| Rocket Science: PSLV-C18 takes off from Sriharikota and (inset) the nano satellite SRMSAT
We, the students of SRM University, launched a satellite, SRMSAT, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota Range (SHAR) in October . The nano satellite had been designed, developed and built by us with the support of Isro. This gave us a great opportunity for a hands-on experience. About 50 students from the departments of ECE, EEE, CSE, IT, ICE, TCE and mechanical engineering were involved in design and development of SRMSAT. We were formed into different groups to design and develop various sub-systems of the satellite such as satellite structure and thermal configuration, the power system, payload, on-board computer, telemetry and the ground station. After we completed designing the satellite, a preliminary design review was held at Isro Satellite Centre, Bangalore. It was only after rigorous tests there that it got the green signal for the launch. After that it was transported to SDSC SHAR Centre, Sriharikota, where it was integrated with the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C18. The objective of SRMSAT is to estimate and monitor the green house gases such as carbon dioxide and water vapour in the atmosphere using a grating spectrometer. It took us two rigorous years to develop the satellite.We are thrilled to be a part of the team of students who built it.
N.G. Vivekanand, and L.B. Vishal, engineering students, SRM University
When I got selected as one of the student judges of the M.P. Birla Foundation Puja Utkarsh Samman 2011, I was nothing less than elated. It is one of the most prestigious awards which honours the creative genius of Bengal. There were a total of 24 judges — 18 were from my school (South Point High School) and six from M.P. Birla High School. We were formed into four teams each supported by two teacher facilitators and one staff. We attended two workshops acquainting us with the “do”s and “don’t”s while being a judge. On Sashthi, we departed in four Toyota Innovas and one Ambassador. We charted through carefully planned routes blazing a trail across North Calcutta. We stopped at Mitali Sangha, Swapnar Bagan, Telengabagan and Karbagan. The organisers guided our team through their individual themes, painstakingly answering all our questions. We realised that we were no longer standing in queues and the organisers were hanging on to every single word that we were saying. We covered 12 pujas on Sashthi, including, the magnificent Nalin Sarkar Street Sarbojanin which was adjudged “Sera Protima”. On Saptami, our first three stops were Adi Ballygunge, Durgabari and Ekdalia Evergreen. Then we proceeded to judge the best Pujas of South Calcutta. Naktala Udayan Sangha had simply bowled us all. We covered all the pujas in the Haridevpur area. Our last stop was at 41 Pally. We knew that the end was coming. But that didn’t stop us from having fun till the last minute.
Atreya Nath, Class XI, South Point High School
iLEAD’s personality development programme, held recently, was a week-long course on effective communication, attitudinal skills, relationship management, anger / stress management, public speaking, personal grooming, time management, group discussions and film appreciation. The sincere and passionate way in which the trainers taught us was amazing as it encouraged me to enhance my self-awareness and self-belief. During this training, the films and documentaries shown, inspired and helped me understand that I can achieve my goals. I realised the magnanimity and significance of such words as “sorry”, “thank you” and gestures like smile. Interaction with other students made me observe the different levels of thoughts and feelings. Though it was a short course, it changed my approach and attitude towards life, giving me a more positive direction.
Violet Vengeance, M. Sc in Mass Communication, Advertising and Journalism, iLEAD
Recently, Krishnalaya School of Optometry, Calcutta, conducted an informative seminar on computer vision syndrome. With about 100 delegates present at the seminar, Dr R.C. Paul, head, Susrat Eye Foundation, interacted with the students to enhance their knowledge about developing their clinical skill. Krishnalaya School of Optometry aims to promote optometry as an independent science and create trained manpower for the industry as a whole. The seminar was conceptualised on the same lines and improved our knowledge considerably. I got the opportunity to learn a lot about new approaches, especially with regard to dealing with patients who work a lot on computers. The number of people suffering from computer vision syndrome is on the rise due to long working hours in front of computers. The seminar was also of great benefit to the employees dealing with customers in optic retail outlets. It helped them understand how a thorough knowledge base can help build a better and long-term relation with customers. Particularly, the session on dry eye by Sayen Das was instructive and explanatory. The informative aspect of the lecture was enough to remove all doubts and lack of knowledge about dry eyes.
Poulumi Paul, Third year, Diploma in Optometry, Indian Institute of Ocular Science
War and peace
The Youth Coordination Centre International (YCCI) in cooperation with Aman Foundation, Calcutta, organised a Youth Conflict and Peace workshop in Shantiniketan last month. Twenty students from different backgrounds attended the three-day workshop. The goal of this particular workshop was to help participants understand the causes of conflict and ways and means to respond to challenges, transform and establish peace in and around surrounding regions. The workshop had sessions by experts and also a number of activities such as drama, group presentations and ice-breakers. The topics covered included tribals and forests, women and trafficking, climate, media and peace, discrimination and violence among others.
Druhi Dasgupta, MA second year; human rights, Calcutta University
Heritage Institute of Technology, Calcutta, recently organised a debate on whether an engineer needs to do research work. The motion of the house was “Exposure to research work is not essential for a professional course”. The debate, organised by biotechnology and chemistry departments, was part of the celebration of 150 years of Prafulla Chandra Ray. In any professional course employability of the students is the most important factor. Ashish Agarwal, who spoke for the motion, said students could better utilise their time if they tried to develop managerial and other professional skills instead of doing research work. Another student, Mahasweta Pal, agreed that many students moved away from the core subjects of the undergraduate courses and it was a waste of resources to give them research exposure. Those who spoke against the motion argued that research not only increases the domain knowledge but also builds confidence and develops critical thinking and problem-solving ability. An exposure to research work gives a taste of joy and excitement of discovery to a student. The debate came alive with arguments and counter arguments of 12 speakers for and against the motion. Finally, the students speaking against the motion were declared winners.
Banhi Biswas and Nomalia Manna, BTech fourth year, Biotechnology
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