AMMACHI Labs to setup vocational institutes in 101 villages

AMMACHI Labs to setup vocational institutes in 101 villages whcih would be adopted by MAM. The institutes would be centred around Computerized Vocational & Education Training (cVET) and Life-Enrichment Education (LEE) systems developed and managed by AMMACHI Labs.

AMMACHI Labs has already provided training to more than 1,000 women in fields such as plumbing through haptics technology, mobile teaching labs and other programmes. “

“AMMACHI Labs has always had a special focus on training women because research shows that woman are more likely than men to use money earned for the upliftment of the family,” said Bhavani Bijalani, director of the Labs.

AMMACHI Labs is one of the R&D departments at Amrita University.

 

500 times more efficient solar cell powered tablets for rural education

Amrita has developed a unique tablet-based multimedia learning programme for the education in villages. “It takes into account the learning needs of multi-grade rural students and is exclusively designed for the tablet format, taking into considering its screen size and low processing power” explained Raghu Raman, the director of Amrita University’s Centre for Research in Advanced Technologies for Education (CREATE).

Raghu Raman said that the learning programme is designed to work where there is little or no Internet connectivity, and that, in the first phase, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam languages will be supported.

Amrita Center for Nano sciences & Molecular Medicine has developed integrated nano material-based solar cells and batteries that are 500 times more efficient than the existing technology and have much larger power densities, and that this technology would be used to help power tablets used in the villages.

Amrita Vidyalayam Davengere won the International Science Fair award

aiswaryaThe students from Amrita Vidyalayam, Davangere– Nayana KR and Aishwarya CA of Class 10–  have won Fourth Grand Award in the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair 2013 held at Arizona, USA. They won the prize in Mathematical Science Category for their experiment – Dissection of square into ‘N’ congruent squares.

The fair was from May 12 to 17.
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There were 1600 participants from 70 countries of 9 students representing India.

Amrita Vidyalayam students to represent India at ISEF in USA

Two students, Nayana KR and Aishwarya CA , from Amrita Vidyalayam School, Davangere, are among 10 students who have been chosen to represent India at the International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) to be held in May 2013, in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Nayana KR and Aishwarya CA won the IRIS 2012 Grand Award in the Senior Category for their project in which they presented Vaina’s Square Lemma: Extension of Pythagoras Theorem on Division of Equal Squares.

Award winners of Amrita Vidyalayam, Davengere with a scientist

Their project was selected from 110 others which were presented at the Initiative for Research & Innovation in Science 2012 (IRIS), one of India’s largest science initiatives for students in classes 5-12. The event was held at Bal Bhawan, New Delhi on 29th Nov to Dec. 2nd, 2012.

Hima Bindu TV & Bhargavi N Sarode (Amrita Vidyalayam, Devangere), won Silver for their presentation in Chemistry: Making Ink From Waste Tea Decoction.

Two other groups, also from Amirta Vidyalayam, Devangere, were recognized for their participation: Athreya Sharma & Bhagavathi Sharma in Medicine and Health Sciences: Crude Drugs as an Anti-Cancer Agent; and Ganga K M for her presentation in Engineering – Electrical and Mechanical: Automatic Level Crossing System & Automated Spot Lights at Railroad Junctions.

IRIS is sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Intel. The initiative promotes and nurtures science and scientific research among young Indian innovators, recognizes and rewards outstanding projects, and provides opportunites to represent India at global science competitions.

ISEF is the world’s largest pre-college science fair competition where more than 1,600 young innovators from 65 contries come together to share ideas, showcase cutting-edge independent research, and compete for over USD 4 million in awards and scholarships.

Indian President launches Amrita’s A-VIEW on Aakash Tablet

11 Nov 2012, Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi

Hon’ble President of India Pranab Mukherjee launched the latest version of Amrita University’s E-Learning platform A-VIEW 3.0  (Amrita Virtual Interactive E-Learning World) on the Aakash 2 tablet.

The President A-VIEW Server with 1 Gbps link was unveiled and dedicated for the nation. Any institution of higher education can now use A-VIEW free of charge with this server.

The President said that technology enhanced learning was necessary for India, and these novel initiatives in Higher Education will be useful for Nation Building.

More than 14,000 teachers and students across 240 remote centers in India attended this event live. They are currently attending a national workshop about Aakash 2 using the A-VIEW software platform. Live teaching was demonstrated, and participants at a few remote centers showed their new Aakash tablets.

A-VIEW 3.0, the latest version, allows sharing of multimedia like 2D and 3D. A-VIEW comes packed with various unique knowledge sharing modules, high performance, better reliability, and features to handle huge classes easily. “A-VIEW addresses the most critical issue of India’s Education today: Millions of eager students wanting to learn but who are not fortunate enough to have well-qualified teachers” said Prof. Kamal Bijlani, Director, Amrita E-Learning Research Lab.

A-VIEW is currently being used by over 350 Universities and over 1000 colleges, and is provided free of charge for higher education. Earlier in June 2012, A-VIEW was used by IIT Bombay to train 10,000 teachers online at different geographical locations, which is the biggest online program undertaken in India, and probably across the globe.

The Union Minister for HRD, Dr. M. M. Pallam Raju; Ministers of State for HRD, Dr. Shashi Tharoor and Shri Jitin Prasada; Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Dr. Karan Singh, India’s representative to UNESCO were also present on this occasion.

 

For more visit www.aview.in

Amrita University launches four research oriented projects

27 Sep 2012, Amritapuri – Amma’s 59th Birthday celebrations

During the 59th birthday celebrations of Amma, along with the many charitable projects, a number of new research-oriented projects of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham were inaugurated.

Wireless Landslide detection

Wireless technologies to alert people living in landslide at-risk areas by sending a sms when the possibility of landslides are high. The project, which has been active in the Sahya Mountain region of Kerala will now be employed in the Himalaya regions. {read more on the project}

Online labs
These online labs have been set up to assist the school children in attaining higher levels of success in the fields of science and technology. With the support of computer technology, these online labs have been installed in 27 schools on an experimental basis. {read more on this project}

Career Lab and English Language Lab
These two labs are designed to refine university students’ interview skills, vocabulary, and general competency in speaking, understanding and comprehending English.  The site includes Role Plays for developing confidence in speaking English, Speech Analysis and Pronunciation Tutor, Flash Card games and exercises to master upper level English vocabulary and a Resume Builder to guide students in creating a powerful resumes.  Labs can be accessed at www.amrita.edu/englishlabs

A new program to help school children study material such as physics, chemistry, biology, maths and environmental sciences via multimedia has been developed by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. These programs will be available in both local languages—totally free of cost. They teach basic lessons in how to protect the environment. This computer program will opens the door of communication between people sitting in any corner of the world. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has developed this technology, with the aim of helping scientists share and discuss ideas. Amrita will provide this technology free of cost to educational and governmental institutions.

 

 

Cyber security

Amrita University also announced a program to provide cyber security, free of cost.

Inaugurating these projects, V.S. Sivakumar, Minister for Health, Family Welfare & Devaswom, gave a bouquet of acknowledgement to Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham for its virtual classroom program for setting up computers to communicate with students from around the world.”That is why the Central Government has chosen Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s global classrooms” he said. He also used the opportunity to thank Amma for sending the volunteers to clean Sabarimala. “With Amma’s blessings, the last Sabarimala pilgrimage season went very smoothly. Amala Bharatam Campaign workers sent by Amma kept the pilgrimage site very clean.”

Wherever there is sorrow, Amma is there to wipe away the tears

27 Sep 2012, Amritapuri – Amma’s 59th Birthday celebrations

Retired Supreme Court Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer inaugurated the Amrita Vocational Training Centre. Upon doing so, he said, “This [Amritapuri] is a sacred land. It’s not enough to give food and clothing. Everyone also wants justice. Amma is working for that justice. Amma is a symbol of universal brotherhood and is God in human form. This human ocean of compassion represents this immortal power.” He also said that, wherever there is sorrow, Amma is there to wipe away the tears.” This  inauguration was part of the number of charitable activities launched  during the 59th birthday celebrations of Amma.

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Class room on wheels ‘MOVE’ from Amrita to empower women

Amrita University is ushering a new era for the empowerment of socially and economically weaker sections of women in India by taking computer aided vocational training courses to villages using technology aided mobile vehicles called MoVE (Mobile Vocational Education).

A MoVE unit is a fully functioning classroom-on-wheels, equipped with latest computer and communication technology. The unit typically contains 20 computers, through which students are trained in vocational skills using the haptic technology. It employs WiFi and a local and central database to monitor and assess student performance. Also, A-VIEW has been embedded into MoVE providing students instant access to experts in their field of study, for real-time, online interaction.

 
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A mobile class room has several advantages over a regular class room such as reusable infrastructure, reduced operating costs and increase in outreach. A MoVE unit is sustained by solar energy. The technologies used to deliver classes are intuitive and are designed to teach those even with rudimentary literacy.

In the first phase of deployment, vocational training through MoVE will be made available to 3,000 women that cover areas of Chavara and Panmana in Kollam District, Kerala. The courses taught during the initial phase of deployment are fabric painting and assistant plumbing.

 

 

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In me lies a piece of gold

12 April 2012, Kenya
A new vocational training program for disadvantaged youth was launched at Amrita Watoto Boma, care home in Athi River, Nairobi. For a period of three months, 90 youth will receive training in IT, electrical engineering, hospitality and garment making. The initiative is a joint venture between CAPs-Youth Empowerment Institute and MAM Charitable Trust Kenya.

 
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During the launching ceremony, Viktor Mwendwa, 22, one of the new electrical students, said: “I believe that in me lies a piece of gold – if I explore myself and accept what I get through this vocational training course I will become the best I can be. You can never make it in life if you have a low self-esteem. But if you look at yourself as a winner, if you believe in yourself, you can make it in life. All of my fellow students should have the same spirit – it is such a privilege to be trainees here in Athi River. This is a second chance that we get to prove ourselves. I would like to tell the representatives from the industries around here that we are going to make a difference in this nation. I don’t know how many “Thank You’s” I can say, how I can pass on this gratitude to you. This is the best that we can get.”

– Das

When Science meets Spirituality

Dr. R. Chidambaram, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India met with Amma during his visit to Amrita University for the International Conference on Wireless Technologies for Humanitarian Relief (ACWR2011) at Amritapuri on 19 December 2011. Along with Dr. Chidambaram, his colleague S. Chatterjee and Dr M.H. Mehta, Chairman of the National Bioshield Society also participated in the discussion.

 

Dr. Chidambaram, who is a renowned nuclear scientist and metallurgist, mentioned to Amma that his focus at the conference was to combine wired and wireless networks. He felt that Amrita University’s haptic technologies project had a lot of potential. Dr. Chidambaram was very much impressed by the landslide detection system developed by Amrita University and requested Amma to bring this technology to the Himalayan region of Uttarkashi where landslides are a regular phenomena. Amrita University had designed, built and deployed a real-time landslide warning system in the hills of Idukki district of Kerala and was even able to issue warnings on time.

Amma said that this system is designed to work in the Kerala mountains. She started by talking about the necessity of simulations before actual deployment and how mini-models need to be implemented for testing. Amma went on to talk about ‘pore pressure’ due to a large quantity of wide-spread rainfall on a hill. She outlined that each hill or mountain may have different types of soil every 10-20 feet and that this variety may yield more questions to study. She said that we need to consider the weather conditions and the soil/mountain quality before deploying in Northern regions. Upon hearing Amma pointing out these scientific matters in such detail, Dr. Chidambaram was indeed surprised.

Amma then began talking about mobile communication towers, “Because of the radiation of huge cell phone towers many small birds are not able to build nests and are disappearing. If we produce devices that are smaller in size and keep them in individual houses, connected to one another, such problems can be solved.”

Amma also mentioned that her motivation to pursue research at Amrita University originated from her seeing the suffering around – poverty, starvation, sickness, environmental pollution and contamination. She stated that multinational companies abroad give importance to research, but not so in India. Now the situation is changing. Amma also mentioned that other countries must grow and become happy. Another problem of India is the so-called ‘brain drain’. To this, Dr. Chidambaram replied by telling Amma that she had attracted a lot of talented people from abroad, which even the government finds hard to do.

Amma continued saying that the level of respect society shows for scientists should increase. When science is respected the motivation to serve and find cures for cancer and other diseases will automatically arise within, while the desire to make quick money will decrease.

Amma said “Nature is God’s form. In creation, nothing is insignificant. Everything is important. Creation and creator are not two, but one. The ocean and its waves are not different but the same. Gold and gold ornaments are the same. Clay and clay pots are of the same essence. That is what science tells us too. Everything (matter) is energy” Amma talked about seva (selfless service), science and education and how they benefit both the individual and society as a whole. She also mentioned about the need of quality education and the essence of values.

As the meeting was coming to an end, Amma asked how the attendees became interested in spirituality. Dr. Chidambaram talked of how science has its limits. He said that for any scientific law questions like ‘Why that law?’ ‘Will that law stand true in the future?’ still cannot be explained. The laws that connect living and non-living matter and determine the interaction between atoms are still a puzzle. Parabrahmam (Consciousness that pervades all matter) could be the explanation, he added.

Science can explain ‘how’ things are happening, but not ‘why’ they are happening. That’s where one turns to spirituality for the answers.
–Sakshi