Answers that are not in science should be searched in spirituality

12 Aug 2013, Amritapuri

Amma meets Scientists from International Conference on Biotechnology for Innovative Applications

A group of 100 scientists from all over the world including India, USA, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Russia, UK, and Australia had come to Amritapuri to participate at the International Conference on Biotechnology for Innovative Applications.

The conference, called Amrita Bio Quest 2013, was hosted by Amrita University’s School of Biotechnology at Amritapuri from August 10-14, 2013.

Amma met these scientists and had a very important discussion on various aspects of Biotechnology and Biosciences touching today’s pertinent societal needs.

A professor from National Brain Research Center asked about how modern stressful living can be studied while focusing on values and spiritual principles. Amma opinioned that medicine is absolutely necessary. Amma insisted education for life and education for a living are both needed. Education for living can come from traditional schooling while education for life, which is knowing how to control one’s emotions and develop values is also needed along with it- one conditioning the external world via science and another conditioning the inner world via spiritual sciences; both are important. Amma said “Even the Vedas insist on medicine, in fact Ayurveda is part of Vedas. It is said that Lord Vishnu incarnated as Danwanthari Murthy (Lord of Medicine) and shared the knowledge of medicine.”

Medicine in the past has become poisonous
Amma however indicated that the human body had become weaker and the atmosphere is also getting more polluted. She explained that treatment of Tuberculosis used to be around 6 months in the past but today even after an year of treatment, the disease still might not be fully cured. Amma said, applying cow-dung to open wounds used to be medicine in the past but today cuts would become septic wounds if cow-dung were to be used. So things have changed and what was medicine in the past has become poisonous now. We are increasing the intensity and dosage of medicine today. More chemicals are being added and side-effects are also increasing.

Work together for the cause
Amma suggested the idea of different branches of medicine – Allopathy, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Yoga all working together to form a holistic approach for the betterment of the society. Amma acknowledged that many of those present in the meeting were great contributors to science and asked them to be alert and aware of the external and internal world and to work together for the cause could help the world.

Be natural 50% and be modern 50%

Prof. Suresh Subramani of UCSD then asked about recombinant DNA and genetically modified organisms. His question was whether we were disrespecting the species by altering its DNA even though it could have huge applications in terms of reducing poverty due to high yield, disease resistance etc.

Amma answered by saying with increasing human population and to avoid deaths due to poverty, such applications are being seen as solutions. However, while we make such seeds we need to add chemicals to make them grow and they will not grow naturally like in the past. Amma indicated that older, more natural seeds were the best but we cannot discard the new system either. With the help of modern seeds, some poverty related deaths have been reduced. Amma said it may not be possible to completely discard old or new methods, but rather an approach using 50% traditional methods, 50% new methods could be used. Modern seeds do not adapt to old fertilizers and natural seeds do not match well with new fertilizers. In fact Amma had tested the effects and found productivity was greatly reduced for new seeds with older fertilizers. Amma’s view is to focus on both appeasing hunger and promoting good health via both old and new systems. Amma said, to her, everything is significant and nothing should be discarded. “The old system was the best but to match today’s world adopting modern techniques may be needed.”


Medical system needs to be studied from its own standpoint
A professor from Turkey asked about the role of citizens in science and extending science beyond scientists.

Amma felt scientists should provide awareness of the pros and cons of science to citizens. Amma is not sure how successful it would be if citizens could make decision on scientific questions. The best for science may be when scientists discuss and approach the problems. Amma indicated the public’s opinion for cloning helped guide a former President of USA and that even Amma had sent an opinion. Amma felt scientists may not approve the role of citizen’s in making decisions for scientists. She used the example of Homeopathy, Allopathic and Ayurveda physicians being constantly in debate when it comes to treatment. Amma then talked about how each medical system needs to be studied from its own standpoint and yet the commonness needs to be sought. Amma insisted that sharing their discoveries and knowledge with society is very important.

There is nothing to be rejected
A question was posed to Amma as to what should be avoided in science. Amma answered that there was nothing to be discarded. Amma used the example of an aircraft engine and a screw. Both the screw and engine have their importance. Amma said, “Missing a vital screw would also make the aircraft unfit. Like that, everything has its place. What we see as useless grass may actual be highly medicinal. Some people drink wheat-grass juices as a health drink. Our ancestors used to do the same except today we give a modern name to it. Seeing this from a spiritual perspective, it is called Love. In Love, there is nothing to be rejected. Every being has a special quality”. Amma used the example of a dog, which many people may see as a useless animal. But where investigative officers may fail to catch a criminal, dogs can succeed. “Answers that are not in science should be searched in spirituality and those not in spirituality must be searched within science,” Amma said.

Most speakers commented on how a blend of dedication, selfless service and Love had transformed their visit to Amritapuri. It was their first time to see Amma’s message of Love, starting with her life and dedication.

– Kannadi

bioquest conference

Amrita Spandanam: a real-time monitoring of cardiac patients

In order to help people with cardiac conditions avail of real-time, ECG-monitoring without hospitalization, Amrita WNA has designed a prototype for a low-cost, low-power, wearable ECG-monitoring device called Amrita Spandanam.

Amrita Spandanam will allow postoperative cardiac patients as well as people with cardiac conditions to avoid hospitalization for the sake of continuous vital-parameter monitoring.

Amrita Spandanam, which can be worn either as a necklace or as a belt, continuously monitors and analyzes a patient’s ECG. The ECG data is sent wirelessly, in real-time, to the patient’s cardiologist/doctor, with alerts if a patient seems to require examination. Doctors can avail of the live-feed through their mobile phone, making monitoring possible even when both the patient and the doctor are mobile.

According to Dr. Maneesha Sudheer, the head of Amrita WNA, “When discussing potential wireless R&D projects, Amma would lament the number of poor people she has seen die from cardiac conditions in their 40s and 50s. She told me, ‘It is science’s responsibility to give such people the 30 or 40 years back by which their lives are being cut short and help them to lead full, productive lives.’ It was with this end in mind that we started working on an affordable wearable wireless system for real-time monitoring of cardiac patients.”

The Amrita Spandanam prototype has been designed so that the data will also be automatically logged into Hospital Information System at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi.

The Amrita Spandanam prototype will be unveiled on September 26, 2013, at Amritavarsham60—The 60th Birthday Celebrations of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Amma.

Safety for women, Security for mentally challenged; a device by Amrita

appsHow can anyone live in fear? Most women are victimized for no fault of their own unable to travel and perform mundane activities. In discussions with Amrita University’s Centre for Cyber Security, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma), stressed the need for developing technology to protect and make Indian women feel more safe.

According to Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan, the director of Amrita University’s Centre for Cyber Security Systems & Networks, “Amma told us that we should try to develop a device that women can wear secretly through which they can alert the police and family members if they become in danger. With Amma’s directive in mind, we came designed the Amrita Personal Safety System (APSS).”

The Amrita Personal safety system (APSS) device is wearable devices that will never make a women feel all alone anywhere anymore! This device will empower women to trigger communication with family and police when in distress. The device will remain inconspicuous to the offender and yet easily triggerable by the victim with multiple options to ensure stealthy and secure communication. With the ability to record conversations, and communicate immediately by the press of a button or using sms and voice calls to multiple destinations, this device also offers automated information on nearest police station, hospitals, fire stations to the victim to get immediate help. The device will also have ability to video tape events in the near future. The device is designed to function even in rural areas where the speed of the communication is very minimal. Also this device combines many location aware technologies intelligently, to be able to work in indoor and outdoor environments with minimal power consumption.

This customizable device developed by Amrita’s Centre for Cyber Security provides flexibility in design for wearability, and integrates over 15 features pertaining to safety and security of women and other potential victims.
This device can also be used as a safety device for mentally challenged citizens and children with many functionalities to quickly identify their whereabouts amongst other functions.

The APSS  will be dedicated to society during Amritavarsham60 —The 60th Birthday Celebrations of Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.

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.

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.


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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

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.