Giving leads to aspirational scholars
Dr. Monika Setia, Regional Officer, Fulbright India, United States-India Educational Foundation, visited SRM University, Andhra Pradesh for a talk on the fellowships offered by the foundation. This binational body is renowned for attracting the best minds and providing them the adequate infrastructure to bring out exemplary research results. The fellowships are equally funded by the foundation and the government of India under the flagship of Fulbright-Nehru fellowships for Indian citizens. Every year among hundreds of applicants, few scholars with exceptional acumen are sent to the United States to pursue research in collaboration with the US-based universities and institutes.
Dr. Monika speaks of the 4 primary activities of Fulbright, which is to administer, promote dialogue between participants, offer advice to aspirants, and establish links between the US and India. She emphasizes, “Looking beyond academic excellence, Fulbright fosters cultural exchange between the two nations. The culturally adaptable interdisciplinary researchers driven to contribute to the society, community, and nationality are curated by the selection panelists of Fulbright”.
The attendees of the session were given a heads up regarding several fellowship programs dedicated to master’s students, doctoral students, and post-doctoral scholars. The process of application, eligibility criteria, project timelines were thoroughly explained to the faculty and Ph.D. scholars of SRM AP, adhering to which will escalate their chance of being selected for the prestigious fellowship. The fellowship will give foreign exposure to the scholars, enable them to work with excellent infrastructure in the US, and use their research inferences to improve the society as a whole, across national boundaries.
The tech-savvy students of SRM University-AP never rest in leisure. Their spare time is also loaded with fun-filled tech-based events. The Coding Club of SRM University-AP organised a first ever coding competition for the code lovers on March 4, 2020. Not merely for the engineers, but the competition was open for all the students. Irrespective of departments, approximately 59 undergraduates took part in this competition.
The competition comprised 12 questions, of which some were multiple choice based and some were programming based challenges. Students were at liberty to choose any programming language as per their inclination. “Logic, Mathematics along with algorithmic thinking are the key factors for winning this competition”, said Dr Bhanukiran, Assistant Professor, Computer Science Engineering and organiser of the event. The students were given one and half hour to finish the competition. “Classroom studies are not everything. Students need to have some hands-on experience. Coding is something which cannot be learnt within the limit of books. This competition will give the students the exposure and experience of coding that they really need. It will also prepare the students for their future industry endeavours” added Dr Bhanukiran. Great excitement was seen among the participants. Charan Tangirala, the winner of the competition said, “It was a deeply enriching experience for us. Coding is something I’m very passionate about, and to be able to solve challenges within a specific period of time makes it more exciting. I am looking forward to more healthy competitions like this in the future.”
To know more about the coding club of SRM University-AP, please follow the link below-https://sites.google.com/srmap.edu.in/coding
Encouraging women to break gender-biased roles
Women’s Day is celebrated across nations recognizing their contribution to every sphere. The day also aims at accelerating gender equality by empowering women. SRM University, Andhra Pradesh observes a week-long celebration that reached its orchestral height on Saturday. Upholding the spirit of equality, faculty, staff and students came together to participate in fun activities, games and competitions hosted throughout the week. This included spoon and lemon race, tug of war, bucket and ball, musical chair, singing competition, dancing competition, Mathematics contest- Ms. Hypatia, and essay competition. Everyone in the campus observed 7th March as an Ethnic Day by draping themselves in traditional wear, enunciating the beauty of the occasion.
With grand exuberance, SRM AP welcomed the Chief Guest, Smt. B. Vijayakeerthi, IRSE, Divisional Engineer, South-Central Railway, Guntur. She initiated the celebration by lighting the ceremonial lamp, along with Prof. D. Narayana Rao, Pro VC, Dr. B. Sivakumar, Deputy Registrar, Ms. Revathi Balakrishnan, Convener, and a student. Breaking gender biased roles, Smt. B. Vijayakeerthi pursued a career in Civil Engineering. A student of IIT Madras, she later aced Indian Railways Service of Engineers examinations and joined Indian Railways. She recalls, “From the day I chose Civil Engineering, I was questioned by society as the norm was that women avoided taking up engineering domains that involved field-work. However, irrespective of my gender, I persuaded my dream and challenged myself to excel against all odds. Initially, although encouragement was rarely found, persistence and hard work ensured that support started pouring in from all ends.”
Smt. B. Vijayakeerthi set a record by improving the railway track parameters from 96 to 130, and her phenomenal work of eliminating 10 unmanned level crossing gates within a period of 6 months, brought her immense recognition. Persuading young students to follow their dreams, she says “Career choices are solely personal, and it does not depend on gender. One should have the confidence to aim big, and also to take a leap towards achieving the dream.”
The winners of the competitions hosted as a part of women’s day celebration, were honoured by the Chief Guest. The spectacle concluded with the students giving out a social message through cultural program – a skit, song, and dance performance. Their acts demonstrated the societal challenges faced by women and the necessity of bringing about a change to empower them.
Picture credit (photography society)
“Yoga & Meditation Training Programme” at SRM University-AP
A famous Arabian Proverb says, “He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything.” Comprising with that, the National Service Scheme Cell of SRM University-AP has taken a holistic initiative towards its students, staff and faculty by organising an eight-week “Yoga & Meditation Training Programme” in collaboration with the Heartfulness Institute, Hyderabad. The inaugural session was graced by the presence of Prof. D. Narayana Rao, Pro-Vice Chancellor; Dr. D. Gunasekaran, Registrar; Dr. A. Lakshmana Rao, Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce and NSS Coordinator; Dr. Venkata N Nori, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and in house yoga trainer for boys; Dr. Ajitha, Instructor, Department of Business Administration and in house trainer of yoga for girls. Sri N. L. V. Pandu Ranga Prasad, social worker and an associate of Shri Ram Chandra Mission, has honoured the university with his presence as a Chief Guest in this event.
In his opening statement, Prof. D. Narayana Rao stated the benefits of yoga in a scientific way. He mentioned that it had been already proven by various research studies that regular practice of yoga and meditation enhances levels of a particular messenger molecule in brain which in result enhances brain activity. The enhanced brain activity makes a powerful impact on one’s personality development. It can be maintained very easily with one session of yoga per week.
In his spirited speech, Sri Prasad stated various usefulness of yoga and meditation in everyone’s life. He said, “Yoga helps one in self-realisation. It takes away the negativity and fills with positive energy. This helps people to concentrate on their life and goals.” He also spoke on how famous personalities like Ram Nath Kobind, P V Sindhu, Rohit Sharma were benefitted by yoga and meditation. He further said that it is an essential tool for every person which helps in regulating one’s mind, thoughts and behaviour. Yoga and meditation help in becoming a good citizen for the nation and for personal developments also.
Dr. Gunasekaran reminded that yoga is a great gift from our forefathers. He said, “Yoga was initiated in our country, yet we have neglected it for years. A man is made of many values and virtues, but he is not always aware of it. Meditation is the medium which helps one to identify oneself.” The Inaugural Ceremony ended with a brief meditation session led by Dr. Nori followed by the vote of thanks.