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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Pursuing dreams

In between running for classes and struggling to complete their assignments, engineering students hardly get the opportunity to go beyond the confines of academics and indulge their hobbies. But 23-year-old Pankaj Mittal shattered this notion and created what is now travelling round the country like a rage. His maiden book, Thank God I’m Single Again, has already sold 1,500 copies within two months of its launch. The computer science graduate from NM Institute of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar, began writing the book when he was in his second-year. “I put in nearly 18 months to complete the work but finding a publisher was physically and mentally draining. But I succeeded after months of tireless pursuit,” he said. The book centres on the life of Avigya, a young boy, who despite his parents’ numerous warnings against falling in love ends up doing just that. His love interest is a beautiful girl, Kashika. The story moves from rib-tickling moments to heart-touching incidents, which unfold Avigya’s nature and Ffuelcharacter. As the mind of this dreamer weaves a world of its own, the beauty and concept of eternal love are apparently cornered in an overwhelmingly conservative world. Gradually, some beans are spilled, which threaten his dreams. The reader has to get to the end to find out if Avigya will perish under the burden or emerge unscathed.

Science & Earth

KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, hosted the 36th Indian Social Science Congress from December 27 to 31 on the theme “Science, Society and Planet Earth”. This event was held in Odisha after 22 years. The speakers deliberated on the need to discover, develop and disseminate science of nature – human society through appraisal and integration of research and theory in all branches of science. Last January, KIIT had also hosted the prestigious 99th Indian Science Congress.

Fuel efficient

Researchers are working on saving fuel consumption in automobiles through application of nanofluids, said mechanical engineering professor, Debendra Kumar Das while addressing a conference at the Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University, Bhubaneswar, on December 30. Das, who teaches at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the US with his current research area focusing on the application of nanofluids, said the breakthrough would result in substantial reduction in use of petrol and diesel. The conference was organised by the university’s Centre of Excellence in Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences on “Application of nanotechnology to enhance the thermal performance of automobile radiators”.

Women’s cause

A five-day workshop intended to generate awareness among women about their rights was organised by the social science department of Fakir Mohan University, Balasore, last week. The speakers said that women should recognise their own potential and utilise that to the optimum level. This event was part of the UGC’s objective of capacity building among women. Of the 10 workshops planned across different universities in the country, the FM University was the first in the eastern zone to host this programme. “Around 35 women educationists, research scholars and resource persons from the east zone participated here,” said Geetanjali Dash of the social science department and local coordinator for the programme. The problems of women as well as social and legal remedies were also discussed at the event. Vice-chancellor of the host university, K.B. Das said the patriarchal society has prevented women from realising their potential. He added that women pursuing higher reduction were lesser in number than their male counterparts and that their representation in the higher education committee was also negligible. “Unless there is gender equity and equal representation of women in the decision making process, one can’t expect them to be a force in society,” said Prof Sanghamitra Mohanty, vice-chancellor of North Odisha University, Baripada. Scholar and thinkers from different fields pleaded for more social, political and economic liberty for women besides seeking adequate legal protection for their security.