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Gajendra Chauhan asks for a chance as FTII students go on strike

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New Delhi: After news of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students going on indefinite strike to protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman surfaced, the actor and BJP member says he deserves a chance to showcase his capabilities before being judged.Gajendra_Chauhan_at_the_Dadasaheb_Phalke_Academy_Awards_2010

He also urged for a meeting with the students to “sit and talk over” the matter before coming to any conclusions.

“Without knowing my background, without knowing me, without knowing my capabilities, they (students) have decided on their own (to protest).”

“I would request them to have a meeting across the table, sit and talk over. If you still feel (the same) then we will go for another option. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has taken its own time to decide about my name. They must have checked out my background and my capabilities. It is not only that I am associated with the party, there are other things also,” Chauhan told Times Now.

As per reports, the students of the institute went on an indefinite strike, saying that the appointment is politically motivated.

Chauhan is best known for essaying the role of ‘Yudhisthir’ in BR Chopra’s “Mahabharat” and has also featured in small roles in various films like “Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge” and “Baghban.”

A report also read that the “students’ council sought immediate appointment of another chairman who is ‘qualified with a significant body of work to do justice to the institute’.”

When contacted, Harishankar Nachimuthu – president of the students’ body – said that they are yet to decide on their future course of action.

“We are having some internal discussions. We are actually strategizing things as the institute will open only on Monday. Boycott was not necessary today as it is a holiday,” Nachimuthu told IANS over phone.

Meanwhile, Chauhan emphasised that he has been part of the entertainment industry for the “last 34 years” and urged students to let him come and work.

The Press Information Bureau announced Chauhan’s appointment through a release on Tuesday.

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Diesel Exhaust Converted Into Ink by Indian Innovators To Battle Air Pollution

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

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representational image. VOA

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

In a cabin, young engineers pore over drawings and hunch over computers as they explore more applications of the technology that they hope will aid progress in cleaning up the Indian capital’s toxic air – among the world’s dirtiest.

While the millions of cars that ply Delhi’s streets are usually blamed for the city’s deadly air pollution, another big culprit is the massive diesel generators used by industries and buildings to light up homes and offices during outages when power from the grid switches off – a frequent occurrence in summer. Installed in backyards and basements, they stay away from the public eye.

“Although vehicular emissions are the show stoppers, they are the ones which get the media attention, the silent polluters are the diesel generators,” says Arpit Dhupar, one of the three engineers who co-founded the start up.

The idea that this polluting smoke needs attention struck Dhupar three years ago as he sipped a glass of sugarcane juice at a roadside vendor and saw a wall blackened with the fumes of a diesel generator he was using.

It jolted him into joining with two others who co-founded the start-up to find a solution. Dhupar had experienced first hand the deadly impact of this pollution as he developed respiratory problems growing up in Delhi.

An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.
An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.

A new business

As the city’s dirty air becomes a serious health hazard for many citizens, it has turned into both a calling and a business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking at ways to improve air quality.

According to estimates, vehicles contribute 22 percent of the deadly PM 2.5 emissions in Delhi, while the share of diesel generators is about 15 percent. These emissions settle deep into the lungs, causing a host of respiratory problems.

After over two years of research and development, Chakr has begun selling devices to tap the diesel exhaust. They have been installed in 50 places, include public sector and private companies.

The technology involves cooling the exhaust in a “heat exchanger” where the tiny soot particles come together. These are then funneled into another chamber that captures 70 to 90 percent of the particulate matter. The carbon is isolated and converted into ink.

Among their first clients was one of the city’s top law firms, Jyoti Sagar Associates, which is housed in a building in Delhi’s business hub Gurgaon.

Making a contribution to minimizing the carbon footprint is a subject that is close to Sagar’s heart – his 32-year-old daughter has long suffered from the harmful effects of Delhi’s toxic air.

Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.
Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.

“This appealed to us straightaway, the technology is very impactful but is beautifully simple,” says Sagar. Since it could be retrofitted, it did not disrupt the day-to-day activities at the buzzing office. “Let’s be responsible. Let’s at least not leave behind a larger footprint of carbon. And if we can afford to control it, why not, it’s good for all,” he says.

At Chakr Innovation, cups, diaries and paper bags printed with the ink made from the exhaust serve as constant reminders of the amount of carbon emissions that would have escaped into the atmosphere.

There has been a lot of focus on improving Delhi’s air by reducing vehicular pollution and making more stringent norms for manufacturers, but the same has not happened for diesel generators. Although there are efforts to penalize businesses that dirty the atmosphere, this often prompts them to find ways to get around the norms.

Also Read: Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

Tushar Mathur who joined the start up after working for ten years in the corporate sector feels converting smoke into ink is a viable solution. “Here is a technology which is completely sustainable, a win-win between businesses and environment,” says Mathur. (VOA)

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