Category Archives: Education

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 banglanatak.com, 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 banglanatak.com. His conceptualization and perception gave a new insight on the idea and notion of Social Entrepreneurship to the audience. Through banglanatak.com, 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: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / 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: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Kolkata News> Schools & Colleges / by Somdatta Bose / TNN / November 07th, 2017

Oldest Birla school celebrates rich legacy

Kolkata:

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: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / 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.

Calcutta:

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: http://www.telegraphindia.com / The Telegraph,Calcutta,India / Home> Calcutta / by Anasuya Basu / Tuesday – October 17th, 2017

Checkmate nerves in championship endgame – Calcutta teenager conquers enemy within on way to breakthrough international title

Arpita Mukherjee, who won gold in the under-20 Commonwealth Chess Championships in Delhi this month. Picture by Mayukh Sengupta
@Byline: Debraj Mitra

A 16-year-old Dum Dum girl has made a career gambit out of a “distraction” once employed by her parents to get her to swallow her medicine.

Arpita Mukherjee won gold in the under-20 Commonwealth Chess Championships in Delhi this month, an achievement pieced together after several years of dominating performances in state and national championships across age groups. A Class X student at Shahid Rameshwar Balika Vidyamandir in Dum Dum, she sees her first international victory as the turning point in her career.

“I had been losing crucial matches from favourable positions. Not being able to hold my nerves is a failing that I seem to have finally overcome,” said Arpita, whose father Partha gives chess lessons to children for a living.

The teenager looks up to chess stalwarts Magnus Carlsen and Judit Polgar for inspiration and trains at the Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy. Her top goal is to become a Grandmaster.

“There was never any doubt about Arpita’s talent. But she had a confidence problem. Winning the Commonwealth gold will settle her nerves,” Barua told Metro.

For Arpita, this competition had been all about not crumbling under the weight of expectations. A few months before the Commonwealth Games, she had started meditating to get into the right frame of mind. She finished the tournament undefeated, winning five games and drawing two.

“I won at least a couple of close matches that could have gone either way. My concentration did not slip,” Arpita recounted.

Arpita’s first big year in chess was 2008, when she was just seven years old but skilled enough to defeat several higher-seeded players at the Telegraph School Chess competition. The same year, she won the state championship in the under-8 category.

In 2009, Arpita won silver at the Asian Youth Championships in Delhi. A bronze in the under-9 section of the national championships in Chennai followed. Since then, she has consistently earned medals in successive state and national tournaments, including bronze in both the under-17 and under-19 categories of the 2016 nationals.

Arpita, much more confident after her Commonwealth success, aims to become a Women International Master (WIM) soon. “I have one WIM norm. I need two more to get the rank,” she said.

Arpita attributes her success to her father, with whom she plays “mind chess” after dinner every day. Having Grandmaster Barua as a mentor has also been a big advantage. But getting sponsors is proving to be difficult.

The teenager had been selected to represent India in the under-20 Asian Championships in Tehran in May but could not go. “I needed to arrange more than Rs 1 lakh, which I could not do. Arpita had to cancel her trip,” Partha said.

A relative gifted her a laptop last year. “It has helped me a lot – playing with the computer regularly,” she said.

What message do you have for Arpita? Tell ttmetro@abpmail.com

source: http://www.telegraphindia.com / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Front Page> Calcutta> Story / Friday – July 28th, 2017

Kolkata’s last surviving Chinese school set for 2nd innings

Members of the new managing committee most of whom studied in Pei May

Kolkata:

One of the city’s last Chinese schools that had closed down seven years ago has got a new lease of life. Members of the community in Tangra’s Chinatown are drawing up plans to reopen the institute that has taught Mandarin to at least two generations of Indian Chinese before the classrooms were padlocked in 2010 after the management committee was taken over by a Chinese businessman. The Chinese Tannery Owners’ Association has won the legal tussle and regained control.

“The sweat and blood of our grandparents and parents went into establishing the school so that we could learn the Chinese language and culture. When it was set up nine decades ago, the Indian Chinese community wasn’t prosperous. In fact, most were impoverished and earned a living from sale of leather waste. In our generation, we have not been able to create any infrastructure. It is our moral responsibility to look after the school so that future generations are not deprived of education,” said Chu Ying Wah, vice-president of the school’s new managing committee.

The three-storied U-shaped school building with a football field and basketball court sits on 3 bigha, 13 cottah of prime land in Tangra that developers have been eyeing for a while. With a cottah now selling for Rs 25 lakh in the area, it is a virtual gold mine waiting to be grabbed. Aware of the threat, the committee wants to restart the school from the next academic session, initially from KG to Class V, then till VIII before approaching the CISCE board for affiliation. “Students who get admitted next year should be able to sit for ICSE and ISC exams,” said Yeh Chi Yan, the president of the managing committee.

While restarting the school will be relatively easy, the committee is aware that convincing parents to admit their children in Pei May instead of an established English medium school will be a challenge. “Times have changed. It has to be an English-medium school that will be open to all. Chinese will be available as a second or third language but English will be the first language,” said Chan Yung Sheng, treasurer of the committee. Also, instead of Chinese and world history and geography that was taught earlier, students will now learn about Indian history and geography.

The school’s fortunes had begun to decline from the 1970s when the Indian Chinese community, embittered after being interned during the Sino-Indian border conflict in 1964, began to migrate. The population declined from 10,000 in the 1960s to 5,000. Another wave of migration in the late 1990s after the government decided to shift tanneries out of Tangra saw the population decline to 2,500. This apart, the school also lost out when another school — Grace Ling Liang — was set up and offered English along with Mandarin.

“At present, there are only 2,000-odd Chinese in Tangra. In the 1960s, the school had over 1,000 Chinese students. Now, there will be only a few. Most of the students will be non-Chinese,” said Chen Khoi Kui, secretary of the association as well as Tangra Chinese Youth Club. Such is the situation now, the committee may well have to appoint a non-Chinese to teach Mandarin.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Kolkata News> Schools & Colleges / TNN / July 09th, 2017

Kolkata boy No.3 on AIIMS list, state trio in top 50

Kolkata :

When Tollygunge boy Tamaghna Ghosh quit IITDelhi to return home after only one semester in computer science and engineering, he faced a lot of criticism from family and friends. On Friday though, the same people were heaping praise on him after he stood third in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) entrance exam. This is the highest rank secured by any student from Bengal in the past five years. Two other state students feature on the top-50 list.

“In 2016, I had 93 rank in IITJEE (Advanced) and took admission in IIT-Delhi. But when I chose to return, everyone apart from my parents criticised me,” said Ghosh. His interest in medical research prompted him to take the decision.

“The course at IIT would have given me a good career with a luxurious life. But that is not what I wanted to do. In 2016, my rank in NEET was not good and that motivated me to prepare well,” said the top-3 rank holder.

The 21st position was secured by Aranya Dutta, a student of Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Narendrapur. Dutta, an Arijit Singh fan, wants to become a cardiologist. “I was confident of doing well. But being 21st was beyond my expectations,” he said. Dutta, who stood seventh in the HS, said he dedicated eight hours every day for his preparation. ” Accuracy and speed are important,” he added.

On No.28 is Shivam Singh of Birla High School for Boys. “Consistency, revision of lessons and taking mock tests are my success mantra. I would suggest medical aspirants to study the NCERT books,” said the Belur resident. Singh wants to study neurosurgery and likes to play chess, watch comedy shows on TV and devoted five hours every day to prepare for medical entrance tests.

Apart from the three, two more names from Bengal are in the top 100. “For the first time, three students from the state will be joining AIIMS Delhi to pursue MBBS course. In the past, barely one student was able to crack the exam every three or four years,” said Sunil Agarwal, centre director of Aakash Institute in Bengal.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Kolkata News / by Somdatta Basu / TNN / June 16th, 2017

Singur movement ‘historic win’, to be part of school syllabus: West Bengal minister

The minister also said that by March 15 the government would complete the entire process of employing 72,000 teachers in primary, upper-primary, Madhyamik and Higher Secondary schools.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee addressing a rally at Singur in 2011. (Express archive)

The iconic Singur movement would be introduced in the history syllabus of schools run by the West Bengal government from this year, West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee today said.

The minister, who described the Singur movement as a “historic win” for the farmers, told a question-answer session in the Assembly that a chapter detailing the agitation would be included in the history syllabus of class eight.
Later, speaking to reporters, Chatterjee said, “It’s a historic win for the farmers. Along with the Singur movement, the Tebhaga movement and Krishak Andolan will also feature in the syllabus and students must know that this movement is one of the milestones in the country’s history.”

Chatterjee said that distribution of the books had already been started. After the Supreme Court verdict allowing redistribution of Singur land among farmers, the state education department had sent the proposal to the syllabus committee for approval of the inclusion of Singur movement in the Madhyamik school syllabus.

The minister also said that by March 15 the government would complete the entire process of employing 72,000 teachers in primary, upper-primary, Madhyamik and Higher Secondary schools.

He requested ‘opponents’ not to move court creating hurdles in the process of employment of teachers and said that his department was going through a verification process at present.

source: http://www.indianexpress.com / The Indian Express / Home> Education / by PTI / Kolkata – February 13th, 2017

IIT-Kharagpur and State Bank of India develop a customised portal for intellectual property

Kolkata :

Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and State Bank of India are collaborating to develop a customized portal for launching ‘Intellectual Property Development as a service’ (IPDaas) for Intellectual Property Rights generation. Mr. Mrutyunjay Mahapatra, Deputy Managing Director and CIO of SBI launched this project today at IIT-Kharagpur.

A symbolic submission of a patentable project was made by him in the preliminary version of IPDaas.
A MoU has already been signed between India’s largest commercial bank and the largest IIT in the country for a larger gamut of collaborations in the FinTech domain. Four departments from the Institute are engaged in this collaboration.

SBI has a history of creating innovative banking and IT solutions in-house. The IPDaas will facilitate streamlining patent applications for solutions developed internally and thereby making them available for external use through licensing. Since solutions created by SBI are based on actual challenges faced by the organization, they would prove to be useful for various bottlenecks experienced by financial institutions that too in the Indian scenario.
It will also tap the huge technical expertise of seasoned banking professionals in the organization. “It is trend-setting for an organization like SBI to move towards holistic IP creation. This would create an ecosystem for organizations in India especially in the financial sector to promote their technical expertise. With the exponentially growing economy of India such solutions will decide the quality and efficiency of financial services which would be provided to customers in India and similar other regions” said Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, Director, IIT Kharagpur.

IIT-Kharagpur will work with SBI Collaborative Innovation Centre (CIC) team. Going forward, this premier technology institute of the country with unique distinction having an IPR law school in the campus will assist in review and associated activities for a full-fledged offer of IP as a service.

Mrutyunjay Mahapatra, Deputy Managing Director and CIO of SBI visited several labs focused on research related to security solutions for mobile banking, hardware such as ATM, POS machine, IoT, intelligent asset tracking etc.

There were further discussions pertaining to commercialization of such products developed by IIT-Kharagpur through SBI.

“This is merely the beginning of what could be termed as a long-term association between SBI and IIT-Kharagpur. IIT has proposed several solutions for real challenges faced by banks in IT, user application, security, management of human resources etc. For e.g. tracking of hypothecated or lien property, prevention of erroneous usage of administrative rights, voice identification of caller, tracking of human resources and office stationary on premise and many more. Some of the solutions are already existing which needs to be customised for SBI’s requirements while some problem situations or feedback SBI will share with IIT based on which they will develop the solutions. We have found several of the solutions intriguing and further discussion would be held to collaborate on those projects,” Mahapatra added.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Kolkata / by Somdatta Basu, TNN / January 31st, 2017

Now, Rs 5 wonder sachet to help you save teeth, bone

HIGHLIGHTS

. Scientists have developed an inexpensive kit to test the fluorosis level in the body

. The fluoride level detection kit that will soon be available in shampoo-like sachet
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Kolkata :

Scientists at a top-notch research institute in Durgapur have developed an easy-to-use, inexpensive kit to test the fluorosis level in the body so that one can take corrective measures before it causes teeth and bone deformity.

A team led by CSIR-CMERI scientist (surface engineering and tribology division) Dr Priyabrata Banerjee has developed the fluoride level detection kit that will soon be available in shampoo-like sachet. The sachets, to be priced around Rs 5 each, will contain two kits comprising two vials and a strip of colour-coded paper. While one vial will be empty, the other will contain a chemo-sensor liquid.

“All that a person has to do is spit into the empty vial, then pour the chemo sensor into it, close the vial and shake it vigorously. There will be an instant colour change, indicating the level of fluorosis in the body. If it is orange, it will indicate unsafe level of more than 1.5 ppm. Yellow indicates safe level of less than 1.5 ppm. The vial can be placed against the colour coded strip to match the colour and the fluorosis level it indicates,” Banerjee pointed out.

The Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) is a leading mechanical engineering R&D institute under the aegis of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) that has developed technologies to provide societal solutions.The folurosis level detection kit is one such that has already been provisionally patented and technology tranferred to small scale industry for commercial production. The institute showcased this and other technologies at the 31st Indian Engineering Congress organised by the Institute of Engineers (India) in Kolkata recently.

“We expect the kits to be available in health stores in rural Bengal, particularly villages in Purulia, Bankura and Birbhum where fluorosis is a problem,” said Banerjee, who is the key inventor. Fluorosis can be dental, skele tal or non-skeletal and cause motteled teeth or deformity of limbs.

Banerjee’s team has also developed a chemo sensor station costing around Rs 2,000 each that will be placed at the primary health centres in fluorosis-affected districts where people can get the samples electronically verified.

“The salivary fluoride level detection kit is the latest technology that our scientists have come up with. The patent for this product was filed on November18,” said CSIR-CMERI director Harish Hirani.

Another technology that the R&D institute demonstrated was a smart card operated and pluggable energy meter through which one can instantly measure the energy level of an electrical installation using a smart phone. “One only needs to have internet connectivity or bluetooth to link a smart energy meter with a smartphone,” said a scientist.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Kolkata News / by Suman Chakraborti / TNN / December 20th, 2016