Category Archives: Education

CM to give awards to nine at fest


The chief minister will present Banga Ratna to nine persons from north Bengal for their contribution in different fields at the inauguration of the Uttar Banga Utsav here on Monday.

Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to launch the eight-day cultural fest at Kanchenjungha Stadium here.

Official sources have said among the recipients of the Banga Ratna are Manas Dasgupta (economist from Darjeeling), Dinesh Chandra Roy (researcher on folk culture of the region from Jalpaiguri), Prem Kumar Bhutia (social worker of Kalimpong) and Debkumar Mukherjee (educationist from Cooch Behar).

The others are Malin Das (folk music instrumentalist of Cooch Behar), Dilip Kumar Roy (writer from Alipurduar), Prem Bihari Thakur (retired teacher from North Dinajpur), Tapas Kundu (researcher on Molecular Biology from South Dinajpur) and Radhagobinda Roy (social worker of Malda).

“Each award will carry a prize of Rs 1 lakh, a shawl and a certificate.

Apart from the awards, a total of 54 meritorious students from eight districts of north Bengal will get Rs 10,000 each from the chief minister.

Thirteen of them will get the assistance at the inaugural and the rest will be provided with the amounts by the administrations of their respective districts,” an official of the organising committee of the festival said.

source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Home> West Bengal / by Bireswar Banerjee / January 08th, 2018

IIM reunion kicks off


The IIM Calcutta’s 1992 alumni returned to the campus on Saturday to relive their student days with batchmates Sonya Dutta Chowdhury and Swati Kaushal who chucked corporate careers to turn authors.

Each year, winter marks the homecoming of the batch that graduated from Joka 25 years ago. And the occasion is called “Reminiscence”.

The reunion started with a two-day carnival that would include a guided tour of the campus, a discussion with the director and dean, interaction with former professors and current students among others.

“I cannot imagine being a writer without my stint in the management school,” Kaushal told her batchmates. “Because I went to management school, worked with Nestle, interacted with advertising agencies, I was subjected to a lot of communication… that’s what brand management is about.”

Dutta Chowdhury said: “MBA teaches you a lot of communication, writing, analysis and storytelling.”

Instances of IIM graduates shunning corporate careers to turn authors is not new, though. Amish Tripathi, who was at IIM Calcutta to collect the distinguished alumnus award on November 14, is perhaps the most successful example with his Shiva trilogy.

source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Home> Calcutta / by Special Correspondent / December 24th, 2017

Masterclass for scientists


The Newton Bhabha Fund on Thursday started a workshop for scientists on the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research’s Calcutta campus at Mohanpur in Nadia.

The three-day workshop aims to involve scientists from across the globe and the IISER in social and economic development, Sourav Pal, the IISER Calcutta director, said after inaugurating the workshop.

Scientific research should be industry-oriented instead of remaining confined within laboratories, Pal said.

“A huge amount of money is spent on research across the world. Many brains are being used at laboratories.

“But, it is high time that research findings are translated for the benefit of people through industries. It should be used for capacity-building of the researchers as well,” he said.

“A researcher should not be satisfied only by publishing his findings in a journal.”

The workshop, “Functional Nanomaterials: From Spectroscopy to Bioimaging”, is supported by a Researcher Link grant under the Newton Bhabha Fund.

Prasun Mandal of IISER Calcutta, who is the joint coordinator of the workshop, said the prime objective was to bring together chemists and researchers from various faculties to explore new ideas for social and economic development.

The Newton Bhabha Fund has organised the workshop in association with the University of Manchester, the British Council, the UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry, and IISER Calcutta, Mandal said.

source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Home> Calcutta / by Subhasish Chaudhari / December 15th, 2017

Bose Institute, 100, to house museum on history of Indian science

One of the pages of J.C. Bose’s notes. Photo: Special Arrangement

Bose Institute, one of India’s oldest research institutes, will house a museum highlighting the history of Indian science. The decision was taken during the recently-concluded centenary celebrations of the institution, set up by Jagadish Chandra Bose in 1917.

“The History of Science Museum will be located in the campus of Bose Institute on Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road in Kolkata. We are in touch with the National Council of Science Museums for its construction. There will be 50- 60 panels in the first phase which will be completed by 2019,” Siddhartha Roy, director of Bose Institute, told The Hindu.

According to Prof. Roy, the museum will cover four disciplines — physics, astronomy, mathematics and medical sciences — and trace the journey of Indian science from the ancient times.

“Depending on the themes we can have the gallery tracing the development from the Harappan times,” he said.

Professor P.P. Divakaran, who was present at the centenary celebrations of Bose Institute last month and gave a lecture on The Mathematics of India : From Counting to Calculus, welcomed the idea of the museum and said he was “pleasantly surprised “to find a section dedicated to mathematics.

“For most of the time till 1600 AD, India had one of the most advanced mathematical cultures among the world,” Prof. Divakaran said.

Prof. Roy pointed out that modern Indian science may have started with J.C. Bose but there were many who did pioneering work but people were not aware of their contribution.

“In terms of advancements in medical science, the museum will highlight the likes of U.N. Brahmachari, who discovered the treatment for kala azar, and Sambhu Nath De, who discovered the cholera toxin,” Prof. Roy said.

Renovated museum at Bose Institute

Interestingly, as part of its centenary celebrations, the Bose Institute recently upgraded the existing museum on J.C. Bose by displaying 12 digitised volumes of the scientist’s handwritten notes and dairies.

These diaries include the notes he took while attending classes by Francis Darwin (son of Charles Darwin) at Christ’s College in Cambridge. The museum, which also has on display the microwave apparatus developed by J.C. Bose in 1894, has also brought to light the scientist’s communications with personalities such as Mahatma Gandhi and Sister Nivedita.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kolkata / by Shiv Sahay Singh / Kolkata – December 02nd, 2017

Hues of special talent

Kids of Society for Indian Children’s Welfare display their craftwork at the exhibition at ICCR. (Koushik Saha)


It was a happy day for 12-year-old Sharda. Guests appreciated her block printing work on paper bags. She also got a chance to sing before an audience, wearing her beautiful dress. The best part was visiting a new place.

“It feels nice to be here,” gushed the girl who lives in a shelter (JJ Home) for abandoned and disabled children, run by the Society for Indian Children’s Welfare.

Rima’s handmade bookmarks lay next to Sharda’s creations. “I love art. I love to dance too,” said the 14-year-old who shares her home with Sharda.

Around 34 kids from SICW’s Beck Bagan shelter got an opportunity to take part in an exhibition organised for the first time at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) on November 20. “Twenty-one of these kids are those with special needs,” added Shirin Dastur, the vice-chairperson of the organisation.

Joining hands with these kids were the women and children of SICW’s community outreach programme in Kasba. This is the first time the organisation had showcased its members’ creativity.

“We have been working with special, abandoned and marginalised kids for 40 years. It took us six months to organise the exhibition. But seeing the response this time, we plan to make it an annual event,” said Zarin Dadina, the founder and chairperson of the organisation.

From handmade jewellery by the women to the stationary items made by the children, the exhibition was a sell-out.

Up for grabs were decorated envelopes, embroidered towels and a range of painted candle-holders and bookmarks. “It boosts the confidence of the teachers and the students when they get such recognition,” added Dadina.

The organisation runs a creche, a medical unit, an adult literacy centre and more at Kasba. “Around 200 children are covered by this programme. We also work for rehabilitating the children with disabilities. Some of them have joined mainstream schools and the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy,” she said.

source: / The Telegraph,Calcutta,India / Home> Calcutta / by Chandreyee Ghose / December 05th, 2017

Web magazine by old school mates

The home page of Batayan

A group of middle-aged women — school friends of the 1981 Madhyamik batch — reunited over Facebook and WhatsApp and have now started a literary website. Many of the 20-odd contributors are scattered around the country but the three core committee members hail from Salt Lake and New Town.

“We are all former students of Sunity Academy in Cooch Behar,” says Dolanchampa Dutta, a homemaker from EE Block and one of the editors of “It so turned out that instead of forwarding jokes on our WhatsApp group many members were sharing their write-ups. So we thought of taking it further.”

Batayan has sections on poetry, short stories, travelogues…. Those who do not have a knack for literature have contributed recipes, paintings and body care tips. “We also have a section for our children, called Sabuj. This is the only section where we allow English articles as most children these days are not comfortable writing in Bengali,” says Sumita Majumder, a homemaker from New Town’s Shaporji Palonji complex. “These days the youths are hardly inclined towards literature but I’m happy that my college-going son and working daughter have sent articles for us too.”

The e-magazine was launched on Mahalaya and will be quarterly. “We shall soon accept articles from outsiders too and if we are able to get some ads then shall pay contributors,” says Manjushree Ray, another member, from Purbachal, Cluster X.

The women say launching an e-magazine has been much simpler than running a print one. “We would have to find a publisher, distributor and post copies to members scattered all over India,” says Ray. “Instead an IT professional-friend from BL Block — Sumit Sarkar — built us this website and made things very simple. And we forward the link ourselves to friends and relatives as a way of marketing and we are delighted that we got 600 visitors to come read our works.”

source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Home> Calcutta / by Brinda Sarkar / December 01st, 2017

Alumni Mentor IIT Kharagpur Students for Social Entrepreneurship

Kolkata :

Alumni of IIT Kharagpur have come forward to mentor students of the esteemed Institute to encourage them pursue career in the area of Social Entrepreneurship. The activity is part of the Students-Alumni Meet organized by the Students’ Alumni Cell (SAC) of IIT Kharagpur.

The event was organized in collaboration with the alumni association at the Kolkata campus of IIT Kharagpur. The alumni shared their experience in the domain of Social Entrepreneurship.

“Few young people are aware of the opportunities in this area which is actually blooming keeping in mind the government schemes such as Standup India and Startup India in place,” said Vishal Singh, General Secretary of Students’ Alumni Cell.

The students organized a competition where alumni and students were grouped together into teams of 5 each and were given a problem statement related to Social Entrepreneurship to discuss and debate amongst them and come up with an implementable business model.

Under the guidance of the knowledgeable and experienced alumni in each team, the students came up with innovative ideas and talked about the necessity, economic stability and sustainability of their solutions. This also led to a healthy debate among the crowd about the pros and cons of the model and how it could be improvised.

Students in consultation with Alumni presented on various Social Entrepreneurship models on areas like Eco Tourism, Resource sustainability, Growth and development of villages using natural resources etc.

The group leaders have been asked to further work on the subject and send an executive summary of the proposed social Entrepreneurship model for circulation among Alumni so that they can suitably contribute for execution / sustainability of the model.

“We will review the projects and approach alumni who are experts in these domains to mentor the students on the project proposals to develop business models. Some of the domain experts were present during the event and several of the other alumni we will help the students connect with,” said Siddharth Roychowdhury, Secretary of IIT Kharagpur Alumni Association Kolkata Chapter.

The guest speaker of the event was IIT Kharagpur alumnus Shri Amitava Bhattacharya who is also an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and the founder of, a social enterprise in the socio-cultural domain. He mesmerized the audience with a talk on his life journey and how it led him to found his successful venture His conceptualization and perception gave a new insight on the idea and notion of Social Entrepreneurship to the audience. Through, Bhattacharya fosters inclusive and sustainable development using culture based approache for protection of rights of women, children and indigenous people.

“We have several other well-known social entrepreneurs from IIT Kharagpur like Dr. Harish Hande of SELCO, a Magsaysay Awardee, Shri Vinayak Lohani, Founder of Parivaar, a humanitarian institution, National Awardee for Child Welfare, Shri Dipak Basu, founder of Anudip Foundation, a nonprofit company dedicated to improving livelihoods of rural poor in developing countries through training in information technology and entrepreneurship.

These people have achieved more than personal success. Through their ventures they have brought significant changes in the world around. Through this initiative we are striving to inspire the students to explore opportunities in the domain of social entrepreneurship,” added Vishal.

SAC held similar events at Mumbai on ‘Make in India’ and Bangalore on career guidance. Similar events have been planned at Delhi and Hyderabad during the winter recess. “The Students Alumni Meet serves as a platform to encourage students from IIT Kharagpur look beyond the narrow idea of career for a livelihood and find a passion which they can use to impact the world.

The talent which the students of the Institute foster in the 4-5 years of study is much more than internships and placements and the alumni serve as just the perfect guide to open the realms of their passion which they can pursue as successful career” said Bharat Chandra, another student lead of the Cell.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Kolkata News> Schools & Colleges / November 16th, 2017

IIT Kharagpur led NDL India and UNESCO join hands through Globalization of Digital Library Design

Kolkata :

In the recently concluded international workshop jointly held by UNESCO and the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) under the leadership of IIT Kharagpur, NDLI announced to go global through international collaborations with the world’s top digital libraries keeping up to its motto of ‘Open and Inclusive’.

The Workshop deliberated on the state-of- the-art technology, practices, and policies as internationally accepted and available for digital library design. About 200 domain experts from India and abroad participated in the Workshop including representatives from Microsoft Research, Google and Taylor & Francis.

UNESCO, the event co-organizer collaborated with NDLI to promote the digital libraries as a very effective avenue to realize universal open access of the learning contents. It has promised to co-ordinate digital library development, resource sharing activities of the SAARC countries. Integration of UNESCO South Asia publications has been taken up as the first step towards that.

“While getting international content is one aspect of NDLI, the other focus for NDLI is being inclusive and open. Inclusive will be in terms of education, languages and disciplines. It is open in every respect whether data, technology or content,” said P P Das who is the in-charge of NDLI.

NDLI is mulling over possibilities of collaborations with Trove and DigitalNZ in terms of sharing of resources and software components. NDLI is already collaborating with Europeana Foundation. Individual experts in user data analytics, knowledge graph mining, linked data have shown keen interest in imbing best research practices into NDLI development. Some of the other digital libraries which expressed interest in collaboration with NDLI are Tainacan Project (Brazil), National Library of The Netherlands, National Library of South Africa, and National Library of Nepal.

Under the NDLI project, IIT Kharagpur has also initiated discussion with Microsoft Academic on sharing scholarly publishing knowledge graph.

“NDLI research and development team will soon focus on implementing technical outcomes of the workshop in terms of data aggregation framework, indexing infrastructure and service based models for data sharing. The developments in academic search engines like Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic also provide cues to efficiently organize scholarly publication in NDLI,” said Plaban Kumar Bhowmick, Program Co-Chair of the workshop.

K K Sharma, secretary, MHRD and R. Subrahmanyam, additional secretary, MHRD who were present on the occasion opined that by 2030 the union ministry is targeting to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education to 30 per cent from the present 24 per cent. To achieve this goal, a combination of digital technology with the educational resources is the ideal pathway to ensure that all of India can learn, share and grow.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Kolkata News> Schools & Colleges / by Somdatta Bose / TNN / November 07th, 2017

Oldest Birla school celebrates rich legacy


Eight schools, 20,000 students and a rich history of 70 years.

It all started in 1946, when industrialist and philanthropist Basant Kumar Birla and his wife Late Sarala Birla forayed into the field of education with Mahadevi Birla Shishu Vihar. It is now a part of the Ashok Hall Group of Schools.

From its inception, the school has transcended many barriers and now, it has arrived at the threshold of yet another celebration – a time to commemorate the legacy and carry forward the good work.

On Thursday, the celebrations began with the staging of ‘Jubilant Memoirs’ — a 90-minute production by students, ex-students, teachers and staff of the school. It presented a blend of music, drama, dance and visuals. The journey of the school was shared through the eyes of generations who have been part of the legacy.

Damien Syed, consul general of France, was the chief guest on the first day of the event.

“The thought of setting up of the school came when they were looking for a play school for their son Late Aditya Vikram Birla. They wanted to form a play school where the child would learn to adjust to the environment and be sensitive to others. Their three-year old son had been the first student of the school along five others,” said principal Sonali Sarkar. From Aditya Vikram Birla to Kumar Mangalam Birla – the school had been a destination for several other stalwarts from the family.

Sulekha Pal, who was a teacher between 1965 and 1979, remembers how she went to the Birla Park to teach ‘Kumar’. “He was very well-behaved. I remember him as a toddler who was fond of games,” she said.

Julia Bailey, the director of education in the Ashok Hall Group of Schools, added, “Manjushree Khaitan, the chairperson of the school, wants to make sure that the administration is up-to-date with all new technologies. Our main aim is to keep the quality of teaching high”

As part of the celebrations, two walks will be organised where students, alumni, teachers, ex-teachers and staff, totaling about 700, will take part to raise awareness on women empowerment and issues related to the environment and education.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Kolkata News / TNN / November 03rd, 2017

FAIR appraisal of city science centres – CALCUTTA KEY PARTNER IN PROJECT

Paolo Giubellino, scientific managing director, FAIR.


Science institutes in the city got a thumbs up recently from the chief of one of the world’s mega science projects, Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) in Germany.

“Why do students from here go abroad to study when you have such fantastic institutes like the Variable Electron Cyclotron Centre (VECC) and the Bose Institute doing excellent work? They are in the same league as MIT and Oxford, doing cutting edge work in science and are at the frontiers of technology,” said Paolo Giubellino, scientific managing director, FAIR. Giubellino was in the city to update all participating institutes – VECC, Bose Institute, Calcutta University among others – on the status and progress of work at FAIR. FAIR is the newest accelerator facility for research with antiprotons and ions and boasts a large number of contributors from India.

Much like the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, FAIR is being built with international collaboration near Darmstadt in Hesse, Germany, as part of the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research. While 70 per cent of the project is funded by Germany, India is the largest contributor after Germany and Russia.

“Unlike CERN, the contribution here is in kind, through building components of the accelerator and conducting experiments. The VECC is shipping us super conducting magnets for the accelerator. There are 25 Indian institutions from India participating at FAIR with the core effort in Calcutta,” said Giubellino. The new facility, which has Bose Institute former director Sibaji Raha as the founding chairman of the Joint Scientific Council of both the GSI and the FAIR, is expected to reveal consolidated findings about unknown states of matter and missing information about the evolution of the universe 13.8 billion years ago. The accelerator is in the process of being built though experiments will start as early as next year.

Stressing the role of the scientists in the city, Giubellino said: “Calcutta is a key partner in our project, the largest science project in the world. Scientists from here and the industry are working hand in hand to produce equipment of the highest standards. There is fierce competition that they have to overcome in building MUON detectors and the CBM equipment and it is based only on meritocracy.”

The Italian scientist, while addressing a group of girls from Calcutta over Skype, was impressed with the huge turnout. “I was in Germany travelling when I was asked to address a group of students from here. I had expected not more than 10 or 15 students but when I opened Skype, I was surprised to see about a thousand waiting,” said the science chief.

Calling all young students to FAIR, he said: “We welcome scientists from institutes like Bose Institute and VECC because we know they will be of international standards. I have been working with scientists from here and am aware of their calibre and do recognise that their students will have the capability to work in an international mega science project as ours.”

source: / The Telegraph,Calcutta,India / Home> Calcutta / by Anasuya Basu / Tuesday – October 17th, 2017