Tag Archive | India

World’s first solar-powered toilet set for India launch

A revolutionary waterless toilet powered by the sun, developed to help some of the 2.5 billion people lacking safe and sustainable sanitation around the world, will be unveiled in India this month.

Designed and built using a $777,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the self-contained, waterless toilet with its innovative technology converts human waste to biochar, a highly porous charcoal. It aims to provide an eco-friendly solution to help some of the 2.5 billion people around the world lacking safe sanitation.

The toilet has the capability of heating human waste to a high enough temperature to sterilise it and create biochar, a highly porous charcoal, said Karl Linden, project principal investigator and professor at the University of Colorado. The biochar has a one-two punch in that it can be used to both increase crop yields and sequester carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

The project is part of the Gates Foundation’s “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge,” an effort to develop a next-generation toilet that can be used to disinfect liquid and solid waste while generating useful end products, both in developing and developed nations, said Mr. Linden.


While the current toilet has been created to serve four to six people a day, a larger facility that could serve several households simultaneously is under design. — PTI


Art In Bottle @ Ramesh Raaj.

 chalk carving

Art in a bottleRamesh Raaja with a drawing of Somnathpura temple; (right) chalk carvingPHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL

Art in a bottle Ramesh Raja with a drawing of Somnathpura temple,PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL

Artist V. Ramesh Raaja’s Seven Wonders of the World are carved out of a chalk

It is your regular Gentamicin bottle but look closely and you will find the Seven Wonders of the World standing pretty inside the bottle. As one wonders how the seven wonders fit into an injection bottle, its creator, artist V. Ramesh Raaja, reveals they are all made of chalk. The Mahbubnagar-based artist-cum-drawing teacher has already made it to the India Book of Records for this piece of wonder.

Ramesh Raaja’s tryst with chalk began with Hyderabad. “I casually carved a Charminar out of chalk and inserted it inside an injection bottle,” he recalls. The appreciation he received for this piece of work encouraged him to think big. “I decided to create something which is universally loved and celebrated all over,” he says. He chose the Seven Wonders of the World and worked on it for three days. “It is not easy to work with a chalk— it is fragile and can break easily,” he says. He created different elements of the seven wonders, delicately bonded them with a fevicol and inserted them in a bottle. “While the bottle’s total height is 3.3 cm, its inner height is 2.25 cm; lid diameter is 0.75 cm and inner bottom diameter is 1.4 cm. You can imagine how careful one has to be while inserting the creations. Among the seven wonders, the statue of Christ the Redeemer was tough to create as the hands, hair and beard of Jesus had to be created separately and joined,” he remembers.

This Gentamicin bottle with its Wonders was Ramesh’s constant companion until he got an entry in the record books. “I used to carry it in my pocket and show it to friends. After the recognition, I realised it is a prized possession and needs to be treated with care,” he smiles.

As an artist Ramesh works with different media like canvas and oil, acrylics, pen and watercolours. His interest lies in traditional subjects like mythology, nature and temples in India. “Fascinated by our culture, foreigners leave the west and come to India to spend some time here. But we Indians are indifferent and neglect our rich tradition,” he rues.

His works Ajantha 19th cave, an exquisite drawing of Somnathpura, Gomateshwara temple, Ekashila ratham are all unique works of art. “The viewer might not notice it but one has to understand the structure well to draw a temple and get its symmetry,” he says. Besides Hyderabad, the artist has shown his works in Mumbai, Aurangabad, Anantapur and Jadcharla. On a parting note he says his dream is to be known as a ‘great traditional artist.’

Stamp exhibition

The Philatelists Coimbatore will conduct a two-day ‘Stamp Expo 2014’, a philatelic exhibition at Gujarati Samaj, on January 4 and 5. According to a release, the exhibition is open to public and entry is free from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.Philatelists, philatelic dealers, and Post Office Philatelic Bureau, from all over India will be taking part.

There will also be a seminars on stamp collection and its benefits, quiz for schoolchildren. Students, who are interested in participating in the quiz, can contact 98422-18312 to register their names.



Hockey tourney

Hubli Hockey Academy has organised an All-India Level Open Invitational Hockey Tournament for men from January 8 to 12 at the Young Star Sports Club Ground in Settlement, Gangadharnagar, Hubli.


Lessons for life

words of wisdom:Former Davis Cup star Vijay Amritraj interacts with children ata promotional event organised as part of Chennai Open on Wednesday —Photo: R. Ragu

words of wisdom:Former Davis Cup star Vijay Amritraj interacts with children ata promotional event organised as part of Chennai Open on Wednesday —Photo: R. Ragu



The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has invited applications for the All India Entrance Examination for Agricultural Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programmes to be held on April 12 and 13 across the country. An all-India test for the award of Senior Research Fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. degree in the field of Agriculture and allied sciences will be conducted along with the examination.

Application can be submitted both online and offline. For the fellowship, only online applications will be accepted. Visit http://www.icar.org.in

The last date for the receipt of application in the office of the Controller of Examination (Education), Room No. 216, ICAR, Krishi Anusandhan Bhavan – II, Pusa, New Delhi – 110 012 is February 7.

Application forms can be purchased from the office of the Registrar of State Agricultural Universities and specified branches of Syndicate Bank on payment of the prescribed application fee.

Those who have passed Plus Two with minimum 50 per cent marks in aggregate in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics or Biology or Agriculture or Horticulture (40 per cent for those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and the physically challenged) are eligible to apply for the undergraduate test. Age: between 17 and 23 as on August 31.

A degree in Agriculture, Veterinary, Agricultural Engineering, Fisheries, Horticulture, Home Science, Sericulture, Dairy Technology, Forestry, Agri Marketing and Cooperation, Food Science, Biotechnology, Basic and Allied Sciences and so on with minimum of 60 per cent marks or equivalent grade (50 per cent) are eligible to apply for the postgraduate test. Age: not less than 19 as on August 31. Those with a Master’s degree in the relevant discipline securing 60 per cent marks (50 per cent) are eligible to apply for the fellowship. Age: 21-30 as on April 13.

Visit http://www.icar.org.in for details.



The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) has invited applications for a computer-based online test for admission to its integrated first degree programmes. The three-hour BITS Admission Test (BITSAT) comprising objective-type multiple-choice questions will be conducted between May 14 and June 1 in different centres in India and on the Dubai campus.

BITS is a deemed university with campuses in Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad and Dubai. Based on the test score, admission will be given to the BE Honours programme in Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Electronics and Communication, Electronics and Instrumentation, Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering or Biotechnology; the B.Pharm. (Honours) programme; the integrated M.Sc. (Honours) course in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Economics, Mathematics and Physics; and the M.Sc. Tech programme.

Those who have passed Plus Two with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics or Biology with at least 75 per cent marks in aggregate in these Science subjects and at least 60 per cent in each and proficiency in English are eligible to apply.

Only students who are appearing for the Plus Two examination in 2014 or who have passed the qualifying examination in 2013 will be considered.

The test fee is Rs. 1,900 (Rs. 1,400 for women). Apply online on http://www.bitsadmission.com before February 15. Besides this, a separate application has to be submitted for each programme offered on the Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad campuses. The final merit list will be available by May 20.





Innovation Scholars In-Residence at the Rashtrapati Bhavan

Description: To provide an environment for grassroots innovators to work on a project in hand and take their innovative ideas forward by providing linkages with technical institutions to strengthen their capacity and mentoring to innovate.

Eligibility: All Indian nationals who have a track record of innovation and implementation of innovative ideas.

Application: Online, Email, Post

Prizes & Rewards: Four scholars would be selected under this scheme every year. Deadline:January 15, 2014

Website: http://www.presidentofindia.nic.in/ ino_art_writ.html

Ramanujan Research Studentship at Trinity College, Cambridge 2014

Description: Trinity College awards one Ramanujan Research Studentship for students in the field of pure or applied mathematics from India hoping to do research for the PhD degree in Cambridge.

Eligibility: Any university student with First Class Honours degree

Application: Email, Post

Prizes & Rewards: Tution Fee, adequate maintenance allowance. Travel allowance will be provided

Deadline: January 15, 2014

Website: http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/index.php

Writers and Artists in-Residence at the Rashtrapati Bhavan

Description: To encourage both upcoming and established writers and artists to explore the opportunities for heightened creativity by staying close to nature in the picturesque and serene surroundings of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Eligibility: All Indian nationals with an established track record in the field of art and literature.

Application: Online, Email, Post

Prizes & Rewards: A maximum of four writers/artists will be selected. The duration of stay at Rashtrapati Bhavan will be for a period of one month, and can be extended by one more month.

Deadline: January 15, 2014

Website: http://www.presidentofindia.nic.in/ ino_art_writ.html

Courtesy: http://www.buddy4study.com



Contest for women

Nandini Voice for the Deprived, a non-governmental organisation, is conducting an essay competition for women on the topic ‘Impact of TASMAC shops on women’s life in Tamil Nadu.’

Participants are expected to present their views about the State’s approach and policy in promoting TASMAC shops and its consequences. The essay can be in English or Tamil and should not exceed 1,500 words. The essay should be sent by post on or before January 27 to the following address : N. S. Venkataraman, Trustee, Nandini Voice for the Deprived, M 60/1, Fourth Cross Street, Besant Nagar, Chennai-600 090. It can also be mailed to nsvenkatchennai@gmail.com

For details, contact 044 – 2491 6037.



The world through the eyes of a girl child

Artist C. Sahiti explaining her artworks to Mavuri Venkata Ramana, MD of CMR Group, at her two-day exhibition of paintings at Visakha Museum in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. —Photo: K.R. Deepak

Artist C. Sahiti explaining her artworks to Mavuri Venkata Ramana, MD of CMR Group, at her two-day exhibition of paintings at Visakha Museum in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. —Photo: K.R. Deepak


The innocence of a girl child and her impressions of the complex family system were reflected in subtle strokes of shades in the artworks of C. Sahiti at the two-day painting exhibition titled ‘My Hues’ at Visakha Museum. A graduate in fine arts from Andhra University, Sahiti’s paintings displayed at the exhibition are a compilation of two years’ hard work. “One can see the artist’s innocence and a reflection of self portrait through natural and animal forms in the paintings,” said Prof. V. Ramesh of Dept. of Fine Arts, Andhra University, who inaugurated the exhibition.

Ideas in different forms

Artworks done in the medium of acrylic on canvas and handmade paper, charcoal work and pen and ink drawings, Sahiti goes on a journey through the eyes of a girl child and presents her ideas in different forms.

“I particularly liked the painting of a tree with human faces peering out of the branches reflecting the dynamics of the family structure and the relationships shared,” said Mavuri Venkata Ramana, MD of CMR Group, who was the chief guest at the inaugural function.

Passionate about exploring the medium further, Sahiti hopes that her first painting exhibition will open wider avenues for the artist to showcase her works.

Need for visual culture

Explaining the need to give a platform to budding artists and inculcate a “museum-going culture” among Vizagites, Prof. Ramesh said that there should be sustained activity in the field of art to develop visual sensibilities and create a visual culture.

“To start with, the city should have a proper art gallery with a well-designed space for the artists to present their work.

The medium of art has evolved fast in India and gone beyond the canvas. There is plenty of scope for young artists to explore this space,” he added.

Sahiti’s painting exhibition is open to visitors on Sunday also from morning to evening.


Need for encouraging a “museum-going culture” among Vizagites stressed




All-India trek from January 2

Capt. C. Vijayabhaskar

Capt. C. Vijayabhaskar

Associate NCC Officer of 30 Andhra NCC Battalion Kadapa, Capt. C. Vijayabhaskar, will head a contingent of 50 cadets from Kadapa and Chittoor, who are participating in an all-India trek from Tinsukia in Assam from January 2 to 9, 2014.

The trek is being organised by the NCC Directorate of north-eastern region, Shillong and NCC Group of Dibrugarh in Assam, to sensitise NCC cadets on environment and sustainable development, Capt. Vijayabhaskar said on Saturday. It is an opportunity for cadets to understand the different eco-systems, flora and fauna, and different cultures and traditions.

Commanding Officer of 30 Andhra NCC Battalion Col. R.K. Govil and Administrative Officer Col. Hariprasad complimented the cadets attending the camp.


Software for Telugu SMS service to be launched tomorrow

The Information Technology (IT) Department will launch software for availing SMS service in Telugu on December 30.

The software, designed by A.P. Society for Knowledge Networks, a wing of the IT Department, will be compatible with mobile handsets and tabs including I-Pad enabled with Android and I-Phone operating systems, IT Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah said here on Saturday.

He claimed it was for the first time in the country an SMS service would be available in a regional language. Mr. Lakshmaiah added that the software was designed for compatibility with Unicode font, so that there were no issues with services being offered by mobile network operators.

The software has already been made available on http://www.teluguvijayam.org . On downloading the software, ‘TelugumAta’ virtual keyboard will be installed on the devices.

It will allow the user to type in Telugu on the phone or other device, wherein Telugu letters will be realised by single key strokes (instead of multi-taps). All characters will be accommodated in two layers unlike other apps, Mr. Lakshmaiah added.


Students @ fest

Students participate in ‘Technozion’, a festival at the National Institute of Technology in Warangal on Thursday.– Photo: M. MURALI Students participate in ‘Technozion’, a festival at the National Institute of Technology in Warangal on Thursday.– Photo: M. MURALI

On a mission

A goods train transporting armoured tanks for training grabs people’s attention in Khammam on Thursday. —PHOTO: G.N. RAO

A goods train transporting armoured tanks for training grabs people’s attention in Khammam on Thursday. —PHOTO: G.N. RAO


Bicycle yatra for world peace

Gnangender Singh, a native of Uddamsinghnagar district in Uttarakhand, reached Nellore city as part of his ‘bicycle yatra’ which begun at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.

He is undertaking this yatra for the promotion of world peace.

Fifth yatra

This is the fifth such yatra being taken up by him.

Mr. Singh said that in all his yatras put together so far, he has travelled 19,595 kilometres and there has been good support from local people. He will conclude his present yatra at Ramnagar in Uttarakhand.

Creating awareness

Mr. Singh said that his yatras were mainly aimed at propagating the significance of national integration, preservation of Indian culture and values and protection of environment.

During his journeys, Mr. Singh also addresses students of colleges to create awareness on social issues.


IPE lecture

O.P. Rawat, Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, will deliver the golden jubilee lecture on ‘21 st Century Challenges to Public Enterprises in India’ on December 26 at IPE auditorium on OU campus. A press release said president of the institute’s board of governors, P. Rama Rao would preside.



Selected for award

The Eisai Pharmatechnology and Manufacturing Ltd. of Visakhapatnam was selected for UBM India’s CSR activities award.

The UBM India awards have been instituted to honour the companies which have excelled in pharmaceuticals and contributed to the growth and development of the Indian industry and also the economy, according to a press release.



Workshop on entrepreneurship

A two-day workshop on entrepreneurship development for Engineering and MBA students began at the Mancherial’s Aizza College of Engineering and Technology here on Monday. The college roped in local industrialist Venkateshwar Rao, APITCO Regional Officer Giri as resource persons.



Model UN

GITAM University chapter of the Indian Society for Technical Education is organising the GITAM Model United Nations in collaboration with United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan on Tuesday.

As many as 470 students from different parts of the country are participating. Director and moderator for each of the five committee of the Model UN were selected via telephonic interviews and have good experience in conducting model UNs. CEO of Virtusa Corporation Murali Padmanabhan will inaugurate the programme.



NRI student selected to represent JNTU-K

Pooja RaniThird- year civil engineering student of NRI Institute of Technology P. Roja Rani has been selected to participate in the ongoing south-India Inter-University Basketball competition. She is representing the JNTU-Kakinada team. The competition began held at Dr. NTR Health University from December 21. The college Principal R. Venkata Rao and Physical Director P. Goutu congratulated the student.



IIM-A organises FDP

A Faculty Development Programme (FDP) Alumni Conference on “Ethics & Social Responsibility of Business” was organised by Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmadabad at GITAM Institute of Management.

FDP is a 35 year old programme hosted by IIM-A which has trained 700 faculty members from various business schools in India.

The chief guest for the inaugural ceremony P.Madhusudan, Director-Finance, RINL addressed the gathering and enunciated the importance of ethics and corporate governance and how the company’s social responsibility decides the rise or fall of a business organization.

The dean of FDP programme G. Raghuram said that the importance of gender sensitivity and other important issues must form a part of management curriculum to make ethics in business a reality.



Fuel the zeal

Marathon:The vehicle designed by students of SRM University.

Marathon:The vehicle designed by students of SRM University.

Seventeen Indian universities will participate in the Shell Eco-marathon Asia. Students from SRM University and Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) talk to MADHUVANTI S KRISHNAN about what the next few months have in store for them…


“I am extremely excited that I am taking part in the Shell Eco-marathon this time. It is an enriching experience ,” smiles Rishabh Jain, a third year student of B.Tech in Automobile Engineering from SRM University.

Yes, it’s that time of the year when students across the world are gearing up for the Shell Eco-marathon that is scheduled to be held at Manila, Philippines, between February 6 and 9, 2014.

Touted as one of the most challenging and innovative student competitions conducted annually in Asia, America, and Europe, the marathon conducted by Shell brings together students and innovators who are passionate about energy issues. According to Viswakumar Menon, Country Head of Communications, Shell Group of Companies, India, the event’s history goes back a little over seven decades when a group of scientists from Shell had a bet to see who could drive their car the furthest on one gallon of fuel. The winner managed to cover approximately 21 kilometres. “What began as a friendly bet has now culminated in one of the most challenging competitions in the world,” says Rishabh.

Category and Design

Rishabh explains how at every stage, there is a lot to be learnt. “There is a rationale behind every little thing that is done, including selecting a name for the team,” he says.

“To begin with, I am part of a nine-member team called ‘Infieon’ Super Mileage. The word Infieon is derived from ‘infinity.’ The name of the team essentially signifies our aim of achieving increasing efficiency of vehicles in a fuel-efficient manner.”

Participating under the Prototype category in the competition, Rishabh further explains how the team’s focus was to design a highly-tuned engine for which members used electronic fuel injection . “It helps in easy tuning of the engine,” says Rishabh.

Rahul Ragothuman, team captain of the 25-member team from Madras Institute of Technology(MIT) participating in the challenge, talks about what his team has come up with, in lieu of the competition.

“We have named ourselves MIT Cruisers. Cruising is the second process involved in driving a vehicle and is done in order to gain mileage. It is based on this that we have named ourselves MIT Cruisers. We have entered the Prototype category and are in the process of constructing a gasoline-powered, three-wheeled prototype.”

The focus of the MIT Cruisers is on tyres. Rahul points out how bike and car tyres have a lot of friction, and the team is working to reduce friction by utilising frictionless tyres as opposed to the regular ones that people use.


While both teams unanimously agree that the support and guidance that they have received from their respective colleges is invaluable and has gone a long way in helping them achieve steady progress, they did face certain inevitable challenges.

One common problem faced by both teams was lack of funds.

“We required funds to buy parts for the vehicle, fuel, and more. This was not easy as sponsorships were hard to obtain,” says Rishabh, “Also, owing to the fact that we are students and not full-fledged professionals, designing the vehicle were an arduous task.”

Despite the little glitches they have faced, both teams are eagerly awaiting the finale that will be held in Manila in February next year.



The World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) 2014 in Chennai

One on one:At the WUDC 2013 held in Berlin last December.

One on one:At the WUDC 2013 held in Berlin last December

The World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC), one of the largest annual international student events, will be held in India for the first time (from December 29 to January 3). Harish Natarajan , arbitrator for WUDC 2014 and a former director of Debating at the Cambridge Union shares his views on this event.



WUDC has become the preeminent student event in the academic world. Teams from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge and Sydney will compete. The participants are the best students from these universities who like to spend their free time reading current affairs, arguing controversial topics and improving their ability to communicate — all skills that help them a lot academically.

The India advantage

A noteworthy aspect of WUDC taking place in Chennai is that participants will be exposed to the next generation of world leaders. From the current crop of debaters, you will find at least five future Prime Ministers and Presidents. Previous competitors include Michael Gove (the U.K. Education Secretary), Liam Fox (former U.K. Home Secretary), Ted Cruz (Senator from Texas, U.S.) among others. Chennai Worlds is also an opportunity to showcase India to the rest of the world. Importantly, hosting WUDC in India would help improve the quality of debating in India. Debating against the best in the world will help Indian students improve their own debating skills, and hopefully allow them to teach those skills to others. Chennai Worlds is vital to the further development of Indian debating, as many students will be exposed to the highest level of debating.

Intellectually exciting

Debating forces us to challenge our premises. It makes students ask, “why is that true.”? “How sure are you.?” “If you had to argue the other side, how would you.”? This is inspirational for many, as it really does open their world to things they otherwise never considered. Debating allows students to express their opinions; it is an avenue for exploring what you think and why you think so. Debating sharpens one’s ability to analyse issues.

Essential skills for debaters

The best debaters are immensely intelligent, with the ability to construct complex arguments with only 15 minutes of preparation. With topics that can be about almost anything (science, politics, economics, international relations, philosophy), without the ability to think rapidly, critically and deploy logical arguments, they will never be able to compete at the highest level.

However, being intelligent only gets you so far. You need to be aware of how well you communicate those arguments to an intelligent audience.

That obviously involves being a proficient public speaker. It involves framing your arguments correctly, careful use of vocabulary and structuring your thoughts in a coherent manner. A knowledge of world affairs is a great tool, but debating isn’t a general knowledge quiz. You may need facts, buts it’s often about deploying them carefully and in a persuasive way.

The advantages

At the top level, you have to be at your best to win. That’s Worlds — challenging you to debate against the most intelligent people that you will ever meet. However, from my professional life, I’ve noticed that many people struggle to express themselves and really hate speaking in public or giving presentations. Debating really equips you with the speaking skills that are vital, but so often underemphasised in traditional academia.



GITAM seminar on aircrafts today

A seminar on modern aircraft systems would be held at Hyderabad campus of the GITAM University at Rudraram on Monday and Tuesday. Padma Bhushan V.K. Saraswath, Aeronautical Society of India, Hyderabad Chapter would attend the programme as the chief guest.



visa issues

My wife and I made online NEFT transfers from Citibank when we applied for B2 visas. How do we check our receipt numbers and how can we generate the receipt numbers?


Please log into your profile for details on fee receipt numbers. For more information, contact support-india@ustraveldocs.com.

I have 20 backlogs in my undergraduate engineering programme. My GRE score is 272 and IELTS is 5.5 bands. Is there a chance for me to obtain a student visa? How can I apply for admission to universities in the U.S.?

Prahasith Reddy

The first step is to choose a school/schools you are interested in attending. To learn more about studying in the U.S., please visit http://www.usief.org.in. Once you select the school(s) you must apply for admission. You will reach the student visa stage only after all of this is completed and you have been admitted into a school of your choice. When you are at that stage, please review the procedures required to apply for a student visa at http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in .

I possess a student visa to study in the U.S., but I had to defer admission for a semester due to an accident. During this time, I applied to other universities and obtained I-20s from them. Now, I wish to go to a different university. Can I go to the second university using the F1 visa I already have or should I pay SEVIS fee again and apply for a new student visa?

Saif Mohammed

Students whose SEVIS number, programme or university has changed must apply for a new visa.

I am planning to apply for an F1 visa. Do I have to bring my official GRE and TOEFL score reports or can I simply bring an online printout of these scores?

Dr. Tejasvi

The GMAT/GRE is normally required by the universities and colleges in order to gain admission. Consular officers look at the totality of a student’s qualifications during their interview, so you should be prepared to talk about your academic and professional past in India and future plans.

You will also need to demonstrate your ability to pay for your education in the U.S.

NOTE:  The best place to find answers to your visa and general consular questions is on our official website at http://hyderabad.usconsulate.gov.  In this column, we answer general questions about visas and items of general interest.

For student-related inquiries please check out our “Consul Counsels” column published in the Education Plus supplement.

If you have specific visa case questions, please contact support-india@ ustraveldocs.com.



A red-letter day for Nalanda institutions

TRADITIONAL GREETING:Nalanda students in traditional attire at sports day in Vijayawada on Friday. (Right) Students participating in the event with masks.— Photos: Ch.Vijaya Bhaskar

District Sports Development Officer inaugurates the sports extravaganza

It was a red-letter Day for the students of Nalanda Vidya Niketan. The 16 th annual sports day of the school clubbed with the silver jubilee celebrations of the Nalanda Educational Institutions was a big occasion for all. A festive atmosphere prevailed at the inauguration of T-20, an inter-school games and sports competition organised on the occasion. The students of the Dr. K.K.R. Gowtham , St.John’s, Rainbow, V.P. Siddhartha, Kendriya Vidyalayas, Bishop Grassi, KCP Adarsh, and Delhi Public School participated in the athletic competitions, football and cricket matches conducted to mark the occasion.

There was a grand sports day parade with children from all classes participating in it. District Sports Development Officer P. Ramakrishna, who inaugurated the sports extravaganza, said that the inauguration was like that of an international sports event. School principal M. Padmaja said that ten coaches had been appointed by the school to help students develop their skills in different sports and athletics. Tiny tots dressed as cheerleaders, a troupe of Bharathanatyam dancers and a group of children wearing masks of a cartoon character stole the show at the parade.



Cricket tourney for differently-abled

Differently-abled persons should exhibit their talent in games and sports and prove that they are inferior to none, Kadapa Revenue Divisional Officer D. Haritha said on Friday.

She inaugurated the South Zone Cricket Tournament for the differently-abled organised by Kadapa District Cricket Association. The RDO advised them to play well and rise to the national and international level. Former MLC and Andhra Cricket Association vice-president M. Venkatasiva Reddy said plans are afoot to conduct a sports meet for the differently-abled at Y.S. Raja Reddy cricket stadium here. He promised to strive for recognition to the Andhra Cricket Association for the Physically Challenged (ACAPC).

Sixty cricket players participated. District Sports Development Officer S. Basha Mohiuddin, YSR Regional Sports School Special Officer M. Ramachandra Reddy and ACAPC joint secretary B. Ramanjula Naik participated.


Selected for award

All the Best Arts Academy, a Secunderabad-based literary, cultural and social organisation, has chosen M. Balarama Raju, a senior lecturer in Sree Rama College of Education, Tirupati, for the state-level ‘Best Teacher Award’.



Maths wizard’s contribution remembered

To mark National Mathematics Day, AP State Council of Science and Technology’s Regional Science Centre at Bhavanipuram on Friday conducted an interesting programme involving multiplications, tables, squares and magic squares.

Addressing the participants, Regional Officer J.D. Rao pointed to the fact that the day was observed to commemorate the great mathematics wizard Srinivasa Ramanujam and explained how the latter had contributed a great deal for development of mathematics. He said students must embrace mathematics and explore career options related to the subject.

Winners of competitions in essay writing, quiz and poster presentation were also given prizes.


‘Escape Velocity Test’ for students

FIITJEE and USA UnivQuest have announced an ‘Escape Velocity Test’ for students of Classes IX, X, XI, XII and those who have passed XII, to help them understand if their career choice is correct.

A press release said it would be conducted at multiple centers across India on December 29 and the last date of registration is December 26. The test would weigh students’ aptitude, discover the potential and help them set academic goals.

For those interested in taking it online, between January 4 and 10, online registrations are open at http://www.escapevelocitytest.com, said Ananda Raman, Director & Mentor, FIITJEE, AP.

Appointed VC

B.M. Chandrasekhar Reddy was appointed Vice-Chancellor of YSR Horticulture University in Tadepalligudem mandal of West Godavari district. He is presently a project coordinator at the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research in Bangalore. Mr. Chandrasekhar Reddy called on the CM after his appointment. He will have a three-year term.


‘MOOCs can help improve access to quality education’

The Open Educational Resources have the potential to provide increased access to knowledge resources while its use in the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will provide opportunities to receive credentials through formal and informal learning, said Sanjaya Mishra, Director, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia. The implication of these developments for India is tremendous and given the right kind of impetus, we can improve access and quality of available education, he said while delivering a lecture on ‘Learning and Technology: Emerging Trends to Democratise Education’ at a meeting organised by Prof. G. Ram Reddy Memorial Trust at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University Campus on Tuesday. Dr. Mishra was also presented with the Prof. G. Ram Reddy Social Scientist Award for his outstanding contribution to the field of open distance learning.


DPS lauded for balanced approach

Students of Delhi Public School exhibit their skils at the annual sports day celebrations at Nidamanuru near Vijayawada on Tuesday.

Students of Delhi Public School exhibit their skils at the annual sports day celebrations at Nidamanuru near Vijayawada on Tuesday.


A student who is good in sports is bound to be good in academics as well. This strong connection between sports and academics was revealed by a recent study, said Krishna District Sports Secretary N. Srinivasa Rao on Tuesday.

He was addressing students of Delhi Public School (DPS), Vijayawada on the occasion of the school’s 7th annual sports day. Mr. Srinivasa Rao complimented the management of the DPS for giving equal importance to academics as well as sports. Track and field events like 100-mts run, 400×100 mts relay for juniors and seniors and ‘tug of tunnel’ and ‘Clip Clap’ race for tiny tots were held besides an impressive display of karate feats.

The chief guest gave away prizes to winners of the various events.

The overall championship in sports and games was won by Brahmaputra House. The winners included K. Jnana Sri (Ganges House); Individual sub-junior championship (girls), P. Pravishta (Narmada House); Individual sub-junior championship (boys), T. Ananya (Krishna House); Individual Junior Championship (girls), J. Rahul Pundarika (Brahmaputra House); Individual Junior Championship (boys), G. Himaja Varma (Brahmaputra House): Individual Senior Championship (girls) and K. Pratap Reddy (Brahmaputra House); Individual Senior Championship (boys).


The overall championship in sports and games was won by Brahmaputra House



Training for survey on health and education

The Field Operation Division of National Sample Survey Office (NSS) will undertake a nation-wide survey on ‘Social Consumption on Health and Education’ from January to June, 2014.

The survey will be preceded by a three-day regional training conference which will commence on December 18 to impart training on concepts and definitions and on-field training for field functionaries involved in this survey.

Deputy Director General, NSSO, Southern Zonal Office, Bengaluru, Sandhya Krishnamurthy will inaugurate the regional conference while Director D. Satish, Assistant Director A.S.N.M. Rao and other senior officers will impart the training.

The field functionaries stationed at sub-regional offices, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada and NSRO, Vijayawada and officials of Andhra Pradesh State Directorate of Economics and Statistics will attend the training programme.



Singapore junior team series begins

A series of matches between a Singapore junior team and the teams from Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association Under-14 Zonal academies commenced at the Port Stadium here on Tuesday.

Before the first match, the teams were introduced to Deputy Chairman of Visakhapatnam Port Trust G.V.L. Satya Kumar. Secretary of VDCA K. Parthasaradhi said that matches will be held till December 21. Each match will be of 30-overs-a-side affairs coaches of VDCA Zonal teams will observe the matches and spot talented players.

Vice-presidents of VDCA S.S.R.K. Prasad and D. Sanjeev, joint secretary A.P. Naidu and others were present. The Singapore juniors’ team is being coached by former Andhra player Sarika Siva Prasad.





A 22-year-old Indian student has won a global online contest of designing a digital postcard explaining how studying in Australia could help them realise their future dream.

IIT-Delhi student Uttam Kumar, who hails from a small village in Harayana, has been declared winner of the ‘Win your Future Unlimited’ contest that attracted around 37,000 entries from 190 countries across the globe.



The race to recognition

Unless the two essentials in an interaction — practical and personal needs — are honoured, the outcome of conversations might not be entirely successful.

Flashback to those days in school and then in college where our teachers and professors used to tell us one thing, “Enjoy these days, they will never come. Your life is just starting and you have no idea how hard it is out there in the real world.” Every time they said this we all wondered “What are they talking about? I am going to get rid of these books for life; what could be worse?” And then we entered ‘the race’, an endless race to be recognised as the best in whatever we do.

I still remember our tutor at the accounts coaching classes telling us, “If you don’t know how to solve financial accountancy you are dead. You have no future.” I am sure every faculty member told us similar things. And we ran to become perfect at the skills we were trying to specialise in — be it accountancy and finance, marketing, engineering, literature, statistics or anything else.

What all these good people told us was definitely true; in fact it will help you fetch your first job well! But there is one thing that research tells us will take you a long way for years to come. We call this ‘interaction essentials.’


This is split in two parts — personal needs and practical needs. Remember your favourite faculty in school or college, who was not just good at the subject and excellent at teaching it but did something more. He touched our lives in many different ways. His ability to teach us a complex concept in a simple way was helping us meet our practical needs.

But the ways in which he treated us, made us feel good about ourselves, answered our stupidest question and yet answered it with all sincerity, he made us practise all by ourselves and created a safe environment where it was “OK to fail”; this, my friends, was him meeting our personal needs without us realising it.

Now how does that translate into work-life?

For example, when we step into our roles in a corporate environment as young individuals we have so many things to take care of. Learn about the company, communicate and collaborate with different stakeholders like bosses, peers, external or internal customers. We also have to face a lot of challenges like meeting targets or set objectives, collecting data from other departments to present to senior leaders, achieving deadlines and much more.


While many feel that it’s easy — all we have to do is communicate with others — we forget that how we communicate is as important as what we communicate. It’s so rational and logical to have a talk with others involved to get things done, but then why do conflicts arise? It is because one of the two elements of interaction essentials is not honoured.

Interaction process either as individuals or as leaders is very critical and has to be practised day in and day out. The personal needs that we refer to as Key Principles (KPs) were derived after years of research and when they are applied, people feel valued, respected and understood.

Our research also tells that these KPs have direct impact on levels of engagement, motivation and productivity of individuals.

In the race to achieve tasks and targets we often get so focused on the job at hand that we don’t see anything else. But like your favourite faculty member you will meet your favourite boss and would be surprised or rather amazed to see how similar these two people are!


The writer is member,

Key Leadership Team,

DDI India.



B.Sc. course in Hospitality and Hotel Administration

The National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Noida, has invited applications for a joint entrance examination from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 26 for admission to a B.Sc. course in Hospitality and Hotel Administration in various institutes of Hotel Management and Catering Technology in India. The programme is jointly offered by the council and the Indira Gandhi National Open University, which equips students with the knowledge, technical skills and service attitude for the hospitality industry.

Those who have passed Plus Two or are appearing for the examination in any subject combination or stream and have studied English as a subject are eligible to apply. Apply online on http://applyadmission.net/nchmjee2014.

Offline application facilities are available.

The filled-in application or the printout of the online application should be sent to the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology, A- 34, Sector 62, Noida -201 309, by Speed Post latest by April 7.

The University of Hyderabad has invited applications for an all-India entrance examination to be held between February 1 and 7 for admission to its various regular programmes, including the five-year integrated MA and M.Sc. courses in Humanities and Social Sciences and Sciences (after Plus Two); postgraduate courses in Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, Performing Arts, Fine Arts, Art History, Communication, Business Administration in Healthcare and Hospital Management and Health Psychology; Master of Computer Applications; Master of Public Health; integrated M.Sc.-Ph.D. in Biotechnology; M.Tech. courses in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Information Technology, Computational Techniques, Integrated Circuit Technology, Bioinformatics, Mineral Exploration, Materials Engineering and Nanoscience & Technology; M.Phil. and Ph.D. in various disciplines.

Apply online on http://acad.uohyd.ac.in on or before January 3.


India link

Somerville College, one of the highly reputed colleges at Oxford, has links with India dating back to 1889 when the college was just 10 years old. Ms. Cornellia Sorabji was not just Somerville’s first Indian woman but also the first Indian woman to study at any British university at that time.

The Indira Gandhi Centre for Sustainable Development, an initiative by the college, is aimed at shaping the next century of India’s growth by educating, connecting and supporting its future leaders in sustainable development and by forging lasting partnerships between Indian institutions and the University of Oxford. Eminent personalities such as Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi have had their training at Somerville.


Workshop on rural tourism

A three-day national workshop on ‘Rural tourism models–challenges and possibilities’ was organised by the Y. S. R. Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management (YSRITHM) here from December 13 to 15.

The programme was inaugurated by S. K. Mishra, Chairman Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development and Chandana Khan, Special Chief Secretary, Tourism, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh.

Places remained to be explored

Addressing delegates, they stressed on the need to develop rural areas from a tourism point of view.

They mentioned that India has many interesting places in rural areas which are yet to be explored.

The seminar was also attended by tourism officers from West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and other States across the country.


A model polytechnic for South India

Students of Fisheries Polytechnic College busy doing a wateranalysis test.

Students of Fisheries Polytechnic College busy doing a wateranalysis test.

Within five years of its inception, India’s first fisheries polytechnic college at Bhavadevarapalli in Nagayalanka in Krishna District is inspiring other South Indian States to come up with similar institutes, to bridge the gap between availability of qualified technical workmen in aqua industry and producing the workforce.

Blessed with fascinating surroundings of the brackish water, river Krishna and Bay of Bengal, the students of Sri Mandali Venkata Krishna Rao Fisheries Polytechnic College are able to reach highest levels of excellence in their arena of training as they are attached to the aqua companies in the region.

“In Andhra Pradesh, there is a requirement of above 4,000 technical personal to run the flourishing aqua industry by the end of 2013-14 financial year, but hardly 30 students a year are passing out of the polytechnic and thus they are being lapped up by the recruiting agencies,” Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University’s M.V.K.R. Fisheries Polytechnic College Principal K.S. Krishna Prasad told The Hindu.

The students having a background of agriculture and allied sectors are being trained in key areas of aquaculture including hatcheries, feed plant management, processing plants during their two-year course. Ironically, girls from all parts of Andhra Pradesh are outnumbering the boys in the course as the aqua companies prefer them for their need in aqua labs and research.

“All kinds of aquaculture ponds are close to our college. We are even allowed to spend time there to observe its maintenance, feed, seed management and controlling water parameters during our holidays and training sessions,” said students. The group of 60 students in two different years of study are now filling up the three ponds with water on their college premises to raise the fish seed soon.

“Officials and teams from Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Karnataka have visited our institution and realised the immediate need to adopt our model. Two new colleges for fisheries polytechnic are coming up in Tamil Nadu from 2014-15 academic year, as they understand the job potential in the aqua industry” added Mr. Krishna Prasad.




Thousands run for unity

Enthusiastic lot:Students taking part in the Run for Unity, in Nellore on Sunday.–Photo: Ravikumar

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ektha Trust organises the run

Thousands of students participated in the Run for Unity organised by the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ektha trust to create awareness about the patriotism and unity, on Sunday. Students carrying a portrait of Sardar Patel and saffron-coloured balloons began the run after leaders garlanded Sardar Patel’s portrait on his 63th death anniversary on Kadapa Zilla Parishad premises. Addressing a meeting at YSR circle, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust district chairman Varanasi Pratap Reddy called for concerted efforts for national integrity and unity to ensure the prosperity of the nation by drawing inspiration from Sardar Patel.

BJP leader and programme convenor BJP leaders Pushpala Srinatha Reddy called for unity among the people above political, religious and casteist considerations. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi conceived the run for unity across the country to project the need for unity among the people.

P.V.S. Murthy lamented growing disunity in the present society, which was leading to problems such as terrorism and infiltration. Several national leaders rendered sacrifices to make India strong, but some selfish political leaders were dividing the State and nation, he alleged.

District Rythu Seva Samithi president S. Ramachandra Reddy A. Harinath Reddy, C. Basi Reddy, TDP State Secretary S. Goverdhan Reddy, Viswa Hindu Parishad district president K.V. Lakshminarayana Reddy, secretary K. Srinivasulu Reddy, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh district secretary C. Venkateswarlu, BJP Mahila Morcha State secretary Ch. Saradamma, Hindu Dharma Prachara Parishad organiser M. Venkat Reddy, Government girls junior college principal P. Mastan, BJP, VHP, RSS and Bajrang Dal activists and students participated.

First time voters

Adilabad Special Correspondent adds: Participation of youth, especially the first time voters, in the Run for Unity became the cause of enthusiasm for the BJP in Adilabad. The run started from the DIET ground and passed through Vinayak chowk, Gandhi chowk, Ambedkar chowk and Netaji chowk before reaching back to the same ground.BJP leaders Sriram Naik, Durgam Rajeshwar, Deepak Singh Shekhawat, Adinath and others appealed to the youth to stay united and imbibe the spirit of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.

Nizamabad Staff Reporter adds: A large number of people participated in the Run for Unity rally which began at the DSA ground and concluded at Gandhi Chowk passing through Tilak Garden and Bhagat Singh Chowrasta. The local MLA Yendala Lakshminarayana, the T-JAC district chairman I. Gopal Sarma, the Run for Unity committee chairman Purushotham Somani and the BJP district president P. Ganga Reddy led the rally.

A number of school and college students wearing unity run T-shirts and caps took part in it. Before the start of the rally the participants sang the national anthem and listened to the address of the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the FM Radio.


Overwhelming response

Karimnagar Staff Reporter adds: There was an overwhelming response to the 2K run for unity in Karimnagar.Students participated in large numbers in the run amid slogans “Jai Bharath Matha”, “Vandemataram”. Retired IG Gopinath Reddy flagged the run from the Arts college grounds in the town, which passed through Telangana chowk, RTC bus station, Kaman cross roads and again reached the Arts college grounds. Several BJP leaders and other local organizers have also participated in the run with lots of enthusiasm.

Mahabubnagar Correspondent adds: Braving the cold weather people specially aged and youth turned out in large numbers to participated in the run here on Sunday.

The run was inaugurated by local BJP MLA Yennam Srinivas Reddy by flagging off the run at Z.P.grounds.

The “Unity Run –Run for India” which started from Zilla parished grounds in two groups after covering main thorough fares in the town concluded at town hall grounds.

The event chairman Maddi Yadireddy, co-ordinate Shanti Kumar and other leaders from V.H.P. B.J.P were also participated.

hai Patel Rashtriya Ektha Trust organises the run


CSI convention concludes

The three-day 48th annual convention of the Computer Society of India (CSI) concluded here on Sunday with Director (Commercial) of RINL T.K. Chand who is the chairman of the Organising Committee stating that the conference had seven deliverables.

Of the 183 papers selected, 150 were presented in five parallel sessions. Andhra University Vice-Chancellor G.S.N. Raju said that CSI was contributing immensely to the field of IT. The first chairman of CSI-Vizag chapter B.V. Srinivasa Rao and former CMD of RILN Y. Siva Sagar Rao were felicitated.

Director (Finance) of ECIL Kishore Rungta said the CSI was increasing awareness on IT among Indian citizens.CSI President S.V. Raghavan, Director (Projects) of RINL P.C. Mohapatra, General Manager (IT) K.V.S.S. Rajeswara Rao, H.R. Mohan and Convener of the convention Paramata Satyanarayana spoke.



Students told to explore space

Students of Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan interacted with Jaydeep Mukherjee, Director, Florida Space Grant Consortium, who spoke to the students about space exploration.

He cited many examples of how the student community is being encouraged to enquire and to explore space.

R. Vara Prasad, Deputy General Manager, Range Operations, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, took the students on a journey of how space technology was developed in India.

K. Adbhita Rao, Senior Technocrat, ISTRAC (Retd) was felicitated on the occasion.



Students’ initiative for villagers

Students of TRIPS International School screened villagers of Buchiyyanagar for visual disability and counselled the needy to utilize further services at a free eye camp scheduled at Satellite City. The children were trained in the preliminary eye vision checking procedure by Goutami Eye Institute. A total of 196 villagers were screened and 87 people told to attend the camp.



Bathed in colours

An illuminated fountain at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi.Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

An illuminated fountain at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi.Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar


Thrill on hill

Cablecars busy ferrying tourists to Kailasagiri hill resort as there has been a rise in the tourist inflow to Visakhapatnam.— PHOTOS: C.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Cablecars busy ferrying tourists to Kailasagiri hill resort as there has been a rise in the tourist inflow to Visakhapatnam.— PHOTOS: C.V. SUBRAHMANYAM



Homeopathy classes

Andhra Pradesh Homeopathic Association (APHA) is introducing a six-month first-aid classes for awareness in homeopathy from December 23 at APHA office, Street No. 1, Himayathnagar, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Classes will be held every Monday and Thursday. For details, call on phone No. 23224399.




Timpany student wins tennis title

Abdul Kareem Khan of Timpany School claimed the under-12 age group boys’ singles title in the Moula Khan all-India tennis tournament held at Vizianagaram a few days ago. Commissioner of Police B. Shivadhar Reddy congratulated Abdul Kareem Khan and wished him more success in future.




Creating a flutter

Members of Team Mangalore flying kites as part of Samudrothsava, organised by Alva's under the Vishwa Nudisiri-2013, at Panambur Beach in Mangalore on Sunday.— PHOTO: H.S. MANJUNATH

Members of Team Mangalore flying kites as part of Samudrothsava, organised by Alva’s under the Vishwa Nudisiri-2013, at Panambur Beach in Mangalore on Sunday.— PHOTO: H.S. MANJUNATH



Innovative science exhibits by college students

As part of the annual fete at Maris Stella, students turnout in all black on Tuesday in Vijayawada.Photo: Ch.Vijaya BhaskarAs part of the annual fete at Maris Stella, students turnout in all black on Tuesday in Vijayawada.Photo: Ch.Vijaya Bhaskar

students of PVP Siddhartha Institute of Technology, V.R. Siddhartha College of Engineering, and MIC College of Technology participated in large numbers with a number of science projects and exhibits to display the latest findings and their applications in the day-to-day life situations at the Gora Science Centre on Friday. About 450 students from various colleges and schools vied with each other to show what kind of scientific temperament they had. The explosive nature of several materials, the use of Integrated Circuits in controlling train movement at crossings and their applications in agriculture fields to start or stop irrigation motors, were some of the exhibits that attracted everyone.

Black Dress competition

Students of Maris Stella College in Vijayawada participated in several competitions in the run-up to the Fete Day organised on Sunday. While some of the students dressed themselves in Indian traditional attires representing cultures of several States in the country, there were colour wear competitions like White Dress and Black Dress competitions in which they had come attired in traditional Indian sarees and also western wear. The culmination of all these competitions was the Fete Day at which festive atmosphere prevailed with students enjoying and competing in several cultural events, while putting up eatery stalls etc.

Surface Science and Nanotechnology

Principal Scientist of Hyderabad-based IICT K.S. Rama Rao explained recent trends in Surface and Nanotechnology, and went on to say that Nano science and recent applications in present society were useful to the human being. He said nano material behave differently compared to macro molecules. They show different properties. They have different applications at different sizes. They can be used in pharmacy, medical care – for cancer tumor identifications and in industry etc. B.S.L.V. Prasad Senior Scientist from National Chemical Laboratories ACSIR Institute also gave live examples from the nature that some insects and bats that they cling to roofs and different colors shown by peacock and lotus leaf’s repellent properties were based on this.



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