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Prestigious Einstein Prize for Indian American professor Abhay Ashtekar

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Abhay Ashtekar to be honored by the American Physical Society on October 23 for his commendable work.

The American Professor with the Indian origin, Abhay Ashtekar is going to be honored with the illustrious Einstein Prize along with $10,000 as an award on October 23, 2018, by American Physical Society, APS. After nearly four decades of outstanding accomplishment in his scientific engagement with gravitational science and owing to his commendable work, Abhay Ashtekar is all set to receive the Einstein Prize.

Speaking about his achievement, Abhay Ashtekar told IANS, “The prize is special because it is the highest honor bestowed by APS in the broad area of gravitational science. The first Einstein prize was awarded jointly to Peter Bergmann and John Wheeler, who introduced general relativity to the American universities by creating research groups. Perhaps because the first award often sets the tone, subsequent prizes have come to recognize ‘lifetime achievements. So the news was deeply satisfying.”

Ashtekar pursued his higher studies in India when his passion for physics began. He said, “At first I knew only Marathi literature –that is my mother tongue and was the medium of instruction until I was 11. Then was exposed to Hindi and English literature and realized how deeply literature is tied to specific cultures. What is considered great in one language or context could well be mediocre in another. At the same time, I learned Newton’s laws and universality of gravity — what makes the apple fall on earth also makes the planets go around the sun. This was stunning by itself.

The most remarkable thing what he found was that, unlike art and literature, which are totally tied to human conditions, Newton’s laws transcend both. It was striking to him that the same Newton’s laws were taught and adored in India as in China, Japan, and the West.

Thereafter, in college fundamental physics seemed to him to be the deepest and purest way to pursue an understanding of Nature (the external world). In graduate school, he chose to work in general relativity, cosmology and quantum physics because he thought that is where the most fundamental questions about space, time and the nature of the physical universe were discussed.

When Ashtekar was asked if physicists in India are producing world-class research, he proudly answered that there are extremely talented physicists in India who are making first-rate contributions to pure physics in areas he has had first-hand acquaintance with. He even said that he is particularly pleased by the ‘LIGO-India’ project that is now placing India firmly in the front ranks of international efforts.

According to Ashtekar, between 5 and 10 years from now; the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, in particular, will play an important role in the major discoveries that will be made with the international network of gravitational wave observatories. He says India is ahead of China in this area, as for an instance he said that at times, his colleagues in other areas of physics, tell him that this is not the case in their field; that there is a lot of good research but not enough ‘great’ research that gets published in most of the visible journals.

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IIT Roorkee Signs MoU With ISRO For Space Technology Cell

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IIT Roorkee Director A K Chaturvedi said a memorandum of understanding was signed with the ISRO to launch a space technology cell at the institute.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee in Uttarakhand on Friday said it tied up with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to set up a Space Technology Cell at its campus.

“The ISRO-IIT Roorkee Space Technology Cell shall pursue advanced research in the areas of relevance to the future technological and programmatic needs of the Indian space programme,” a statement from IIT Roorkee said.

The cell shall ensure to maximize the use of research potential, infrastructure, expertise and experience that exist in ISRO and IIT Roorkee, the statement said.

The institute will be providing the infrastructure and administrative support in setting up the cell.

The research facility will consist of faculty members, visiting scientists, experts, research personnel, technical, administrative and support staff.

Bengaluru-based ISRO has been undertaking several student outreach programmes over the past few months in order to develop scientific temper among the country’s youth.

(Source NDTV)

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IIT Kharagpur To Adopt Amazon Web Services Educate Programme

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As part of AWS Educate, the students will gain access to 12 Cloud Career Pathways covering topics that are in demand by employers, such as machine learning, cybersecurity, and software development, each with over 30 hours of content.

The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur will adopt Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate programme to help students gain cloud computing skills including hands-on experience in Artificial Intelligence (AI), a top official of the institute has said. “We are happy to introduce AWS Educate programme to provide AWS Cloud Computing experience and AI-enablement for all our students, irrespective of their branch of study. We look forward to some really innovative solution ideas coming out of this,” Director IIT Kharagpur Professor P P Chakrabarti said on Friday.

The AWS Educate programme is Amazon’s global initiative to provide students and educators with resources needed to accelerate cloud-related learning and to help power the workforce of tomorrow. The programme offers a robust set of no-cost tools, resources and AWS Promotional Credits for students and educators to boost their cloud skills and experience, an official statement said.

“AWS Educate is designed to impart skill to students with the latest advancements in cloud computing technology and provide them with an environment to experiment on AWS Cloud, without making them worried about cost or access challenges,” the statement quoted Amazon Internet Services Private Limited, president, Rahul Sharma as saying.

“We are pleased to work with IIT Kharagpur in their journey of higher learning, and to help them nurture new talent for a cloud-ready workforce,” he was quoted in the statement.

As part of AWS Educate, the students will gain access to 12 Cloud Career Pathways covering topics that are in demand by employers, such as machine learning, cybersecurity, and software development, each with over 30 hours of content.

Upon completion, learners are eligible to receive an AWS Educate Certificate of Completion or an AWS Educate Badge.

(Source NDTV)

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Artificial Intelligence, Yoga Among New Subjects For CBSE Students

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CBSE has approved inclusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an optional sixth subject for class 9 students.

CBSE students will now be introduced to the rapidly rising world of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The central education board has approved inclusion of Artificial Intelligence as an optional sixth subject for class 9 students from the upcoming academic session which starts in April 2019. Apart from Artificial Intelligence (AI), CBSE has also introduced Early Childhood Care Education, and Yoga as new subjects.

Recognizing the ‘geo-strategic’ importance of AI, CBSE has decided to offer AI as a sixth optional subject to students of class 9 onwards. Schools can also start a module on AI learning for class 8 students.

The CBSE circular says, “To enhance the multidisciplinary approach in teaching learning and also to sensitize the new generation, it was decided that School may start AI “Inspire module” of 12 hours at Class VIII itself.”

Yoga and Early Childhood Care Education will be introduced at Senior Secondary Level from this academic session.

CBSE is also offering class 10 students the choice to opt for a sixth Skill paper along with the existing five compulsory papers. If a student fails in any one of the three elective subjects (i.e. Science, Mathematics and Social Science), then it can be replaced by the Skill subject (offered as a 6th subject) and the result of Class X will be computed based on best five subjects. However, if a candidate wishes to reappear in the failed subject, they may appear along with the compartment examination.

CBSE has also asked schools affiliated with the Board to offer at least one Skill subject at Senior Secondary level.

Schools need to send the application for starting Skill subjects from 2019-20 session to CBSE latest by March 31, 2019.

(Source – NDTV)

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