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Students get to interact with scientists

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Desire to learn: A student interacting with a scientist during the meet organised at the National Institute of Technology-Karnataka (Surathkal) on Wednesday.
Desire to learn: A student interacting with a scientist during the meet organised at the National Institute of Technology-Karnataka (Surathkal) on Wednesday.

Special Correspondent

Initiative was taken by a group of technologists headed by C.N.R. Rao

MANGALORE: About 300 SSLC and pre-university course students from government and private institutions had the opportunity to interact with scientists under an initiative by a group of technologists headed by eminent scientist C.N.R. Rao here on Wednesday. They also interacted with Vice-Chancellor of Yenepoya University Syed Akhil Ahmed, who made them attempt to define some basic concepts. Prof. Ahmed sought to drive home the point that children needed to be clear about these concepts. The event was organised by the Karnataka Rajya Vijnana Parishat and the State Government’s Vision Group for Science and Technology.

He engaged students for a length of time in defining ‘knowledge’. One student described knowledge as information, another as the capacity to think, the third as broad thinking and so on. One student said the application of information was knowledge and earned some appreciation from the Vice-Chancellor.

The professor told them that processed data was information, which, in turn, was processed to produce knowledge.

Defining concepts

He then went on to involve students in defining every concept he introduced such as skills, graphs and physical models among others. Earlier, in his inaugural address, the Vice-Chancellor said human capital had to be transformed into intellectual capital in this era of knowledge. He said catching students young was important to achieve this goal.

A. Nityananda Shetty, Head, Department of Chemistry, NIT-K, told students that scientists were like any other human beings, but their way of thinking was different. He asked students to be inquisitive and pursue areas of interest and not ones imposed on them. He told them how Nobel laureate C.V. Raman had to work for an auditing firm in Kolkata but continued to work on science by setting up a laboratory at home. The scientist’s inquisitiveness about ocean water being blue led to what has come to be known as the ‘Raman effect’, he pointed out.

Coordinator of the event and training director of the Pilikula Regional Science Centre K.V. Rao said 25 students would be selected to represent the district in the State-level interaction with scientists.

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