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ACM Mega Event

The Jawaharlal Nehru University ACM Student Chapter organized the Mega Event of ACM Delhi-NCR Chapter at Jawaharlal Nehru University on 6 April 2013. The event comprised of Computing Quiz, Inauguration of JNU ACM Student Chapter and an Invited Talk. The JNU ACM Student Chapter was inaugurated by Prof. S.K. Sopory, Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University. Dr. Mukesh Mohania from IBM Research-India was the chief guest at the inauguration. Dr. Mukesh Mohania delivered a talk on "Cloud Computing and Data Management" at the Mega Event. Around 130 students participated in the Mega Event. These students were mainly from University of Delhi, IP University, South Asian University, Mahamaya Technical University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. Prizes and certificates were distributed to the first three winners of the Computing Quiz. Also, prizes for quiz conducted during the invited talk were presented. These prizes were given by Dr. Mukesh Mohania and Dr. T.V. Vijay Kumar, Faculty Event Coordinator. The Mega event was a success, as it was well appreciated by participants.

Dr. T.V. Vijay Kumar
Mega Event Coordinator

International German Alumni Summer School India on "Millennium Goals and Traditional Knowledge for Sustainable Development and Biodiversity Conservation in India"

The Georg-August University of Goettingen (Section for Tropical and Sub-tropical Agriculture and Forestry and the Department of Conservation Biology) , Germany in collaboration with the School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi organized an International German Alumni Summer School on 'Millennium Goals and Traditional Knowledge for Sustainable Development and Biodiversity Conservation in India' at the JNU Convention Centre from the 18 - 24 of April, 2013. The opening ceremony on the 18 April, 2013 was graced by the Rector of the JNU, Prof. Sudha Pai, Dean of the School of Environmental Sciences, Prof. Arun K Attri and the International Programs Coordinator, JNU, Dr. S Chandrasekharan apart from representatives from DAAD and GIZ, New Delhi offices. Dr. N. Janardhana Raju (JNU) and Dr. Kamini Barua (Leuphana) were moderators of the inaugural function of the summer school.
This summer school was officially funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) within the frame of the Quality Networks, Biodiversity, Module 2 Alumni Capacity Building Program. The summer school is primarily targeted at enhancing the capacity of the practicing German Alumni in multidisciplinary fields ranging from Ecology, Agriculture and Forestry to Economics, Sustainable Development, Natural Resource Management, University education, Pharmaceutical and tourism industry. The working theme of the alumni summer school tried to correlate to the current socio-economic scenario in the host country, India and specifically relevant to challenges like climate change, land-use changes due to agricultural and industrial development and urbanization consequently leading to loss of biodiversity, local knowledge and its values for society.
The contributors of this international meeting represented South and Southeast Asian countries like India (host country), Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, including Mongolia (Central Asia) and Kenya (East Africa). The participants were mostly the faculty members at Universities and higher educational and research institutes, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Governmental representative organizations like the WWF. The panel of experts delivering the keynote addresses on diverse topics like community based nature conservation and importance of biodiversity and bottom-up ecological economics for promotion of sustainable development to traditional knowledge systems, sustainable agriculture and food security were mainly from Germany and India. In addition to the keynote lectures and oral presentations by the Alumni participants, there were thematic group work activities pertaining to agricultural biodiversity heritage sites, local knowledge systems for monitoring biodiversity, biopiracy and medicinal plants and community based nature conservation As part of the field work activity, an excursion trip to the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan was conducted so as to enable the participants to have an insight into the tiger conservation including issues concerning man-animal conflict and the role of ecosystem services and local communities living in the fringes of the protected area. The safari trips enabled the participants to have an overview of the floral and faunal diversity in this national park.
One of the major milestones of this International German Alumni Summer School program was to promote networking amongst the alumni and establish long-term research targets with German Universities and also to strengthen the functional alumni networks like the GAInBiNeT (German Alumni International Biodiversity Network), GAForN (German Alumni Forestry Network), GAFooN (German Alumni Food Network) and SEAG (Southeast Asia German Alumni Network). This German Alumni Summer School was an interesting and inspiring University event and anticipates further cooperation in research and education, as well as exchange of students and scientists between the School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Georg-August University of Goettingen.
On the 24 April, 2013 of the Summer School, the valedictory session was chaired by Prof. Attri, Dean SES, JNU and Dr. Jolanta Slowik, Gottingen University. They distributed the participation certificates to the delegates. Dr. N. J. Raju, JNU and Dr. Kamini Barua, Germany coordinated the Internaional German Alumni Summer School.

N. Janardhana Raju
Associate Professor
School of Environmental Sciences

Annual Function of "Unnoticed"

"Unnoticed", are they? Not anymore, we can proudly claim that. Today, Unnoticed has spread its wings and has taken its first baby steps towards fulfilling its pledge. Starting from organizing classes with student volunteers and getting the children of JNU construction workers admitted into nearby schools, Unnoticed has now moved on to organizing other activities as well for the overall development of the kids.
When the idea of Unnoticed was first conceived, our main aim was to give these underprivileged children a sense of belonging in the society. Their basic right as a citizen of India to have education, food and a healthy living was being denied. Unnoticed then took the pledge to bring them into notice and claim for them what is rightfully theirs. Thanks to the helpful support from all who came across the path of this noble cause, we are well on course.

This year Unnoticed took a pledge to bring in the lives of the kids warmth of love and affection by donating old winter clothes for the homeless staying near the JNU area (Narela, IIT and Munirka, flyovers).

The health condition of the kids as well as their parents is also being taken care of. On the 6th and the 19th of January, Unnoticed organized general health camp for the kids and their parents with the help of an organization named Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM) who provided doctors and medicine for it . In February, Unnoticed organized another health camp for the kids and their parents where Rotarac club (youth wing of rotary) helped regarding doctors and medicines. In this camp, (a construction worker) Rajesh Chauhan was detected with blood cancer. Unnoticed extended its help towards his family and he is now getting medicine (through Novartis Oncology Access Program) Glivec 400mg Imatinib free of cost (for four months).

Unnoticed is not far behind in case of cultural events also. It organized its Annual Function on 27th of April in the Convention Center of JNU. It was a worthy try to bring out the hidden talents of the kids. In this cultural event the kids did various performances ranging from dance to drama. A thoroughly enjoyed program loved and blessed by all.

Thus this year Unnoticed has started walking in steady steps…but there is still a long way to go. In the words of Robert Frost "And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

You can reach us at our Facebook page (Unnoticed: Children of JNU Construction Workers) and out blog at unnoticedjnu@wordpress.com or phone: 9999858754, 8860753869, 9873054037
Unnoticed: The Children of JNU
Construction Workers

2nd International Fascination of Plants Day Celebrations

Boosted by an overwhelming response from the young and not-so-young, alike, during the First International Fascination of Plants Day (FoPD) last year, the second edition of this global event was celebrated with much greater vigor and enthusiasm in all the six inhabited continents of the planet. Under the initiative of European Plant Science Organization, the 18th day of May was agreed upon in the year 2012 to be observed as the International Fascination of Plants Day with the stated objective of "getting as many people as possible around the world fascinated by plants and enthused about the importance of plant science for agriculture, in sustainably producing food, as well as for horticulture, forestry, and all of the non-food products such as paper, timber, chemicals, energy, and pharmaceuticals". The role of plants in environmental conservation is also a key message.

More than 670 institutions in 54 countries organized about 1000 events on 18 May 2013 with many universities, research institutions, botanical gardens, and companies opening their doors to the general public. The coordination of the events in India was managed again this year by the National Coordinator of FoPD, Prof. Neera Bhalla Sarin along with the Co-coordinator, Dr. Mohd Aslam Yusuf, from the School of Life Sciences (SLS), JNU. Several universities, colleges, and institutes from across the country organized various events to mark this day. At JNU, the target audience was young students, mostly from class eight to twelfth. The coordinators personally contacted the schools with an invitation for students. About 120 students from 14 different schools converged on a typically hot May morning, at the School of Life Sciences auditorium with a quest for knowing "more and new" about plants and as the proceedings of the day unfolded, they were not to be disappointed. Prof. Neera Bhalla Sarin welcomed the audience that included children, few school teachers, couple of parents, and some faculty members of the SLS. She talked about the significance of organizing this event and a brief history and facts and figures associated with it. Prof. B. N. Mallick, the Dean of SLS while welcoming the guests on behalf of the school gave an overview of the kind of research activities being undertaken there. This was followed by the "talk of the day"- Prof. Sudhir Kumar Sopory, the Vice-Chancellor of JNU and a plant scientist par excellence, gave an enamoring lecture on "Insights into Plant Life". He started off by posing a question that though most of us 'see' plants how many amongst us 'observe' them. Observation, he stressed, was crucial to understanding the nuances of nature. His talk then took the audience on a wondrous ride through the plant kingdom. The diversity in plant types- from small to huge, floating to flying, drought-managers growing in the deserts to those flourishing in ice- caught the fancy of the young kids. Further, he delved on the mechanisms underlying this great repertoire of plant kingdom and the way in which the plants can 'see, talk, and hear'. He pointed that the understanding of physiology and growth habits of plants warrants ingenious research and could give several clues that are vital to the better comprehension of life. The excitement that his talk generated in the children was palpable in the jam-packed auditorium. After the lecture, children were divided into batches and given a guided tour of the plant tissue culture laboratories, glass-house, and nursery. They were shown the practical aspects involved in doing plant research. The children also penned down their thoughts in the feedback form about the experience they had during the day. Each student was presented a medicinal plant of Tulsi or Aloe vera and encouraged to decipher their beneficial properties as part of their take-home assignment. Overall, it was a day of great learning and activity for the children who dispersed, after having snacks, with the inspiration of becoming the future scientists of the country.

The support of Prof. Sopory, Vice Chancellor, JNU, Prof. Mallick, Dean of SLS, and Ms. Poonam S. Kudasiya, Public Relations Officer, JNU in organizing the event was duly acknowledged by Prof. Sarin. The proceedings were efficiently moderated by Dr. Mohd Aslam Yusuf, U.G.C., Dr. D. S. Kothari Fellow, SLS, JNU and the National Co-cordinator of FoPD. Members of Prof. Sarin's research group provided the necessary support by volunteering to take the students through the plant tissue culture labs and the glasshouse.

Neera Bhalla Sarin
School of Life Sciences


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