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“Indian scientists need to keep cost in view”

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Caravans of comfort: Anna University Vice-Chancellor P. Mannar Jawahar and CMD of Ashok Leyland R. Seshasayee flagging off one of the newly inducted buses at Anna University on Wednesday.
Caravans of comfort: Anna University Vice-Chancellor P. Mannar Jawahar and CMD of Ashok Leyland R. Seshasayee flagging off one of the newly inducted buses at Anna University on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter

Seshasayee inaugurates new buses of Anna University

CHENNAI: “We can bring in a lot of technology solutions from the West, but we must also be aware of what suits local conditions and keep it as affordable as possible,” said R. Seshasayee, chairman and managing director, Ashok Leyland.

In light of programmes to replicate western models by inducting a fleet of low-floor buses in the country, Mr. Seshasayee said: “For every footstep you reduce in a bus, cost goes up exponentially. Western technology has a lot of redundancies as they build to satisfy very high safety parameters.” He was speaking at the inauguration of four newly purchased semi-low-floor (SLF) buses at the Anna University here on Wednesday.

According to him, it is extremely important for Indian scientists and technologists to work towards better performance while keeping cost in perspective. “The sweet spot where such a balance can be found has to be struck. India has an imperative to evolve the concept of frugal engineering.”

The newly inducted buses, with a seating capacity of 54+1, will be used by the students for their industrial visits and during college tours. The buses employ latest technologies such as air suspension and low floor.

M. Shekar, Dean, College of Engineering Guindy, recalling his own personal experiences as a student, said: “During my student years, the college had only one old bus. It is a great experience to go along with one’s classmates on tours or industrial visits. Students will become more mobile with the induction of these buses.”

P. Mannar Jawahar, Vice-Chancellor, Anna University, said that there was a requirement of around 1,200 trips every year for factory visits by students of various departments. “Eight existing buses are old and prone to breakdown. It is essential to provide practical exposure to students through these visits and it is also an integral part of the curriculum. We are in the process of procuring six more buses to aid this process,” he said.

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