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IIT Kharagpur partners with Samsung for Digital Academy

Press Trust of India | Kolkata, 10 October 2017 |  PTI |

Samsung Digital Academy

Kolkata, Oct 10 (PTI) IIT-Kharagpur has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Samsung India for the setting up of a digital academy on the institute’s campus.  The Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the institute would host the Samsung Innovation Lab and train students on the Internet of Things (IoT) through Tizen-based operating systems, commonly used by the company for its mobile phones and home appliances.  IoT is a network of computing devices embedded in objects of everyday use for storage and exchange of information.  The training would help students acquire industry-relevant skills and “become job ready”, an IIT-KGP statement said today. The academy was a part of the company’s corporate social initiative that aims at bridging the digital divide in the country by imparting skills to students on cutting-edge technology, the statement said. Through this partnership with IIT-KGP, the academy planned to train over 100 students in the next three years, it added. After signing the MoU yesterday, the managing director of Samsung Research & Development Institute, Delhi, YoungKi Byun, said, “Samsung is happy to partner with IIT-Kharagpur to help students leverage the growing digital technology market, especially Internet of things (IoT), the future of connectivity”.
The company was committed to work in the field of next-generation technology development, he said.  Echoing similar sentiments, IIT-KGP Director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said, “The partnership will help our students in developing their skills on the emerging areas of IoT and Artificial Intelligence.”  The curriculum at the Samsung Digital Academy included the basics of web application development on Tizen, app testing and debugging.  The course would be taught over 14 weeks through classroom lectures, assignments, lab room sessions, self-study and mini projects.  “This (IoT) lab will enable our students to have hands-on experience with the Tizen operating system as well as facilitate research and app development on IoT platforms,” the head of the department of Computer Science and Engineering, Sudeshna Sarkar, said. – Courtesy

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IIT Gandhinagar team develops system to monitor drought in South Asia

The Hindu | R. Prasad |  Chennai, October 05, 2017 |

Precipitation and temperature data provided at finer resolution than before

Saran Aadhar, left, and Vimal Mishra at Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar.

Near real-time monitoring of drought at a 5-km scale that will help policy makers in water management at a district level is now possible, thanks to tools developed and made available online by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar. The researchers offer precipitation and temperature datasets and drought indicators available from 1980 to April 2017 covering the entire South Asian region. The data will be updated weekly. Besides drought, the datasets can also be used for monitoring heat and cold waves in South Asia. “We don’t know whether a particular region is in drought as we don’t have real-time rainfall and temperature data at appropriate scale. IMD [Indian Meteorology Department] provides daily rainfall data mainly during the monsoon season. There’s no real-time information at high-resolution about drought after the monsoon season,” says Prof. Vimal Mishra from the Civil Engineering department at IIT Gandhinagar and one of the two researchers who developed the dataset. Also, IMD’s drought information is based only on rainfall data and does not incorporate the role of air temperature. But higher temperature after the monsoon season can cause drought-like situation due to increased evaporation and transpiration losses.

At the district level

The team wanted to provide information in near real-time on whether a region of interest is under drought and what part of a district or sub-basin is under drought. The emphasis was to develop a dataset at a finer resolution (5 km) as the data provided by IMD and other agencies is coarse (resolution of 25 km). The researchers used CHIRPS global rainfall data which are available at 5 km resolution and corrected the data for bias and errors. CHIRPS stands for Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station. “The corrected data compares well with the IMD data once we aggregate our data to the IMD scale,” says Prof. Mishra. The precipitation dataset at a finer resolution of 5 km over the entire South Asian region was evaluated against a standard rainfall database (APHRODITE) that is available for South Asia and satellite-based information. Earlier studies have shown that the Aphrodite database matches the IMD rainfall data quite well. The results were published in the journal Scientific Data.

“The drought indices — standardised precipitation index and standardised precipitation evapotranspiration index — were estimated using the bias-corrected, high-resolution data and evaluated against satellite-based drought products. The validation gives us the confidence that our dataset can indicate the severity and extent of drought at a district and sub-basin level in south Asia,” says Saran Aadhar from the Civil Engineering department at IIT Gandhinagar and the first author. The researchers used the drought indices to assess severity and extent of drought in 2015 for a four-month period from June to September. “The developed dataset and drought indicators performed well over the South Asian region. Apart from IMD, this is an additional effort to provide more real-time information on drought that can be used for decision-making,” says Prof. Mishra. – Courtesy

There’s an internet of things blueprint for a clean river Ganga by IET

The Economic Times | Aritra Sarkhel | 26 September 2017 |

Representational Image

BENGALURU: Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), a non-profit engineering organisation, has created a blueprint through their IoT India panel to implement internet of things devices and related technology for curbing pollution and improving water flow for the 2,525-km long river Ganga . Vivek Mehrotra, chairman of IET India IoT Panel. Ganga Rejuvenation says that Ganga as a river has been neglected for a long time. There are a lot of local industries which allow chemicals to flow unprocessed along with sewage which is dumped into the river. There are laws in place to check pollution but most of these industries are unregulated in terms of the chemicals released into the river. Then you have human and industrial waste along with excessive fertilisers which are not used by farmers, which is released into Ganga.  Moreover, he points out that diverting the course of river and construction near banks have depleted the river bed. Keeping these issues in mind, Mehrotra says that IoT India panel plans to work collaboratively with technology companies, universities and the government to implement IoT-based devices across Varanasi to check pollution and based on the data collected, the government can act accordingly.

IoT is just not for collecting data but about analysing the data and give aforesaid results. Our devices can monitor the situation across the length of the river and then share the data with local authorities and universities to work on it. But a clean Ganga has been far from reality so far. ET had earlier reported that the National Green Tribunal directed many states in India through which the river flows to rejuvenate Ganga by declaring it as a ˜No-Development Zone. However, due to inaction, the NGT issued warrants against Haryana and Rajasthan governments. Mehrotra says that they will run a POC in Varanasi for six months and take note of the progress and act accordingly. We have created a framework, technology will follow and now we are looking forward to procuring such devices with the help of universities.  – Courtesy

REVA University students’ innovation to end manual scavenging?

The Times of India | Dhwani Desai | TNN | Sep 17, 2017 | Bangalore |

There is no doubt that Bengaluru is the hub of innovations, and a team of students from REVA University has proved this once again with an innovation that will hopefully help put an end to manual scavenging.  Students of REVA University’s School of Mechanical Engineering — Suraj N, Santhosh Reddy KV and Vinay Kumar P — won a national-level award by IIT Bombay, e-Yantra, in April 2017 for Best Demonstration and Presentation for their project, Sewage Blockage Removal Robot. The students were guided by Dr Jagadeeswaran N, associate professor, School of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr Veena KN, associate professor, School of Electronics and Communication Engineering. The inter-disciplinary team of faculty members and students also includes Praveen V Vijapur, assistant professor, School of ECE; Spoorthi KB, Srinivas HA and SV Ullas Kumar, students of the School of ECE; and Harshit M and Akshay GV, students of the School of C&IT.

HOW THE ROBOT WORKS

The students have developed a robot that will clear sewage blockages. Advanced technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Computational Intelligence (CI) and Internet of Things (IOT) have been utilized in this project. The robot is placed in drainages, where it opens up and detects blockages. Once a blockage is detected, the material that is causing the obstruction is picked up on a tray and taken out of the manhole, thereby not requiring any human involvement.
 BWSSB KEEN ON IMPLEMENTATION

 Manjunath M, public relations manager, REVA University, informs us that the team is currently working on the final robot, which will have advanced features. In the meantime, the team has approached MY Hanumanthraj, officer, Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), who has shown interest in testing, and possibly using the robot in the future in the city. The BWSSB has also extended support towards the building of the final, updated version. A patent has been filed and the Prime Minister’s office has also been informed, since the project is in line with national initiatives such as Make in India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India and the Smart Cities project. – Courtesy

Saint Gits College Team wins QuEST Ingenium 2017

Technology | Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala |

Jobby George and Jose Tom

Thiruvananthapuram: Two Mechanical Engineering students, who graduated from Saint Gits College of Engineering, Kottayam won the QuEST Ingenium 2017 finals here on Friday. Jobby George and Jose Tom won the top honours for their project – “Electricity Generation Using Speed Breakers.” The winners will get a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and a trip to the Airbus facility in Germany, where they will be given an exclusive tour of the facility. Park College of Engineering & Technology from Tamil Nadu for their project “Design and fabrication of a fighter aircraft with yawing wing,” and Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu for “Hi-Tech bionic prosthetic legs” have been declared first and second runners up respectively. The seventh edition of QuEST Ingenium received more than 7,500 applications from 650 engineering colleges across India.

The top 10 teams were invited to present their projects to a panel of judges and eminent personalities from the industry in the final. Nidhi Mathur, Co-Founder of Niramai, was the chief guest of the event. Burkhard H.R. Heinke, Project Leader, Airbus Cabin Electronics Buxtehude Pre-development, delivered a keynote address. The students of MVJ College of Engineering (MVJCE), Karnataka received Special Jury mention for their project “Advanced prosthetic hand for handicapped.” The Most Popular Project Award, a special category of award selected by the public by voting on social media, was bagged by Sri Sairam Engineering College, Tamil Nadu for their project “MOBSCOPE.” Airbus, Siemens, Qatar Airways and MSC Software were the major sponsors of the competition this year. – Courtesy

Niti Aayog invites applications for Mentor India

NITI Aayog calls for applications for ‘Mentor India’

NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), Government of India’s flagship program to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, is inviting applications for ‘Mentor India’. Mentor India is as a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor schools students in 900+ Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) established by AIM in schools across India. Through Mentor India, AIM is looking to engage leaders who can dedicate 1 – 2 hours every week in one or more such labs and enable school students to experience, learn and practice future skills such as design and computational thinking. Envisaged to be the largest formal volunteer mentor network, it is aimed at maximizing the impact of ATLs. AIM is looking for corporates / professionals / academicians / students etc. who are keen to contribute to this strategic nation building initiative. ATLs are dedicated works spaces where students (from Class 6th to Class 12th) learn innovation skills and develop ideas that will go on to transform India. The labs are powered to acquaint students with state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D printers, robotics & electronics development tools, IoT & sensors etc. With 900+ labs already identified, AIM will establish 2,000 such labs by end of 2017. The labs are designed to spur the spark of creativity, and go beyond regular curriculum and text book learning. The labs will let students explore skills of future such as design and computational thinking, adaptive learning and artificial intelligence.

Mentor India has already received strong support from Corporate India. More than 30 of India’s top thought leaders have signed up as Brand Ambassadors for the initiative. More than 90 ATLs in schools across India have been adopted and are being supported by various corporations / institutions from multiple sectors. AIM is actively looking to engage with more corporations / institutions to adopt ATLs and enable their employees to join Mentor India as volunteers. Furthermore, AIM has signed a SoI with AICTE to provide mentorship support of affiliated colleges for 366 ATLs.

Possible areas of contribution from mentors include technical knowhow, innovation and design, inspirational, and business and entrepreneurship. Mentors are expected to discuss with students the various problems our Indian society is facing across multiple themes, and motivate students to develop solutions to these community problems. Mentor India program will be further extended to provide support to Atal Incubation Centres and Existing Incubation Centres as well. Proposed recognition for mentors include digital certificate of recognition, honour board for top mentors, meet and greet with prominent dignitaries and invites to Government of India events. The deadline for submission of applications to join Mentor India is 30 Sep 2017. The applications can be submitted online at: http://aim.gov.in/mentor.php          /      More Details …http://niti.gov.in/content/atal-innovation-mission-aim

India Innovation Initiative 2017 (i3)

India Innovation Initiative or i3 is one of India’s largest and most-awaited innovation challenges jointly-promoted by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to identify, reward and recognize the top innovators from across the country and to enable commercialisation of the best, home-grown innovations through incubation support, mentorship, investor and industry connect. Now in its 9th edition, the focus of i3 2017 is on identifying high-potential innovators who have developed innovations with high-impact, and orienting and training them to become entrepreneurs. This year, the focus is on the human aspect, developing key entrepreneurship skills of innovators for maximum impact.

About

India Innovation Initiative (i3) is one of India’s most prestigious and most-awaited national innovation challenges promoted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) that aims to encourage, enable and provide support to the development of home-grown, high-impact science & technology-based innovations and their transformation into viable and scalable commercial and social ventures.

Since its inception in 2009, it has been connecting original innovations having high social or industrial impact with the start-up ecosystem of business incubators, angel investors, venture capitalists and mentors at different stages of the innovation or business cycle, after they undergo a highly- competitive selection-process.

Benefits for Innovators

There are lots of reasons, but most importantly because..

  • The top 100 will get the opportunity to present their innovations in front of a Jury in the Regional Fairs
  • Top 100 innovators selected will get exclusive pre-incubation entrepreneurship training as part of the Regional Fairs
  • The Top 20 innovators selected from the regional fairs will get to present their innovations at the i3 National Fair live in front of a Grand Jury for the i3 Top Awards.
  • The winners of the i3 Top Awards will be recognized and awarded at the Awards function.
  • Get access to incubation and connect to investor network
  • Opportunity to receive mentorship support from serial entrepreneurs, investors and senior corporate professionals
  • Networking with start-up ecosystem experts – incubator and accelerators, investors , mentors, senior corporates, academia and government officials. AICTE Notification –   Programme Details…Click here  http://www.i3.ciiinnovation.in/noc-programme-details-2017.php       /      http://www.i3.ciiinnovation.in/

Soon, a Student Satellite (STUDSAT-2) that tracks ships

Students of the consortium of colleges at work in their laboratory

Students belonging to engineering colleges in the city and state are developing a satellite which can track ship movements and prevent collision of ships. The Student Satellite (STUDSAT-2) which is currently being developed by a consortium of colleges and to be launched by ISRO will carry an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for ship tracking payload. “One of the payloads which will be onboard the STUDSAT-2 is an AIS for ship-tracking. So far, AISes have been ground-based and for the first time, a nano satellite will be carrying an AIS for ship tracking,” said STUDSAT-2 project director Dr S Sandhya. AISes can track ships, avoid collision of ships and also help in the smooth movement of vessels in the deep seas. In 2011, ISRO had launched RESOURCESAT-2 which carried an AIS payload from COMDEV, Canada, which provides ship surveillance in VHF band.

Also onboard the STUDSAT-2 will be a HAM radio payload. “We will have another payload to help the HAM community connect with each other and help in communication during times of disasters and natural calamities,” Sandhya said. She added that the team of students who have been working on the development of the satellite have already completed the design flow. “The design stage has been completed the components have been selected and the first cut has been made. The mission is in progress very well and we are waiting for ISRO which is coming out with new guidelines for student satellites,” she added.

A team of more than 150 students is involved in the STUDSAT-2 project, which is likely to be launched by 2019. STUDSAT-2 is a successor of India’s first pico (miniature) satellite- STUDSAT, which was launched in 2010 by ISRO. It is being developed by students of seven colleges, namely: Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, NMAM Institute of Technology, MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Sri Siddhartha Institute of Technology, RNS Institute of Technology and Nagarjuna College of Engineering and Technology. – Courtesy

Coimbatore student, researcher (Santhiya Rajan and G Suresh) get grants to develop path finder for visually impaired

The Times of India | Adarsh Jain | TNN | Jul 19, 2017 |

Representational Image

COIMBATORE: A final year student of Sri Eshwar Engineering College and a research scholar of PSG College of Technology have been awarded Rs 10 lakh by the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) to develop a path detector for visually challenged people.  The innovators have developed a prototype and will be developing the final product using this grant.  Santhiya Rajan and G Suresh of Sri Eshwar College of Engineering received communication from Naveen Vashishta, director of NSTEDB, informing them about the grant under National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovation programme (NIDHI).  Santhiya is a final year student of electrical and electronics engineering at Eshwar College, and Suresh is a research scholar at PSGTech.
Suresh was earlier a faculty at Eshwar College and had collaborated with Santhiya to work on this project “The product is designed for blind people to navigate easily using electronics and micro-processor. It uses ultrasonic sensor and tactile feedback system to detect obstacles,” Santhiya said.  The tool will help visually challenged to become self-dependent, said Santhiya. “To earn a living it is very essential for them to have a safe and independent mobility support. This project helps visually impaired people acclimatise with their environment,” she said. “A white cane does not help in identifying the path easily. It fails to detect obstacles above knee-level. Also, it does not provide any information about the kind of obstacle,” said Santhiya. The innovators also say that white cane users have difficulty detecting protruding bars (most white canes fail) or moving vehicles until they are dangerously close, which leads to collisions and falls.  “The limited capability of the white cane corresponds to its length and a user’s manouvering skills. As such, users rarely detect overhanging obstacles at head-level or ranges further than approximately 1 m from the user,” said Suresh. To aid visually impaired people navigate more confidently, this smart cane called ‘path detector’ identifies obstacles within an average person’s focus area using ultrasonic sensors and a camera. “The ultrasonic sensors perceive the presence of obstacles while the camera distinguishes the obstacle,” Suresh said.  The existence of human being in their vicinity is intimated by voice output and user is alerted of other impediments detected by ultrasonic sensors. In addition, this path detector functions as a Walkman and as a recorder. The device operates in two modes — indoor and outdoor. – Courtesy

This teenage ‘engineer’ (Ayush Semele) from MP needs no college degree to help the poor

Hindustan Times, Bhopal |  Shruti Tomar | Jul 19, 2017 |

Meet Ayush Semele, a resident of Prithvipur in Bundelkhand who makes a great argument in favour of those who believe that formal education isn’t the only road to success.

Ayush Samele poses with a self-made bladeless fan at his workshop in Bhopal on Saturday. (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)

He does not have an engineering degree, and isn’t even qualified for admission into a regular technical college. And yet, at the age of 19, he is already an “engineer for the poor”. Meet Ayush Semele, a resident of Prithvipur in Bundelkhand who makes a great argument in favour of those who believe that formal education isn’t the only road to success. He indigenously develops all electronic items for daily use – from induction cookers to refrigerators and bladeless fans – and even tutors people on manufacturing them at low prices. Today, the teenager has a huge fan following on the social media, especially YouTube. The money earned through his social media presence is put into developing more electronic equipment, which is then given to the needy for free. However, Ayush’s life was not always a success story. Though he had a passion for making electronic gadgets even as a child, poor grades in school invited discouragement from his folks. In 2012, when he was just a lad of fourteen, constant criticism spurred him to slash his wrists in desperation. A year later, the boy ran away from home for nearly a week to escape the taunts directed at him.

Interestingly, it was during this period that Ayush came to meet poverty-ridden people who couldn’t afford even the most basic of electronic comforts. Some of the children he chanced upon hadn’t even seen a toy. “I always wanted to become a scientist, but our education system only teaches us theoretical subjects,” says Ayush. “Whenever I sought practical lessons, I was thrown out of my class. I was criticised for asking questions. No one even tried to understand me.” However, after the initial setbacks, the home-bred inventor decided to pursue his dreams. He started off by making small toys and electronic items with discarded items, and they were both durable and cheap. At last, appreciation began trickling in. Ayush’s parents still had academic aspirations for him. However, after a year of being coached at a reputed institute in Bhopal, he dropped out. The boy just couldn’t concentrate on theory.  That was when Ayush’s elder brother, who is pursuing an engineering course in Bhopal, stepped in. Sourabh motivated him to come up with innovative electrical and electronic products, and upload his ideas on YouTube. “Ayush is a truly talented boy, and has always amazed me with his knowledge of electronics. His ‘career’ really took off once he launched Sdik Rof – his YouTube channel for kids – in September 2015.” Ayush’s luck took a turn for the better as more and more people started visiting his page to check his products. YouTube began paying him too. Though his first cheque was for a mere Rs 9,000 in April 2016, it boosted the teenager’s confidence to no end. Soon, the payments became bigger. The fattest cheque he has received till now is for Rs 72,000 in October 2016. Today, Ayush boasts of over 1.40 lakh subscribers, and his videos on making hair dryers and water heaters have scored as many as 25 lakh hits. He has developed around 72 different electrical products and posted 128 videos on his channel in the past two years. “I use commonplace items to make things. As all my products run on solar light, poor people aren’t burdened by soaring electricity costs,” says Ayush.

In the light of his newfound glory, people don’t look at Ayush in the same way anymore. His parents, Harishankar and Chhaya, now regard him with pride. Vijay Baghel, a resident of Prithvipur, says Ayush is the hero of his locality. “He does things that others can’t even imagine. Ayush is generous too. He gifted a scooter to the son of one of my relatives just because he couldn’t afford one.” While Sagar police constable Rajesh Rathod gushes over a hoverboard Ayush made for his child, Pappu Dubey – a barber from Bhopal – can’t have enough of a hair dryer created by the young inventor. “I have asked him to create a trimmer for me,” says Dubey. And then there are the ones inspired by Ayush’s videos to dabble in some inventing themselves. “I am an ardent follower of his YouTube channel,” says Raj Dikshit. “At present, I am trying to make a bladeless fan.” Ayush has also found an admirer in Satish Pal Singh Rajput, professor of mechanical engineering at the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology in Bhopal. “Ayush is using the appropriate technology to make his products. Any student who has mastered basic science can do it, but most lack his vision,” he says. – Courtesy      /   Click here to visit  YouTube channel  Sdik Rof – creativity by Ayush Semele