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Defying the odds, this visually-impaired HPU student became Himachal’s Youth Icon for upcoming assembly polls

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Himachal youth icon muskan thakur

Shimla: The Election Commission has elected a visually impaired girl as the ‘youth Icon’ for the upcoming Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly polls. Muskan Thakur, 22, is a singer and a student of music at the HP University. Muskan will be encouraging the youth of Himachal to participate in the polls and cast their precious vote.

The Chief Election Commissioner of India, A.K. Joti, awarded the Youth Icons Muskan along with the noted Pahari singer Vicky Chauhan at a function organized by Election Department at the Gaiety Theatre on September 26.

It is for the first time a special person is given such a responsibility, said Ajai Shrivastava, the HPU Nodal Officer for matters related to disabled students. He confirmed receiving an official letter regarding the selections of Muskan and termed the occasion as a historical event for the state.

Muskan hails from Chirgaon of Rohru region in Shimla district. After a legal battle over the right to education, the varsity has enrolled four visually impaired girls for the first time. Muskan is one of these four girls. Earlier, she had obtained her B.A. Degree in first division from the Rajkiya Kanya Maha Vidyalaya (RKMV) in Shimla.

It is pertinent to mention that she was also among those special students, who were hardly receiving any attention of the government until a Public Interest Litigation was filed by Ajai Shrivastava in the court to highlight apathy of the government. She made the best of this opportunity and defied odds to make her parents and state proud.

While Muskan remained the center of attraction at the festival, volunteers of Gian-Vigyan Smiti also presented drama show to highlight the importance of aware elector in the election for a stronger democracy. A film produced by election department for awareness of elector was also shown on this occasion.

The winners of various other competitions organized by election department include Pritam Kharka (Kullu) Jiwan Ram (Mandi), Alisha Rai (Kangra), Shalu Thakur and Manjula Verma (Shimla), Saijal (Hamirpur) and Jagmohan (Una) received prizes from the Chief Commissioner.

Campus Watch

Foundation Stone of HP Central University in Kangra laid, Will Be Ready in 3 Years, Says Govt

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HP Central University In Dehra, Kangra district

Kangra-The foundation stone of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh at Dehra in Kangra district was laid today by the Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javadekar and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.

Prakash Javadekar said that the forest clearance for construction of this University was also accorded when he was the Union Forest and Environment Minister. The State Government deposited Rs 6 crore under CAMP Act for forest clearance.

As per the official information released, the Central University will have two campuses at two different locations. The first Campus would be at Jadrangal near Dharamshala, which would be spread in an area of 750 hectares. The second campus would be established at Dehra in an area of 287 hectares.

The Government said about Rs.1300 crore would be spent on construction of both these campuses and the same would be completed in the next three year, the government said. These campuses would be spread in an area of about 1000 hectare, making it one of the biggest University of the region.

The Government said that an amount of Rs.7044 crore was being spent on the education sector during the current financial year and a provision of Rs.7600 crore had been made for the next financial year.

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Watch: IIT Mandi Researchers Use ‘Pollutant Diesel Emissions’ For Water Treatment

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IIT mandi uses diesel soot sponge for water treatment

Mandi- Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology Mandi have used the soot emitted by diesel engines to mop up oil and other organic pollutants from water. Their work has been recently published in the journal – Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

Although diesel engines are known to be superior to other internal combustion engines in terms of lower fuel consumption and better energy release efficiencies, they are associated with significant amounts of particulate emissions.

 The particulates largely comprise soot, which is formed in the fuel rich regions of the burning diesel jets. Increasing environmental concerns and stringent emission standards require the development of both conventional and unconventional means for reducing soot.

 Studies in this area have focused on improving the engine design and incorporating special filters and treatment units at the exhaust end of the vehicle.

Dr. Rahul Vaish, Associate Professor, School of Engineering at IIT Mandi and his research students Vishvendra Pratap Singh and Moolchand Sharma have looked at this problem from a different perspective.

They rationalized that while it is impossible to bring down soot emissions to zero, it is possible to find a use for the soot produced.

 Carbon species such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and candle soot have shown their potential in many fields,

says Dr. Vaish,

so why not automobile soot?

It is known that carbon species can absorb various organic pollutants in water. Carbon nanotubes, filter paper, mesh films, and graphene have been used for removing oil from water. Given that the typical carbon content of soot is between 90 and 98%, the team explored the possibility of using this pollutant as an adsorbent of oil and organic contaminants in water.

 There is a rapid increase in oil and chemical leakages from oil tankers or ships and industrial accidents with expansion in oil production and transportation in the last few decades,

the authors write in their recently published paper, justifying the need for new materials to mop up oil and prevent catastrophic environmental outcomes.

 In an earlier study, Dr. Vaish used candle soot to successfully remove two cationic dyes, rhodamine B and methylene blue from water, thereby showing the possibility of organic from water thereby showing the possibility of organic chemical removal by soot. Extending this earlier work, the research team incorporated diesel exhaust soot into polymer sponges to study their capability to adsorb oil and other organic materials from water. This hydrophobic sponge showed high absorption capacity for various oils, without the need for complex pretreatments.

The researchers found that the highest oil absorption capacity was 39 g/g for engine oil. An interesting observation was that the sponges were recyclable and retained 95% efficiency even after 10 cycles.

The diesel soot impregnated sponge could also absorb pollutants like methylene blue, ciprofloxacin, and detergent from the water. This has practical implications.

Apart from oil spills, organic pollutants such as traces of dyes and detergent coming from industries and households are a major contributor to water pollution,

says Dr. Vaish.

The soot impregnated sponge can help in developing cost-effective remediation processes for common domestic and industrial pollutants. Such a development would additionally serve to repurpose automobile waste.

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Last date for Admissions to UHF Diploma extended

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Nauni University Admissions Date for Diploma

Solan: The Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has extended the last date to apply for its one-year Diploma in Fruit and Vegetable Processing and BakeryDiploma in Fruit and Vegetable Processing and Bakery products, informed the Public Relation Officer, Suchet Attri.

The last date to apply for the diploma run by the Department of Food Science and Technology of the university has now been extended to January 29. Earlier the last date for application was January 17. The counselling for the diploma programme will now be held on January 31.

The PRO also informed that this year, the university has also reduced the fee charged for the diploma to Rs 5000. Earlier, the fee for this diploma was Rs 20,000. The decision was taken to ensure that more and more people can apply for the programme, he said.

The minimum educational qualification for this diploma programme is Class 10+2 with at least 40 per cent with no age cap for admission. A total of 35 seats are available in the programme. Prospectus and application form can be downloaded from the university website (www.yspuniversity.ac.in)

The PRO further informed that the programme has also been linked to the Skill Development Allowance scheme of the Government of Himachal Pradesh. Any person enrolled in the programme can also apply for this allowance.

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