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Venue: BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore
Date: 4th – 6th January 2015
Number of Participants: 165

 

The Indian Student Forum, in its second year, opened with double the participants and triple the enthusiasm. One of the advantages of ISF being networking, ISF began with a powerful ice breaking session.Students from all over the country, studying in different states,
disciplines of engineering interacted and made the welcome night a successful networking night.


 

Day 1:

The first day of the forum began with a team activity to make the participants realize the feel of being engineers. As a part of this activity the students designed and made a model of a solution to protect the cargo during the drop as members of the design team for a humanitarian aid organization. This activity was mainly conducted to create a realization of basic concepts among participants, irrespective of their engineering discipline. The students as well as the industry facilitators made cost efficient models. The cargo drop activity was followed by a formal kick-start of the Indian Student Forum by Rohit Kandakatla, President, SPEED. Rohit spoke about the idea behind ISF and about the activities of SPEED. He also stressed on the importance of taking up the grand challenges as the theme for the ISF.

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Dr. David Delaine spoke about “Action Planning an Educational Life”. He spoke about the importance of multidisciplinary research in engineering education. He encouraged the participants to be a reflexive engineer rather than just being a traditional engineer. He asked the participants to first understand the purpose of pursuing engineering. He emphasized on a peaceful change through love, peace and networking. The
importance of having an action plan for education that included aspects such as a theme, objectives, tasks, responsibilities, timeline and
evaluation was also made known. The participants then broke into their respective tracks. They were introduced to the tracks where the track experts gave them the picture of the current situation as well as the barriers that came in the way of solving the respective challenge. There were three tracks:
1. Sustainable and economical energy
2. Infrastructure
3. Access to clean water

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Each of the tracks had two facilitators. The track experts for the track on Energy were Dr. David Delaine and Mr. Dhinesh Radhakrishnan. They put forth the current scenario in the energy. They stressed on the fact that as of now the energy that is sustainable is not economical and the energy that is economical is not sustainable. They helped the participants to explore sources of energy that were sustainable and economical. The barriers in the proper harnessing of energy were also spoken about.

The track on Infrastructure had Mr. Daniel Justus and Mr. Rohit Kandakatla as the track experts. They spoke about the problems that citizen’s face in daily life due to infrastructural problems. Examples of good infrastructural practices were given and the need for better infrastructure was emphasized upon. The need for global competency, economic development, efficient ways of utilizing the resources and thefacilities that are required for a better living were discussed.

Aswin Karthik Ramachandran Venkatapathy and Kashyap Suresh guided the track on access to clean water. The various reasons for lack of clean drinking water in various parts of the world were spoken about. The various methods such as rainwater harvesting and water treatment were discussed. Examples of efficient water storage techniques across the country were shown for the better understanding of the action plan.

After the brainstorming activity, knowledge gathering and dynamic dialogues, the action packed first day ended with the cultural evening, with participants across the country showcasing their culture by sharing various delicacies with the others, brilliant music and dance.


 Day 2:

The second day of the forum began with Mr. Dhinesh Radhakrishnan’s introduction to the grand challenges of engineering, the five components of it discussed and the participants were made aware of NAE Grand Challenges Of Engineering Program.

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This was followed by an action plan introduction by Dr. Delaine. He discussed the needs, benefits and the existing models of existing action plan. He made the students understand what engineering was.

Then the students, with their groups of like minded people brain stormed and arrived at one single action plan from the many that each team developed based on their sustainability. Dr. William Oakes (Director, EPICS, Purdue University) and Prof. Lueny Morell (CEO Loney Morell Associates) provided their inputs to the participants helping and inspiring them.

 

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The evening saw the participants of the forum on the streets of the Bull temple road and in the premises of the famous Bull temple with dustbins and brooms as a part of the community service. The enthusiastic participants and facilitators made the Swatch Bharath Abhyan a grand success.

 

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 Day 3:

 

The final day of the forum started with a talk on entrepreneurship by Dr. Nitin Kulkarni from BVBCET, Hubli and Dr. Ashwin Mehta from UMass Lowell. They encouraged the participants to be job creators rather than job seekers. They stressed on the importance of keeping the customers needs in mind while designing a product or a service. They also discussed their experience and the success of the UMass LowellBVBCET entrepreneurship-training program. The participants then made posters and presentations of their respective action plans incorporating the details of the action plan as well as the timeline for its execution. The posters were displayed for the critique stage where the participants went through the action plans of the other tracks and gave them feedback and suggestions. The suggestions were incorporated in the final presentations.

 

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During the final presentation, each team presented their action plans to a panel of experienced judges, demonstrating their action plans using models and animations. Their valuable feedback taken for the improvement and implementation of the action plan.

 

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The panel of judges that included many eminent educationists from India as well as from other countries decided the best action plan in each of the tracks.The forum which was a life changing experience, ended with the closing ceremony. It was not an end after all, it was a new beginning for everyone who were a part of the forum. Each participant carried away loads of memories and rich knowledge and experience.

 

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