Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jagadish Chandra Bose : Trail Blazer

J C Bose was born in Mymensingh, India (now in Bangladesh) on November 30, 1858. He was educated first at the village school in Faridpur, where his father was a magistrate, Bhagwan Chandra Bose. Later he migrated to St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta at the age of 13. There he met Father Eugene Lafont, who was very interested in promoting modern science in India. He later went to the UK, where he got degrees from the universities of Cambridge and London.
He came back and was made a Professor of Physics at Presidency College on the Viceroy's recommendation. However, the principal and other faculty, who were White, were very racially biased against him and gave only an acting appointment. He was offered one-third the salary of the school's The White professors, and in protest at this slight he took no salary at all for several years. They denied him any laboratory facilities, but he carried on his research work, buying equipment with his own salary.
He remained at Presidency for his entire career, where he assembled the first modern scientific research facilities in Indian academia. He conducted landmark research of the response of plant and animal life to stimuli including electricity, light, sound, and touch, and showed how water and sap in plants and trees is elevated from roots due to capillary action. He invented the Cresco graph.
His 1902 paper "Responses in the Living and Non-living" showed that plant and animal tissues share a similar electric-impulse response to all forms of stimulation, a finding which challenged conventional science of the time, and also showed that even inanimate objects - certain rocks and metals -have similar responses. In a 1907 paper Bose established the electro transmission of excitation in plant and animal tissues, and showed that plants respond to sound, by growing more quickly in an environment of gentle speech or soft music, and growing more poorly when subjected to harsh speech or loud music.
           The invention of radio is usually credited to G. Marconi, but a comparison of their records suggests that at certain points of Bose's radio research. Bose was the first Indian scientist to be widely respected as an equal in the halls of western science. When he demonstrated his mechanisms for generating and detecting radio waves in a January 1897 lecture before the Royal Institution in London, it was the first such lecture given by an Indian.
            He was elevated to knighthood in 1917, and in 1920 he became the first Indian elected to membership in the prestigious Royal Society. Bose, who came from a fairly affluent family, had no particular interest in the profit potential of his work, and refused to file patent claims. A patent was filed by friends in Bose's name for his 1901 invention of a solid-state diode detector to detect electromagnetic waves.
He founded the Bose Research Institute in Calcutta in 1917. In the pages of history are recorded the glorious achievements of many great men whom the world recognises, loves and respects. Such men prove to be a true asset not only to their own countries but also to the world. Their lives become a message and a source of inspiration for generations to come. Bose was a creative and imaginative scientist, a connoisseur of literature and a great lover of nature.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Climate Change And Human Strategy --- E K Federov : BTECH II SEM UNIT 2

          E.K. Federov says that human beings are increasingly concerned about irreversible changes taking places in the natural environment, especially in regard to climate change. In the course of their scientific and technological progress, human beings have transformed the environment.Despite these developments, the modern life requires balanced understanding and adjustment to climate and other natural elements.
             Now a days we live on the planet which has got neither infinite resilient environment nor its resources inexhaustible. In such circumstances, any human error can lead to very large cumulative error. They are vulnerable to climate change. It is both a consequence and a demonstration of the workings of complex process in atmosphere, the oceans and on land. However, these complex factors do exhibit some continuity and permanence.
            There are several atmospheric and oceanic parameters which are responsible for the overall stability of climate in different parts of the world. They include manmade extreme temperatures, precipitation amounts, seasonal river discharges etc…they vary from one part of the planet to another. Climate is the sum of all these relatively stable characteristics of the atmosphere. Several tens of millions of years ago this situation began to change.
            The temperatures of high latitudes fell gradually. About two million years ago this process accelerated and Arctic temperature dropped sharply. As a result a glacial period had taken place in which repeated advances of ice sometimes reached mid-latitudes with intervening periods when the ice moved back.
            In his views, there are two kinds of factors that cause the climate to change over long periods of time. The external factors might include the variations in the quality of radiation emitted by the Sun or changes in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The internal factors include the formation and movement of continental areas, the growth of mountain ranges and volcanic activity of various kinds that produces dust and gases which may alter transparency and other characteristics of the Earth’s surface.
            Human existence and development has affected climate patterns on the earth in many ways. The transformation land surface of the planet was by deforestation, ploughing land reclamation, the construction of huge man-made lakes, reservoirs, and the conversion of large areas to a built-up environment and so on. The water and energy balancing have also significant elements led to climate change. These noticeable changes are so far local but likely to become regional and global during the next 200years.

            We must plan set off long-term actions which enables man to avoid the adverse consequences of climate changes. They will inevitably occur in the future. He believes that it is possible with the international co-operation to access global problems and calls for ‘Change for the Better’.

Technology with A Human Face : B TECH II SEM UNIT 1

          E. F. Schumacher was a British economist and author. He contributed many articles to the London Times. One of his books, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered became a best-seller.
            According to him, the modern world has been shaped by technology and continues to shaped looks sick. We wonder that technology has helped us in many ways, yet the underlying factors of alleviation of poverty and unemployment have not been solved by technology at all. In that case, we have to consider whether it is possible better – a technology with human face.
       It’s very strange to say the laws and principles of technology, the product of man, are generally very different from those of human nature of living nature. There is measure in all natural things in their size, speed of violence. The system of nature, which man is a part of it, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-clearing. But, it is not so with technology. It recognizes no self-limit principle in terms of its size, speed, or violence. It doesn’t possess the virtues of being self-balanced, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Somehow, man is dominated by technology and specialization. The modern technology acts like a foreign body and it has become inhuman in the subtle system of nature.
            In his opinion, the modern technology was involved in three crises simultaneously. First, human nature revolts against suffocating and debilitating inhuman technological patterns. Second, the living environment is partially breakdown.  And the third, it is clear that the inroads of the world’s non-renewable resources have become serious bottlenecks and virtual exhaustion loom ahead in the future. It is the result of materialism and limitless expansionism in a finite environment. It is a big question whether we could develop technology which can solve all our problems, a technology with a human face.
                        Technology that lightens our burden would help give us better time to relax and do what we would like, increase our creativity, work things with our hands that give us joy as defined by Thomas Aquinas. Schumacher explains it is not the actual production of ‘total social time’ spent roughly one-fifth of one-third of one half, that is 3.5 percent and the rest 96.5 percent of ‘total social time’ is directly product less.  It pales into insignificance, that it carries no real weight, but alone prestige. Hence, virtually all real production has been turned into an inhuman chore which does not enrich a man but empties him. Taking stock of our goals, everybody would take it a privilege to work usefully, creatively with his own hands and brains can actually produce things and would benefit the society.
             Schumacher never says that technology in itself is bad. But, he urges us to utilize the scientific techniques that help us get to the truth of the matter and increase our knowledge, to focus on technology that does not lead to giantism, speed, or violence and destruction of human-work enjoyment. What he instead suggests us is to recapture simplicity in all that we do so as to produce a self-balancing system of nature and a technology to which everybody can use and which is for all.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

B Tech I SEM Trailblazers : Dr Vijay Bhatkar

      Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, The architect of India’s Information Technological revolution. Information technology has made the world smaller. The press of a button opens before us a vast ocean of information on innumerable subjects and domains. This dream became a reality in India through the efforts of Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, a computer scientist. He is the creator of India’s indigenous super computer.
             Dr. K. R. Narayanan had suggested the name of Dr. Bhatkar for realizing the dream of the late Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, of indigenously building a supercomputer. Out of this inspiration was formed the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) and the development of Param, India’s first supercomputer.
             Dr. Bhatkar was born on 11 October, 1946 in Muramba in Akola district to a highly educated couple. He completed his schooling in Murtijapur in a school established by Saint Gadgebaba. He was in the merit list of the board exams and acquired his degree in engineering at the age of 18. He acquired his M.Tech from the Sayajirao University in Baroda and then got his PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi at the age of 26.
             He worked for many years in the electronics domain as the Director of Celtron. He worked on many major computerization projects which included the Kolkata metro project, traffic management in metros, defense projects for the Defense as well as several government departments, electricity control etc. He was also a member of the scientific advisory committee for the central government. Later, at CDAC, he helped develop GIST, the multilingual technology because of which software could be used in various Indian languages.
           As immersed as he is in science and technology, his interests also span diverse subjects like Indian culture, Vedas, Upanishads and saint literature and spirituality. Inspired by the thoughts of Swami Vivekananda, he left CDAC to involve himself in the Education to Home project which aims to make education more accessible to the students.
           He was bestowed with many awards while handling posts on national and international level. The central government awarded him the Padmashri and the Maharashtra government awarded him the Maharashtra Bhushan award
           Influenced by the ideologies of Saint Gadgebaba at a young age, he strives today to find a balance between science and spirituality. Wanting all the religious centers in India to be centers of knowledge too, he has started to work on this project from Alandi.
        Dr. Bhatkar is still proficiently active today, at the same time studying European cultures and working towards his spiritual quests too. He is also a role model for the youth in India.