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Researcher Spotlight: Karunakar A Kotegar


Dr. Karunakar A Kotegar is the Director of International Collaborations and a Professor in the Department of Data Science and Computer Applications at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) Manipal. With over 25 years' experience in teaching and research in data science and computer applications, he's a seasoned academic leader. His expertise also extends to global partnerships, as demonstrated by his recent acquisition of a SPARC Grant. This grant fuels his collaborative project on 'Digital Image Forensics and Security using Deep Learning' with Deakin University, Australia.

What are you working on right now? Currently I am working on the application of artificial intelligence to the domains of medical and security applications. 

You recently secured a SPARC grant from the Government of India to pursue the project 'Digital Image Forensics and Security using Deep Learning'. Can you tell me more about this project? The main aim of the project is to develop an efficient deep learning model for digital image forensics. This model will accurately determine the original camera used to take images under investigation and can also effectively spot fake images.

Beyond these ground-breaking advancements, the project also focuses on enhancing digital image security across India. This will be achieved through comprehensive training in critical areas, including digital watermarking, authentication, integrity verification, broadcast encryption, near-duplicate detection, data hiding, and multimedia content hashing. 

You will be collaborating with Deakin University, Australia on this project. Can you tell me about your research collaboration history with Deakin? Deakin University’s Professor Chang-Tsun Li will be the Principal Investigator from the Australian side on this project. Our collaboration with Prof. Li began with the joint supervision of a PhD student under the prestigious Deakin-Manipal Cotutelle PhD Scholarship. This partnership has yielded remarkable results, including the publication of four papers in prestigious Q1 journals and the presentation of two research works at major international conferences.

Outside of this project, MAHE and Deakin have a history of collaborating through joint research, academic agreements, and student mobility. We currently have a joint doctoral program and are actively seeking joint PhD students in the fields of science, engineering, and health. We're already working together in sports and nutrition science, and now we're aiming to expand our research partnership into more diverse interdisciplinary areas.

What does successful international research collaboration look like?

Successful international research collaboration is a mix of diverse expertise, seamless communication, and shared goals. 


It transcends borders, merging ideas and cultures to amplify innovation, solve complex problems, and advance human knowledge as a harmonious global endeavour.

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