St Xavier’s College of Management and Technology students transplant rice saplings at Tarumitra and (below) Patna Women’s College students at the Mount Carmel feast organised on the campus. Picture by Ashok Sinha

Muddy fiesta for organic rice

Students of St Xavier's College of Management and Technology braved the rain and joined the cultivation of organic rice at Tarumitra bio-reserve, a non-government organisation.

Students from Aryabhatta Knowledge University also congregated as a volunteer force to explore the system of rice intensification (SRI) method at Tarumitra.

The boys and girls planted as many seedlings as possible on the specially prepared soil.

In another drive organised by Tarumitra, school students had deposited sacks of dry leaves as organic fertilisers on the land.

Tarumitra students have been engaged in organic farming since 2011. After cultivating a wide array of genetically indigenous seeds, the students discovered a new kind of rice - Monsoori - which is a short-statured rice . This kind of rice needs less water. Rain and strong winds do not affect Monsoori.

One of the participating students, Preeti, said it was her first experience on a rice farm. The president of the programme, Uday Kumar, said: "The pesticide-ridden green revolution in Punjab resulted in a train called Cancer Express, which runs between Bhatinda and Bikaner every day. We can bypass the Punjab experience in Bihar if we invest in organic cultivation."

"We will never forget all the fun we had in the mud," said Aishwarya from St Xavier's Colege of Management and Technology.

Feast of holy praise

Patna Women's College organised Mount Carmel Feast on the campus on Friday.

The students presented a welcome song and dance to applause from the audience. The college principal, Sister Marie Jessie, said: "All over the world, Carmelites celebrate the feast of our Lady Mount Carmel."

The student sisters presented a mesmerising hymn in praise of the Lady of Mount Carmel. They also presented a classical dance expressing the joy of Mother Mary.

Nidhi Shrivastava, a student of commerce at Patna Women's College, said: "I did not know the story behind the Carmel feast, but the sister students and the principal explained the reason behind the celebration. The students performed a dance, which explained the journey of the Lady of Mount Carmel. I really liked the backdrop."

The story of the Lady of Mount Carmel talks of her struggle during a drought and how she helped the people overcome the calamity.

Course corrections

Magadh Mahila College organised a refresher course on information technology and e-learning on the college premises on Friday.

Chief guest Y.C. Simhadri, the vice-chancellor of Patna University, and Dolly Sinha, a physics faculty member, Patna University, graced the occasion.

Simhadri said: "The education system provided via information technology and e-learning is being improved year after year and has been developing information and communication technology. While adopting e-learning as a method of training, we must focus on the extent up to which e-learning improves the process of knowledge acquisition, by the juxtaposition of the educational model with numerous other models."

Dolly Sinha emphasised on the importance of information and communication technology in education. "The college, which is a pioneer in imparting e-learning, will definitely succeed in equipping the participants with skills, which will play an important role not only in making this form of education popular, but also carving an Indian niche in the global educational Internet network," she said.

"The strength of online learning is that it provides flexibility to the learning pattern. It is the best way to tackle shortage of faculty members. The world has changed. We need to be more practical," said Bhavana Singh, a bachelor in computer applications student.


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