The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Quest for science

Butterflies use nanotechnology to modify the light rays falling on it and generate a beautiful pattern on their wings. The lotus flower uses it to cleanse its leaf surface. Mammals use it to mix protein and water molecules to form milk and geckoes use it to defy the laws of gravity.

In an attempt to explain this technology, Birla Industrial and Technological Museum (BITM) has mounted yet another interesting exhibition for science lovers. The exhibition that takes place every year will continue till May 20. The exhibition is part of the moving gallery programme where the exhibits travel to major BITM centres.

“Nanotechnology is an upcoming technology today and seems to have the potential to usher in another technological revolution. This exhibition (students at the exhibition in picture above by Sanat Kumar Sinha) is an attempt to make the children aware of it,” said BITM director Jayanta Sthanapati.

Children take a close look at a traffic snarl near a bus stop in south Calcuttta. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya

BITM had carried out a survey on schoolchildren about their interests in nanotechnology. The survey prompted the theme for the moving gallery exhibition, he added.

The exhibition comprises 26 panels, of which seven are working models (live models that one can operate according to the instructions provided). The colourful and interactive exhibits and an audio-visual panel make things more comprehensive. A science officer is present to explain the panels to visitors.

The exhibits detail the evolution of the technology, its difference from other forms of technology, its applications and the future possibilities of nanotechnology. “The gallery is interesting and interactive. The exhibition will help us, as nanotechnology will be opening new career avenues in future,” said Abhikshit Roy Choudhury, a Class XII student of Apeejay School, Park Street.

Shabina Akhtar

The Diary

Land and Guns

The sky cried at the treacherous blasphemy,
When the soil turned thickly vermilion.
My night was high on vodka , and I
was down with the fever of fright.
My guitar wept in despair,
Every teardrop reeking of ammunition.
Galloping troops hovered beneath the velvet sky,
snatching dreams, killing hopes and burning fates.
The day was as dark as the midnight.
Raise your ears, their pain still resounds,
Raise your eyes, the bullets still fly,
raise your voice, before you are imprisoned,
and before you die.........

(dedicated to the people of Nandigram)

Archan Bhattacharya,
1st yr., Law, CU

Shout out loud

What’s on your mind this week

Coach potatoes

There is one more expression waiting to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary. A “coach potato” is a man travelling on a train with nothing to do but stare at women, all the while munching away as if famine-stricken.

On a recent journey with my friends on the Kalka Mail, I came across many of these “coach potatoes”. The men carried expensive electronic gadgets. The journey showed me a new posture of sleeping that can only be described as the “sight-seeing pose” where these coach potatoes put their heads in place of their feet and lie on their stomachs on the upper berth of the train with their heads resting on their crossed hands.

Our group was disturbed when we ate or spoke. Comments were even passed when we said nothing at all! To add to our misery, the train was 16 hours late and was stalled at Mughalsarai for more than 12 hours! We were so tensed that we couldn’t sleep for more than 36 hours and continued to stare at our luggage. We were almost ready to attack the “coach potatoes” with pepper spray. Neither of us spoke nor could we laugh. We even had to avoid addressing each other by our names.

With so much being talked about female liberation, this experience made us feel that being a girl was no different from being a commodity, a source of enjoyment for onlookers. Nothing helped us, not even behaving reticently. In the end, we had to call in the security when the not-so-gentlemen crossed all limits trying to take our pictures with their camera phones!

All this would not have happened had there been a separate coach for female students. Also, if the authorities would have been a little cautious about letting three people to share the same seat as was done by those in our coach.

Sleeping on the floor inside the train should also be forbidden to avoid unwanted crowds. Is this too much to ask from the railway authorities'

Mariya Salim,
Loreto College

Quota trouble

The long-lasting turmoil regarding quota reservations in the central educational institutions proved futile as the Supreme Court has gone against the OBC quota formulation. The Supreme Court has passed the right verdict.

The quota system reduces the scope of receiving quality education for meritorious students, giving undeserved students undue privilege. The government is trying to bring into force the OBC quota system only for gaining a stronghold during elections as a large number of voters belongs to the other backward classes, regardless of the country’s progress.

Supreme Court should also have given a solution to the current year’s quota victims. Losing one academic year is a heavy price to pay for the sake of the government’s whims. Those who have received calls from institutions like Indian Institute of Management are about to lose a golden opportunity. Proper judgment is needed to resolve the problem so that the intended purpose, that of allowing those from underprivileged backgrounds an entry into institutes of higher education is rightly served.

Jayantabishnu Mukherjee,
Journalism and Mass Comm, CU

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