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Sanskrit cell to be set up in IITs to research ancient science

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New Delhi: A panel set up by the education ministry of Indian government recommended that all the premier engineering and scientific institutes which are running by the Centre including IITs should have a Sanskrit cell. This cell will help students study ancient literature related to their fields.

The panel also suggested that during the course of their study, students should be encouraged to opt for the internship in Sanskrit institutions for credit by these institutes.

The Panel chaired by retired IAS officer N Gopalaswami said,“If financial support is provided to such students their talent could be utilised in unravelling the scientific knowledge hidden in Sanskrit literature through small but focused projects.”

The panel was given the task of constructing a 10-year roadmap for the development of the language. It recommended that the introduction of Sanskrit as an optional language in Undergraduate programmes and integrating it with other subjects will prove beneficial for the ancient language.

Panel’s head Gopalaswami was the cultural and home secretary during the NDA government and then he was appointed to the election commission post his retirement. In 2006, he was promoted to the Chief Election Commissioner in 2006 as the senior most election commissioner.

The current government is carrying on the agenda of previous NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. A project has been undertaken by the IIT Delhi to introduce ancient language related courses for undergraduate students.

The study of science and technology in Sanskrit literature and inter disciplinary study of various modern subjects and its corresponding subjects in Sanskrit literature would be facilitated by the cell.

The Gopalaswami panel said, “Atharvaveda, Vaisheshika Darshana etc. are, it is acknowledged, the treasure house of scientific concepts which are hitherto studied from Science point of view. There are hundreds of works like Siddhanta Shiromani, Vriksha Ayurveda.., which are of great relevance in the context of research and innovation.”

The panel suggested that model Sanskrit medium schools in every state should be set up. it also recommended that cell should offer students, various types of Sanskrit courses in the campus for the credit.(inputs from agencies)

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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)