Citizens' Issues
Robotic lab is pride of Gurgaon government school

A robo lab enables students design, operate and apply robots as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing

 

In what is claimed to be a first in the country, a government school here has been equipped with a robotic lab - with a smart class on the way - to go beyond the routine curriculum and spark the interest of generation next in the Make in India and Skill India initiatives.
 
"With our Robo Siksha Kendra initiative, we are not only developing robotics knowledge but focussing on 21st century skills and providing opportunities to access contemporary educational tools," Sudhanshu Sharma, founder of the India Stem Foundation that has equipped the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya with the robo lab, told IANS.
 
A robo lab enables students design, operate and apply robots as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing. They cost Rs.10-12 lakhs and are only now making a beginning in a few private schools.
 
So, how did the Gurgaon school come to be chosen?
 
"The Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas are a unique concept under the ministry of human resource development specifically to find talented children in rural areas of India and provide them with an education equivalent to the best residential school system. We chose this school as a CSR initiative as it falls in our catchment area," Sharma explained.
 
Not surprisingly, the lab will make you think you are in an upscale private school but the major difference is that the school doesn't charge any fees for academics and boarding and lodging.
 
The experience will soon be enhanced with a Smart Class funded by Samsung electronics.
 
The NGO is planning to replicate the initiative in four more government schools to provide deprived and underprivileged children access to fun-centric learning experience beyond their traditional four walls and acquire hands-on learning experience to face the challenges of daily life.
 
"Such an initiative has never been taken before in India," Sharma added.
 
Along with the robo lab, the NGO is also providing training to the teachers, who, in turn will take the process forward. It will also look after the maintenance and upgradation aspects.
 
School principal Suman Negi is pleased as punch.
 
"I am grateful to have the chance to mentor and make my students learn with these gadgets while having fun at the same time," Negi told IANS.
 
"These kids get to work together as a team, and get to design and execute solutions to complicated problems. Robotics is fulfilling, as I believe the most fulfilling toy is the one that you build yourself," Negi added.
 
Belonging to lower middle-class families, these children may not be in hi-tech and expensive schools and have easy access to gadgets, but they are no less comfortable with technology. Besides, they have the right ideas for their use, Negi said.
 
In September, children from the school participated in Indian Robotic Olympiad (IRO) where they did not win any trophies but won the hearts of the audience with good scores that inspired them to again participate next year.
 
"This time, our robot performed only one task. Other robots did more than ours. Our participation prepared us for the next year's competition, for which we have already started working hard," said a bright-eyed Dikshit Yadav, a class 9 student.
 
"We have the best students in our district from rural areas and our vision is to create the best of facilities for them," Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner T.L. Satyaprakash, the chairman of the school, told IANS.
 
"Our efforts are well-aligned with the prime minister's visions of Make in India and Skill India. Such initiatives are the way to equip our youth with the necessary skill sets and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow," he added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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Modi launches three gold-related schemes

According to the World Gold Council, an estimated 22,000-23,000 tonnes of gold is lying idle with households and institutions in India

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched three gold-related schemes, including a coin engraved with the images of national emblem Ashok Chakra and Mahatma Gandhi on its two sides, in a bid to put some 20,000 tonnes of idle gold into productive use.
 
The other two schemes launched here are the gold monetisation scheme to convert jewellery and other yellow metal assets with people into interest-bearing deposits, and the sovereign bond scheme with an eight-year tenure, while allowing an exit option after five years.
 
According to the World Gold Council, an estimated 22,000-23,000 tonnes of gold is lying idle with households and institutions in India. The annual imports amount to around 850-1,000 tonnes valued at $35-$45 billion.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

MG Warrier

1 year ago

The time is ripe for authorities to think in terms of dedicated professional institutions at the regional/state level, which will handle gold from a banking angle. An apex body should be equipped with linkages for import and export of gold and gold products with borrowing and lending capabilities.
States like Kerala have successfully intervened in other similar sectors like chits/kuris and lotteries, which were also areas of exploitation by vested interests. Private players had to fall in line and function with discipline and self-regulation.
Establishment of ‘Gold Corporations' with state participation could also be debated. Such an institution can act as a depository where the gold possession of individuals now in bank lockers and the pledged gold can find a safe shelter, provided the purity can be ensured, and the ‘Corporation' can find the resources and skill to deal in gold and retain the customers' confidence.

Once macho, smoking is the biggest killer
Every day as I leave from work, I see men, old and young alike, making a beeline for the local paan (betel leaf) vendor. Some are busy chewing paan while others indulge in a quick "stress-free" smoking session.
 
The other day I noticed a group of young lads next to the same paan shop. They all must have been in their early teens. One of them bought a packet of cigarettes and started blowing smoke rings as the others watched in amazement. He then offered it to a friend who at first declined but finally accepted it after much persuasion by the group. He looked like a first timer. This boy took the first puff, coughed, gave it back, took it back and puffed again.
 
And there it was. Another youth falling for the bloody stick.
 
Why is it hard to say NO to another puff?
 
The answer is nicotine, an addictive substance in tobacco, which is as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
 
What's in a smoke you wonder, especially if you are a young reader or a new smoker. Well, there are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes. Over 50 of them are known to be carcinogenic. A carcinogen is something that causes cancer. And we all know that cancer is a disease that often kills those who have it.
 
But do you know how much harm can one puff of a cigarette cause you?
 
Well, honestly, one puff will not cause you harm, but it could lead you to fall into a trap. It wouldn't get you addicted but it could spark a curiosity to continue which will lead to addiction.
 
It really worries me to see the sorry state of tobacco consumption in our country. It inflicts huge damage on the health of Indians and could be clocking up a death toll of 1.5 million a year by 2020 if more users are not persuaded to kick the habit.
 
I recall a news item last year that quoted how the number of people smoking has increased in the past three decades from almost 75 million to over 110 million. In fact, India, with over 12 million women smokers in 2012, compared to just 5.3 million in 1980, has more women smoking than any other country except the US.
 
All this and a more saddening situation still prevail despite smoking being recognized as the third biggest health risk for Indians and despite all the anti-tobacco and smoke-free laws.
 
I think that more than anything, it is important to remember that as individuals become emancipated to make more choices, they are free to make bad ones. It is too bad that many of the women in India see smoking as a way of flaunting their freedom. There are so many other ways to celebrate autonomy and personal choice. Becoming a slave to smoking is not a good way to do it.
 
Going by the look of it, if the trend of an increase in cigarette smoking prevalence continues among Indian women, chronic health problems such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung cancer will also rise in about 20 years. It is unlikely that India's healthcare system will be ready for that.
 
COPD is a set of lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. People with COPD have trouble breathing in and out, due to long-term damage to the lungs, usually because of smoking.
 
Coming back to chemicals in cigarettes and cigarette smoke, they cause not only cancer but also other serious health problems. Tar, for example, is the oily material which remains after tobacco passes through the filter. When a smoker inhales, a lot of the tar sticks to and blackens the lungs.
 
I am sure we all have seen the advisory advertisements that they play before a film start at most movie halls. Imagine that happening inside your body. How does that feel? Scary, I am sure.
 
So now that you know what's in a smoke, you have a choice. You can be a happy non-smoker if you have never tried one or have quit or you can choose to become an addicted smoker. Consider carefully which way of life better suits you - a slave to a deadly leaf or a smoke free person? The choice is yours.
 
Early symptoms of Lung cancer include:
 
* Coughing that lasts, blood in the cough or sputum
 
* Shortness of breath
 
* Wheezing
 
* Pneumonia
 
* Hoarse voice
 
* High pitch sound when talking
 
* Pain in chest area
 
* Tiredness that lasts
 
The most optimum time for lung cancer screening is before the symptoms appear. Sadly, lung cancer is detected only after symptoms appear. It is time we took charge of our lung health before it is too late.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

1 year ago

Gutakha, Smoking & chewing of tobacco is harmful and it has potential carcinogenic chemicals. Still, people consume these items all over the world, and help drug manufacturers of cancer.

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