The illuminating webinar on “Inspire the Inspired: Excellent Research Opportunity in SRM University – AP” was designed to describe the exciting research opportunities that are available at SRM University-AP, Andhra Pradesh. Prof. V.S. Rao, Vice-Chancellor, addressed the participants of the webinar with the opening remarks. He extended a warm welcome to the partakers, which was over 130. This impromptu webinar was organized to motivate the prospective Ph.D. students to join SRM AP for an illustrious career. Prof. V.S. Rao said, “SRM AP is pursuing the path of excellence by emphasizing research both in undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) level which played a crucial role in achieving the university’s aspiration to become an academy of distinction.” He highlighted that right from its inception, the University decided to recruit well-accomplished research-oriented faculty who have acquired a Ph.D. from reputed institutes or/and have international exposure. In its nascent stage, the faculty of SRM AP have published more than 200 papers in well-reputed journals with high Impact Factors.” Prof. V.S. Rao also applauded the incredible accomplishment of the faculty in getting 24 projects with a total outlay of Rs.12 crores from the Government of India Scientific Funding agencies in a short span. He added, “Committed, dedicated faculty working have worked relentlessly in the pursuit of excellence under the guidance of Prof. D. Narayana Rao, Pro Vice-Chancellor, whose leadership has steered their efforts in the best direction.”

Prof. V.S. Rao concluded by mentioning that in India, research has taken a backseat as our nation is far behind other countries in producing Ph.D. students. “Now the time has come for higher education institutes to participate in Research and Development (R&D) by encouraging Ph.D. students. It is a matter of pride that at SRM AP, the faculty have involved undergraduate (UG) students in their research pursuits and publications.”, divulged Prof. V.S. Rao.

Prof. D. Narayana Rao asserted, “SRM AP provides exciting and challenging research opportunities that are of national importance and having social applications”. He welcomed all the participants of the webinar by explaining that the purpose of the webinar was to explicate the type of exciting research in frontline and emerging areas of science and technology being carried out at SRM AP. Through the webinar, he desired to motivate the students to join the Ph.D. programs at SRM AP by assuring them of an enviable career. He substantiated his statement by stating that all the faculty at SRM AP have obtained their Ph.D. from reputed institutes in India and abroad.

Prof. D. Narayana Rao initiated his presentation by displaying the model plan of SRM AP that is to be constructed in the next 5-10 years to explain the conducive environment offered at the university for creative thinking. Inaugurated on 15 July 2017, within 3 years, expert faculty with brilliant accomplishments and national and international characteristics have been associated with SRM AP. Prof. D. Narayana Rao described and explained various laboratories, experimental facilities, and world-class infrastructure of the university.

Prof. D. Narayana Rao informed the attendees of the webinar regarding the 132 faculty members, cross-cultural students, periodic research review meetings, and Active Learning centers at SRM AP which facilitates discussion among scholars and formation of innovative ideas. He added, “It is of honour and pride for our university to have INSPIRE faculty and students who have published journal papers having Impact Factor of more than 52. It is of prestige and privilege for any university to reach this stage within 3 years of its inception. We also involve UG students in research and one of them has developed Face Shield and patented the same.”

Prof. D. Narayana Rao enlightened about the collaborations of SRM AP with Indian Nanoelectronics User Program- The Indian Institute of Science (INUP-IISc), which would enable students to work at such centers, interact with faculty members of IISc, and expand their horizons of thinking and carrying out research. Prof. D. Narayana Rao declared that SRM AP has collaborated with National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in emerging areas of studies which are of paramount importance. He urged, “The students can explore these facilities and use the wisdom of many of the eminent personalities who would direct and guide students to conduct contemporary research.”

Prof. D. Narayana Rao notified the participants about the importance of Computational Materials. He said, “Previously, designing and developing materials used to take a decade. Now with computational materials, the same can be achieved in reduced time. SRM AP organized a conference with The Asian Consortium on Computational Materials Science (ACCMS) on 5th-6th February 2020. (For details, visit:”. Prof. D. Narayana Rao further informed, “SRM AP has established centers in collaboration with Amara Raja Batteries to develop Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Dr. G. S. Vinod Kumar, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been working with Tanishq-Titan to develop lightweight jewellery using foam gold, which has also been filed for patenting. Apart from this, it is of extreme privilege that SRM AP is work in partnership with the Indian Railways to develop hydrogen infused trains”

Prof. D. Narayana Rao concluded by saying that SRM AP provides challenging and exciting research opportunities that cater to the industrial requirements. He motivated the prospective Ph.D. students to join SRM AP to develop vision, expertise, and commitment that would enable them to become leaders in their chosen areas of science and technology.

Further, the webinar steered students to seven breakout rooms where Dr. Goutam Kumar Dalapati represented Physical Science, Dr. Nimai Mishra spoke for Chemical Science, Prof. V. Kannan embodied Mathematics, Dr. Manjunatha Thondamal represented Biological Science, Dr. Jatindra Kumar Dash exemplified Computer Science and Engineering, Dr. Ramesh Vaddi spoke about Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Electronics and Communication Engineering, and Dr. G. S. Vinod Kumar gave a detailed presentation of the research activities of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Faculty members shared details of SRM AP research programmes through presentations in each breakout room, and the participants interacted with them to discuss various plausible research areas.

SRM University- AP, Andhra Pradesh is happy to welcome our new Vice-Chancellor Prof Vajja Sambasiva Rao. Prof V.S. Rao has joined the University, today, July 1st 2020

Prof V. S. Rao is an eminent academician who has been the vanguard of leading excellence in higher technical education in India. An alumnus of BITS, Pilani and the University of Bielefeld, Germany, Prof V. S. Rao previously served as the President of NIIT University and Acting Vice-Chancellor and Director at BITS, Pilani.

Dr P. Satyanarayanan, the President of the SRM University-AP, shares in his welcome note, “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor V. S. Rao as the new Vice-Chancellor of SRM University-AP. Dr VS Rao is a renowned academician with over four decades of experience in Academics and Administration. I am optimistic that his strategic and operational skills combined with his deep knowledge in academic research, will help SRM AP scale greater heights in its pursuit to be a truly global research-intensive educational institution.”

Prof D. Narayana Rao, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University, cordially welcomed him on campus saying, “Prof VS Rao, an institution builder, has developed BITS, Hyderabad as a highly reputed institution in a short time. With his rich and vast experience at BITS – Pilani and also as the Director, BITS Hyderabad, I am sure that he will take SRM University – AP to greater heights.”

Dr D. Gunasekaran, the Registrar of SRMAP, opined, “Prof V S Rao’s joining the SRM University AP is wonderful news for us. We are certain that his values and collaborative leadership approach will help the University to make a visible difference to the world. The faculty members, students and staff of SRM University AP welcomes the Vice-Chancellor, Prof V S Rao.”

As the University embarks on an exciting period of development in an immensely challenging and competitive environment with an ambitious strategy that builds on the well-established reputation for ground-breaking research, innovation and cross-disciplinary academic activity, it is the high time to demonstrate the capability to make a difference to the lives of individuals, communities and societies in the region and around the world.

Prof V. S. Rao, the man of the hour himself supported the notion asserting, “I am looking forward to contributing to the internationally acclaimed SRM Group, through my best efforts. We at SRMAP would like to see that every student graduating from here would be industry-ready, and get numerous opportunities during their career. I consider myself fortunate to have this opportunity to be part of such an excellent institution in the sphere of higher education, that has been delivering quality teaching and learning, and research relevant to the society.”

During his career spanning over forty-two years, Prof V. S. Rao has made significant contributions in the arena of education. As the President of NIIT University (NU), Neemrana, Rajasthan, he has led many initiatives at NU starting from curriculum innovations, faculty expansion and development to the introduction of new Programmes and digital learning. He apprehended the importance of Industry linkage with academia and committed to upholding it. Prior to joining NU, Prof V. S. Rao had a vigorous association with BITS, Pilani for over 44 years including six years of his Graduation.

He played a crucial role in the establishment of BITS Pilani, Hyderabad campus in terms of strategy and conception. He worked very closely with Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, the then Chief Minister, in realising his vision of establishing BITS Pilani campus in Hyderabad, a state-of-the-art campus with innovative ideas.

His research interest included synthetic organic chemistry, natural product research, green chemistry etc. He has guided four PhD students and published several research papers in reputed journals. His passion for teaching has earned accolades from several batches of BITS students.

Prof. V. S. Rao obtained his M. Sc and PhD degrees from BITS Pilani. In 1998, at the invitation of the German Foundation for International Development, he attended a four-month training programme on Educational Economics & Educational Research at the University of Bielefeld, Germany. His philosophy and utilitarian standpoint as an educator have been moulded by his pragmatic ideology and productive wisdom as an administrator.

Prof V.S. Rao is on the advisory board for various colleges, institutions and universities across the country. He is also an avid explorer who has extensively travelled across the globe to visit international universities of repute.

Dr. Nimai Mishra, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, along with his research group comprising of his Ph.D. students Ms. V.G.Vasavi Dutt and Mr. Syed Akhil have published their recent work on “Fast, Tunable and Reversible Anion-Exchange in CsPbBr3 Perovskite Nanocrystals with Hydrohalic Acids” in the Journal “CrystEngComm”, Royal Society of Chemistry with an Impact factor 3.38.

Cesium-lead-halide perovskite nanocrystals In the research work, Dr. Mishra’s group has developed a very simple facile synthesis process of perovskite nanocrystals with very high emissive properties and colour tunability. Colloidal caesium-lead-halide perovskite nanocrystals (NCs) (CsPbX3, X = Cl, Br, I) are presently on-demand because of their excellent photoluminescence quantum yield (PLQY), wide range of band gap tunability and defect tolerance, finding its application as photodetectors, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), asing, and photovoltaics. Dr. Mishra informs, “Anion ( the halides) exchange in colloidal caesium-lead- halide perovskite nanocrystals (NCs) is a highly efficient protocol to tune their chemical composition and optoelectronic properties. In this work, we first report the use of hydrohalic acids (HX; X=Cl and Br) as a precursor for anion exchange which can be an efficient way to control the composition and optical properties of CsPbBr3 perovskite nanocrystals (NCs).” Furthermore, the team demonstrated a facile and efficient approach of anion-exchange which is implemented to tune the optical properties of CsPbX3 perovskite NCs via a simple post-synthetic modification with hydrohalic acids. Importantly, this work presents a simple, feasible, reproducible synthetic route toward control halide exchange in metal halide perovskite NCs with various optoelectronic properties.

Regarding the future scope of the research, Dr. Mishra informs, “These high-quality nanocrystals have the potential to be used as active material in LED devices, therefore our future plan is to make a prototype LED devices using our nanocrystals.”

Dr. Nimai Mishra is keen to collaborate, interested researchers may kindly contact him at

“He shines Hot, I absorb the heat intense;
He comes down with all blaze, I disappear slow;
He boasts his victory Grand, roars High;
The world surrenders to his Will and Grace”

Dr Ram Kulesh Thakur’s poem titled ‘The War’ is a metaphoric poetic tale that depicts the strife and struggle of the human race against the challenges that question their identity and existence. The poem has been recently published in the reputed journal “Contemporary Literary Review India” in its May 2020 edition where it was avidly congratulated by the readers.

The poem ‘The War’ reflects the continuous state of turmoil that any sensible person faces each second, each day. One has to be mighty enough to deal with all the impediments and strive to better one’s life; not only for the personal benefit but at the same time for the entire Humanity. In the poem, the speaker, a tiny water droplet, dares to war against the imperious and despotic Sun and in the attempt loses its identity itself. However, the droplet does not lose hope. It makes an attempt to survive and joins others to form a cloud. The Cloud, as known, can fight gloriously and save the world from the intense heat of the Sun. Thus, the water droplet stands victorious. The poem reminds us of how determination and wisdom can eradicate all hindrances that lie in our paths. The poem teaches and inspires one to fight for good and never to give up until one succeeds.

Dr Thakur belongs to the school of thought that advocates “Art for Life’s Sake”; and therefore, he celebrates ‘life’ and illustrates his ‘day to day experiences’ in his creative write-ups. Whenever Dr Thakur can manage some time between his teaching duties as an Assistant Professor at the Department of English, he indulges in publishing both ‘Academic’ and ‘Creative’ write-ups in noted Journals and Newsletters such as Indian Book Chronicle, Poetcrit, Contemporary Literary Review India, Akshara. His natural inclination is towards the ‘Academic’ writing. Presently, two of his essays are under review to find its place in the most reputed international magazine ‘World Literature Today’.

Dr Thakur finds his inspirations in every author he reads, though celebrated authors Ruskin Bond, Haruki Murakami, Shashi Tharoor, Gita Hariharan, and Paulo Coelho hold a special place in his heart.

Dr Thakur has been working on two major and a few minor projects simultaneously. His latest creations, “Teaching English to Non-English”, a compilation of essays celebrating his personal ESL/EFL Classroom experiences; and “Shadow under the Shade”, a novella with 12 chapters, are expected to hit the bookstores by January 2021.

The Poem:

The ‘WAR’
– Dr Ram Kulesh Thakur

The arrogant Sun mocks my little stature,
Challenges my weak and fragile form;
I stand firm to show the worth of a pure Soul,
Prepare for the tussle Great;
He shines Hot, I absorb the heat intense;
He comes down with all blaze, I disappear slow;
He boasts his victory Grand, roars High;
The world surrenders to his Will and Grace;
At once, it grows dark, the birds chirp;
The delight to each floats on air,
They look to the Savior above:
To see a CLOUD, that was a water-drop.

SRM University AP-Andhra Pradesh has collaborated with the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) -Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)’s outreach programme. SRM AP is included among the top-notch universities of India that can benefit from the incomparable Outreach Programme. As part of the association, the students of SRM AP will have the excellent opportunity to register for annual courses as well as live and interactive programmes being organized by IIRS. In addition, E-learning courses for a short span of 3-4 Month duration will be accessible by the students.

Please view the annual course calendar 2020 here

ISRO is among the best-performing government organizations in India which has mastered the sophisticated space technologies, along with receiving applauds globally. The organization’s brilliant research and development, and applications for societal benefits like tele-education, telemedicine, disaster management, agriculture, fisheries and infrastructure development, ensures its dominance in the world. ISRO has launched the IIRS Outreach Programme to strengthen academia in terms of Space Technology & its applications through online learning platforms.

The popularity of remote sensing, geographical information system, global navigation satellite system and associated geospatial technologies in the current times require trained manpower in the domain. The students of SRM AP are encouraged to proactively avail the interactive distance learning courses and webinars that will enable the students to achieve their career goals in aerospace and geospatial technologies and make a mark globally.

Know more about Registration:

Register here:

Click here to know more about the registration procedure

For additional information or clarification, please contact programme coordinator:

Prof. Siva Sankar Yellampalli
Professor of Practice & Head of the Department,
Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering
Contact No: 7760280268

The very young SRM University-AP is already creating marvels by scaling new heights as a multidisciplinary research university. The 3-year-old university has published six very impactful research papers in a year in Nature Indexed journals. The notable research work helped significantly its sister aka principal institution SRM Institution of Science and Technology acquiring the rank of No.1 private university in India and 21 among Indian universities by the Nature Index 2020. The ranking was done based on Nature Index data from January 1st 2019 to December 31st 2019.

The Nature Index provides a perspective on high –quality research on the basis of published articles. The Nature Index provides a close to real-time proxy of high-quality research output and collaboration.

Nineteen research articles were published by the faculty members of SRMIST and its sister institutes between April 1st 2019 and March 31st 2020. These articles were compiled into a database by Nature Research to create the Nature Index rankings. Out of these nineteen articles, twelve were published by the Faculty Members of SRMIST, KTR Campus. One article was published by a faculty member of SRM University – Sikkim. The rest of the six articles were published by faculty members of SRM University- AP, Andhra Pradesh. Dr Sutharsan Govindrajan, Department of Biology; Dr Nimai Mishra, Dr S. Mannathan, Dr Mahesh Kumar Ravva, Department of Chemistry; Dr Siddhartha Ghosh and Dr Jatis Kumar Dash, Department of Physics played a pivotal role in achieving the honour for SRM University-AP. It is remarkable that SRM-AP, even in its budding stage, has contributed to around one third of the Nature Index score.

Dr Sutharsan’s paper, “A bacteriophage nucleus-like compartment shields DNA from CRISPR nucleases”, published in Nature, involves the discovery of novel strategies used by bacteriophages (viruses that kill bacteria) to overcome the bacterial CRISPR-Cas system, which are molecular scissors that are programmed to cut DNA. His findings have massive implications on the society as it has the ability to reshape the boundaries of the Phage-therapy in curing diseases.

Dr Mishra has published a paper titled “Broadband Defects Emission and Enhanced Ligand Raman Scattering in 0D Cs3Bi2I9 Colloidal Nanocrystals”. It is about excitonic 0D and 2D lead-halide perovskites that have been recently developed and investigated as new materials for light generation. In this work, a broadband (>1 eV) emission from newly synthesised 0D lead-free colloidal Cs3Bi2I9 nanocrystals (NCs) is reported. Remarkably, evidence of enhanced Raman scattering from the ligands is observed when attached to the NCs surface, an effect that is preliminarily attributed to strong exciton-ligands electronic coupling in these systems. Such interesting properties can be extremely appealing for a new class of low-cost materials suitable for solid-state lightning and sensing applications.

Dr Mannathan’s research article, “Palladium/Copper-Catalyzed Denitrogenative Alkylidenation and ortho-Alkynylation Reaction of 1,2,3-Benzotriazin-4(3H)-ones”, describes an environmentally friendly strategy to access various functionalised isoindolinones and 3-(imino)isobenzofuranones, which are important backbone in many natural products and biological active compounds. These reactions were enabled by an interesting Pd/Cu-cocatalyzed denitrogenative tandem alkynylation/cyclisation sequence. The strategy was also successfully employed to synthesise (Z)-3-benzylideneisobenzofuran-1(3H)-one derivatives in good to high yields.

Dr Mahesh’s paper is named “Harnessing Autoxidation of Aldehydes: In Situ Iodoarene Catalyzed Synthesis of Substituted 1,3,4-Oxadiazole, in the Presence of Molecular Oxygen”. In this study, a new methodology has been developed for the synthesis of substituted 1,3,4-oxadiazoles, which are essential pharmaceutical ingredients. We have modelled the reactivity of reactants, reactive intermediates, and products using computational protocols. Results obtained from these computational protocols are used to predict the reaction pathways and gain insights on the stability of products.

Dr Ghosh published “Direct Growth of Wafer-Scale, Transparent, p-Type Reduced-Graphene-Oxide-like Thin Films by Pulsed Laser Deposition”. His study reveals that reduced graphene oxide (rGO) is a derivative of widely used 2-D material called Graphene. Along with Graphene itself, rGO is also an exciting material for research communities due to its potential application in gas sensing, water purification and desalination, energy storage and flexible electronics. All these novel applications require a reproducible & scalable growth process for rGO thin films. In their research article, they have reported a single-step bottom-up growth process of reduced Graphene Oxide using a thin-film growth technique called Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD). Utilising the state-of-the-art laser beam scanning technology, they have been able to grow 4-inch wafer-scale rGO thin-films with ultra-smooth surfaces and unparallel thickness uniformity. Moreover, they have found that these rGO thin-films are transparent and conducting with some of the lowest extinction coefficients and refractive index values. They believe this novel growth process combined with the exotic opto-electronic properties (of rGO) will enable us to directly grow and integrate rGO thin-films on Si & metal-oxide based hetero-structures and will potentially move forward the rapid deployment of rGO for various applications.

Dr Dash’s article is titled as “Thickness-Insensitive Properties of α-MoO3 Nanosheets by Weak Interlayer Coupling”. Extensive use of portable electronic products and the rapidly growing commercial markets in smart electric appliances have created a seemingly high demand for flexible, wearable and foldable high-performance photoelectric devices. In the search for new materials to meet these criteria, one promising solution may be the two-dimensional (2D) layered heterostructures, assembled by stacking different conventional 2D materials in hetero-layered architectures. Alpha (α) phase-molybdenum trioxide (MoO3) is one of the promising 2D oxides, which is a chemically stable semiconductor with a high dielectric constant. The high resistive tunnelling and dielectric constant also shows that α- MoO3 nanosheet can be used as a promising dielectric or tunnel barrier. Therefore, the epitaxially grown MoO3 can be an important candidate in the field of 2D materials-based nanoelectronics. α- MoO3 layers can also be used as dielectrics for supercapacitors, and channel materials for high power electronics. Besides these, heterojunctions like Graphene-α- MoO3 and α- MoO3 /MoS2 has its applications in Field effect transistors (FETs), battery cathode materials, and various sensors.

The Nature Index is a database of author affiliations and institutional relationships. The index tracks contributions to research articles published in 82 high-quality natural science journals, chosen by an independent group of researchers. This Index provides absolute and fractional counts of article publication at the institutional and national level and, as such, is an indicator of global high-quality research output and collaboration.

Chemical Engineering Journal publishes paper of Dr. Lakhveer Singh with Impact Factor 8.34

Dr. Lakhveer Singh, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science, SRM University AP, Andhra Pradesh published a paper in the Chemical Engineering Journal with an Impact Factor of 8.34. His paper titled, Breaking the Loop: Tackling Homoacetogenesis by Chloroform to Halt Hydrogen Production-Consumption Loop in Single Chamber Microbial Electrolysis Cells is published in collaboration with Oregon State University.

Single Chamber Microbial Electrochemical Cells reactor is used to produce hydrogen. Since wastewater is used in the process, hydrogen consumers are present inside the reactors. The presence of homo acetogenesis and hydrogen production-consumption loop significantly hinders the efficient hydrogen recovery from this reactor. Removal of homo acetogenins remained a challenge that is mitigated by the research work conducted in this paper. Dr. Lakhveer informs, “Prof. Hong Liu is the mother of the bioelectrochemical system. I used to work with her for 1.5 years during my Post Doctorate. We developed the method to inhibit homo acetogenins in bioelectrochemical fuel cells for the first time to exhibit homo acetogenins which enhance the hydrogen production in scaled-up microbial electrochemical (MEC).”

Method to inhibit homo acetogenins in bioelectrochemical fuel cells


A small concentration of chloroform is used in the process, which after the experiment leaves traces of merely 0.001% which is negligible. Furthermore, 0.02 ml chloroform is used in ten litres of reactors, negating the chance of causing damage to the environment. “Microbial community analysis revealed that the amount ofhomoacetogenic Acetobacterium spp. was eliminated in the cathodic biofilms and planktonic cells by chloroform.”, enlightens Dr. Lakhveer. This method can also be applied in large scale reactors to enhance hydrogen production by inhibiting homo acetogenins. The hydrogen production rate is nearly 20 litres per hour from the reactor. The application of this reactor is the production of energy which can be used as an alternative to conventional fuel.

Advancing the work, Dr. Lakhveer aspires to improve this method in the future, through reducing the residual chloroform concentration and developing more environment-friendly inhibitor using similar mechanisms, that may lead to the practical application in MECs.

Globally, TEDx events are incredibly appealing for their cutting-edge and progressive ideas from the speakers. TEDx carefully curates, magnifies, and develops these ideas, that can genuinely change the world for the better. SRM University AP now joins the TEDx community to take it to an entirely new level.

A TEDx event is a local gathering where live TED-like talks and performances are shared with the community. TEDx events are thoroughly planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis. The content and design of each TEDx event is unique and developed independently, but all of them are expected to abide by the standards and rules set by TED. This event can be extremely advantageous to the university not only in terms of the knowledge that the talks bring but because of the ambience, optics & publicity that it provides.

“We’ve been working towards acquiring the license for months, and we are pleased to inform that our application for TEDxSRMUniversityAP has finally been approved! The application process involved presenting our ideas and defending the questions by the representatives at TED. Overall, it was a good experience,” said Dr Bhanukiran, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. This license permits SRM University- AP to organise one TEDx event within the next 12 months which means it is valid till May 12, 2021, and allows an attendee limit up to 100.

SRM University- AP is now setting up a dedicated website for the event where all the information will soon be announced. The students, staff and faculty are all thrilled to facilitate the event. The TEDx team will meet soon to discuss and finalise the details of the event.

Amid the unparalleled catastrophe in the form of widespread COVID-19, SRM University AP, Andhra Pradesh, students at Semester Abroad Program develop projects to combat the crisis. Vyshnavi G and Padmateja, 3rd year, Computer Science and Engineering students went to University of Wisconsin, Madison, and University of California, Berkeley respectively for their Semester Abroad Program. During their stay, they presented two projects at LA Hacks 2020, Southern California, and won accolades galore. The hackathon is one of the largest in the world and was held on March 27-29. Many hackers and innovators participated to create and collaborate at UCLA’s virtual event. SRM AP students submitted two projects in this hackathon as a single team and emerged as a finalist in the “Best Overall Hack”. The students developed Safely, the project title sponsored by Facebook as “Best Collaboration Hack”, and also worked on Go Farm which was sponsored by Honey as “Best Consumer Hack”. The team coordinated through Slack as the hackathon was turned into a virtual competition with the unfortunate outbreak of COVID-19.

Safely is a society-based pandemic monitoring application for reporting and tracking precise geolocations of COVID-19 cases. Safely allows users to report their own condition, be it healthy, symptomatic, diagnosed, or recovered along with their geolocation. The application enables users to identify areas around them on a map. Based on the shade of the regions displayed on the map, the user deciphers the risk of contagion. Areas with symptomatic users display lighter shades, whereas locations with diagnosed patients and regions with a high concentration of affected users, show up as darker shades on the map. “With COVID-19 spreading rapidly, there are not enough resources to find or report the exact geographical information of new cases. People would want to be cautious by avoiding specific locations that have a lot of reported cases. Also, it enables help agencies to recognize areas where resources are required to be sent. Tracking COVID-19 can be especially difficult in developing countries with weaker infrastructure. “, Vyshnavi G explains the issues that inspired her to build this project.

GoFarm primarily benefits the farmers and improves consumer satisfaction. It is an application where a farmer can post information regarding harvested crops including vegetables, pulses along with quoting the price of the products. The customer can search for nearby farms using google maps and purchase through this platform. Padmateja says, “In India where agriculture sector employs more than 50% of the total workforce, we have come across many incidents in which farmers are suffering because of high debt burdens, corruption in subsidies, and crop failure. We thought to use our skills to develop an application that gives them profit. Not getting enough money for their crop is the most serious problem that they are facing right now. At the same time, we decided to emphasize on the consumer satisfaction. Eliminating third parties and connecting farmers with customers would be helpful in upgrading the agricultural sector. Due to COVID-19 outbreak, it has become more crucial for the consumers to be informed regarding stores responsible for the delivery of the product.”

In the future, the team wants to add a crop recommendation system for the farmers in the platform based on weather conditions. The students also plan to expand the availability of the application to many farmers and consumers across the nation.

Aditya with Education Minister and MP of Andhra Pradesh Attesting the signs of a true researcher, SRM University AP student P. Mohan Aditya, 2nd year, Mechanical Engineering, develops a highly useful face shield that costs Rs. 15 per piece. “Face Shield 2.0”, as named by Aditya was unveiled at the Velagapudi Secretariat on Tuesday evening, where the student was seen wearing the Face Shield and preparing them. The Sophisticated Corona Face Shield was handed over to Adimulapu Suresh, the Minister of Education, Andhra Pradesh, and Nandigam Suresh, Member of Parliament from Bapatla district of Andhra Pradesh, who may eventually distribute it to the public. The masks were circulated among the police and paramedics from the government, who appreciated Mohan Aditya for this initiative.

Aditya with MinistersThe lightweight face shield is easy to wear, comfortable, yet durable. It protects a person’s entire face from exposures with a thin layer of transparent plastic film that serves as an outer defence. It is a piece of protective equipment that safeguards the face against exposure to the potent threat of infection and diseases. The headband of the face shield is made of cardboard which is 100% degradable and the plastic shield can be reused, making the product eco-friendly.

AP Ministers inspecting Face Shield 2.0

Wearing the ‘Face Shield 2.0’ will help reduce the threat of Coronavirus, making it easier for the police, medical personnel, municipal workers, people working in sanitizing department, people working in the essential goods sector to serve the nation’s public. It can also be used by virus-infected patients to reduce the plausibility of spreading the virus. Moreover, several lakhs of students of schools, colleges and universities could use the Face Shield 2.0 when they come back to the educational institutions after the lockdown is lifted.

The management of SRM AP applauded the research work of Mohan Aditya, praising his new and inspiring invention that is useful to the society. Dr. P Sathyanarayanan, President, SRM University-AP, and Prof. D Narayana Rao, Pro Vice Chancellor, SRM University-AP, celebrated the commendable intelligence of the student and congratulated him for developing the face shield using new technology.