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American trio learn basics of mining at ISM

- Dhanbad cradle collaborates with University of Florida to offer 14-day crash course

Soon students of University of South Florida in the US will be familiar with the name of Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad.

In an attempt to promote the mining cradle on the international academic arena, ISM has joined hands with the varsity in St Petersburg and is offering three American students a crash course on mining.

The trio — Shiloh Gilbert (a post-graduate in English), Katherine Green (an environmental science undergraduate) and Dylan Gambill (a mining undergraduate) — learnt the basics of mining on Tuesday, the inaugural day of the fortnight-long course.

ISM dean (planning and research) P.S. Gupta, who is also the director in-charge of the institute, inaugurated the programme at the executive development centre. Course co-ordinators V.M.S.R. Murthy and Asim Kumar Pal and co-course co-ordinators Vinayak Ranjan and Biswajit Paul were present on the occasion. A professor of the University of South Florida, Madhu Pandey, who is accompanying the visiting students, also attended the event.

Speaking at the inaugural programme, Gupta said, “The course is being organised for the first time. It will certainly help increase the international visibility of ISM.”

Organised by the department of mining engineering and department of environmental science and engineering under the Study Abroad programme of ISM and University of South Florida, these students were taught how to open and close coal mines, the environmental affects, safety, socio-economic aspects etc on the first day. The course will be over on August 18.

Four classes — each of 90 minutes — will be held on each working day that will shed light on all aspects of mining. This apart, field visits to Sonpur Bazari Colliery of Eastern Coalfields Limited and Bheltand Coal Washery of Tata Steel (Jharia division) have been scheduled on August 11 and 12, respectively.

Divulging details, associate professor of environmental engineering department Bishwajit Paul, who also happens to be one of the course co-ordinators, said: “Issues like water and air pollution due to mining, mine ventilation, bio-diversity in mining areas, health hazards and rehabilitation would be dealt with during the 14-day course.”

Visiting faculty Pandey said the students would make a presentation and would have to sit for an examination to assess their knowledge gained during the trip.

Asked about how such a joint endeavour with a foreign varsity came about, associate dean Murthy said that spadework for the programme was done by ISM professor Vinayak Ranjan during his visit to the University of South Florida in 2012.

So, is there a chance of ISM students taking up similar course at University of Florida?

“Though nothing has yet been finalised yet, but hopefully something on that lines will happen soon,” said course co-ordinator Paul.


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