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Google ranking features BITS Pilani in top 10 institute list worldwide

51 BITSians have been selected for the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) this year. These students represent different BITS Pilani campuses with the largest cohort being selected from the Goa campus (30), followed by Pilani (18) and Hyderabad (3) respectively. The achievement is a testimony to the quality of BITS Pilani students who have carved a niche in the industry with their performance over the years. GSoC statistics published by Google feature BITS Pilani at No. 10 on the list of top institutes worldwide (2005-2012).  The Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is an annual program where Google awards a stipend of USD 5500 each to all students who successfully complete a requested free and open-source software coding project during the summer.  The ‘Google’ tag attracts tremendous participation from students across the globe. High competition coupled with a rigorous selection process makes being part of GSoC very prestigious at the college level.  Commenting on his selection, Gaurav Narula, a student from BITS-Pilani K.K Birla Goa Campus said, “One of the perks of being a BITSian is that there are so many seniors who have been selected by GSoC that you get a lot of advice.”

Another student, Manoj Kumar, who has been selected for GSoC for the second time, said, “It is not only about the technical knowledge but also about the time you are willing to dedicate to your project. It shouldn’t be about the money. It should be about the interest to learn and apply coding in the real world. ” His advice for his juniors is to be open and to work hard as he considers these attributes to be primary prerequisites for success besides knowledge in coding.

WWF-India launches the Wild Wisdom Quiz Book

WWF-India and Penguin Books India, launched the Wild Wisdom Quiz book to mark World Environment Day. A compilation of 500 quiz questions from the Wild Wisdom Quiz over the years, the book is a treasure of amazing facts and figures about India’s wild and wonderful flora and fauna. The Wild Wisdom Quiz, launched by WWF-India in 2008 has emerged as Asia’s largest wildlife related quiz and the only national level wildlife quiz in India.

At the time of book launch, the registrations for Wild Wisdom Quiz 2014 also opened. Partnered by MoEF and CBSE, this year’s edition aims to reach out to more than 10 lakh students from classes III-VIII across 15000 schools in the country. Focussing on “Forest Biodiversity” as this year’s theme, the quiz will highlight the value of our forests and garner support to curb deforestation and bio-diversity loss. There will also be an online version of the quiz, open to high school students. Kerala will also host the first-ever regional version of the Wild Wisdom Quiz 2014, covering schools across 14 districts in the state. Mita Nangia Goswami, Director, Environment Education, WWF-India said “We want to inspire children and create that sense of awe and wonder for the natural world, of which humans are a part  these children are our future wildlife conservationists”.

 Indian students win at ‘NASA Space Settlement Design Contest 2014’

Six Class X students from Apeejay School, Jalandhar created history by winning the Grand Prize at the prestigious NASA Space Settlement Design Contest 2014. The students won the prize for their project VONA, overcoming competition from 562 entries submitted by 1,567 students from 19 countries across the world. VONA (Icelandic word denoting ‘hope’ and ‘faith’) comprised the blueprint of the Space Settlement on the aero-synchronous orbit of Mars transferred from the geosynchronous orbit of Earth after its successful construction. It took the students eight months to complete the 113-page project. The winning team comprised six students: Prajjwal Mahajan, Aditya Pratap Singh, Amareen Sandhu, Hatinderpal Singh Ghotra, Hetarth Chopra and Karan Chouhan.The actualization of project VONA is timed to capture the Asteroid AMUN 3554 in 2061 and to earn a huge profit of $22 trillion (estimated) in order to keep the settlement running. After its completion in 2071, VONA will successfully house more than 16,000 people.

Pearson VUE to deliver SNUSAT admissions test

The Shiv Nadar University Scholastic Aptitude Test (SNUSAT), has engaged Pearson VUE to develop its computer-based admissions testing programme. Using Pearson VUE’s psychometrics and content development teams, the new test will employ a broader range of aptitude questions to better measure candidate suitability and deliveredthrough Pearson VUE’s extensive India network of test centres.

Dr. Nikhil Sinha, Vice- Chancellor, SNU, said: “School grades are of course extremely important but as we offer a mix of programmes we want to be confident, with the support of a world-class aptitude test, that the students have the right mix of knowledge, behaviour and intelligence to succeed on our programmes.” Pearson VUE has started to administer the existing test launched this year

New ITM University Vice-Chancellor

Prof. (Dr) BS Panwar, Professor, Centre for Applied Research in Electronics (CARE), IIT Delhi has joined ITM University as its new Vice-Chancellor taking over from Prof. Prem Vrat, who will now be serving as Pro-Chancellor of the University. Prof  Panwar while outlining his priorities said he believed in “High Tech and high Touch Approach” and working towards ensuring the University meets international standards in teaching and research and good number of research projects. A consultant to several companies, Prof Pnawar has been instrumental in initiating and developing courses on RFID, VLSI Design, Signals and Systems and much more in IIT Delhi. He has published more than 60 papers in the international journals and conferences.

TERI offers specialized resources at Sustainable Energy for All Forum

A capacity building hub called the “Specialized Training, Education and Experiential Resources (STEER)” was launched by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and TERI University on the sidelines of the first annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum (SE4ALL), being held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from June 4-6. Over 1,000 global leaders, experts and energy practitioners deliberations including representatives from government, business, international organizations and civil society groups, participated in the to review progress and share innovative solutions. The TERI University is supplementing this training, based on a problem solving approach with academic learning on the use of state-of-art analytical tools and methods. Together, TERI and TERI University will cater to the needs of the entire spectrum of human resources needed to facilitate a transition to clean and sustainable energy. It is this blend of academic and hands-on learning that TERI/TERI University brings together to offer STEER as a Capacity Building Hub for SE4ALL. In doing so, it will recognize the need to leverage and partner other similar training resources  in the country as well as across the world.

The UN Decade of SE4ALL (2014-2024) initiative will focus on energy for women and children’s health during the initial two years. The SE4ALL initiative has three objectives: ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030. Over $50 billion in commitments were made by businesses and others at the Rio+20 Conference in 2012.

‘INIFD Academy of Interiors’ inaugurated

In what is probably India’s first chain of training center exclusively focusing on Interior Design Program, Bollywood Star Mahek Chahal inaugurated ‘INIFD Academy of Interiors’  mentored by Bollywood Diva & Celebrity Interior Designer Twinkle Khanna in Hyderabad. As there is no exclusive chain of training schools in the country focused exclusively on Interior Design programs, the launch of ‘INIFD Academy of Interiors’, will now allow the students to get specialized training with practical industry experience making them experts in the field according to Sanjay Maheshwari of INIFD at Himayathnagar in Hyderabad. ‘INIFD Academy of Interiors’ is offering 2 year PG Specialisation Program, 3 year Specialisation, 2 year Advance Program & 1 year Foundation Program in Interior Design.  INIFD Academy of Interiors’ is the nationwide chain of Center for Interior Designing Education. It’s exclusive Interior Design Programs are supported by International Industry giants like Duravit Living Bathrooms, CIA International and Hello Kitty Furniture as Knowledge Partners. There is a vast requirement of trained professionals in Interior Design as spaces are squeezing and more & more people are becoming fashion conscious for their interiors – be it offices, apartments, malls, hotels, residences, etc. The career opportunities are growing in Real Estate, Hospitality, Lighting Design, Visual Merchandising, Exhibitions, Home & Retail. There is no exclusive chain of training schools in the country focused exclusively on Interior Design programs. On this occasion, Mahek said that a regular design education is must for the students to be the established designers of tomorrow.

Natural Capital Olympiad

YES BANK in association with SAEVUS, a Wildlife publication, on World Environment Day, launched its mega initiative “Natural Capital Olympiad”. This national level Olympiad is in line with Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s 10 point agenda for good governance which links education and environment sustainability. The Olympiad is a unique project that aims to introduce and sensitize young minds on the evolving concept of Natural Capital and the urgent need to conserve earth’s finite resources. The Olympiad will be run across national education boards across private and government schools including CBSE, IGCSE, IB, KVS etc. It would also involve state education boards, providing an opportunity for students from marginalized communities. This Natural Capital Olympiad would be conducted in stages from November 2014 to January 2015, which include school level based general awareness on environmental issues, regional rounds, culminating into finals. More details and registration for schools and students is also available on the website.

Rana Kapoor, Managing Director & CEO, YES BANK said, “The Olympiad reiterates our commitment to engage sections of society on the real value of nature and imbibe young minds with the most pertinent topic of a sustainable planet”.

Sree Nandy, CEO and Editor-in-chief, SAEVUS said, “Awareness creation about our Natural Capital is not a choice anymore, rather a pressing need which has to begin with young India. This Olympiad will fuel among the students the desire to excel in the ambit of nature and environment and further our vision of building tomorrow’s natural capitalists.”

Celebrate Cinema at Whistling Woods

Celebrate Cinema, a two-day extravaganza (April 17-18) was inaugurated by bollywood diva, Rekha and showman Subhash Ghai, which saw lots of festivity and learning sessions. Hightlights included a special screening of documentary made on 100 years of Indian cinema by Trisha Screwvala from Disney  UTV and a Master Class with Amole Gupte & Hawa Hawaii  team. A special treat for cinema enthusiasts, Celebrate Cinema also screened films such as Garam Hawa, Chungking Express, Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi, All that Jazz, Aparajito, Knife in the Water, West Side Story, Jane Bhi Do Yaaron, Ankur. Two panel discussion on ‘New Voice in Indian Cinema’ and ‘Socially Responsible Filmmaking’ were attended by more than 3000 students and addressed by eminent artists and experts. There were  workshops on Screenwriting, Dance, Stop motion filmmaking, VFX, Advertising, Acting for Screen, 3D Stereoscopic filmmaking, Song Picturisation, digital surround film mix, film editing, mobile filmmaking, still photography and Fashion. Meghna Ghai-Puri, President  Whistling Woods International, said “Whistling Woods International is one of the first institutions to commence the centenary celebrations of Indian Cinema. ‘Celebrate Cinema’ is an amazing opportunity for students, film enthusiasts and children to interact with renowned names from the film and entertainment industry through panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions, movie screenings and participate in iconic performances.”

12th Convocation Day at UPES Dehradun

Tthe 12th Convocation of the University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun  was held in New Delhi on May 30. A total of 1620 students were awarded the Degrees as well as 16 doctorates to working professionals and faculty/ staff of UPES. G M Rao, the group Chairman of GMR Group delivered the Convocation address. In his Convocation address, Rao said “UPES’ progressive vision of creating specialized professionals in the core sectors that can contribute in the economic growth of the country is highly admirable. Today, with the rapid development of the country especially in core sectors like Infrastructure, Transportation, Aviation, our nation needs enormous skilled manpower to sustain the growth and I am so glad to know that UPES is the first Indian University to offer 77 specialization programs across Oil & Gas, Power, Transportation, Infrastructure, Logistics and Supply Chain. UPES in true sense is providing the fuel to the economic engine to our country.”

USHA-NIFT Best Garment Construction Award 2014 presented

Playing a pivotal role in encouraging young and budding fashion designers, USHA International has been conferring the most prestigious Best Garment Construction Award to the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) students since the year 2000. Every year one student is recognized from each of the 11 NIFT centers including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Gandhi Nagar, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Rai Bareli, Kangra, Shillong and Patna. The awardees are shortlisted by the Professors of NIFT based on their performance throughout the year. This year Kutubuddin Khan from Chennai won the award and was given Usha’s state-of-the-art USHA Janome sewing machine, a trophy, certificate and a cash award of Rs. 10,000/-. The event witnessed dignitaries from the fashion fraternity.

Friends of our neighbourhood

To sensitize the little ones on the importance of community helpers in our daily life and in the society at large, the Pre-primary teachers of GIIS Noida organized an exhibition for the community helpers within the school premises. A special area was allocated to each member to display their tools and the students visited each booth to see the exhibits. The participants comprised of an electrician, a sweeper, a gardener, a cobbler, a guard, a rickshaw puller, a tailor and a carpenter. They introduced themselves to the students and explained to them the use of each tool and the importance of the work that they do. Through visual learning and interaction with the community helpers, the children were able to comprehend their work better and were engaged in various exercises. Students learnt about the different jobs and responsibilities people have in our communities.

About 30 Human Resources heads of various companies got together at the New Delhi Institute of Management (NDIM, esb 1992), a private, not for profit, business school in Delhi to brainstorm on the HR issues and provide input to college’s MBA curriculum.  Those who attended includes heads from Mahindra Defense Systems Ltd., ONIDA, Muthoot Fincorp, HCL Info, Devyani International, Third Vertex, Kotak Life Insurance, Hero Motocorp, Department of Fertilizers, HR Synergy, Empyrean Partners, ITC Fortune, ABC Consultants, Dharampal Satyapal Ltd., Top Ranker, NHRD, CEGR, SAIL, NDTV, Maruti Suzuki, JK Tyre, etc. All the senior professionals extended recruitment support and 2-6 weeks live projects to NDIM students and also assured to engage them in CSR initiatives.

 

3 Indian students to join Google I/O developer conference

Avinash Mishra, a B Tech CSE student of Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar along with 12 top professionals from industry & two other students from IIT Guwahati and an institute of Indore will be representing India upcoming global technology conference Google I/O from 25th to 26th June 2014 at San Francisco. There are 500+ Google Developer Group (GDG) Chapters in 100 Countries across the globe. Avinash is representing GDG Jalandhar constituted at LPU, which is covering the whole of northern region, and this group is ranked 3rd best in India in terms of performance.

Google annually sponsors 5000 professionals and students from across globe to participate at Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, where they talk about high-end technologies. Various sessions are held for Google and open web technologies such as Android, Chrome OS, Google APIs, Google Web Toolkit, App Engine, and more. This seventh annual Google event is supposed to unveil many new products and project such as- Revamped Google Glass; Nexus 8; Android 4.5; New Gmail; Focus on design; Refocused Google+, and many more.

NumberNagar, a maths concepts solution, finds its first customer in Delhi

Banaglore-based company BrainSTARs which has devised  NumberNagar space plug-in to to make math learning a rich, immersive experience for our children and connects it to our cultural and social life through its 5C approach – Curiosity, Clarity, Competence, Connectivity and Communication, launched the product at Ambience Public School, Delhi recently. Renowned educationist and Padam Bhushan award winner, Dr. Shayama Chona attended the launch. Speaking on the occasion Dr Chona said, “NumberNagar has a multidisciplinary approach and emphasizes experiential learning of math concepts and this is one of the primary reasons for procuring this space solution.” “NumberNagar concepts are seamlessly integrated with current curricula framework prescribed by the various boards (ICSE, CBSE, IB, IGCSE, State and NIOS)”, said Ravi Shankar, CEO & founder, BrainSTARS.

NIFA Annual show

National Institute of Fine Art presented its Annual Art Exhibition ‘Art for Soul ”from May 23rd to May 25th 2014. The three days art extravaganza providing each budding art student an opportunity to exhibit, the multi dimensional and original art works, welcomed artists, galleriests, collectors, art connoisseurs, the general public and the media.

The Luxor Handwriting Book’released

‘The Luxor Handwriting Book’, authored by late  D.K.Jain, founder of Luxor pens, for students between classes II to VI was released in New Delhi on June 4. The book talks about the discovery of alphabets, writing, human communication and handwriting. It emphasis on the importance of writing which might not be only be with pen and a paper. From jotting a shopping list, writing a birthday card or letter or signing documents writing is integral part of our daily lives and is reflection of our personalities. In recent years, modern technology has dramatically changed the way we communicate through writing. Apps like rED writing; iWrite words etc. have emerged to practice handwriting. However, despite the increased use of computers for writing, the skill of handwriting remains important in education, employment and in everyday life. Inspired by this thought, The Luxor Handwriting Book aims to address the need for the young generation to focus on their writing skills in the early years. The proceeds from the book shall be sent to the charitable trust under the name of Luxor Foundation, engaged in educating underprivileged.

Telengana  girl, Poorna becomes the youngest female to scale Mt Everst, teenager Anand Kumar, the first dalit to do so

Poorna Malavath  from Pakala village of Srikanda Mandal, Nizamabad District, created a record of the youngest female ever in the world to reach the world’s highest peak, at the age of 13 years and 11 months, on May 25th, 2014. She is a class 9 student of the Social Welfare Residential School in Nizamabad, Telangana. Her parents work as agricultural labour. Another teenager, Anand Kumar, also reached the summit of Mt. Everest the same day. He is the first dalit to do so. He from Annapu Reddy Palli, Khammam district Andhra Pradesh. He is pursuing Inter first year (Bi.P.C). at AP Social Welfare Residential Education School/College for Boys. He studies in the Social Welfare School in Khammam, Telangana. His father works as a mechanic in a cycle shop. They were trained and mentored by Shekhar Babu, a Tenzing Norgay awardee, who has scaled many peaks including Mt. Everest. The Prime Minister congratulated the young achievers, and remarked that they had achieved a great feat at a tender age.