GPS Jamming Devices Pose Many Threats w Video

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2010 PhysOrg.com First Modernized GPS Satellite Built By Lockheed Martin Launched Civilian and Military GPS vulnerabilities In Germany, it’s believed that some drivers are using GPS jamming devices to evade GPS-based road charging; a concept that was introduced for trucks in 2005. In Germany, as well as the UK, it’s illegal to sell or use such jammers, however it appears to be legal to import or own them.Emergency networks, power stations, airports and other things that rely on accurate timing of GPS signals would have very serious consequences if a powerful GPS jamming signal was used on these locations. In the UK a detection system is now in its prototype stages that would be deployed at airports, harbors and other locations that rely on accurate timing of GPS signals. GPS jammers send out a radio signal that’s the same frequency as the satellite signal. Since GPS satellite signals are weak, a GPS jamming device that puts out approximately 2 watts is sufficient to disrupt a GPS signal in a vehicle that’s approximately within 10 feet of the device. This leaves the in-vehicle system unable to establish its position and report back to a GPS tracking center, where the vehicle is registered.There are also fears that terrorists can use these devices to disrupt air traffic and cause severe safety and economic damage to the US. More powerful jammers could disrupt GPS signals in close proximity of airports, causing safety concerns.Our military overseas use GPS extensively to record their position as well as the position of the enemy. With GPS jamming devices in the hands of our enemy, U.S. and allied forces can be severely impacted when launching ground and air-strikes. Citation: GPS Jamming Devices Pose Many Threats (w/ Video) (2010, February 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-02-gps-devices-pose-threats-video.html (PhysOrg.com) — The latest GPS jamming devices are now being used by car thieves in the UK to render stolen cars and trucks undetectable by law enforcement. These devices also pose a threat to airlines and US military overseas. GPS is a navigation system of more than 30 satellites circling the earth. These satellites transmit signals to receivers on land, sea and air. The GPS receiver uses these signals to triangulate their exact position anywhere on the planet. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Toyota shows off its new iQ electriccar prototype

first_img Toyota unveils hybrid car push The car is slated to fit three passengers, which makes it smaller than both the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Nissan Leaf, two currently popular electric vehicles. This is, of course, not Toyota’s only attempt to make an electric vehicle. They are also working with Tesla Motors Inc. to create an electric version of the RAV4 compact SUV which is also planned to be released in 2012. Several other vehicles are in the works for the future, but they have much longer wait times, such as the sedan-type fuel-cell hybrid vehicle expected to launch in 2015 in Japan, the U.S. and Europe. Citation: Toyota shows off its new iQ electric-car prototype (2011, February 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-02-toyota-iq-electric-car-prototype.html Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — The Toyota Motor Corporation is set to show off its EV car, an electric-car prototype version of Toyota’s iQ model, at the Geneva auto show next month.center_img The EV prototype car will have an electric powertrain that is based on the current Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system. This system will feature a flat lithium-ion battery pack which, according to Toyota, will be able to give the car a driving range of up to 105 kilometers, or about 65 miles, on a single charge. Obviously, the car is built for short-range transportation, and not for use on longer trips, which is a common issue with electric cars.This is a preview only, since sales of the car will not begin until an as-yet-unspecified date in the year 2012. At first, the EV is likely to be available in Europe through a leasing plan, once it finishes its road testing, which will also be done in Europe. The car will also be available in North America, and some other markets which are currently being investigated for their viability. © 2010 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

EV fueling stations now on Google Maps

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Having an electric can can be a challenge for the owners. Unless you have spent a fair amount of time doing the research and making calls, getting your charge on when you are away from home can present more than a modest challenge. The bottom line is that, for now at least, electric car owners have to deal with an infrastructure problem that is not faced by their fossil-fuel powered counterparts. Explore further Citation: EV fueling stations now on Google Maps (2011, March 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-ev-fueling-stations-google.html Chicago Installs Solar Powered Charging Station for Electric Vehicles This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Even now, as electric cars become mass-market items and the stations that will power them become increasingly more common, finding the power stations is not exactly an easy task. Google is hoping to make a small contribution that will make the life of an electric car owner a bit less like a research project, and a bit more like getting from point A to B without stress. They are adding the locations of electric vehicle (EV) fueling stations to their maps. That way whether you need a quick fill up, or you are planning a cross-country road trip, you will be able to find what you need without having to know where it is already.Data on the charging stations is being provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). This data is expected to add an estimated 7,000 alternative fueling stations in the U.S., to Google Maps, along with 600 Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) locations.Users who wish to find EV fueling stations in their area must simply type in the words “ev charging station” and then click on search. They will then be presented with a map of the area with the charging stations highlighted for easy access.last_img read more

Could the Big Bang have been a quick conversion of antimatter into

first_img Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com Dragan Slavkov Hajdukovic, a physicist on leave from Cetinje, Montenegro, currently working at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, emphasizes that he has no idea if this scenario occurred 13.7 billion years ago or not. But in a recent study published in Astrophysics and Space Science, he has described a mechanism that can convert matter into antimatter (or vice versa) that results in a cyclic universe that is successively dominated by matter and antimatter. In this scenario, when a matter-dominated universe collapses, an antimatter-dominated universe emerges, and the cycle continues indefinitely.Cyclic universeThe idea of a cyclic universe is not new. As Hajdukovic notes in his paper, in 1922 cosmologist Alexander Friedmann noticed that Einstein’s theory of general relativity is compatible with the framework of a cyclical universe. More recently, cyclic models have included loop quantum gravity, braneworld theories, and other “Big Bounce” models. However, unlike Hajdukovic’s scenario, in all of these models, all cycles are dominated by matter. As Hajdukovic explains, he is not offering a new cyclic model of the universe, but simply a mechanism that could, in principle, have allowed the transition from a matter-dominated universe to an antimatter-dominated universe, and vice versa. To begin, the mechanism must allow for the creation of particle-antiparticle pairs from the quantum vacuum. Although the quantum vacuum is completely empty of particles or anything else, there do exist short-lived virtual particle-antiparticle pairs that pop in and out of existence, as allowed by the uncertainty principle. To explain how these virtual particle-antiparticle pairs can become real ones, Hajdukovic turns to the Schwinger mechanism, which says that an electric field stronger than a critical value can create real electron-positron pairs from the quantum vacuum. He proposes that, in a gravitational version of the Schwinger mechanism, gravitation could create both charged and neutral particle-antiparticle pairs from virtual particles.The mechanism also relies on the hypothesis that matter and antimatter repel each other. This repulsion could be of gravitational origin (as in the idea of antigravity) or non-gravitational origin. Here, Hajdukovic imagines the existence of a matter-antimatter repulsion that is significant only at short range; specifically, inside a black hole’s event horizon, or smaller than the Schwarzschild radius. Immediately after the gravitational Schwinger mechanism produces particle-antiparticle pairs, the repulsion force would cause a black hole to violently repel the opposite particle type. The result would be the conversion of nearly all matter into antimatter (or vice versa) in a very short time that depends on the size of the black hole. Through calculations, Hajdukovic shows that the amount of matter that can be converted into antimatter (or vice versa) in one second could be up to 10128 kg, which is several orders of magnitude greater than the entire mass of the universe, about 1053 kg. If correct, it would mean that all of the matter in the universe could be converted into antimatter in a fraction of the Planck time.Such a scenario would have multiple implications. For one thing, it would prevent the universe from collapsing into a singularity by requiring a minimal size of about 40 orders of magnitude greater than the Planck length, or on the order of kilometers. This is the size of the universe after cosmological inflation, suggesting that inflation and everything that came before it in standard cosmology (such as numerous phase transitions) never occurred. The scenario also offers a simple explanation for matter-antimatter asymmetry: the reason that our present-day universe is dominated by matter instead of antimatter is that the previous universe was dominated by antimatter. And the next one will, once again, be dominated by antimatter.Beyond Standard CosmologyWhether or not this scenario is accurate, Hajdukovic explains that it’s important to investigate alternatives to the standard model of cosmology, given its limitations.“Apparently, our best physics [Einstein’s General Relativity and the Standard Model of particle physics] is insufficient to explain a series of observed phenomena in astrophysics and cosmology,” he said. “In addition to the well-established physics, the standard model of cosmology assumes (a) the existence of mysterious dark matter and dark energy which represent more than 95% of the content of the Universe, and (b) the existence of two mechanisms (of unknown nature) to assure inflation and matter-antimatter asymmetry in the primordial universe. Hence, the Standard Cosmology is based more on hypotheses than established physics. It is a very unsatisfactory situation. “Contrary to it, my work is an attempt to understand astrophysical and cosmological phenomena in the framework of the established physics, without invoking unknown forms of matter-energy and unknown mechanisms for inflation and matter-antimatter asymmetry.” In a handful of other recent papers, Hajdukovic has shown that understanding the universe in this way may indeed be possible. For instance, in his paper titled “Is dark matter an illusion created by the gravitational polarisation of the quantum vacuum,” he obtains a “striking equation” in agreement with observations and without invoking dark matter. He added that it may be possible to test one of the basic components of these ideas, namely, detecting signatures of the gravitational repulsion between matter and antimatter. The most direct test is the AEGIS experiment at CERN, which is designed to measure the gravitational acceleration of antihydrogen in the gravitational field of the Earth. Another test could come from the Ice Cube Neutrino Telescope at the South Pole, which could observe antineutrinos coming from supermassive black holes in the center of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies. “If you ask me what is the key for the understanding of the universe, I would say the quantum vacuum together with (for the moment hypothetical) gravitational repulsion between matter and antimatter,” Hajdukovic said. “One simple key, instead of four mysterious keys in Standard Cosmology. My answer may be wrong, but if it is correct it would radically change theoretical physics, astrophysics and cosmology.” Citation: Could the Big Bang have been a quick conversion of antimatter into matter? (2011, July 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-big-quick-conversion-antimatter.html (PhysOrg.com) — Suppose at some point the universe ceases to expand, and instead begins collapsing in on itself (as in the “Big Crunch” scenario), and eventually becomes a supermassive black hole. The black hole’s extreme mass produces an extremely strong gravitational field. Through a gravitational version of the so-called Schwinger mechanism, this gravitational field converts virtual particle-antiparticle pairs from the surrounding quantum vacuum into real particle-antiparticle pairs. If the black hole is made from matter (antimatter), it could violently repel billions and billions of antiparticles (particles) out into space in a fraction of a second, creating an ejection event that would look quite similar to a Big Bang.center_img More information: Dragan Slavkov Hajdukovic. “Do we live in the universe successively dominated by matter and antimatter?” Astrophys Space Sci (2011) 334:219-223. DOI: 10.1007/s10509-011-0754-2 Antigravity could replace dark energy as cause of Universe’s expansion If matter and antimatter repel each other, the quick conversion of one into the other inside a supermassive black hole may look like a Big Bang. Image credit: NASA This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

String theory researchers simulate bigbang on supercomputer

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — A trio of Japanese physicists have applied a reformulation of string theory, called IIB, whereby matrices are used to describe the properties of the physical universe, on a supercomputer, to effectively show that the universe spontaneously ballooned in three directions, leaving the other six dimensions tightly wrapped, as string theory has predicted all along. Their work, as described in a paper pre-published on the arXiv server and soon to appear in Physical Review Letters, in effect, describes the birth of the universe. Simple beauties of math: Harvard professor views nature itself through geometry’s clear lens Journal information: Physical Review Letters Citation: String theory researchers simulate big-bang on supercomputer (2011, December 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-theory-simulate-big-bang-supercomputer.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further More information: Expanding (3+1)-dimensional universe from a Lorentzian matrix model for superstring theory in (9+1)-dimensions, arXiv:1108.1540v2 [hep-th] arxiv.org/abs/1108.1540AbstractWe reconsider the matrix model formulation of type IIB superstring theory in (9+1)-dimensional space-time. Unlike the previous proposal in which the Wick rotation was used to make the model well-defined, we regularize the Lorentzian model by introducing infrared cutoffs in both the spatial and temporal directions. Monte Carlo studies reveal that the two cutoffs can be removed in the large-N limit and that the theory thus obtained has no parameters other than one scale parameter. Moreover, we find that three out of nine spatial directions start to expand at some “critical time”, after which the space has SO(3) symmetry instead of SO(9).via PhysicsWorld © 2011 PhysOrg.com String theory, as most are aware, is the combining of quantum mechanics with the theory of general relativity, which is supposed to be the “theory of everything”; one single theory that can sum up and describe everything that takes place in the universe. A pretty tall order to be sure, but one that thus far has proven to be useful in describing such disparate phenomena as electromagnetism, gravity and the working’s of black holes. The problem with string theory thus far though has been that because of its very nature, it’s been very difficult to prove its real, i.e. that there are actually nine dimensions, with time as a tenth, and that rather than an infinite number of particle points forming the basis of everything, it’s all instead made of an infinite number of lines that oscillate, called strings. Complicating matters is the fact that we can only see three of those dimensions, because, theoretically, the other six are scrunched down into tiny structures called Calabi-Yau manifolds.To get around these problems, the researchers turned to the IIB matrix model, which is where string theory is represented using an infinitely large matrix; though in this case, it was scaled down to just 32×32 for practical purposes. The team modeled such a matrix on a supercomputer then replicated it to create hundreds of thousands of matrices each simulating the very first moments of the universe. They then ran the simulation for two months averaging the results as they went. The simulation allowed the team to in essence watch as the universe reached the expansion point during the big bang. But more importantly, they were able to see all nine dimensions appear, as if on cue, in three directions, with six of them remaining wrapped tightly, just as string theory has suggested happened during the birth of the universe.The team next plans to see if they can model how quantum space-time evolves into the one we now perceive around us, by building bigger models using larger matrices.last_img read more

Researchers devise simple and cheap method to detect TB in patients

first_img © 2012 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Active-site details of the BlaC-CDC-OMe (top) and BlaC–CDC-1 (bottom) acyl intermediate complexes. Image (c) Nature Chemistry (2012) doi:10.1038/nchem.1435 Explore further New and Simple Test for Active Tuberculosis Now Possible More information: Rapid point-of-care detection of the tuberculosis pathogen using a BlaC-specific fluorogenic probe, Nature Chemistry (2012) doi:10.1038/nchem.1435AbstractEarly diagnosis of tuberculosis can dramatically reduce both its transmission and the associated death rate. The extremely slow growth rate of the causative pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), however, makes this challenging at the point of care, particularly in resource-limited settings. Here we report the use of BlaC (an enzyme naturally expressed/secreted by tubercle bacilli) as a marker and the design of BlaC-specific fluorogenic substrates as probes for Mtb detection. These probes showed an enhancement by 100–200 times in fluorescence emission on BlaC activation and a greater than 1,000-fold selectivity for BlaC over TEM-1 β-lactamase, an important factor in reducing false-positive diagnoses. Insight into the BlaC specificity was revealed by successful co-crystallization of the probe/enzyme mutant complex. A refined green fluorescent probe (CDG-OMe) enabled the successful detection of live pathogen in less than ten minutes, even in unprocessed human sputum. This system offers the opportunity for the rapid, accurate detection of very low numbers of Mtb for the clinical diagnosis of tuberculosis in sputum and other specimens.center_img Citation: Researchers devise simple and cheap method to detect TB in patients (2012, September 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-simple-cheap-method-tb-patients.html Journal information: Nature Chemistry The probe is based on BlaC, a protein that TB produces and its impact on β-lactams, which are a certain class of chemicals. Normally, BlaC simply breaks them down. With this new probe however the team created a modified version of a β-lactam that is cut or cleaved by BlaC, rather than being broken down by it haphazardly. But that’s only the beginning, they’ve also inserted a fluorescent molecule into the probe, allowing it to be seen when cleaved by TB. The test is very simple, if the fluorescent molecule can be seen (using the LED box and filters) in a sample of sputum, then TB must be present to make it so. The faint light produced is enough to be seen in images taken by a simple camera in a phone and shown to clinicians.Up till now, the only way to test for TB in remote patients was to collect a sputum sample and send it to a location that had a microscope, where trained clinicians looked for the TB bacteria. Sadly, this method is not only slow, it’s also relatively inaccurate when there are few bacteria to be seen, such as is the case with infected children. With the new probe, test times can be reduced to mere minutes and accuracy is improved dramatically.Reducing the amount of time it takes to test for TB not only helps the patient, it helps those around them too because TB is of course, communicable, with some estimating that one infected, untreated person may account for as many as ten or fifteen new infections in others in just one year. (Phys.org)—Tuberculosis or TB as it’s become more commonly known, is a horrible disease by all accounts, it slowly kills many of its victims, particularly those living in the developing world. In 2010, it killed an estimated four thousand people every single day, which is particularly horrendous when noting that many of those who succumb to its effects could be have been saved were they to be diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. Unfortunately, in many areas of the world neither is available, thus the news that a team of researchers working together from several universities in the US has developed a new kind of test that reveals the presence of TB in patients, both quickly and cheaply, is truly exciting. The new probe, as the team describes in their paper published in Nature Chemistry, can allow for TB detection using nothing more than a simple box housing light emitting diodes and some filters.last_img read more

Sixthgraders barkingdog app wins ATT 20000 prize

first_img US drivers see texting risks but still do it: survey This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. “Whether you are a backend person and code in Ruby/PHP/.NET or are a designer and only work with Illustrator,” said the AT&T invitation, “you are invited to attend this event. Every group needs a good balance of talent and your development skills are needed.”The challenge for the 120 people who showed up at the event was to create a winning software app idea for discouraging texting while driving. AT&T provided some support for contestants with presentations and code samples “to help bootstrap” their work.David Grau, a creative director and designer at WLDG, an interactive agency in Santa Ana, and 11-year-old Victoria Walker walked off with the prize, which AT&T awarded them so that they can bring their idea to market.The winning idea from Grau and Walker is called Rode Dog, an application that allows friends and family to organize themselves into a pack, in keeping with the dog metaphor, to monitor text-messaging actions by any one of the pack’s members. A GPS tracks the location of each person in the pack at all times and alerts users whenever someone in the pack is texting and driving at the same time. When an app user spots a fellow group member texting, then the user can initiate a barking noise on the offender’s phone. The app is designed to force the driver to stop texting because the app’s annoying bark will not stop unless the offender acknowledges it and quits texting while driving.Grau and Walker were among five semifinalists. Walker, who is in the sixth grade, first came up with the idea of relentlessly barking dogs because she thought of her own three dogs barking—a husky, a Rottweiler and a chihuahua. Perhaps enough said. The intention in her mind was indeed to bother the driver with barks until texting stopped. Those supporting her idea said it was in the same spirit as seat-belt ringing sounds that bother the user until he or she resorts to compliance. Walker and Grau hope an enhanced app will be up and running on storefronts for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone in the coming months. The event strengthens AT&T’s campaign message that texting while driving is dangerous. According to an AT&T Wireless survey, 75 percent of teenagers said it was common for their friends to text while driving. Over 100,000 automobile accidents a year involve a driver texting. Another factoid stressed is that drivers who text while they drive are 23 times more likely to be in an accident. (Phys.org)—Not bad for an 11-year old who likes math. In fact, not bad for an adult agency creative director who liked the 11-year-old’s idea and sat alongside her for some serious collaboration. They both won a $20,000 prize for the best don’t-text app. AT&T recently held a hackathon in Los Angeles to promote its don’t text-while driving “It Can Wait” campaign. Participants were asked to develop an app that discourages people from texting and driving. Citation: Sixth-grader’s barking-dog app wins AT&T $20,000 prize (2012, September 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-sixth-grader-barking-dog-app-att-prize.htmlcenter_img © 2012 Phys.org More information: itcanwait.com/ Explore furtherlast_img read more

Dont skip that meal

first_imgSummer means this insane desire to skip the heavy foods and gorge on cooling drinks and fruits. All well, but if one doesn’t eat right – chances are that the heat might do you down for the count.  Summer could be a good time to lose the winter weight but don’t skip meals.Dieting or skipping meals never helps an individual to lose weight. Instead, one should eat food items that help lose weight and increase metabolism.  One must note, ginger helps in digestion, salmon is high in proteins, and olive oil help reduces appetite. Femalefirst.co.uk has listed down ingredients that help reduce weight and boost metabolism: Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Chillies: Experts say eating chillies can help burn energy, hours after a meal. It’s also been suggested eating spicy food may temporarily suppress the appetite. Add jalapenos or red and green chilli to the dishes to give them a fat burning boost.Almonds: Dry fruits contain proteins, fats and fibre – a combination which helps reduce hunger. Nuts make a great alternative to fried snacks. One can add it in the salad also to improve taste.Olive oil: Olive oil contains a compound called oleic acid that is used by the body to create oleoylethanolamide, which helps in weight loss and reduces appetite. It’s always recommended to prepare delicacies using olive oil. One can use it to dress salads also. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSalmon (fish): It is high in protein and packed with Omega 3 that controls the production of the hormone, leptin, which regulates appetite. High leptin levels are linked to insulin resistance and obesity, so aim for at least two servings of oily fish a week to keep levels low. Ginger: It helps in digestion, but it also has a thermic effect by raising the body’s internal temperature, Ginger also has cholesterol lowering properties, so can help to improve cardiovascular health, and speed up metabolism.last_img read more

Aspiring to be amongst worlds top 200 universities

first_imgAn overcast sky, breeze in the air, sprawling green gardens and a state of the art university standing tall amidst its environs beckoned us into O.P. Jindal Global University in Sonepat. In a conversation with the Vice Chancellor, C. Raj Kumar, we discovered that the fresh air that surrounds the university also pervades inside; it is palpable in his ideas, approach towards education and a vision to build a globally recognized private university in India. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Considering in India we all have a very condescending view of our private universities, even you happened to mention it, what was your motivation behind establishing Jindal University?The inspiration for me was Harvard, Yale, Stanford, NYU and MIT. All these world’s great private universities reinforce my belief in private higher education. I was consciously looking at how to replicate a similar model in India. But I was also mindful of the institutionalised private education in India that started somewhere in late 1980s. In that process, we didn’t end up creating great private universities, but education largely became a mediocre endeavour. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixFrom the standpoint of an educator, if I identify why it happened, the heart of it lies in taking up educational ventures as a business itself without any vision for education in India. Our model focuses on the best practices from around the world in a bid to connect them to the challenges that India is facing. And how did you get involved in the project and go about implementing your ideas, back in 2009? Share the impediments that you have faced during this journey. Envisioning a global university, we laid down the foundation of our university that comprises five schools now – Law, Business, International Affairs, Public Policy and Liberal Arts & Humanities.  It is a philanthropic initiative by an Indian billionaire, Naveen Jindal. It’s not a family run institution and I am not related to Jindals. I come from Kanyakumari and Naveen Jindal is from Haryana. It is an important model for private initiatives in India because most of the private initiatives in India are either not philanthropic or are family-run, which has many adverse consequences. That model promotes nepotism and internal breeding, undermining academic freedom that is critical for growth. The institution building in this case was important from this point of view.In India, private universities are pejoratively talked about. The best Indian institutions have been public institutions and there is a prestige that comes with history. In that context, establishing a private university and keeping it away from the concept of other run of the mill private universities; hiring faculty and giving them the aspiration of a great university is the biggest challenge in institutional building. We overcame that challenge as outstanding Indians and global faculty live on campus here as we have been able to provide them an intellectually stimulating experience. In a sea of mediocre private institutions, it was a challenge to convince parents and students to come here. But that was only limited to the first year. With the reputation of our faculty, the vision of our university and through the word of mouth, we have created a strong impresssion among people in the last four years. What sets Jindal University apart?The central distinguishing aspect of our university is our strongest commitment to providing the best quality education through the most outstanding faculty members who are committed to maintaining the highest standards in teaching and research. We have a residential campus that provides an ecosystem for the growth of our students and faculty. I have my own memories of hostel life in Oxford, Harvard and DU; there’s a lot of freedom coupled with responsibility that comes with a hostel life. We wanted to give that experience to our students.Besides, we collaborate with universities around the world including, Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Michigan Cornell, and UC-Berkeley in a range of collaborative programmes including, faculty and student exchanges, joint teaching and research, joint conferences, joint publications, and double degree programmes. Our faculty members are from around the world. While 20% of our faculty are foreign nationals, almost all of them are globally trained – either by way of education or work or both. We ensure a globally oriented education in our campus. It’s not just a foreign identity that we look for, our idea is to get people who have gained education abroad and have come back to India to work and people who have attained professional working experience in multiple countries- in short, to have a world class faculty on board that has greater sensitivity towards global practices, celebrate diversity and, of course, recognize and appreciate the process of globalization. These our tumultuous times for education in India as a premier university in the country goes for an overhaul in its system. What is your take on it and does it impact you anyway?I welcome the Delhi University’s four year programme for a number of reasons. One can agree or disagree upon whether sufficient time was allotted to the consultative process or if the courses have been structured in the right way or not, that is a separate, yet an important debate. But, in principle, I am in favour of a four year long degree. To start with, educators across the country understand that the range of options in liberal art courses or for that matter courses in sciences and other disciplines are not enough that a university ought to provide. In fact, in universities around the world, one needs to learn subjects beyond one’s core discipline as well as related disciplines. For instance, I wish I had the opportunity to study a bit of political science, history, philosophy while I did Commerce degree (B.Com) in Loyola College, Madras but almost all my courses were connected to economics, accountancy and commerce. The curriculum and the pedagogy didn’t provide for it. The time span of three years couldn’t provide the opportunity, hopefully the four-year programme can. One can argue if the DU exit model will create a new pool of people with different levels of inferiority and superiority in education, we need to be mindful of that. DU system should not create superiority -not just in terms of qualification, but also in terms of perception and standards. If we can take special efforts to overcome this, I do believe that this will be a paradigm shift in our efforts to strengthen the undergraduate education in India. We are launching our four year integrated programme in the newly established Jindal School of Liberal arts and Humanities in 2014. Here a student is expected to study two years here and two years outside the country leading to two degrees.What is the road ahead for the university?As an educator, one of the challenges for us in India is the growing recognition that India doesn’t have a single university in the top 200 in the world. Our policymakers, educators, ministers, and even President and the Prime Minister have been talking about it frequently. We have about 625 universities in India and 35,000 colleges but none of them are globally regarded as world class institutions of excellence. We would have to dream high and fulfil our aspirations to become one of the leading institutions of excellence in the years to come. We want to prepare ourselves in the next decade, essentially to be a better university in Asia if not the world.last_img read more

Acting up

first_imgComing as one of the biggest treats for the theater lover,  Sparsh Natya Rang presents their theatre festival Hriday Manch – a celebration of colour, warmth, laughter and emotions, where four plays will be staged by various groups in Shri Ram Centre. Kicking off the festival comes Bechara Bhagwaan on 8 August at 7 pm. Written by  Late. Purshottum Laxman Deshpandey, music and direction by Ajit Chowdhury, performed by Sparsh Natya Rang, adaptation by Sudhir Kulkarni. A self-explanatory play, Bechara Bhagwaan is about the typical Indian society and its funny way of expressing their devotion. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’9 August showcases the Urgent Meeting, written by Jaywardhan, directed by J.P.Singh and performed by Rangbhoomi. Urgent Meeting is a satirical piece reflecting upon the ills prevailing in the world of art and culture depicting the interlude of push and pull of internal politics, leg-pulling and nepotism in a very lively way. Mote Ram ka Satyagraha will be staged on 10 August. Written by Munshi Premchand the play has been directed by Arvind Gaur. The adaption has been done by the  Late. Habib Tanvirand Safdar Hashmi and will be performed by the Asmita Theatre group.  The play is a comic-satire with all the elements of a musical. On the surface, the play appears to be a simple story about a Brahmin from Banaras. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix11 August will witness the last play Koi Baat Chale. Directed by Ramji Bali and performed by Theater Wala the story of the play, Koi Baat Chale, revolves around the protagonist, Kanhiya Lal Bansi Prasad. He is a 35 years old school drama teacher and yet unmarried. A romantic comedy, the play shows Bansi seeking help of a marriage bureau to help him find a suitable life partner.In the meantime, Bansi meets the beautiful Supriya. On his search for his soul mate, while going to the marriage bureau, he sees Supriya enter the same bureau. When the owner of the bureau, PyaareLal asks Bansi about his preferences, Bansi mentions the enchanting features of the magnificent Supriya he had earlier met. PyaareLal introduces many girls with a mole on their cheeks to Bansi, except Supriya.last_img read more