Monthly Archives: April 2015

MCKV Institute of Engineering Hosts Tech Fest – PRAGATI 2015

Kolkata :

MCKV Institute of Engineering (MCKVIE) kick-started a two-day ‘Tech Fest- PRAGATI 2015’, on Thursday.

The major attraction of the day was the session on “Robotics Prelims”- a creative implementation of the students of various colleges with the latest technological trends.

“We have always been proud of our students who have attained heights in their endeavours. And as MUCH as I understand, COLLEGEfest is a platform where students are our prime focus and it is always a ground for talent hunt and an undefinable innovation. We look forward to more such platforms for the future leaders of our country,” said Mr KK Kejriwal Managing Trustee, MCKVIE.

Innovation FORMS an integral part of every engineer’s life. Generally the curriculum does not always suffice in developing the creativity and the knack for coming up with innovative ideas.

The event on ‘Robotics’ at Pragati is one of the most sought after events in this year’s fest. There are different categories in this competition under the core head Robotics Prelims, they are Robo soccer, Inferno, Line follower and Chase the Maze. All these events required a team’s participation. These events had inwardly helped develop a sense of team work amongst the students and to work with high end technological improvements. There were also other highlights of the event like Arcane (Treasure Hunt), Mathemania, CODE STORM (C PROGRAMMING), Gaming Prelims and many more.

There were 16 participating colleges along with schools in the Tech Fest. Some of them were Surendranath College, Rishra Bidhan College, Bangabasi College, JLD College of Engineering, and Dinabandhu College among others.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Kolkata / by Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey, TNN / April 17th, 2015

IIEST to focus on industry knowledge

Kolkata :

Matching steps with global standards, the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) is planning to introduce a unique hands-on teaching method where students will be asked to take assignments from reputable multinational companies and get their projects evaluated by the firms.

“Students will have to compulsorily undergo two months of industrial training. They will be required to do projects offered by the industry in their respective discipline,” said institute director Ajay Ray.

He explained: “For example, a civil engineering company dealing with design or structure of multistoried buildings or bridges will assign tasks to students who will work on those projects and submit it to the institute as well as to the company. The projects will be evaluated by both. This will give us an idea about the knowledge acquired by students. This exercise will be repeated from time to time. ”

“We hope to use these projects for societal needs. Students will have to learn 3D engineering objects, including 3D models of human organs or the aircraft or the automobiles. The students will also learn the essence of engineering design and simulation through advance simulation laboratories. Simulation laboratories will be set up soon,” Ray said, adding that the proposal will be placed before the IIEST board of governors soon.

To usher in more changes, IIEST-Shibpur has set up a senate committee to look into the complete restructuring of the five-year dual degree — BTech and MTech programmes. “IIEST is trying to make a model course structure to ensure that a student receives a holistic education with adequate skill in diverse fields. One of the features of the new structure will be to provide a large number of elective subjects so that the students can choose a subject they want to study. Projects will be compulsory in all semesters from second year onwards so that the students can learn industry methods while studying. The slogan of the new structure is ‘Active Learning’ as students will learn while they design and develop the engineering models, structures and systems, including software,” added Ray.

Students will get credit for all extra work like robotics, software writing or even dramatics, music, debating, quiz, etc. But it does not mean the credits will be mentioned alongside the scores obtained in core subjects. The credits will be a part of the aggregate. “Various schools of co-curricular activities will decide on the weightage and the methods in which students will be evaluated,” said Ray.

In the near future, the university will have industry experts as their honorary faculty members. The institute has initiated consulting experts from IITs, IISE-Bangalore and from various universities from the West.

Humanities will be an integral part of the new curriculum to make the syllabi holistic. Apart from it, environmental science and human biology will be compulsory subjects. “Students should understand environmental degradation, which has caused tremendous change in the ecology, and they should try and find solutions as well,” added Ray.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Kolkata / by Somdatta Basu, TNN / April 07th, 2015

E-networking reunites alumni after 2 decades

Kolkata :

Online socialization paved the way for an ‘offline’ chat at a city hotel, bringing together many former students of Apeejay School, Park Street. They revisited their colourful school days and felicitated their teachers at a reunion ceremony, ‘Rejoice’.

The revelers were thrilled to have come across their classmates after a gap of as many as 25 years. Around 15 former students of the school’s 1988 batch chalked out the event over social networking sites, though they had been toying with the idea for the past two years.

The members of the school’s alumni association, APJOSA, Kolkata, who passed out between 1985 and 1993 reminisced about their bygone student life, reconnected with their school friends and sought the blessings of their teachers including Rita Chatterjee, current principal and administrator and Neville McNamara, former principal of the school.

The main objective of the event was to increase the membership of the alumni association, which was formed in the 1980s, according to Rajib Basu, a chartered accountant who was among the school’s 1988 batch. Around 10 alumni of the school, settled in different places outside the city, had also joined the party.

The school anthem, ‘Soaring High’, set the right mood for the evening that revolved around unadulterated fun mixed with nostalgia. Jyoti Vardhan Sonthalia, a corporate professional, said: “I left the school way back in 1988 but my bond with the alma mater is so strong because of the teachers who imparted discipline and value education to us; who groomed us for what we are today.” The party ended on a happy note when Manoj Lunia, an alumnus of the 1985 batch, sang the Hindi version of Kishore Kumar’s ‘Chirodini tumi je amar’. On McNamara’s request, silence was observed in memory of the students who passed away untimely.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Kolkata / by Sarthak Ganguly, TNN / April 06th, 2015

Kolkata’s wooden trams chug into stardom

The streetcars lend authenticity to the city’s 1942 avatar in “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!”

An unexpected but delightful outcome of the making of Dibakar Banerjee’s film Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! that released on Friday was the rescue from obscurity of two tramcars that were used to recreate the city’s 1942 avatar.

Tram No. 567, used in the film “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!”, at the Nonapukur Tram Depot in Kolkata. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish / The Hindu
Tram No. 567, used in the film “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!”, at the Nonapukur Tram Depot in Kolkata. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish / The Hindu

Using brands that have faded from public memory and antiquated ad campaigns, the project has revived interest in trams ‘No. 563’ and ‘No. 567’, now renamed ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’ Tramcars. The film, however, spells the detective’s last name as Bakshy.

The film used two wooden tramcars built in the 1930s and a watering car used to water the tram tracks of the city.

“The tramcar was renovated at their [the filmmakers] cost by us. They collected samples from old photographs and, accordingly, old-style branding was done on the top panel of the trams,” Nilanjan Sandilya, managing director of The Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC) Ltd. told The Hindu.

Mr. Sandilya said that trams were the main public mode of transport in the 1940s and were crucial to depict that period of the city.

Tram No. 567, used in the film “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!”, at the Nonapukur Tram Depot in Kolkata. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish / The Hindu
Tram No. 567, used in the film “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!”, at the Nonapukur Tram Depot in Kolkata. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish / The Hindu

The two tramcars used in the film are wooden ones that have seldom been taken out on the streets after the shooting of the film, said S.S. Ghosh, the Works Manager of the CTC. Tram No. 567 displayed advertisements of brands such as Bengal Lamp, Lux Toilet Soap and Dulaler Tal Mishri during the shooting. An old brand of palm candy was also advertised at Nonapukur tram depot. Tram No. 563, which was changed to No. 469 for the film, carried similar advertisements in English, Bengali and Hindi. Shooting was held at the Park Circus Tram Depot. The watering car used in the film predates the trams. According to Mr. Ghosh, watering cars were built between 1915 and 1920 and only two of them are now left with the tram company. Such is the enthusiasm surrounding the tram cars that a prototype called “Byomkesh Bakshi Tramcar” is on display at a tram museum-on-wheels called Smaranika.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kolkata / by Shiv Sahay Singh / Kolkata – April 04th, 2015

Swimming through rough tides

KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOUR: Surajit Ghosh Swimmer

Surajit Ghosh. Picture  by Gopal Senapati
Surajit Ghosh. Picture by Gopal Senapati

For someone like Surajit Ghosh, who has won 12 gold medals in international swimming competitions, it is disheartening to lead a life without any recognition or acknowledgement. Ghosh had won the first gold medal for India in 1984 at the Asian Swimming Championships in Hong Kong. Since then, he was a winner for the next 10 years, in Asian and South East Asian Swimming Championships. Of the 19 medals that he has won, 12 have been gold medals and seven silver.

From 1985-89, Surajit was number one in South East Asia and number 2 in Asia. Apart from this feat, Surajit has over 100 medals that he has won at national swimming championships. He was champion for 10 consecutive years in the senior national championships for 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley. Despite his achievements and talent, Surajit laments that he has never been recognised by either the state or the central government. “My achievements have remained unrecognised. I have never received any kind of recognition from the state or central governments,” he said.

Surajit was a swimmer since childhood, when he started swimming in the neighbourhood pond. His elder brothers Abhijit and Biswajit were also swimmers. However, Surajit went a long way in this sport. His first guru was Jnanaranjan Das, who trained him and encouraged him to go to competitions. “My strength was 200m butterfly in which I had made a record time of 31 seconds in 1979, at my first junior national championship. Later, to perform better, I never stuck to one coach. I would go to other places around India, where I would practise with other good swimmers and practise under different coaches,” said Surajit.

A swimmer can only improve if he has a good competitor. “When I went to competitions, I would watch other swimmers and would contact them later so that I could go and practise with them to improve my speed. I have been to Madras, Kerala and other parts of India, with the aim of increasing speed,” said Surajit. Many swimmers in Bengal would want to practise with Surajit for the same reason.

“Bula Chowdhury has practised with me for a long time because she wanted to increase her speed,” said Surajit. He had also trained for many years under Australian coach, Eric Arnold, in Delhi. “I had stayed for a long time in Delhi, just to train under Arnold who was also training national champion Khajan Singh at that time,” said Surajit.

Although he has been a rank-holder in Asia and South East Asia, he regrets that he could never get a rank in world championship. “I had gone to the World Swimming Championship in 1990, but there I could not go beyond Rank 8. The competition was tougher because there were so many more swimmers from across the world who were better than me,” said Surajit.

Having a job with the Eastern Railway through the sports quota, Ghosh now coaches young swimmers in Bally and other swimming clubs. “I started Bally Swimming Centre but I also train students in other clubs in Hooghly and other places,” he said. He encourages young swimmers and is always on the lookout for new talent.


DoB: January 15, 1968
Born in: Howrah
Education: HS
Family: Wife, two daughters
Loves: Long drives
Hates: Deceit

source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta / Front Page> Howrah> Story / Friday – April 03rd, 2015

A railway church in Liluah

Christ Church in Liluah. Picture by Gopal Senapati
Christ Church in Liluah. Picture by Gopal Senapati

The old red Gothic structure on the eastern banks of a large pond looks huge from outside. The pond and the church stand on land that belongs to the Eastern Railway in Liluah. Despite the massive structure, inside, the church cannot seat more than 100 people on its pews. If there is a big congregation, authorities have to arrange for extra chairs for the parishioners.

Christ Church, under the Church of North India (CNI), has 160 parishioners on its list. Most of them are local residents, but there are some who come from other parts of Howrah and Hooghly as well.

The interiors of the church got a fresh lick of pink paint in December, before Christmas. Reverend Sailen Das, a senior member of the church committee, is expecting a good turnout for Good Friday on April 3. The service will start at 12 noon and will continue till 3pm. “Many people attend the church service on Good Friday because it is a significant day. The week before Good Friday is the Holy Week and every evening we have a mass for the Lent period that has started 40 days before Good Friday,” said Das.

Christ Church was built in 1915 for the European and Anglo-Indian employees of the then East Indian Railway. A plaque on the wall of the church reads, ‘This stone was laid on December 22, 1915 by Robert Swan Hichet Esq, Agent East Indian Railway.’ Since the inception of the Liluah workshop in 1900, the Christian employees wanted a
place of worship. “The church runs on donations from members,” said Das.

Inside the church, there are no other decorations, apart from the altar. An antique object inside the church has been removed some 20 years back. “A huge brass eagle with wings spread out, perched on a brass stand was placed in the front of the altar where the priest would keep the Bible during church service. There was an attempt to steal the eagle stand about 15 years back, but it was so heavy that the thieves could not carry it out of the church. After this, we were forced to give the eagle away to St Paul’s Cathedral,” said Das.

Christ Church will turn 100 at the end of this year and the committee members are planning to do some social work.

“We run a Sunday school for Biblical teachings. We are thinking of starting a dispensary at the local club where we could distribute free medicines,” said Das.

source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta / Front Page> Howrah> Story / Friday – April 03rd, 2015

Autistic youth from Kolkata makes waves with art

Kolkata :

Autism has put a poser on his abilities to communicate, but it could not limit his imagination. Avishek Sarkar, an autistic youth, has made a splash in the art world with his extraordinary paintings.

While people with autism often do not understand or recognize human emotions, Avishek (22) is able to convey the story of his life and interpret his sentiments, an ability that fascinated the visitors.

An exhibition of his artwork, titled “Asadharon”, which was organized by the Autism Society West Bengal in association with ITC Sonar, took chief guest Wasim Kapoor by surprise on Thursday.

“The paintings are simply out of the ordinary. Avishek is so talented,” said Kapoor. Avishek’s guides, including secretary of the Autism Society West Bengal Indrani Basu, said, “His works give a different perception on persons with autism. Avishek, just like other individuals with autism, has a penchant for details as his sketch of the Howrah Bridge reveals.”

“The sense of accuracy, proportion and perspective in Avishek’s drawings, as well as the detailing, is amazing,” said another painter present at the exhibition.

With Avishek’s artwork that were aimed at giving people a deeper understanding of autism, the event served as an open door to the mysterious world of autistic children.

His mother Soma said, “There is a meaning behind each of the artwork. He has painted motor pumps, the sound of which troubles him, and the rickshaw, the bumpy rides of which he loathes.”

Avishek never asks for paper and uses whatever he can lay his hands on to — like a newspaper or some scarps lying around. He not only paints what bothers him but also things such as lines of a block of flats or a collapsible gate which intrigue him.

“When Avishek was little, I thought he could learn to draw and paint pretty landscapes or portraits. But, he did not keep himself limited to that and delved on experimentations instead,” said Soma.

As an autistic youth, it has been hard for Avishek to express himself through words, gestures and actions. He began doing art as therapy, but his parents decided to put the works for public view.

These days, Avishek is more inclined to make an eye contact than ever and his social skills have also improved. “Avishek has a natural understanding of colours. As his paintings demonstrate, disability is no barrier to creativity,” said Kapoor. Atul Bhalla, GM of ITC Sonar, said, “We are happy to be able to host this exhibition .”

German deputy consul-general Rosemarie E-Hille, who was present at the show, found Avishek’s creations to be “awe-inspiring”.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Kolkata / by Ajanta Chakraborty, TNN / April 06th, 2015