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Samsung sets up AR-VR innovation lab at IIT Jodhpur

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GURUGRAM: South Korean tech giant Samsung on Friday inaugurated its Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR-VR) innovation lab at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur.

The Samsung AR-VR innovation lab will train students on new technologies such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, helping them learn industry-relevant skills and making them job-ready.

Courses at the lab would be run by Samsung engineers in conjunction with the faculty of IIT-Jodhpur and will be offered to B.Tech, M.Tech, and PhD students.

A batch of 30-35 students would be trained per year and part of this lab would be used by research fellows to conduct their experiments.

“We are confident that Samsung Innovation Lab will help students leverage the growing digital technologies market and develop their talent,” Peter Rhee, Corporate Vice President, Samsung India, said in a statement.

The curriculum at the lab will include Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality, with special emphasis on touch, haptics, taste, smell, robotic interfaces, telepresence, and brain-machine interfaces.

The course will be taught over 14 weeks through classroom lectures, assignments and lab room sessions, self-study, and mini-projects.

Extensive tutorials and approach documents will also be provided to students to facilitate practical exercises.

“This lab will provide an opportunity to the students to get exposed to different aspects of AR and VR technologies,” said Professor Santanu Chaudhury, Director, IIT Jodhpur.

“As AR and VR is finding applications in diverse fields like education, industrial design, robotics, infrastructure management and medicine, students of different programmes can take advantage of this facility,” he added,

The company has so far set up six Samsung Innovation Labs in IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Hyderabad, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Roorkee, and IIT-Guwahati as part of its ‘Samsung Digital Academy’ programme since 2017.



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IISER Pune team wins gold at the iGEM 2020 synthetic biology competition

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PUNE: A team of 14 students from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune who competed at the 2020 international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) contest, have won a gold medal at the International Giant Jamboree held virtually during November 13-22, 2020. The team also bagged the iGEMer’s award, meaning they were officially voted the best undergraduate team project by all the other teams in the competition, said an official release from IISER, Pune.

The iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition is an international competition organized to give high school and collegiate students a platform to use synthetic biology to tackle real life problems facing the world today.

Describing the challenge, the official release said, “The IISER Pune team worked on developing a multi-faceted approach towards eradicating Malaria. They aimed to develop a library of protein-based therapeutics to combat the disease and a simple, cheap and efficient diagnostic kit along with an awareness campaign aimed at informing the public about the methods of prevention and cure. ”

Explaining the work behind the win, the release further said, “Working over 8 months, the team computationally designed short protein sequences that could be orally delivered as medication to stop the spread of Malaria in the human body. The team’s diagnostic kit consisted of an easy to use software that they developed with an accuracy of 95.45% that uses images of blood smears to detect Malaria. These images can be cheaply and easily obtained using the existing technologies of a Foldscope (a foldable microscope) and a Paper Centrifuge which cumulatively cost under 100 rupees.”



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Karnataka schools reopening news: Karnataka COVID-19 panel against reopening schools in December

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BENGALURU: The Technical Advisory Committee for COVID-19 in Karnataka has recommended to the state government not to reopen schools in December ahead of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s a key meeting on Monday to take a call on the matter. “After extensive deliberations it was unanimously resolved not to reopen the schools in December, proceedings of the COVID-19 52nd Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting held on Sunday said. The COVID-19 scenario shall be reviewed in the last week of December to consider reopening of schools at an appropriate time subsequently, it said, adding that this recommendation was for the consideration of the government in the larger public interest of the state. The schools have remained closed since March when the national lockdown was first enforced to combat COVID-19. The proceedings of the meeting, headed by Chairman Dr M K Sudarshan, said, the current scenario of COVID-19 in the state was showing a declining trend with around 1,700 cases and 20 deaths reported daily.

It was important to consolidate gains made after great efforts in the last eight months to contain the disease in the state, the panel said, pointing to the spike or resurgence of cases in Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan and others.

Besides, the months of December and January due to winter are cold and conducive to occurrence and spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, it said, adding that the epidemiological perspective based on a state survey done in September is that there may be a spike in cases in the districts with low prevalence.

Chief Minister Yediyurappa and Primary and Secondary Education minister S Suresh Kumar are holding a meeting on Monday with the Education Department and other government officials to discuss reopening of schools.

The government has also taken suggestions from parents, health committee officials and educational experts, and other stakeholders.

Ahead of the meeting Yediyurappa said, “After taking note of the opinion expressed in the meeting, gathering suggestions from every one, we will take a decision. We will discuss and let you know the outcome.”

“Schools had to open in June, six months have gone. There are various opinions like not to open schools, to open for selective clases. Also government school students in rural areas are not getting the benefit of online classes,” Kumar said.

There were also social problesms arsing with reports about child labour and child marrigaes, he said.

The graduate, post-graduate, diploma and engineering colleges have reopened on November 17 in the state with preventive measures for COVID-19, but the attendance of students is said to be very poor so far.



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No SSLC and PUC classes in Karnataka till appropriate decision, says CM Yediyurappa

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BENGALURU: As experts have suggested not to open schools in the state in view of the Covid-19 outbreak, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday said that there will be no Senior School Leaving Certificate (Class 10) and Pre University Exam as the government will take an appropriate decision with regard to the situation.

“Experts have opined that we should not take any decision till December end. We will meet again and take an appropriate decision at the time, with regard to the situation. We should not start SSLC (Class 10) and Pre University Exam until then,” Yediyurappa told media persons here.

Meanwhile, the Technical Advisory Committee for Covid-19 has recommended to the Karnataka government not to reopen schools in December.”After extensive deliberations, it was unanimously resolved not to reopen schools in December,” said Technical Advisory Committee, Karnataka in a statement.However, the scenario of Covid-19 in the state shall be reviewed in the last week of December to consider the reopening of schools at an appropriate time subsequently, the committee stressed. During the meeting held on Sunday, Dr M K Sudarshan, TAC, Chairperson informed the members that the state is considering reopening of the schools very soon. “The TAC in its 40th (October 8) and 49th (November 9) meetings had deliberated extensively on this subject. It was then decided to postpone the re-opening of the schools after reviewing the Covid-19 scenario in the state subsequently. In the meanwhile, from November 17 colleges have been reopened, but the attendance of students is very poor.”From December 1, it is planned to reopen medical and paramedical colleges in the state. However, the impact of reopening of the colleges will be known in the coming days, Sudarshan said.

Karnataka has reported 24,887 active Covid-19 cases, 8,36,505 recoveries and 11,654 fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Monday.



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