METRO PLUS

A college fair to regain sheen

Visitors having a look at the collection of books in the library.

Visitors having a look at the collection of books in the library.  

``Sir, please come here, I will show you how a nuclear reactor functions. These are the uranium and plutonium rods and this is the reactor... and that's how the power is generated" Well, that was how A. Adi Laxmi was inviting the visitors that comprised teachers and students from different colleges and high schools in the city to her exhibit at the recently concluded science and humanities stream exhibition that was hosted by the students of Mrs. A.V.N. College. She and her team of three from the B.Sc. (Physics) stream had developed a miniature model of a nuclear power plant. It was not the theme of the model that interested the people, but it was the enthusiasm shown by them and the knowledge that these students were willing to share with others, which caught the attention of many.

Well, after all they were the students of Mrs.A.V.N College. A college that has a history of over 140 years and that has the likes of C.V. Raman, Alluri Seetarama Raju and Tenetti Viswanadham among its distinguished alumni. "It is sad that today we have to push ourselves to make our presence felt amidst the mushrooming of the so-called corporate colleges, only because of our inconspicuous location and the aggressive marketing techniques adopted by them. We may not have the glitter and glamour of a corporate college but we still have the best and experienced lecturers and the most sophisticated labs," says the Principal, G. Sivarama Krishna.

In fact the idea behind hosting an exhibition for the first time in its history was to bring forth its strength and qualities to the public and an attempt to regain its lost sheen.

Whatever be the intention behind it, the students from 12 departments put up a brave and creative show, rightly projecting the strength of the college.

If the language departments showcased their hold over English, Hindi, Telugu, Oriya and Sanskrit, the commerce and statistics students demonstrated their grip on subjects of accountancy and management and on current economic topics like globalisation, WTO consequences, stock market trends and disinvestment. The show in the mathematics department was packed with witty riddles and puzzles, which were composed by the students of the college. Whenever someone solved a puzzle successfully, claps and shouts could be heard emanating from the room even from a distance.

If the exhibits in the humanities sections were the appetisers then the same in the science sections were a sumptuous treat. The science show was led by the physics department and the exhibits were displayed in the same lab wHere Raman once played with light. The department put up over 50 exhibits covering various topics.

A collage of specimens in the zoology department. - Photos: C.V. Subrahmanyam

A collage of specimens in the zoology department. - Photos: C.V. Subrahmanyam  

"Two or three students formed a team under one faculty member and each team put almost 10 hours daily for over 15 days, right from conceiving the idea to making of the models," said Aditya Chakravarthi and G. Ramkumar, who put up an excellent demonstration on the principle of optic illusion and prospects of life in Mars, respectively. A variety of topics ranging from photoelectric effect, digital circuits and television dynamics to the working principles of the centre of gravity was displayed and explained professionally through miniature exhibits. The students also displayed a few working models of light sensitive switches, automatic fire alarms, automatic street lighting, electronic and cost-effective mosquito repellants and the use of electromagnetic principle for the generation of hydro-electric power. But D. Bala Krishna's electronic stethoscope and D. Sudhir Gandhi's electrically operated track crane were the pride exhibits of the department Coming out of the physics lab one had to pass through the computer lab. Here the students from the B.Sc. computers stream displayed the basics of computer, the working modules of the World Wide Web and gave a lively demonstration on the working of the country's first super computer `Param'. To add some fun, Prasanna and her team from the second year batch worked out a module on visual basics, wherein one could find out his or her weight in different planets. If one weighed 70 kg. on earth he or she weighed 3 kg. on Pluto and 300 kg. on JupiterIf a visit to the physics and the computer labs were an entertaining understanding of the subjects, the show next at the chemistry lab was an exciting and educative experience. The chemistry department in this college is one of the oldest in the State and has got some of the best and rare apparatuses . The highlight of the show was the live demonstration of a volcanic eruption. Chandrashekar along with his team from second B.Sc. explained through a miniature model of an active volcanic structrure, the chemical reactions that take place deep in the geo-physical structure of the earth's crust that impels a volcano to erupt and let out its molten lava. The students of bio-physical-chemistry and biochemistry displayed models of electrolysis, dialysis, tissue culture, models of various viruses including HIV and SAARS, DNA structure and human immune system.

Though every department excelled in their own way, the zoology department was the star attraction. The department looked more like a medical college lab than a degree college. A few of the specimens like the skeleton of the human and the dolphin and the elephant skull were over 100 years old.

"I have only seen such things in the textbooks. It was a learning experience for me. I cannot imagine seeing an original human heart and a brain or for that matter a human or an animal foetus without getting an admission into a medical college," said Sudha Saraswathi, a student from Sri Prathiba College.

Every department offered something for learning including the library. It is one of the oldest college libraries in the State. Set up in 1878 the library today has a collection of over 62,000 books with some falling in the priceless category.

During the exhibition days the college looked like a mini university. Even the latest entrants like bio-technology and botany departments showcased different topics like seri-culture, sewage and bio-waste management, DNA finger printing, drip irrigation, oil slick management through micro organism, bio-gas and terrace cultivation.

The exhibition, which was planned for two days initially and it was extended two more days on popular demand. The college has not only proved its capabilities by hosting the show but the students of the city had a gala time amidst fun and learning.

SUMIT BHATTACHARJEE

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