Category Archives: Science & Technology

Warangal students win national competition

Develop a cost-effective automated toy-making machine

A team of six students from S.R. Engineering College (SREC) in Warangal bagged the top prize at a national-level problem solving competition for their automated toy maker innovation meant for rural toy makers.

College principal V. Mahesh said the competition was organised by Indo-Universal Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE) Student Consortium for Advancement and Learning in Engineering Education at Tyagaraja college of Engineering between January 5 and january 7 at Madurai.

The winning students were Paul Vineeth Reddy (4th year ECE), K. Enosh (3rd year Mech), S. Sirihasa (3rd year CSE), Md. Imran Ahmad (3rd year Mech) K. Sricharan (3rd year EEE) and D. Vinay (3rd year ECE).

The award was given to SREC students for developing a cost-effective automated toy making machine that increases productivity four-fold.

The competition saw entrants from 30 colleges across nation, who were asked to submit a solution to a specific problem or challenge. The participants from SREC visited a nearby village to identify the existing problems. They generated multiple ideas and finally decided on a cost-effective solution for toy makers.

“It is indeed a challenge and what gave us immense satisfaction is solving a problem” the students said. Explaining their idea and innovation, the students added that the automated machine would allow toy makers to make 40 toys per day, boosting their productivity. In the conventional manual method, they could produce a maximum of 10 toys.

The machine will have a grinder, conveyor belt, rollers, block cutter, die punch and a furnace.

source: http://www.the / Home> News> States> Telangana / by Special Correspondent / Warangal Urban District – January 11th, 2018

TN girl to receive prestigious national award

Nagercoil  (Kanyakumari District), TAMIL NADU :

Masha Nazeem
Masha Nazeem

For contribution to science

Nagercoil girl Masha Nazeem will receive the prestigious National Youth Award for her contributions to science and technology.

The annual award is instituted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and is given to recognise outstanding work and achievements of youngsters and further motivate them to excel in the field on National Development and Social Service.

“I am very excited to be selected for this award,” said 24-year-old Masha, who with her father Khaja Nazeemudeen, a government employee, is all set to receive the award from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 12.

Hailing from Nagercoil in Kanniyakumari district Masha is the elder of two siblings. She developed a keen interest in science from the time she was nine years old.

“It all happened because of my father, he would enroll me in every possible contest in school, one of them was a science exhibition. I didn’t even know my name was on the list,” she said. Masha, then a class five student, made a burglar alarm which impressed her teachers and won her the first prize.

From then on, there was no stopping, Masha went on to invent 14 socially useful gadgets such as a flameless seal marker, which is now used by State government officials, hi-tech train toilet system, fuel dispensers, anti sinking alarm amongst others.

Three of her innovations are in the process of getting patented. She has also won several awards and accolades including the State Youth Award 2016.

Innovation centre

To provide free hands on training to young inventors and help them turn their ideas to reality, she setup Masha Innovation Center, a research laboratory and workshop in her hometown.

“There are many students who are creative and have ideas but get stuck in only learning theory taught in schools. While theory is important, they must also be encouraged to have practical experience. This is my aim and I hope more students benefit from it,” she said.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Tiruchirapalli / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – January 12th, 2018

Engineering students in Bengaluru launch 3 race cars

Bengaluru, KARNATAKA :


On the combustion, hybrid and electric platforms

Ashwa Racing, a brand under Ashwa Mobility of RV College of Engineering, Bengaluru, on Saturday launched three new race cars on the combustion (AMF RZX8- CO), hybrid (AMF X8-HY) and electric (AMF-RZX8 -ELE) platforms for the 2018 race season.

Undergraduate students, who conceived, designed and build formula race cars, would be competing in national and global events in the coming months.

The combustion vehicle (210 kg without driver) development is headed by team captain Sweekruth Shetty, project manager Rakesh H.N, chief engineer Prateek Bhustali. The racing hybrid vehicle (300 kg) development is headed by team captain Asfan Khan, project manager Suhas B.U., chief engineer Uday Naik and chief communication officer Tarun Kasa.

The electric vehicle (200kg) development is headed by team captain Pranave Nanda, project manager Rahul S.D., chief engineer Gautam Singh and chief communication officer Srivatsa Deshpande.

The combustion and electric divisions of Ashwa Racing would be competing in Formula Bharat, which will be held in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu from January 24 to 28, 2018.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Special Correspondent / January 15th, 2018

DM & doctor: IAS officer to attend to poor patients in Uttarakhand’s Champawat


Dr Iqbal Ahmad had in 2009 completed his MBBS from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore in Karnataka. A year later, he was selected for Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

When Iqbal Ahmad, now the district magistrate of Champawat district in Uttarakhand, joined the civil services in 2010, he did not just have the aim of serving the nation, but wanted to go the extra mile.

The young officer had in 2009 completed his MBBS from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore in Karnataka. A year later, he was selected for Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

However, the Kanpur-born Ahmad had to wait for another seven years to fulfil his “old wish” — to give free medical consultancy to the poor — as he had “no formal registration”.

“On September 15, the Uttarakhand medical council cleared the registration and now I can serve,” Dr Iqbal told HT.

On Friday, he walked into the district hospital and started his medical practice for the first time.

The district magistrate will serve for one hour every morning at district hospital. During tours, he will give consultancy to the locals

Dr MS Bora, chief medical officer of Champawat, welcomed the move, saying, “DM Dr Iqbal’s dececison would motivate our health department and the needy of the district would definitely benfit from his one-hour medical consultancy.”

Champawat has only 42 doctors out of the 95 sanctioned. It has one district hospital and 21 other hospitals besides about 1,500 OPDs.

Uttarakhand has almost 60% shortfall of doctors. Against a requirement of 2,700 doctors state has just 1,000 doctors.

Kumaon commission, Chadra Shekhar also welcomed the decision, saying “If an IAS like him wants to utlize his specialization for the common public, it will benefit the state.”

Shekhar recalled that earlier, a senior IAS officer from Uttarakhand, Dr Rakesh Kumar, also an MBBS holder, had served the people by providing free medical consultancy.

Another officer to have done the same is Sadanand Date, a senior superintendent of police (SSP) posted in Uttarakhand, who is also a qualified surgeon.

source: / Hindustan Times / Home> Cities> Dehradun / by Mohan Rajput, Hindustant Times. Champawat / September 23rd, 2017

Allahabad University scientists find ‘fisetin’ slows down brain aging

Allahabad, UTTAR PRADESH :

The results of the AU study conclude that fisetin can protect the brain from damage induced by aging. (HT)
The results of the AU study conclude that fisetin can protect the brain from damage induced by aging. (HT)

A team of scientists at the Allahabad University has established that a natural compound called fisetin, found in strawberry, apple, onion and cucumber, can restore brain functions which deteriorate during aging.

A team of scientists at the Allahabad University has established that a natural compound called fisetin, found in strawberry, apple, onion and cucumber, can restore brain functions which deteriorate during aging.

The findings of the team, led by Prof SI Rizvi from the department of biochemistry at AU, have been published in the latest issue of American research journal Life Sciences.

Scientists acknowledge that oxidative stress is a major factor responsible for age-related changes in living organisms. Oxidative stress is the condition when the damage, due to the toxic form of oxygen molecules, exceeds the capacity of the body to repair such damage.

“It is a paradox that oxygen, which is essential for life, becomes the cause of aging,” said Prof Rizvi.

“In human body, most of the oxygen is consumed by the brain. Therefore, it is the brain that becomes more vulnerable to oxidative stress. With increase in age, brain cells degenerate leading to diseases and loss of brain function,” he said.

Through experiments, the research team analysed a host of biomarkers of aging, including pro-oxidants, antioxidants, mitochondrial function, expression of genes, and apoptosis cell death.

The results of the AU study conclude that fisetin can protect the brain from damage induced by aging.

“The study was carried out on rats of different ages and also on those which were chemically induced to age faster,” said Prof Rizvi.

Fisetin was given to rats of old age and the effect was compared with the younger ones. Fisetin-treated old rats were protected from brain damage.

Among all anti-aging strategies being explored, caloric restriction is the most promising which, in common terms, can be defined as less food intake.

Caloric restriction has been effectively tested in small organisms like fruit fly and earthworms. The strategy becomes difficult to implement in humans where several ethical issues are involved.

Scientists have stumbled upon a class of compounds which mimic the effect of caloric restriction. With the use of these compounds, known as caloric restriction mimetics, the body feels like it is food restricted without the need of eating less.

According to Prof Rizvi, fisetin works as a caloric restriction mimetic in showing its anti-aging effect on rats. “Scientists are hopeful that compounds exhibiting caloric restriction mimetic effects will prove to be good anti-aging drugs,” he said.
Several experimental drugs are being tested in Prof Rizvi’s lab for possible anti-aging effects. “Although an increase in human lifespan may not be possible, it may increase the health span,” Prof Rizvi added.

source: / Hindustan Times / Home> Cities> Lucknow / by K. Sandeep Kumar , Hindustan Times, Allahabad / January 08th, 2018

Remembering Fathema Ismail’s battle against polio

Bombay (Mumbai), MAHARASHTRA :


IN 1942, a daughter was born to Fathema Ismail, the sister of cotton king and Congress financier Umar Sobhani, and Mohammad Hasham Ismail, a government of India trade commissioner posted in Mombasa. She was fondly named Usha – after the Goddess of dawn – in the expectation of a new dawn as the city and the country was immersed in the Quit India movement. Fathema Ismail was closely involved with Kulsum Sayani (the mother of Ameen Sayani) in women’s education and the establishment of All India Village Industries Association. When Usha turned three the family discovered that she had polio.

“Amma was dejected with the news, but at the same time she was determined to get the best treatment for me,” recalls Usha Cunningham who is now based in New York. She recalls the turbulent years where India fought and finally achieved freedom from the British, which ran parallel to her own fight with polio. Patel Manzil at Nepean Sea Road, where Usha grew up was a safe haven for underground activists. “Aruna khaala (Aruna Asaf Ali) and other leaders would live under assumed names in our house. My mother’s nationalist leanings were well-known but as my father was a trade commissioner, we escaped scrutiny.”

In her search for a doctor, Fathema was referred to Dr M G Kini, an orthopaedic surgeon based in Madras. “Dr Kini was a crusty, old man who first declined to accept my case. Amma would literally sit outside his residence and accost him in the morning, afternoon and evening when he would travel between his house and clinic. He ultimately agreed and we stayed in Madras for around eight months,” recalls Cunningham. Under Dr Kini’s guidance Usha showed tremendous improvement.

The Madras visit also marked the beginning of Fathema’s discovery about the lack of facilities for children afflicted with polio. Soon her husband Mohammad was transferred to Iran from Mombasa, but she stayed in India. After Madras, the next stop was Pune, where, Fathema had gathered, there were some facilities for rehabilitating injured soldiers at the British Army Hospital. “There were three British physiotherapists who would treat the injured soldiers with the help of a few trained Indian assistants. Amma requested similar training and after some reluctance was allowed access,” remembers Cunningham.

What worked in her favour was the fact that Fathema had gone to Vienna to study medicine in 1920 after finishing her schooling, but had to return due to a financial crisis in the family. For three years she had stayed alone in Vienna absorbed in her studies. Decades later, those three years of study helped facilitate a better understanding of the process of rehabilitation. More than two years of treatment and therapy changed Cunningham’s life. From “totally paralysed”, she regained remarkable mobility in her right leg. Little did she know that she would soon become an exemplar of how patients with polio need not be confined within the walls of their house – ignored and neglected.

Fathema was now determined to start a facility for the countless poliostricken children and their parents. Her experience and observation in Madras and Pune gave her the confidence to start a clinic in Bombay (as it was known then). But finding a suitable space amidst a financial crunch plus low awareness of the disease were formidable hurdles. She also had to ensure she had enough medical equipment to attend to the children. The war had ended and the imminent departure of the British meant that the Army hospital in Pune faced an uncertain future.

In 1946 she had established the Society for the Rehabilitation of Crippled Children (SRCC) but despite her pleadings, the hospital was not willing to share or sell the equipment. She then convinced two of the Indian assistants to get the various equipment and kits transferred to Bombay while the hospital was winding up. “She promised them jobs and convinced them of the immense good this would do for the poor patients,” recalls Cunningham, the excitement in her voice palpable as she recounted her mother’s exploits.” Not many people know that six truckloads of machinery were taken out from Pune,” she says.

These surreptitiously transported kits formed the base for a polio clinic that was opened in May 1947 in the empty Chowpatti premises offered by Dr A V Baliga, who was going to the United States on a study tour. After few months the Bombay government gave space in the empty barracks at Marine Drive as the clinic’s immense popularity led to a waiting list. In the wake of Independence, Bombay and India, had woken up to the need of rehabilitating the differentlyabled. Medical journals and international aid organisations took note of Fathema Ismail’s enterprise.

Fathema Ismail and Jawaharlal Nehru at the opening of her clinic in the military barrack at Marine Drive in 1947
Fathema Ismail and Jawaharlal Nehru at the opening of her clinic in the military barrack at Marine Drive in 1947

In 1951, she visited the United States on the state department’s invitation for a four-month tour of various hospitals, and the same year went to Europe to attend international conferences. She was now determined to open a full-fledged hospital. “She caused quite a headache to Prime Minister Nehru as she demanded a plot near the race course at Haji Ali. It was a prime location and Nehru would say ‘Fati, why only that plot? I can request the Bombay government to give some other place’. But Amma was insistent. The racecourse was frequented by the rich and the famous and one of the reasons for the request was that she wanted larger society to be fully aware and responsive to the problem of polio.”

The result was a children’s orthopaedic hospital, which opened in 1952 and was inaugurated by Nehru, which continues to operate to this day. After roughly 30 surgeries and years of therapy, Cunningham who is now 75 years old, has no regrets. “I have climbed mountains, ran a business in Delhi, shifted to America, got married, have a caring husband and daughter. This is what Amma wanted. Similarly she convinced several industrialists to offer training for the handicapped at her centres so that they could get employment.” In 2011, India announced that it had eradicated polio but the foundation stone for this incredible campaign was laid by a lady who had the grit and determination to envision a polio-free society over 70 years ago.

source: / Ahmedabad Mirror / Home> Others> Sunday Read / by Danish Khan, Ahmedabad Mirror / August 20th, 2017

AMU research scholar receives ‘Prof C V K Baba Award’ for best thesis…


Ms Farhana Zaidi (Phd student, Department of Physics, Aligarh Muslim University—AMU) has been conferred with the ‘Prof C V K Baba Award’ for the best thesis of the year during a ‘Department of Atomic Energy-Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences’ sponsored symposium on Nuclear-Physics held at Thapar University in Patiala.

The award was given by Indian Physics Association.

Ms Zaidi is also a recipient of Young Physicist Award—2 017, S N Ghoshal Award for Best Young Physicist and Pratyasa Kumar Basu Memorial Award for best presentation.

source: / GoonjTimes / Home> AMU / December 30th, 2017

AMU scholar bags first prize for her paper at YPC 2017


Aligarh :

AMU research scholar Farhana Zaidi from Department of Physics received the first prize from The Indian Physical Society (IPS) for her paper on ‘Nuclear Medium Effects in Neutrino Nucleus Scattering at J Lab and Minerva Energies’ at the 35th Young Physicists’ COLLOQIUM (YPC 2017), Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata.

The second and third prizes were awarded to research scholars from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

Zaidi’s paper was selected from 17 entries submitted by research scholars from all over the country, which were reviewed by three referees. After a 25-minute paper presentation, Zaidi answered questions on her research.

Earlier, she also received S N Ghoshal Award for the best young physicist and Pratyasa Kumar Basu Award for the best young scientist at the event.

With the award, Zaidi has also received cash, popular books on science and IPS lifetime membership.

source: / Two / Home> Youth / by TCN news / August 19th, 2017

The amazing Hakim Sahib


Illustration by Vinay Kumar | Photo Credit: 01dmc rvsmith
Illustration by Vinay Kumar | Photo Credit: 01dmc rvsmith

Providing a healing touch to the sick and the destitute, there are several stories associated with Hakim Ajmal Khan

An Oriental wearing a Western suit and carrying a small box walked down a street in Paris when he saw a man rolling on the ground. Quickly he took out something from the box and, after a few minutes, the man got up, clutched his stomach for a while and then, with a nod of thanks, walked away. The Oriental was Hakim Ajmal Khan who had put away his sherwani and pyjamas to don a suit during his visit to France in 1925. It was widely believed by generations of Delhiites that Ajmal Khan had a magic chest from which he took out medicines to effect near-miraculous cures, like that of a woman in England with an abnormal issue of monthly blood and an epileptic at an Iraqi shrine. He spent nine years as the guest of the Nawab of Rampur, where he revived a dying begum.

Over the years, since his death in 1927, people seem to have forgotten the great hakim whose lasting legacy is the Unani Tibbia College in Karol Bagh. But last week Jamia Millia Islamia held a symposium on the works of Hakim Sahib, who was one of its founders and also the first Chancellor in 1920. It was decided to set up a Hakim Ajmal Khan Institute for Literary and Historical Research in Unani Medicine at Jamia Millia. The proposed institute would translate the classical works on Unani medicine which are hitherto available only in Urdu and Arabic.

Hakim Ajmal Khan was descended from Hakim Sharif Khan. His father Hakim Mahmud Khan was one of the three sons of Sharif Khan and, interestingly enough, also had three sons of whom Ajmal Khan was the youngest. His elder brother, Hakim Abdul Majid died in 1901 and the second brother three years later. Ajmal Khan founded the Tibbia Conference in 1906 to bring hakims together for joint initiatives. His popularity increased with each passing year and he began to be regarded as a man whose views on medicine, politics and religion were widely respected, not only by Hindus and Muslims but also by Europeans like C. F. Andrews and Sir Malcolm Hailey, Chief Commissioner of Delhi. Mahatma Gandhi, six years younger than Ajmal Khan, was the one who opened Tibbia College in 1920 though he regarded Unani and other medicines as “black magic” and believed in natural cures.

It is interesting to note that Ajmal Khan started off by wearing the Mughal angarkhas, then switched over to the Aligarh sherwani and pyjamas and then suits for foreign visits he made in 1911 and 1925, besides the one in between to Shia religious places in the Middle East. When Ahmed Ali wrote his “Twilight in Delhi”, he couldn’t help mentioning the great hakim in it as the one who had attended to the novel’s hero, Mir Nihal after a paralytic attack. The hakim gave him rare medicines and also prescribed the soup of wild pigeons, caught by the Mir’s Man Friday, Ghafoor, whose own wife had died of abdominal ulcers since she was wedded at a young age to a much older. Even the hakim could not cure her as Ghafoor did not exercise restraint. But Mir Nihal surely benefited from his medication, as also the goat being masqueraded as a sick purdah woman and prescribed green grass.

Barbara D. Metcalf, who wrote a learned paper on Ajmal Khan and his family, recalled the words of the poet Hali on the death in 1900 of Hakim Mahmud Khan: “…Mahmud Khan’s strength was an honour to our race/ But he too, left the World. Alas, the fortune of our race/Ajmal Khan filled up the gap with élan. Not only that, he was also a born poet with the pseudonym of Shahid Dihlawi (possessed lover from Delhi) and left behind a dewan of his poetry, which he sometimes recited at mushairas and during debates on who was greater: Daagh or Zauq. Surprisingly enough Ghalib was left hanging in between.”

Being a man of common sense, despite dabbling in romanticism, he refused to entertain fakirs who claimed to have secrets of alchemy. Ahmed Ali writes about Mir Sangi who had wasted his wealth in trying to make gold and of Molvi Dulhan, dressed as “the bride of God in red sari and with bangles and long hair like a woman”.

According to the Moulvi, there is a prescription written on the Southern Gate of the Jama Masjid which no one has been able to unravel. It says (for alchemy is needed) “half a piece of That”! However the vital word describing ‘That’ is missing though a fakir once claimed that it was ‘actually a small, golden flower with red circles and dots on the petals”. When the problem was referred to Ajmal Khan he wrinkled his forehead and remarked “There are other things worth seeking instead of the art of making gold which remains a fantasy”. The writing on the masjid gate is just a brain teaser.”

The hakim sahib is then said to have walked away with a shrug of his shoulders, still what followed him was the belief that the Sharifi family had a special verbal formula (amal-i-taskhir) which never failed to effect a cure. It is not known whether Ajmal Khan divulged it to his successors but those who came for treatment to the Hindustani Dawakhana in Ballimaran probably thought he had, for after all wasn’t he the “Masiha-e-Hind!”.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Society / by R.V. Smith / May 31st, 2015

Biographies of Kamil and Talat Hasan

Lucknow , UTTAR PRADESH / Saratoga, California , USA :

Kamil and Talat Hasan have two daughters and live in Saratoga, California. They have recently purchased land in Santa Cruz county and intend to establish a home there as well. They are actively involved in charity and educational activities through the Hasan Family Foundation.

Kamil Hasan

Kamil Hasan is a general partner in the San Jose-based venture company, Hitek Venture Partners. He received his B.S. in engineering from Aligarh Muslim University, India, in 1967, an M.S. degree in engineering from M.I.T, in 1969, and a Ph.D. degree in engineering from UC, Berkeley in 1973. After receiving his Ph.D., he taught at the Indian Institute of Technology, Dehli, as an assistant professor of engineering and later at Stanford University as an associate professor of engineering.

For more than 25 years, Hasan has worked in the software industry. He founded Hitek Venture Partners in 1995, to invest in early-stage companies in the internet, e-commerce, telecommunications, and enterprise software areas. He has a portfolio of 35 companies and serves on the board of five of these companies.

Kamil’s articles have appeared in more than 50 technical and trade journals, and he is a recipient of a John F. Lincoln Foundation award for outstanding achievement in engineering design.

Talat Hasan

Talat Hasan is chairman and CEO of Sensys Instruments, a company she founded in 1996 to market products for the semiconductor manufacturing industry. She holds an M.A. in physics from Oxford University and a B.Sc. in physics from Aligarh Muslim University, India.

Prior to founding Sensys, she was vice president of corporate business development at Tencor Instruments (now KLA/Tencor), and, in 1983, was cofounder of Prometrix Corporation, serving as a board member and senior vice president of strategic planning when the company merged with Tencor.

Previously, she worked as a scientist, conducting research in semiconductor characterization and process control and working for almost five years at Signetics Corporation/Philips Research Labs in Sunnyvale.

She currently serves on the board of directors of Microbar and the board of trustees of Castilleja School (a private school for girls) and of IBPW (Indian Business and Professional Women), and is a charter member of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs). She is also active, with her husband, as an Angel Investor for start-up companies and a mentor to several budding entrepreneurs. Also with her husband, she is in the process of establishing the Nurul Hasan Educational Foundation (named after her late father, Professor Nurul Hasan, who was Minister of Education in the cabinet of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and was a governor of the State of West Bengal, India).

source: / UC Santa Cruz Current Online / by Barbara McKenna / October 16th, 2000