Monthly Archives: January 2016

Amitabh bags LU’s gold medal



Winner of Chakravarti medal and Chancellor’s Bronze medal in 2013 and 2014 respectively, Amitabh Srivastava is now the recipient of Lucknow University’s prestigious Chancellor’s gold medal for the year 2015, awarded for the best student in all the faculties. A law student, Amitabh scored 73.8% in LLb (hons). He is now pursuing LLM from National Law University, Bangalore.

It’s a perfect New Year gift I could have ever thought of. It’s a dream come true,” said Amitabh, who got to know about his medal from the media while he was in his hostel. I got to know it from the reporters, who started calling me,” said he. Amitabh will be given the medal on January 31 when LU will hold its convocation.

Hailing from Faizabad, Amitabh has participated in several moot court competitions. In a national moot court competition, Amitabh won the first runner-up award.

Son of Raj Kumar Srivastava, a court commissioner, Amitabh’s mother Anuradha Srivastava is a government teacher in Faizabad. From cleaning river Gomti to particpating in co-curricular activities like singing, quiz competition, Amitabh has actively participated in social and extra-currcicular activities. Also, he has to his credit a research paper, which is published in a journal of international repute. He has represented his university in various moot courts.

Apoorv Dev has bagged the Chancellor’s Silver Medal which is awarded to the best student among all students in all faculties in post-graduate classes.

Parvish Fatima has bagged the Chancellor’s Silver Medal for being the best woman student in the university.

Apoorv, a national volleyball player is currently in final year LLb. He has participated in  rifle shooting competition.

Dr Chakravarti Gold medal has been awarded to Rajat Shukla. The Chakravarti medal is given to the student who is of good behaviour and is found to have been most helpful in the general social life of the university. Rajat, also from faculty of law has also participated in several national and international moot courts. Besides, he has organised legal aid camps, and has worked as volunteers in National Human Rights Commission.

The 10 Chancellor’s Bronze Medal awarded to the best student in different faculties are Shivani Singh and Manvi Tripathi in arts, Shalini Jaiswal and Vibhvantika in science, Arpita Saxena and Shubhagi Dubey in commerce, Pranav Tripathi and Shivangi Tiwari in law, Pramod Kumar and Arti Singh in fine arts.

source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Lucknow / TNN / January 26th, 2016

Floating solar plant at Banasura Sagar reservoir inaugurated

Kozhikode :

Power minister Aryadan Mohammed inaugurated the state’s first floating solar plant at Banasura Sagar reservoir in Wayanad on Thursday.

The 10-kilowatt-capacity plant, spread over 1,200 sq ft has been installed on concrete floaters with hollow insides. The platform can carry 45 tonnes and the power generated will be fed to the KSEB grid through cables drawn through the reservoir bed. KSEB officials said that it is the first floating solar plant to be set up inside a reservoir in the country.

The innovative power generation system, set up at a cost of Rs 20 lakh, is the brainchild of two young entrepreneurs from Wayanad – Ajay Thomas and V M Sudhin. The duo’s startup firm Vatsaa Energy Private Ltd has implemented the project with financial aid from KSEB under its Energy Open Innovations Zone.

Inaugurating the plant, Aryadan Mohammed said that KSEB was making a big push in the area of renewable energy. He added that the government has acquired 500 acres of land in Kasaragod to set up a 200 MW solar park. A further 1500 acres will be acquired for the project.

The KSEB also has plans to convert the largest earthen dam in the country to a hub of solar power generation with the launch of construction works for two other solar projects at the site.

The projects include a proposed 500-kW floating solar plant at the reservoir and a 400kW ‘dam- top’ solar power generation project. The former is a scaled-up version of the 10kW concrete floating plant. The Rs 9.25-crore project will be spread over the water surface of the reservoir across 1.25 acres.

The minister will also inaugurate the works of the 400-kW dam-top solar project by installing solar panel canopy over the walkway atop the dam at a cost of Rs 4.6 crore. Another hydel tourism development project is being envisaged near the dam premises.

Ajay Thomas, who had developed the indigenous technology for the floating plant, said the device has around 20% higher efficiency compared to ground-mounted units as the cooling effect of water helps in keeping the temperature of the solar panels low, thus boosting output.

“The low dust environment in the reservoir also aids in enhanced performance of the photo-voltaic panels. Water bodies in the state, including those in large hydroelectric projects, can be used for large-scale solar power generation through floating plants,” he said.

KSEB chief engineer (renewable energy and energy savings), Suku R, said the floating solar plant was designed for dam reservoirs in the state, also taking into consideration the seasonal water level variations, heavy rain and winds.

M V Shreyams Kumar MLA presided over the function. KSEB chairman and managing director M Sivasankar, academician RVG Menon among other spoke. / The Times of India /  News Home> City> Kozhikode / K.P. Rajeev / TNN / January 21st, 2016

Older than Bengaluru, Stands a Grizzled Guard

Bengaluru, KARNATAKA :

Pics: Pushkar V
Pics: Pushkar V

Bengaluru :

The Devannahalli fort, which stands 35 kms away from Bengaluru, is older than the city itself by 37 years.

The fort has been occupied by different dynasties over time. It was built in 1501 by Kempegowda’s ancestor, Malla Baire Gowda. But in 1747, in a battle led by Nanjarajaiah, the dalwai of Mysore, the clan lost it to the Wadiyar dynasty. Marathas later claimed it and lost it back to the Mysore state, in a siege led by Hyder Ali in 1746.

Arun Prasad, from Discover Bangalore Project, says that though Hyder captured the fort, it was his son Tipu Sultan who was responsible for modelling and building the Pulkad fort.

The town surrounding the fort was meant to be a a centre of learning and arts. “The Devannahalli town was supposed to be a place for learned artisans and intellectuals to inhabit,” says Prasad.

Devannahalli was a town typical of the time, with protected farmlands and fields. A lake, behind the fort and seen from the bastions, was meant to serve the needs of the inhabitants.

Today, the lake is dried up and is a sad sight to notice. Prasad blames it on poor urban planning. Earlier, a highway used to pass through the western part of the town. Now, a road has been built, which passes over the lake. A  good portion of the lake was used up for it.

“The lake has always been rain-fed. But the new road cut the lake away from the adjoining canals and channels,” says Prasad. “The rain water could not flow in and the lake dried up. The vast area of 400-500 kms metres has only weeds and little water due to rains. You can also spot some tattered measurement devices, which was a failed attempt to study the level of water in the lake.”

Pics: Pushkar V
Pics: Pushkar V


Built on a higher ground, the bastions were used to keep a watch out for the enemy. The fort is 30 to 35 feet high and bastions, along the fort, are placed at equal distance from each other. “The bastions have well protected chambers, used by soldiers. The gun points are holes in the wall which can still be seen today. They are built from lime and brick. The holes were used to keep guns during the war,” adds Prasad.

Tipu’s Birthplace

South-west of the fort, there is memorial with a board, which proclaims that Tipu was born here. A six-foot-tall enclosure marks the spot.

When Tipu was born in 1750, his father Hyder Ali was engrossed in a battle. His mother, Fatima Fakhr-Un-Nisa, was secretly ushered into a carriage to give birth at the fort, as it was considered a safe place. However, she ended up giving birth inside the vehicle, right outside the fort. The monument is built over this birth spot.

A pond was built under the administration of Purnaiah, the then Dewan of Mysore. It is a beautiful pond with the stones and excavations intact. “The water is used for rituals and festivals,” says Prasad. “People take baths here as well.”

Pics: Pushkar V
Pics: Pushkar V


Inside the Devannahalli fort, there is the Venugopalswamy temple. The temple, which was built in the Vijaynagara style, has several depictions from the Ramayana on the walls. “At the entrance, the two horsemen are believed to belong to the Western Ganga dynasty (which ruled 350 and 1000 AD),” said Prasad.

There are sculptures of seamstresses, as you enter, from the same era. The north and south walls have sculptures showing Rishyasringa being brought from a forest to Ayodhya accompanied by dancing girls. There is also a scene of Vishwamitra caught in a  an archery battle with Rama. The south wall has ten incarnations of Lord Krishna and Rama’s father performing a sacrifice.

Pics: Pushkar V
Pics: Pushkar V

The fort gate and the fort walls are crumbling and there are scribblings on the walls. There is no security at the entrance and anyone can walk in. The commercial establishments all around have failed to preserve the authenticity of the past. “An ASI (Archeological Survey of India) office is located at the entrance, which is always closed and does not provide much information,” says Prasad. “The fort area needs to be protected by ASI and does not come under the corporation. The northern gate is crumbling as well.”

How it Began

Refugees on the run from Kancheepuram settled down near the Nandi Hills. Legend has it that Rana Baire Gowda, their leader, was told in a dream that he had to build a settlement in this region. This family goes by the name of Morasu Wokkalu. His son Malla Baire Gowda founded Devanahalli. Kempegowda also belongs to this family.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Bengaluru / by Seema Prasad / January 28th, 2016

Chennai floods’ hero to launch mobile app for youngsters

Chennai, TAMIL NADU :

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa presenting Bravery award to Mohammed Yunus during the 67th Republic Day Celebrations at Marina on Tuesday. Photo: R. Ragu / The Hindu
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa presenting Bravery award to Mohammed Yunus during the 67th Republic Day Celebrations at Marina on Tuesday. Photo: R. Ragu / The Hindu

Mohammad Yunus, who today bagged theTamil Nadu government’s Anna Medal for Gallantry award 2016 for rescuing people during the December 2015 floods, plans to develop a mobile application to tap the talents of youngsters to serve people.

He was instrumental in the rescue of nearly 2,100 people in the December 2015 floods.

On the first day of heavy rain on December 1 last year, Yunus and his team in a boat had rescued a pregnant lady and her husband from the flooded Urapakkam area on the outskirts of the city.

Later, she delivered a baby girl in a private hospital and the grateful couple named her after him.

Yunus was given the award by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at the 67th Republic Day celebrations today.

An elated Yunus told the award was a motivation for him and that he would develop a mobile application for youngsters.

“I feel great after receiving this award. I never expected that I would receive an award when I saved those people in flooded areas,” he said.

“This award motivates me more and as a first step, I plan to launch a mobile application for youngsters. The app will be to tap the talent in youngsters and would be aimed at serving people”, Yunus said.

source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Tamil Nadu / PTI / Chennai – January 26th, 2016

Indian-origin imam conferred honorary doctorate by UK university



A senior Indian-origin imam has been conferred an honorary doctorate by the University of Leicester in recognition of his work for his local community.

Muhammad Shahid Raza, who serves as Head Imam at Leicester Central Mosque and is a leading Muslim cleric and teacher in the UK, was born in Bihar and studied in Moradabad, Agra and Meerut before moving to the UK.

“The city of Leicester has always been a place of significance in my life since I emigrated here from India in the late ’70s. One of my first responsibilities as Imam of Leicester Mosque and then Leicester Central Mosque was to oversee the moral and spiritual education of children,” he said in reference to the honour.

“I have always strived to instill in my students a desire to achieve academically and integrate themselves as valuable members and contributors to society. I am delighted to note that many of my former students have gone on to graduate from this university and of those many are now working in this city as civil servants, teachers and doctors or owners of small businesses.

“For this reason I reflect on this award fondly and I hope it will further inspire the young Muslims of Leicester,” Raza said.

He was awarded his honorary Doctorate of Laws by University Chancellor Lord Grocott at the university’s degree ceremony at De Montfort Hall today before an international audience of graduating students and their families.

Raza leads the Friday prayers at Leicester Central Mosque and is credited with designing and conducting the first in-service training course for imams in the UK.

As executive secretary and registrar of the Muslim Law (Sharia) Council UK, he is engaged in a number of initiatives directed towards the wider community in Britain, Europe and North America through his association with organisations such as the InterFaith Network UK and the InterFaith Youth Trust in London, the university said in a statement.

In the 2008 New Year’s Honours list, he was awarded an OBE for services to the Muslim community in Leicester.
Reverend Canon Dr Stephen Foster, Coordinating and Anglican Chaplain to the University of Leicester, said, “Muhammad Shahid Raza has been a hugely influential figure in our city and County as a leading Muslim cleric and teacher over a period approaching 40 years.”

“In terms of Interfaith dialogue over that period, again his influence has been profound. As we presently travel sensitive times and roads in interfaith issues, his wisdom and insight into same will continue to be so important both locally and far beyond. The University of Leicester I know honours him…rightly and gratefully so,” Foster said.

source: / The Times of India / News Home> NRI> Other News / PTI / January 25th, 2016

Muslim girl tops Bengal commercial tax service

Kolkata , WEST BENGAL :

A  girl from Kolkata has become the first Muslim woman ever to top the West Bengal Commercial Tax Service. What makes Suraiya Ghaffar’s achievement sweeter is the fact that she has cleared the “state’s toughest examination” as a general category candidate despite qualifying for backward class quota, reflecting a growing trend among meritorious Muslim students of giving OBC reservation a miss.

In the commercial tax category itself in which Suraiya has topped, three of the top five candidates are Muslims, who despite qualifying for reservation, cleared as general category candidates. Mohammed Shabbar Khan has stood second and Mohammed Azhar Khan fifth. A total of 40 candidates have made it to the commercial tax service.

Suraiya, 23, was confident that her sound academic background would see her through. “If I wanted I could have taken the reservation route but I decided to test my skill by appearing as a general category candidate. Since age is on my side, I am entitled to several attempts,” she said, sitting in her husband’s Shibpur residence. Maqsood Hasan is in the West Bengal Police Service.

A senior official of the minority affairs and madrasah education department confirmed that Suraiya is the first Muslim girl ever to top the commercial tax service.

Close to 50,000 aspirants sat for the WBCS examination in 2014 out of which 4,000 qualified for the second stage termed as “mains”. Only 400 made it to the interview stage for the services listed in Group A and Group B. Apart from commercial tax service, Group A includes executive, labour, excise and agriculture services. Group B consists of the state’s police service. The results were declared last week.

Suraiya is the eldest of five siblings in a home with limited financial resources. Her father Abdul Ghaffar Khan works in the electricity department of the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited.

Overcoming hurdles is nothing new for this girl from Metiabruz. After finishing her higher secondary from a local school, Suraiya enrolled into an Honours course in Chemistry in a college in central Kolkata for which she had to travel for almost two hours every day.

The girl, whose role model is her father, did not lose sight of her dreams, even after her marriage to Maqsood in 2014. Hard work, determination and resilience helped Suraiya sail through the written and interview rounds of WBCS in the first attempt.

When she is not glued to her books, Suraiya is inseparable from her smartphone. Beside her academic achievements, Suraiya has another accomplishment to boast of — her chemistry with her husband.

Even before marriage, Maqsood used to encourage Suraiya to sit for competitive exams. He helped her with the study material, tutorials and did all the research work for her so that she could concentrate on her studies completely.

“I would even serve food to her when the exams were approaching,” smiled Maqsood.

source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Kolkata / by Zeeshan Javed, TNN / January 25th, 2016

State-Level Milking Contest concludes : Cows from Mysuru and Kolar yield 40.800 Kg of Milk each , Share Prize Money


Grandchildren of former Mayor win prizes

 Former Mayor D. Dhruvakumar (third from left) is seen receiving the prize on behalf of his grandson Dhruvesh, who shared first place along with Venkatesh of Kolar (2nd from left) at the State-level Milking Contest, from Actor Darshan Thoogudeep and Animal Husbandry Minister A. Manju at J.K. Grounds in city yesterday. MLA H.P. Manjunath, Film Director Sandesh and others were present
Former Mayor D. Dhruvakumar (third from left) is seen receiving the prize on behalf of his grandson Dhruvesh, who shared first place along with Venkatesh of Kolar (2nd from left) at the State-level Milking Contest, from Actor Darshan Thoogudeep and Animal Husbandry Minister A. Manju at J.K. Grounds in city yesterday. MLA H.P. Manjunath, Film Director Sandesh and others were present

 Mysuru :

The three-day State-level milking competition, organised by Mysuru Nagara Gopalakara Sangha in association with the Department of Animal Husbandry at J.K. Grounds in the city, concluded yesterday.

The cow, owned by Dhruvesh, grandson of former Mayor D. Dhruvakumar and the cow owned by one Venkatesh of Kolar bagged the top prize, with both of them milking 40.800 kg of milk.

As both the cows shared equal honours, the owners were given Rs. 87,500 each (Rupees 1 lakh first prize and rupees seventy five thousand – second prize, divided by two). The third prize was bagged by the cow owned by Anwar Shariff, a resident of Akbar Road, Lashkar Mohalla, which milched 36.350 kg.

Anwar Shariff was given a cash prize of Rs. 50,000.

The fourth prize was bagged by the cow owned by Aishwarya, the grand daughter of former Mayor D. Dhruvakumar, which milched 35.450kg.

Aishwarya was given a cash of Rs. 25,000 as fourth prize.

Speaking after distributing the prizes, Animal Husbandry Minister A. Manju said that dairy farming can be a main source of income for farmers. Pointing out that taking dairy farming will bring happiness in the lives of farmers, he called upon the youth to engage themselves in dairy farming.

Stating that the State was one amongst the top producers of milk in the country with 66 lakh litres of milk production per day, he complimented the role of the Sangha in boosting milk production.

Actor Darshan Thoogudeep was the star attraction during the prize distribution ceremony. Thousands of people, most of them youths, gathered at the venue to have a glimpse of the actor, who has been attending the event for several years.

Minister Manju also presented a cheque of Rs. 1.5 lakh (Rs. 1 lakh donated by the Sangha and Rs.50,000 donated by actor Darshan) to Adarsh, son of the Sangha Founder late B. Paramesh on the occasion.

Former Mayor D. Dhruvakumar presided. Hunsur MLA H.P. Manjunath, KEA Chairman R. Murthy, Cine Producer Sandesh, JD(S) leader G.D. Harish Gowda, Sangha Hon. President Desigowda, President and Corporator D. Nagabhushan and others were present on the occasion.

source: / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / Monday – January 25th, 2016

Meet the village boy who won a President’s Award for thinking differently



Our society needs to change; we are generating a society of merits. We need to understand our children in such a way that education is mixed with passion.


These lines describe Abdul Kaleem’s life in a nutshell. In 2009, Abdul was felicitated by the President of India for his innovations, when he was barely 22 years old. That same year, he was also honoured by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) for Grass Root Innovation.

Innovator and entrepreneur Abdul Kaleem
Innovator and entrepreneur Abdul Kaleem

But it was never about good grades or staggering dreams; as a student, Abdul always thought a little differently, a philosophy he still lives by:

Whenever something happens, I think about the logic behind it. I keep questioning.”

And this questioning always took the form of little innovations. In the seventh grade, he saved Rs 2 from his pocket money to buy a crystal bird, which he turned into a greeting machine. It would open out with banner saying Id Mubarak whenever someone entered his room. A theft in his neighborhood caused him to create an alert mechanism that would call the last dialled number on the owner’s phone as soon as the door was opened.

But the contrast of all this sets in when one realises that Abdul was brought up in a small village in Deoria, in Uttar Pradesh born to an Urdu tutor father and an uneducated mother, where an alert mechanism was unheard of!

His parents could never understand what their child was really up to. What they wanted for him was a basic education that would lead to a secure government job. His father was disappointed to see his son’s unconventional ways, and his neighbors constantly felt the need to remind them how he was wasting his time.

But Abdul was only interested in his innovations, electronics, machines, and not the world’s opinion of them. He was undeterred; he smiles and says:


“The shocks I got while creating my inventions were the strongest kind of shocks.”


From questions to innovation

On one hand, Abdul continued to think about wider impact and what the community really needed, while on the other, he finished his high school exams and joined a Psychology course in Deoria. Staying deeply grounded to his roots, Abdul started looking deeper at his inventions. He created a device that could gauge moisture in the soil using sensors, and water pots automatically. The device would stop watering the plants once the sensors gauged enough moisture in the soil.

Next in line was a flood informer system, with a scale fitted at different areas of the river, including the centre and the bed of the river. The minute the water rose to the third level, the sirens would alert villagers to look for higher ground.

Finally, it was a visit by his Psychology professor that put him in the spotlight. He convinced Dr Nagiz Banu to visit his home and the small laboratory where he carried out his experiments. Dr Banu was reluctant, but when she entered the room, she was in for a surprise. Seeing the scale at which Abdul had mastered his experiments, she asked him to send his innovations to NIF. He did and, on 21 November 2009, Abdul was awarded for his grassroots innovations by President Pratibha Patil; what followed was a slew of other recognitions by the state.

We ask Abdul why he pursued Psychology and not Engineering, where his passion truly lay. He replies

“If you see, technology is created by perceiving Psychology, similarly as Psychology perceives the invented technology. So every subject has a correlation, it depends on how you use it.”   

When we ask him what we feel is missing in innovations today, he says it is a lack of understanding of Psychology to create technology for the masses, while understanding their needs.

Abdul’s interaction and felicitation from the various Presidents of India
Abdul’s interaction and felicitation from the various Presidents of India

From innovations to business

However, Abdul says that while he may be a good inventor or engineer, he is not a good businessman. He has never understood business numbers.

Abdul constantly innovating, with his GPRS sensor
Abdul constantly innovating, with his GPRS sensor

In 2011, Abdul embarked on the Jagriti Yatrawith around 350 strangers, a journey which completely transformed his outlook on where he aspired to use his potential to startup. Immediately after the Yatra, Abdul started working on a low-cost solar table lamp, another basic innovation catering to the masses.

This business idea required an initial capital of at least Rs 5 lakh. Unable to procure the funds, he shelved the idea and pursued other innovations.

Through reference of a customer Siddharth Jettar, in 2014 Abdul was introduced to G.K. Sinha, who was in awe over how solutions to complex issues came so easily to this young man. Abdul had created a universal light controlling remote for Siddharth’s house. G.K. Sinha was an angel investor, having the experience of guiding multiple startups.

He helped Abdul with starting his venture Eco tronica Pvt. Ltd.

Sinha also introduced him to Gautam Kumar, a graduate from Harvard University. Gautam felt the same potential in Abdul’s innovation and worked  with him to refine his soil moisture-sensor-driven innovation and mobile weather prediction station to a requirement at Centers for International Projects Trust (CIPT), which is affiliated with the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

The low-cost weather station of sorts, powered by solar power, works on cloud computing and the installation of sensors on rooftops of buildings. The industrial setup costs as little as Rs 15,000, while the user-friendly and domestic models cost up to Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000, respectively. Jharkhand’s Birsa Agricultural University has planned to set up this technology in the state’s Angara block. This will directly impact 700 farmers of the area.

Today, Abdul is also working on solar powered lighting with dual LED lights, which he claims should work for 24 hours with just five minutes of solar charge. He says he still doesn’t understand the revenues or sales figures because he thinks he is an innovator at heart and will remain one.

Abdul says the biggest challenge in having a manufacturing startup is getting the right vendor, who gives the right product at the lowest cost.

He also adds


“The biggest challenge for me is my low confidence levels and other people looking to take advantage of my skills.”


But there is an important lesson for all entrepreneurs when Abdul speaks. Even as Indian entrepreneurs flock to create the next Uber and Amazon, he makes us question what truly comprises innovation for the masses. He makes us question whether business models and revenues are the only success metric for a startup.

For many Indian entrepreneurs taking their product to Silicon Valley – an enduring symbol of innovation – is the highest form of success. But what about innovations for the masses? Is our entrepreneurial ecosystem based on the same system of meritocracy followed in the US?

Innovators like Abdul even make us question our prevailing education system. He rightly says we need to harbor our own culture of innovation. Our challenges are different, and the only way out is to innovate through passion and dedication to solve a problem, rather than look at is as a business.

source: / / Home> Success Stories / by Tarush Bhalla / January 20th, 2016

Girl develops first android app on Kashmir

Screenshot of the 'Dial Kashmir' app. The application has witnessed an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 with a thousand plus downloads on Google Play.
Screenshot of the ‘Dial Kashmir’ app. The application has witnessed an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 with a thousand plus downloads on Google Play.

Srinagar,  KASHMIR :

23-year-old girl becomes first Kashmiri to develop Android application ‘Dial Kashmir’ with over 500 contacts of government and private departments — a one stop source for ‘essential information’.

“I don’t want to be a second someone, I want to be the first me,” this is how a 23-year-old ambitious computer engineer, who has become the first Kashmiri to develop an Android application, describes herself on her Facebook page.

The Android application named ‘Dial Kashmir’ contains over 500 contacts of government and private departments — a one stop source for ‘essential information’.

‘Dial Kashmir’ contains important contacts of different departments, officials and public utilities and would be of immense help to the locals and tourists alike, says Mehvish Mushtaq, who holds a Bachelors (B.E.) in Computer Science.

“I felt a need to develop such an application because unlike outside where there are many apps and websites which contain such information, Kashmir had none. ‘Dial Kashmir’ would provide information easily to the people here. There are many users of Android platform based mobile phones here,” Ms. Mehvish, a resident of uptown Barzulla in Srinagar, told PTI.

Ms. Mehvish claims that the application has witnessed an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 with a thousand plus downloads on Google Play.

Ms. Mehvish did an online course on Android application designing in January and put together her skills and desire to develop a “helpful Kashmir centric application” and with an “actually, I can” attitude — as her display picture on Facebook suggests — developed ‘Dial Kashmir’. “I did this online course at the end of which I had to develop something, as part of the project. It took me about 2 weeks to develop this application,” she said.

‘Dial Kashmir’ provides users detailed information like addresses, phone numbers and email ids of various essential services and other departments in Kashmir. It is a one stop source for information on healthcare, education, transport, police and so many others and one does not need to surf through internet pages, official websites and directories,” she said.

A music lover and an ardent Atif Aslam fan, Ms. Mehvish says technology fascinates her and her love for “any-thing-tech” was the sole inspiration behind her “dream of developing something which would help the people of my native place”.

Ms. Mehvish, who did her B.E from SSM College of Engineering and Technology in Pattan area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, says girls in Kashmir are “second to none” and “can achieve anything“.

“We just have to keep a dream alive and start working towards realising it. We are second to none and once we set on something, we can achieve it,” she said.

The response to the application, she says, has been “encouraging”.

“Heartening to see a Kashmiri girl develop an android app when everyone claims to be a geek in Kashmir. Good work although app is simple. Keep it up,” one Android user, Rais Bhat, who downloaded the app from Google Play, wrote as feedback.

Another user, Wani Kamraan, wrote, “SPEECHLESS..! Well the application should be improved but this work of you should be appreciated by me, by your own people…So 4 stars for your outstanding work and extra one for being citizen as well as sister of me from my Kashmir… Thank You!“.

Ms. Mehvish says she is now working on making the application “much better” and trying to add “as more details and information as possible”.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Sci-Tech> Technology> Gadgets / PTI / Srinagar – April 16th, 2013

Toppers bask in glory

 Srinagar, JAMMU & KASHMIR :


Srinagar :

The toppers of this year’s class XII examination have attributed their success to hard work and support from parents and teachers. They also shared their desire to continue the winning streak in their professional lives.

Bushra Amin has secured first position in Science stream with 489 marks (97.8 percent). A resident of Khanaqah Bagh Pampore, she wants to be an ideal daughter and honest professional.
“This is a small success in life. I want to shine in every sphere of life-social as well as professional. My first priority would be to see my parents happy,” Bushra told Rising Kashmir.
A student of Muslim Educational Institute Pampore, Bushra said she relied more on self study rather than coaching classes, and credited her teachers for the success.
“Coaching classes only helped me to complete certain portions of my curriculum but real supporters were my school teachers as they would treat me with affection like their own sibling,” she said.
Tehneez Bashir of Green Valley Educational Institute, Illahi Bagh has topped the Commerce stream. She dreams to become honest and successful business woman.
“I am yet to decide whether to go for academic or professional course. However, I have a dream to become a successful businesswoman and to break all taboos and stereotypes,” she said.
Tehneez lost her father when she was in class 3. She said her father was always encouraging. “My elder sister who shouldered many responsibilities after my father’s death is my inspiration as she has shown me how to overcome tough times,” she told Rising Kashmir over phone.
Aiman Jan Habib, who topped Arts stream with 486 marks (97.2%), credited the teachers of her school, Jamiat ul Banaat for her success.
 “Though I never compromised on hard work but the consistent support of teachers in the school has proved fruitful,” she said.
Resident of Tral in south Kashmir, Aiman said her parents supported her in the decision of not opting for private tuitions. “I want to become an administrator as I always dreamt of it,” she said.
source: / Rising Kashmir / Home / by Manzoor-ul-Hassan ( / Srinagar – January 21st, 2015