Until early 1973 there were less than 10 IEEE members in the state of Kerala. However in 1973 many IEEE members came to Trivandrum to work with the newly established KELTRON (Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation). An effort was made to form a subsection as a part of the then India Section. However for various reasons including unrenewed membership of some of the signatories (minimum 15 required) of the application, led to a delay. Another effort was made with many extra signatures of members. By that time Bombay Section was formed and Kerala Subsection came into existence in early 1974. Mr M R Sitharaman then with KELTRON was the main person behind this.
Mr KPP Nambiar was elected the Chairman, with DS Rane as Vice Chairman, RM Vasagam as Secretary and SP Rao as Treasurer. The Subsection became very active and had regular technical meets, some of them jointly with the Institution of Engineers. The activities increased manifold. In its first year itself the Kerala Subsection had the honour of hosting Dr Harold Chestnut (then immediate Past President of IEEE). He was accompanied by Mr FC Kohli. With the formation of India Council, Kerala Subsection was made a part of the Bangalore Section, The Kerala Subsection also hosted the ACE 1980 ( Annual Convention and Exhibition) of the India Section. The event was a grand success. IEEE President for 1980, De. Leo Young graced the occasion. The activities of the subsection increased further and a need was felt for conversion to a Section.
The first petition for conversion to a Section was made in 1981, but for some reason or the other it did not progress. 2 more efforts were made. Finally, in 1983 Dr IG Sarma, then Chairman of Bangalore Section forwarded the application with the Section’s consent, and IEEE Kerala Section was approved. The office bearers were: KPP Nambiar- Chairman, DS Rane- Vice Chairman, NT Nair- Secretary, AA Suhair- Treasurer.
The section formation gave a big boost to the activities. The first IEEE student chapter was formed at the Engineering College Trivandrum with Dr Gomathy as the advisor.
From the outset, IEEE Kerala Section has been noted for its vibrant activities. Several innovations from IEEE Kerala Section in organizing activities for students as well as professionals have been appreciated and replicated by the global IEEE community.
IEEE Kerala Section has been organizing high quality, high impact technical events including several international conferences in the recent past. The Humanitarian Technology initiative (which later led to formation of SIGHT), the first ever IEEE Job Fair for Undergraduate Students, the formation of LINK (Local Integrated network of Kerala) – a framework connecting all the Student branches in the Section, which has been replicated globally, and the coining of “Joy of Volunteering”, have been some of the humble initiatives that trace back its root to Kerala Section
The vibrancy of IEEE Kerala Section is at pioneering front. Well supported by the different AGs – Young Professionals. WIE and Life Members, they form the backbone of some of the major activities in the Section. The presence of 15 Technical Societies add a technical focus to the community and provide them with a dimensional focus.
IEEE Kerala Section Student Activities – LINK
Local Integrated Network of Kerala (IEEE Students), abbreviated LINK, is an innovative concept that originated in IEEE Kerala Section, India. The primary aim of LINK is networking student branches in an effective way, thereby increasing the value in IEEE Student membership. LINK was formally inaugurated by past IEEE President, Mr. Cleon Anderson in January 2005. Since its inception LINK has achieved tremendous results, causing an exponential increase in student branches and student activities in IEEE Kerala Section. Today, LINK has become a synonym for IEEE Kerala Section Student Activities. The model of LINK was adopted by IEEE Region 10 as R10 GINI (Global Integrated Network of IEEE Students). The founders of LINK went on to receive the MGA innovation award in 2008.