Lertwinyu, Assistant to the President.
Email: or Call 081-813-0535, or Visit

| #AIT #library #SCG #KanTrakulhoon #WorsakKanokNukulchai #SubinPinkayan #SahasBunditkul #ChalitaLertwinyu #bajinder #bajinderpalsingh

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Explaining the water, energy and food linkages in the Mekong region

Water, energy and food, which constitute three of the most critical factors for human existence, were the issues under discussion at the two-day International Expert Workshop on Water Energy Food Nexus: Opportunities and Challenges in Mekong Region” organized at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) on 22-23 January 2015.
Mr. Dipak Gyawali

Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Dipak Gyawali, former Minister of Water Resources, Nepal stated that “at the level of a farmer, everything including energy, food and water” are a nexus. “Nexus Nirvana or Nexus Nullity: A dynamic approach to security and sustainability in the water-energy-food nexus” was the theme of his keynote which addressed issues of scarcity, sustainability and security. Citing the example of the Kulekhani reservoir in the Himalayas, Mr. Gyawali mentioned how a cloudburst filled up a large percentage of the storage capacity causing a flood, though the river was averaging only 60 per cent of its monthly flow. Traversing the path of development narratives from critical thresholds to tipping points and planetary boundaries, Gyawali cited instance of pluralistic approaches in development.

Dr. Erik Kemp-Benedict, Director, Stockholm Environment Institute (Asia), delved on the complex issues in the dynamic environment in the Ayeyarwady basin with a focus on the Chindwin tributary. He remarked that Ayeyarwady is one of the least developed basins with conflicting uses of navigation, hydropower, irrigation and fisheries having multiple impacts. Dr. Surachai Sathitkunarat, Executive Director, APEC Center for Technology Foresight, and Director, Energy and Environment Department, National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office, Thailand, spoke on the issue of “Water-Energy-Food Foresight for Sustainable Economic Development and Eco-Resilience in ASEAN Countries.” Dr. Michel van der Valk, Scientific Secretary of the Netherlands National Committee, IHP-HWRP, The Netherlands provided a European view of the water nexus.

Other prominent speakers who participated in the two-day international workshop included Dr. Anthony Watanabe, Managing Director, Asia Clean Innovations; Prof. Raffaele Zanoli, Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences – Università Politecnicadelle Marche, Italy; Dr. Sirintornthep Towprayoon, Director, The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment, Center of Excellence on Energy Technology and Environment, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand; Dr. Thomas Hennig, Scientific Assistant, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Geography, Germany; Prof. Mukand S. Babel, AIT; Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal, AIT; Dr. Hezri Adnan, Program Director Technology, Innovation, Environment & Sustainability (TIES), Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Malaysia; Dr Antonio Loporto , Researcher, RSA-CNR - Water Research Institute, Italy; Dr. Antonio Acedo, Postharvest Specialist AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center South Asia Regional Office ICRISAT campus, India; Dr. Nguyen Mai Dang – Thuyloi University – Hanoi, Vietnam; and Dr. Adrian Wing-Keung, Associate Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

Dr Sangam Shrestha of AIT welcomed the delegates, while Dr. Anil Kumar Anal briefed the participants about the SEA-EU-NET program. Dr. Sangam, Dr. Anil and Dr. Abdul Salam of AIT are the three principal investigators in this project. This is the second in the series of two-day expert workshops organized under the project. The previous workshop titled “Managing Water Resources under Climate Uncertainty: Challenges and Opportunities” was held on 17-18 October 2013.

| #Mekong #AIT #DipakGyawali #ErikKempBenedict #SEI #StockholmEnvironmentInstitute #Ayeyarwady   #SurachaiSathitkunarat #APEC #bajinder #MichelvanderValk #AnthonyWatanabe #RaffaeleZanoli #SirintornthepTowprayoon #ThomasHennig #MukandSBabel #ShobhakarDhakal #HezriAdnan #AntonioLoporto #AntonioAcedo #AVRDC #ICRISAT #NguyenMaiDang #AdrianWingKeung #SangamShrestha #AnilKumarAnal #AbdulSalam

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35 Indian students return after two-week Winter program at AIT

The third batch of students from the JIS group of Institutions returned to India after completing their Winter training program at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). At a function organized at AIT on 15-16 January 2015, the students displayed their creative talents at a cultural program organized to mark the conclusion of their training.

“I am sure that the exposure to higher studies and research, along with AIT’s international environment will help you in your career,” said the Indian Ambassador to Thailand, H.E. Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla. Expressing his happiness at meeting so many young students, the Ambassador mentioned the world is looking up to a ‘Young India’ since it is estimated that in a few years time one-fourth of the world’s productive population will be in India. He stated that the average age of the team which was responsible for sending the Mangalam spacecraft into space was only 29 years, and that the Director of the program was 48 years.

Awarding certificates of participation to the students, H.E. Dr. Sahas Bunditkul, Chairman of AIT’s Executive Council stressed on the excellence of AIT’s educational programs. AIT President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai stated that Thailand and India have much in common, and most international students feel very much at home amidst AIT’s international environment. The President recalled his interaction with the previous two batches of students of the JIS group, hoping that many of them would hope to advance their careers by pursuing Master’s and Doctoral degrees at AIT.

Prof. Nitin Kumar Tripathi, who ran the “Winter Education Camp and Study Tour” appreciated the enthusiasm of the students, and their desire to enhance their learning. “All of us at AIT have been impressed by your participation and performance,” Prof. Tripathi remarked. Accompanying the students were Mr. Sajal Saha and Mrs. Ranjana Ray, both from the JIS Group. “We are one of the largest educational groups with 22 institutions including 14 engineering colleges,” Ranjana remarked as she she sought greater collaboration with AIT.

Participating students recalled that the previous camps to AIT had inspired them to introduce changes within their campus in India including a plastic-free green campus.The students also presented a cultural show and a video based on their experience at AIT. The two-week winter camp familiarises students with the academic and research offerings at AIT, introducing them to a wide range of academic and research fields.

| #AIT #JIS #HarshVardhanShringla #SahasBunditkul #WorsakKanokNukulchai #WinterCamp #bajinder

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AIT’s International Integrated Master’s Degree Program gets under way with maiden batch of 55 students

The International Integrated Master’s Degree Program at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) got off to a flying start with the first batch of 55 students from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh, India) arriving at AIT. Two events organized on consecutive days on 15-16 January 2015 heralded the beginning of the second phase of the program at AIT.
Prof. Nitin Kumar Tripathi (left) and H. E. Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

Indian Ambassador to Thailand, H. E. Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, while welcoming the students, remarked that the international exposure provided by AIT will help the students engage the global community in a more fruitful manner. “India is moving on to a new trajectory of growth, development and probity, and this experience will hold you in good stead,” Ambassador Shringla said. Mentioning the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead for the students, Ambassador Shringla remarked that AIT teaches students to be receptive of different cultures.

Expressing his delight at the arrival of a large cohort of students, the Ambassador remarked that during the past ten years, 22,000 new educational institutions have opened in India. “With more than half of the country’s population being less than 25 years old, and 60 per cent of the population being less than 35 years, the growth trajectory will be propelled by a young India,” he remarked. Mr. Anuj Kumar Gupta, Second Secretary, Embassy of India to Thailand, also attended the function.

At an event organized at the AIT Conference Center on 15 January 2-15, H.E. Mr. Shringla also complimented Prof. Nitin Kumar Tripathi, Director, Special Degrees Program, AIT, for initiating the program. The Ambassador distributed computer hard discs to the incoming students, which were gifted to the students by the SHE Foundation led by Dr. Divya Raj. SHE Foundation has been liaising between AIT and JNTUK for this program.

At an event organized on 16 January 2015, Chairman of AIT’s Executive Committee, H. E. Dr. Sahas Bunditkul congratulated the new students for their entry into AIT. “AIT is known for its academics and research, and the Institute provides a tremendous learning opportunity for students,” Dr. Sahas said. He recalled his visit to JNTU, Kakinada, where he had interacted with the students.

AIT President, Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, also complimented the students, and asked them to avail of the network that AIT provides to all students. The President said that this was a special program not only for the students, but also for AIT.

“This is the first program of its kind,” Prof. Tripathi informed the audience. The first batch of students have joined AIT after completion of three-and-a-half years of their Bachelor’s degree program in India, he said. “JNTU is famous for its Bachelor’s programs and AIT is well known for its Master’s and Doctoral programs,” Prof. Tripathi remarked, adding that the Integrated Master’s program provides students with a seamless career track.

The students were also joined by a cohort from JIS Group from Eastern India, who completed their winter training program.

A photogallery from the event can be viewed at this link:

More details about the International Integrated Master’s Degree Program are available at this link:

| #AIT #JNTUK #HarshVardhanShringla #NitinKTripathi #bajinder #SahasBunditkul #WorsakKanokNukulchai #Kakinada

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AIT’s MBA programs ranked among global leaders, tops in Thailand

The Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) program offered by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) have once again been ranked among top global programs. The latest rankings released by EdUniversal rates have placed three of AIT’s programs among the top 100 in the world, and five programs have been ranked among the top 20 in Far East Asia. All eight AIT programs are rated as the best in Thailand, and one program is rated among the top 20 worldwide.

Eduniversal Best Masters ranking 2014-15, which were announced on 24 December 2014, recognizes eight of AIT’s programs as among the best in the world and Far East Asia.

AIT’s Master of Agribusiness Management, which is jointly offered by the School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD) and the School of Management (SOM) breaks into the top 20 programs worldwide in the category of Agribusiness and Food Industry Management. The MBA program offered by SOM is also a global leader being rated 53rd in Entrepreneurship, and 54th in Sustainable Development and Environmental Management.

Leading in Far East Asia are AIT’s Professional Master’s in Banking and Finance, which is ranked ninth in Corporate Finance in Far East Asia, and Master’s in Management of Technology that is ranked 13th in Engineering and Project Management. The MBA program is ranked 16th among full-time MBA programs, and 18th in General Management; while the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) is ranked 16th among Executive MBA and Part-time MBA programs. All these programs are ranked in the top 200 among nine geographical zones. All these programs are ranked Number 1 in Thailand.

The Far East Asia zone includes Brunei, Cambodia, China, Guam (USA), Hong Kong (S.A.R.China), Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Macau (S.A.R. China), Mongolia, The Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

AIT has consistently come out on tops in the EdUniversal Best MBA rankings, and this is the third consecutive year that its programs have been rated among the best in the world, region and in Thailand.

More details are available at this link:

Details of the  individual categories where AIT programs are ranked are available at these links:

Agribusiness and Food Industry Management
Sustainable Development and Environmental Management
Corporate Finance
Engineering and Project Management
Full-time MBA
General Management
Executive MBA and Part-time MBA

| #MBA #AIT #EdUniversal #AgribusinessManagement #Entrepreneurship #FoodIndustry #SustainableDevelopment #EnvironmentalManagement

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Thai Bev wishes to tap into AIT’s internationality

A senior delegation of Thai Beverage Public Company officials, led by its Senior Vice President, Mr. Kosit Suksingha, visited the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) on 6 January 2015 seeking to tap into AIT’s internationality.

Interacting with AIT officials, Mr. Kosit remarked that Thai Bev is expanding operations in many countries, and it “wishes to diversify its human capital.” AIT, with its diverse international character, has much to offer to Thai companies that are expanding globally, he remarked

Leading a 12-member delegation, Thai Bev officials visited various sites within AIT before calling on Prof. Sivanappan Kumar, AIT’s Vice President for Academic Affairs. The delegation met with Prof. Kanchana Kanchanasut, Vice President for Research and Director, intERLab; Dr. Thammarat Koottatep of School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD); and Dr. Matthew Dailey of School of Engineering and Technology (SET).

Prof. Kumar welcomed the delegation, and elaborated on AIT’s internationality stating that AIT enables students to create life-long global networks. He elaborated on the vision of how AIT plans to serve as a model sustainable campus.

The visiting team from Thai Bev included Voradis Vinyaratn, Budsarin Pradityont, Waleeporn Sayasit, Yada Chucheum, Veerapat Reungdej, Thanchanok Athisaitrakul, Purim Suksiwanon, Sasithorn Pandum, Chayakorn Duangsuree, Thongchai Jitthamwaraporn, and Chokchai Voraviwat. AIT was represented by Prof. Kumar, Prof. Kanchana, Prof. C Visvanathan, Dean, School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD), Dr. Dailey. Dr. Jai Govind Singh of SERD, and Ms. Wannapa Plainsri, Coordinator, Royal Thai Government, External Relations and Communications Office (ERCO).

| #AIT #ThaiBev   #KositSuksingha #intERLab #ThammaratKoottatep   #KanchanaKanchanasut #SivanappanKumar #MatthewDailey #VoradisVinyaratn #BudsarinPradityont #WaleepornSayasit #YadaChucheum  #VeerapatReungdej #ThanchanokAthisaitrakul #PurimSuksiwanon  #SasithornPandum #ChayakornDuangsuree #ThongchaiJitthamwaraporn #ChokchaiVoraviwat
#JaiGovindSingh #WannapaPliansri #bajinder

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109 students from 15 countries join AIT

One hundred and nine students coming from 15 countries spread across three continents joined the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) for the January 2015 session. The incoming students also include 55 students from India, who have arrived at AIT under the International Integrated Master Degree Program.
Next to India, Thailand, France, Bangladesh and Myanmar are the other top countries of origin of the new students.

At the Orientation program held on 6 January 2014, Prof. Sivanappan Kumar, Vice President for Academic Affairs, AIT, stated that since its inception, AIT has remained committed to building capacity among young professionals. “You are joining AIT during momentous times, since the Asia-Pacific region is expected to be a leader in the 21st century,” Prof. Kumar remarked. He urged students to build interpersonal and leadership skills at AIT, along with satiating their quest for knowledge.

AIT alumni now hold prestigious positions in the government, business and industry, international organizations and the academia, Prof. Kumar said, adding that an AIT alumnus is the recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award.

Addressing the students, Prof. Kanchana Kanchanasut, Vice President for Research, stressed that one of the best ways to acquire knowledge was through research.

The incoming students were introduced to the three AIT schools by the respective deans, Prof. C Visvanathan of School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD), Prof. Voratas Kachitvichyanukul of School of Engineering and Technology (SET), and Dr. Donyaprueth Krairit of School of Management (SOM). President of the AIT Students Union, Ye Wana Hilang, informed the students of the activities of the Students union. Dr. Tenzin Rabgyal, Coordinator, Admissions and Scholarships, was the event host.

The students were also introduced to AIT policies including the Student Code of Conduct and Ethical Behavior, the AIT anti-harassment Policy, Academic Requirements, Languages and Student Welfare, Academic Requirements and Practices, Language Center Services and the English Language Requirements, Student Welfare, Placement and Counseling Services, Use of SIS, Computing & Network Facilities and Services and Internet Ethics, Student Accommodation and Facility Management, and
Educational Visa and Government Relations Services.

Photo Gallery from the Event is available at these links:

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China Ministry of Education officials visit AIT

A delegation of senior officials from the People’s Republic of China led by Mr. Chen Xiangyang, Director, Department of Personnel, Ministry of Education visited the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) on 28 December 2014 to explore possibilities of cooperation.
Mr.Sun Hui, Prof. Sivanappan Kumar, Mr. Chen Xiangyang, Mr. Guo Jin, Mr. Zhou Gaoyu, and Dr. Tenzin Rabgyal.

The delegation included representatives of Department of Personnel, Southwest University of Political Science and Law, and the Embassy of China to Thailand,

Meeting with Prof. Sivanappan Kumar, Vice President for Academic Affairs, AIT, Mr. Chen Xiangyang stated that he was keen to engage with AIT, and offered his help to strengthen AIT's relationship with the China Scholarships Council (CSC). Mr. Guo Jun, Director, Office of General Affairs, Department of International Cooperation and Exchange, Ministry of Education, suggested that AIT can engage with Chinese universities through their respective international offices. They were accompanied by Mr. Sun Hui, Program Officer, Department of Personnel, Ministry of Education.

Mr. Zhou Gaoyu, First Secretary of Education, Embassy of People’s Republic of China, stated that many Thai university officials have been visiting China to explore partnerships in the field of economy, culture and education. AIT has a long partnership with China, and the Chinese Embassy will support AIT in furthering its partnership with Chinese academic institutions.

Dr. Qin Jie, Deputy Director of International Cooperation and Exchange Office from Southwest University of Political Science and Law (SWUPL), Chongqing evinced interest in faculty and student exchange, and joint research programs with AIT.

Prof. Kumar briefed the visitors about the various academic offerings at AIT. Prof. Kumar spoke about the the partnership between AIT and the China Scholarship Council (CSC). He also informed them that two teachers from China are now serving at AIT to reach Chinese language.

SWUPL officials who joined the deliberations included Ms. Zhang Ya, Deputy Director of Student Affairs; Assoc. Prof. Pei Pu, Associate Dean of School of International Law; Mr. Gan Guoqian, Deputy Director of Postgraduate Department; and Mr. Wang Zeyin, Program Director of School International Law. Dr. Tenzin Rabgyal, Coordinator, Admissions and Scholarships, AIT, also attended the meeting.

AIT students who met with the delegation included Qi Xinjian, Aishajian Ali, Haoran Zhang, Yingping Dong, Huang Zhirong, Kebu Ma, Li Lu, Li Wenbo and Zhao Min.
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