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Building a research culture

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Karnataka students do well in IRIS, a forum for showcasing innovative projects

good show: At the Intel-IRIS contest
good show: At the Intel-IRIS contest

Students from Karnataka have outnumbered those from other States in gaining entry to the 10th edition of IRIS — Initiative for Research & Innovation in Science-2010 — a national science and engineering fair for research-based projects of students of schools and junior colleges.

IRIS is an initiative of Intel in association with the Department of Science and Technology and the Confederation of Indian Industry, and the fair is being organised annually during November-December.

The best projects from class 9-12 will have a chance to represent India at the Intel ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair) being held every year in U.S.

23 selected

As many as 23 innovative projects, submitted by 33 students of different educational institutions, including four junior colleges, from Karnataka have been selected for the fair, to be held from November 18 to 21 in Mumbai.

Students from Karnataka take the credit as the highest number of projects selected is from the State.

Of the total 87 projects selected from all over the country from among the 1,300 submitted, students from Karnataka had submitted 73 projects of which 23 have been selected. They relate to engineering, environmental science, computer science, zoology, mathematics, botany and chemistry.

Interestingly, over the last year, students from cities other than Bangalore too are coming forward and are submitting innovative projects. This time students from Mangalore, Puttur, Mandya and Hubli-Dharwad too have been selected apart from those studying in Bangalore.

The aim of the IRIS, says Rahul Bedi, Director (Corporate Affairs), Intel South Asia, & India Business Operations Manager, Intel-India, is to bring out innovative ideas in students, giving them orientation and a platform to exhibit their innovative skills.

Infuse innovation

“IRIS is a year-long process in which experts from institutes such as Baba Atomic Research Centre, Indian Institute of Science, Indian Institutes of Technology, and other reputed organisations participate voluntarily to review the projects of the young students and provide them orientation to improve their ideas,” says Mr. Bedi. He also pointed out that one of the important aspects of the IRIS is that it is now becoming popular in semi-urban and rural areas too. The number of girls participating in the programme is increasing in the recent years.

Mandya student's role

Four students from India, including one from Karnataka, who were selected from the fair held in November 2009, had brought laurels to the country when they won prestigious prizes at the IIEF in May this year, Mr. Bedi said.

Kaushik Srivatsan of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mandya, had won two awards at the IIEF: a third grand award and $1,000 in the individual category and a special award and $ 500 for his work on the anti-microbial property of Ervatamia coronaria flower (commonly known as Nandibattalu).


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