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Straight drive from The Wall
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Former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid delivers the 80th Pradyumna Bal Memorial Lecture at KIIT University, Bhubaneswar and (above) students of Piloo Mody College of Architecture, Cuttack, who emerged champions in the three-day zonal fest of National Association of
Students of Architecture. Picture by Ashwinee Pati and Telegraph picture

Ace batsman and former captain of the Indian cricket team, Rahul Dravid, delivered an inspiring lecture on sports culture at the KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, earlier this month, stressed on the role of educational institutions as grooming centres for budding talents. “India is a poor sporting nation, bereft of a sports and fitness culture. We can only boast of a few anecdotal achievements across sporting disciplines in over six decades while smaller countries with barely a stadium in sight regularly produce champion sprinters, marathoners and swimmers,” said Dravid, the chief speaker at the 80th Pradyumna Bal Memorial Lecture. His words were greeted with loud cheers and applause from the audience. “We as a sports consuming country are obsessed with results,” said Dravid, who was also known as the wall. He added that the best way to produce results was to take the focus away from results. He talked about the sports system in American colleges and South African schools and said better-educated athletes turn out as more responsible and thoughtful. The Memorial Lecture is an annual event to commemorate the contributions of the noted journalist, social activist, Parliamentarian and founder president of KIIT University. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik was the chief guest and gave away the Pradyumna Bal Memorial Award to freedom fighter Baishnab Charan Jena.

Glory for architects

The Piloo Mody College of Architecture (PMCA), Cuttack, emerged champions in the three-day zonal fest of National Association of Students of Architecture (Zo-Nasa), which celebrated the spirit of architecture students at Bengal Engineering College, Shibpur. Nineteen colleges from the east zone took part there. PMCA’s unit secretary Brijesh Balabantray, along with 58 students, put up a great show in formal design events and secured positions in landscape design, architectural design, interior design, photography and product design categories. The institute had also bagged the first position in the prestigious Reubens Trophy in Zo-Nasa 2011 last year.

Quiz champions

Akash Choudhury and Satwik Raut, students of International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Bhubaneswar, won the “SoA Quiz Wiz”, a national level quiz competition among undergraduate students, at the SOA University here on November 11. The duo staved off stiff competition from Bedbyas Dutta and Sumit Josh of St. Xaviers College, Calcutta to lift the crown. The champs won a prize money of Rs 1,00,000 while the Calcutta team took home Rs 60,000. Sampad Pattnaik and Pawan Piyush of College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar, finished third to win Rs 40,000. Several teams from across the country had participated in the contest. Only six survived the preliminary round to qualify for the final. The other three finalists, who were from the BJB (Autonomous) College, KIIT University (both Bhubaneswar) and National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela, were presented with cash awards of Rs 5,000 each. The quiz had seven rounds involving current affairs, science and technology, art and culture, entertainment and sports.

Constitutional talk

Winners of the SoA Quiz Wiz, Akash Choudhury and Satwik Raut of International Institute of Information Technology, Bhubaneswar, after the final round and (above) the 2012-13 batch of doctors passing out from the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital, Bhubaneswar, take oath. Telegraph pictures

Justice Dipak Misra delivered the last lecture of the lecture series at the National Law University, Odisha (NLUO), on November 17. He said constitutional precepts were based on certain norms and paradigms that should be followed for good governance. The Indian Constitution, he said, was based on constitutionalism that insisted on constitutional rules, democracy, decentralisation of power and limitations on governmental powers. Unlimited powers, he added, would jeopardise the government. Rule of law has many facets and contours, and excludes all arbitrariness and unreasonableness on the part of the government. University chancellor Justice V. Gopala Gowda mentioned that the lecture series had been organised since July to provide for the need of a variety of exposure for law students.

Kurien’s tenets

Verghese Kurien, father of the White Revolution in India, had utmost respect for the wisdom of Indian farmers and the expertise of competent professionals, said R.S. Sodhi, managing director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, Amul. Delivering the sixth Foundation Day lecture at KIIT School of Rural Management (KSRM) on November 20, he said Kurien was against policy measures such as FDI in retail sector, since he felt that such a move would be detrimental to the interest of Indian farmers. Sodhi said young management graduates could learn from the success of dairy co-operative sectors across India and that the term “rural management” was first introduced by Kurein as he knew that there was no dearth of institutes imparting management education to cater to urban India constituting only 30 per cent of our population.

Foreign connect

The Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SoA) University, Bhubaneswar, has signed MoUs with several foreign universities including the University of Texas, USA, and Dongseo University, Korea for cooperation in several areas including joint research activities. SoA vice-chancellor professor R.P. Mohanty, who visited the Dongseo University at Busan a week ago, signed the MoUs on behalf of the university. Discussions are on with Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand, for collaboration on a dual degree, joint degree and integrated bachelor-master’s degree. The university also signed MoUs with the heads of Cambodia University for Specialities (CUS), Daffodil International University, Dhaka, University of Transport at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Salahaddin University, Arbil, Iraq and Rajamangala University of Technology, Phra Nakhon, Thailand and a host of other universities within the country. Besides, the university’s engineering faculty — Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER) — has become an academic affiliate partner of the UK-based Institute of Engineering and Technology.

National symposium

The Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB) hosted a national symposium on “Rural Management: Building Professionals for Inclusive Growth” on November 9 and 10. The event brought together institutions, academics, professionals, key client groups and other stakeholders to reflect on the status and possibilities of the unique field of rural management and explore strategies to expand professional expertise for development. Chief guest at the two-day symposium, Planning Commission member Mihir Shah highlighted the need for people from various sectors to build professionals for inclusive growth and strengthening democracy. He said new initiatives such as Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation in central tribal areas of the country would be introduced soon.

Rural service

Students passing out of medical colleges should prefer to serve in rural areas at least for a few years to ensure improvement of health services in the remote places, Odisha’s health secretary P.K. Mohapatra said. He was addressing the oath taking ceremony of the 2012-13 batch of doctors passing out from the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital, Bhubaneswar, on November 10. The state government had made it mandatory for students passing out of government-run medical colleges to serve in rural areas for at least three years. Advocate, Bibhu Prasad Tripathy, who was the chief speaker on the occasion, advised the doctors to respect the values and ethics of the profession.

Tech talent

Padmanava College of Engineering, Rourkela organised “Pratibha 2012-13”, a national-level students’ technical seminar, on November 10 to encourage budding engineers to create something innovative. The prize-winners at the seminar were Zulfikar Ahmad from College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar, Neetu Kumari and Smita Bera from CV Raman College of Engineering, Bhubaneswar, Paramanand Choudhury and Aayush Bhattacharya from Semanta Engineering College, Mayurbhanj. From the host college, Ankit Thakur, Pinky Rao, Manali Sanghvi, Sandeepan Dutta, Nighar Begum, Monica Srivastava, Aditi Guha, Ankita Nanda, Sangamitra Acharya ,Rituja Mohanty and Ankit Agarwal also received awards.