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"Here are some easy-to-follow tips on how to survive a lockdown and maintain mental health by completing some free online courses, developing a hobby and using the free time for constructive purposes." 

With the pandemic Covid-19 forcing everyone to stay indoors and the 21 days lockdown staring ahead, you are like to feel lost, and anxious. But fear not! Every cloud has a silver lining. You can use this free time to learn how to manage time effectively in addition to a host of other useful things. If nothing else, if you use this free time wisely, you might learn how to develop a hobby and profit from it. I am listing down a few pointers, which will help you survive the lockdown.

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World markets may be down due to corona anxiety, but you can still gain rich returns. Invest your time and energy in subscribing to free online courses. Coursera, edX and other such online course websites are offering a variety of free online courses in wake of the pandemic. There are courses on Management to Literature, Data Science to Machine Learning, Digital Marketing to Photography. More importantly, a lot of these courses are certifiable, i.e. for a small fee, you can get a certificate from the host institutes like MIT, Harvard or Oxford that offer these courses. Moreover, with the world reeling under a lockdown, many platforms are offering even paid courses for free, and have introduced several new courses. All you need is a decent internet connection and some me-time.

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In all the anxiety generated by the pandemic of Covid-19, it is easy to get distracted and waste your time scrolling websites and social media. Don’t! Develop a hobby instead. Why not dust off the books, you have been meaning to read for a long time? Look for simple recipes online, and indulge yourself by cooking tasty dishes, or maybe tend to the indoor garden? Maintain a blog or a diary, or learn a new language online or start writing the book you always wanted to, but never got the time for. To keep anxiety at bay, and not obsess about how to survive a lockdown, to develop a hobby is one of the best remedies.

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As Covid-19 rages through the world and our vulnerabilities stare us in the face, it is time to re-evaluate your life. In the rat race, we hardly get time to notice and understand ourselves. Does that goal of going to that fancy college still appeal, or buying that really expensive phone? Is it still important that you take that trip abroad and splash it across your social media? Do you find meaning in what you are studying, or did you opt for it just to please parents or peers? Now that you have quite a lot of time, reconsider your goals. Think of what will add value to your life and what not? What will enrich your personality and what not? Since you are the future of the world, how will you contribute to the world better? Take some time and think more deeply about how you can strengthen your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

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Learn how to take care of your mental health as you are locked down in your house, trying to keep Covid-19 at bay. You need to strengthen your resilience and mental health to survive a lockdown. Simple tip: Cut down on social media, and stay away from the news. Yes, you should be well informed, but reading news and articles on the virus will only add to your stress, and make you hysterical. Meditation, prayer, and breathing exercises are also very handy to calm a disturbed mind, and help concentration. 

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Has the spread of Covid-19 thrown your routine off? Since colleges are  shut, how do you spend your day? In times of great anxiety, it is important to maintain a routine. Chalk out a time table, and plan your day – while it is important to stay in touch with your education, it is equally important to exercise too. Walk in the corridor or society compound, or the garden if you have one. If that doesn’t appeal to you, try skipping or simple cardio exercises like push-ups, or burpees. There are hundreds of videos online where experts show easy-to-follow, and safe exercises. Evolve a healthy routine – binge-watching TV series doesn’t count as a routine. 

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Last but not least don’t be consumed by the Corona anxiety. You are very very likely to not fall ill. Stay home, practice physical distancing and revise your syllabus. Follow the online classes offered by your institute, as well as other study material, and organize your notes. When these hard times are over, you will not feel left behind.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Remember the true test of steel is fire, so don’t join the bandwagon of anxiety. Follow the mantras listed for you, and manage your time effectively.  Hope for the best, but as a student never fail to prepare for the worst. Chalay Chalo! Let us all survive this lockdown. 

The writer of the article - Richa Singh is a Content Writer at Investronaut. 

Friday, 31 January 2020 04:28

Top 10 FAQs About Mechanical Engineering

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Are you keen to know how the big machines work and what goes inside their functioning? If yes, then B.Tech Mechanical Engineering is the most suitable course for you. 

The field of Mechanical Engineering has seen an unprecedented rise in interest not only in terms of the vast avenues of exploration it offers but also when it comes to the lucrative career opportunities across a myriad of industries. Before diving into the specifics of a career in Mechanical Engineering, have a look at these frequently asked questions:

1. What is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the design, analysis, manufacturing, maintenance, and use of mechanical systems. 

Mechanical engineering requires an understanding of core concepts including mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics, material science, and structural analysis. 

2. What do Mechanical engineers do? 

Mechanical engineers deal with the design of a component, a machine, a system, a process - anything that needs to be manufactured; anything that moves! 

The expertise of a mechanical engineer is needed in the tiniest micro-particle like sensors and switches to the largest systems like cars, spacecraft, and satellites.

3. What is the eligibility criteria for pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree in India?

The basic eligibility criteria to pursue a mechanical engineering degree in India is - the student should have passed class 10+2 exam from a recognised board with a minimum percentile in the PCM (Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry) as core subjects. 

4. What are the different types of software used by Mechanical Engineers?

The different types of software used by mechanical engineers to design and check the performance of the equipment are-

  • Solid Modelling Software: UG NXCAD, AutoCad, SolidWorks, CATIA, ProE/ Creo, etc.
  • Simulation and Analysis: ANSYS, COMSOL, HyperMesh, etc.
  • Programming Language: C++, JAVA, PYTHON, etc.
  • MATLAB. 

5. What are the key skills for Mechanical Engineers? 

The key skills required for being a mechanical engineer are effective technical

skills, ability to work under pressure, problem-solving skills and teamwork. 

6. What are the opportunities for students passing out with specialisation in Mechanical Engineering?

With the world being on a forefront of Revolution 4.0 and IoT enabled technologies, a specialisation in mechanical engineering is a boon. The engineers are going to have full visibility of operations which will allow them to be responsive towards minute details related to manufacturing processes. The industry is going to require skilled employees leading to an increased number of jobs for mechanical engineers. 

7. What is the future of mechanical engineering in India?

Breakthroughs in materials and analytical tools have opened new frontiers for mechanical engineers. Nanotechnology, biotechnology, composites, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and acoustical engineering have all expanded the mechanical engineering toolbox. With new technologies, the industry is heading towards massive job opportunities for mechanical engineers. 

8. What is the average salary of mechanical engineers in India? 

The average salary of mechanical engineers in India is based on the following factors, including engineering branch, company, experience and skills. 

At present, based on qualification, the average salary of a mechanical engineers varies between:

  1. B. Tech - 25-30K per month and ~50K after an experience of 4+ years
  2. M.Tech - 50-60K per month and ~80K after an experience of 4+ years
  • 9.What are the top companies for Mechanical Engineering freshers in India?

The list of top companies for mechanical engineering freshers in India includes the following renowned names: TATA Group, Thermax, Larsen & Toubro, the Godrej Group, Ashok Leyland, Kirloskar, General Motors, ThyssenKrupp, Mahindra & Mahindra, etc. 

10. What are the job-oriented courses after mechanical engineering? 

Take a look at the most popular advanced courses that have taken the mechanical industry by storm: MTech in Mechanical Engineering, Piping Design and Engineering Course, Master of Engineering in Tool Design, Robotics Course, Nanotechnology and Masters in Business Administration.

Before opting for any degree course, make sure you do a detailed research about the field of engineering that you are interested in. The college, its placements and overall knowledge that you gain after choosing your career option stays with you for the rest of your life, so you make the best choice and build a strong career. 







Hello! My name is Alex. Welcome to the year 2030.  I work as an expert in IoT at a Cybersecurity Centre.  I am committed to the highest level of security in an increasingly digitised and connected world. I’m here to take you on a journey to your future.

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The Internet of Things in Self Driving Cars

My self-driving electric car is here to take me home. I do not have to steer, brake or shift gears - the car takes me wherever I want to go - quickly, safely and without engaging. 

Merely sitting in the car and having nothing to do is not something I appreciate. Sometimes I have a novel projected onto my retina and sometimes I dive into a virtual reality (VR) game. 

Gaming consoles these days are the coolest gadgets. Players meet in the giant 3D world and experience big-time adventures with VR game sets. 

There are hardly any accidents these days. Sensors all around the vehicle trace obstacles and respond automatically. If a car needs a tune-up, predictive maintenance detects it and services the vehicle instantaneously. Driving licenses have become obsolete. Our vehicles communicate with one another on the road. If there is traffic congesting on a particular road then the approaching vehicles simply take a different route – all without your typical GPS navigation devices.

The Internet of Things in Smart City 

Everything has become much more efficient. Street lights with cameras and sensors analyse the location and the number of road users. Driving around the block to look for free parking? Passé! Your car will navigate you to the nearest available parking spot, as parking lots are also connected. Even in front of pedestrian crossings and schools, cars throttle their speed automatically.

The smart street lights have much more to offer: Once a person or a vehicle approaches, the smart LED street lamp lights up – and vice versa. This technology saves more than half of the power traditional light bulbs consume.

The Internet of Things in Health Care

I just got a notification about my mother. It says that she is doing well now. Her doctor just sent me the results of her medical tests. 

My mother is over 80 and lives by herself. This morning, her emergency app alerted me that her health sensors had measured unusual results. I had ordered a flight taxi that took her to the doctor. He already knew as the app is linked with him too. 

The health care field has made remarkable advancements. These days, the non-functional organs are replaced by artificial ones from 3D printers. Do you find this amazing? Back in the days, that is how prostheses were manufactured, while researchers worked on the development of artificial vessels. In animal experiments, scientists were even able to produce functional ovaries.

The Disappearance of Smartphones

The last smartphone generation, the ePhone 15, was built in 2028 but sold poorly. I remember how cumbersome it was to keep a device in my hand. Communicating, shopping, playing and gathering information via HoloLens glasses is much more intuitive. If I want to know whether or not I still have broccoli at home, I ask my HoloLens via voice control. I have the option to use it as glasses or as a smart contact lens. Either way, she tells me the result – and if I agree, the vegetables go right onto my virtual shopping list, which directly reports to the grocery store.

Shopping of the Future

Today, shopping is much easier and more seamless: Sensors, RFID technology, and NFC chips make it possible.

Wine and cheese: That is all I need today. You will see, even paying is easier. I just have to stop at the exit where the system scans the chips or RFID on the products automatically. Vendors no longer have to interact. I pay via NFC chip built into my bracelet. I simply hold it up against a terminal and confirm my purchase via personal code.

The Biggest IoT Risks in 2030

Sure, now everything works incredibly.   There are no more devices that are not connected via Internet. This saves a lot of time because the information is automatically passed on from device to device. But, everything has its downside. And the world could have become safer if there were no attackers. Since everything is connected these days, we have become more vulnerable. Giant cybersecurity centres always try to be a step ahead of potential attackers. We are still working on chips with built-in security, encryption, and authentication technology that cannot be tricked by attackers. I hope we build solid security technologies that will protect us against major threats!

Ohh and we’ve reached home. On my way over, I alerted my smart home security system that I’ll be reaching soon. It has switched on the lights and adjusted the AC temperature for me. The coffee machine has brewed me a Cappuccino, just the way I like it! I hope you have loved this ride through the technologies of the future. It’s time to say goodbye. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 06:08

BOLKI ANGANWADI.

Inspiring success story of change!

Designing & Creating safe and quality learning spaces for children in India!!!

By Design Thinkers!

Branding Images of BOLKI ANGANWADI for VU6

BOLKI ANGANWADI PROJECT is an initiative of ProCluster Business association (a techno-social non-profit organization operating from Pune) in collaboration with Design students and Professors of Vishwakarma University.

A kinder-garden in quite underprivileged locality of Bhosari area hosted in a dense chawl where the four walls of the Anganwadi were as close to each other as could be. One could barely imagine the kids having their first learning experience and developing their interest in education.

Branding Images of BOLKI ANGANWADI for VU3

Without leaps of imagination or dreaming we lose the excitement of possibility to create a better world, dreaming after all is a form of planning.  This project was intended to change the situation there. The main objective was to recreate a learning experience and transform it into a quality learning space for the kids in a form of more colorful and lively graphical visualizations and supportive educational aids. Using educational toys and props to add joyfulness to the learning was also an important consideration.

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The walls of the Anganwadi were painted over with lots of bright colours and it got a complete changeover with the concept of the ‘Mini jungle’. Idea was to add graphics in such a way that the kids could learn about different colours, animals, alphabets, and numbers etc. referring to the graphics and figures painted on walls.

Branding Images of BOLKI ANGANWADI for VU5

Passionate team of young design students all set to bring this change to life had a lot of fun to collaborate with local kids who participated in the making with a lot of enthusiasm and zeal. This project was completed in less than three days.

Lively and colorful environment in Anganwadi is now attracting children.  Each morning the kids are looking forward to reach their fun place on time. The parents are feeling contented and encouraged to send their kids to the Anganwadi every day. Children says that they could have never imagined going to Anganwadi like this and study, now this is their favorite place to have fun and learn.

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The project team believes that an ordinary person who is willing to change the world, becomes no more ordinary to the world.  We are here to serve our nation and our locals, moreover, helping the needy is an act of good deed and it helps to build trust on masses.

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A remarkable positive difference and happiness was seen among the kids and teachers. Teacher added “There is different perception now built about our Anganwadi, local people and parents are appreciating the change. Kids are loving it off course. Also, people are more supportive and willing to contribute further.”  Anganwadi Supervisor of the Bhosari area Mrs. Sunanda Dnyanoba Dhas-Hange Said “Looking at the positive impact of this project we feel that we should look at it as a model to scale and implement in other places too. It will add value to the student learning experience and increase no. of kids joining Anganwadies. ”

Branding Images of BOLKI ANGANWADI for VU4

Students, Rigil Roy, Siddharth Shreyans Shah, Vaishnavi Vikas Bhandari realized the project under the guidance of Prof. Santosh Khawale and Prof. Swathish Thiyagu, teacher of Anganwadi Mrs. Hema Sachin Bhondave and local team of enthusiastic kids came together to contribute to BOLKI ANGANWADI.

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 If you are moving to a university abroad for an exchange programme, the following tips could help the transition to a new academic and cultural environment easier for you.

Article image of 6 Things You Should Know Before Travelling Abroad for a Semester Exchange for VU

That Eureka moment when you see the mail confirming your spot for the student exchange program abroad, your pulse starts racing, and euphoria courses through your body. You probably feel a mixture of is-this-for- real to an anxious how-am-I-going-to-get-everything-done? Many good universities in India collaborate with international universities to facilitate student exchange programs and internships to equip their students with a cosmopolitan outlook. If you are amongst the selected few to have made it to your dream university to study abroad, then pat yourself on the back. Congratulations! You are on a boat most people only dream about. Being an exchange student, however, is not all fun and frolic. You must prepare yourself for the challenge of an uncharted journey. Keeping the following things in mind can make the journey easy for you.

  1. Take first month’s supply with you and shop for essentials

You don’t want to wake up in the morning in a foreign country and not find your toothpaste! It’s always advisable to carry the essential groceries at least for the first month so that you don't have to run to a supermarket the first thing. While packing the trendiest outfits may be a priority for you, don’t forget to pack a universal adaptor, a portable charger, and other essentials. This is most likely to save you the trouble of rushing to the market immediately after arrival, give you time to settle at the university, and savor the moment of your triumph.

  1. Do your research well

Look for information online, and talk to students who have been on the semester exchange earlier for useful tips. You can save money and spare yourself several headaches by doing so. For example, some countries waive off travel insurance, if you have travel insurance from your home country. Finer points like these help you save money.

  1. Stay connected with your family

Moving abroad can mean expensive international calls back home. Before you move out, research the networks that offer special ISD plans like bundle packs. Another effective way of getting around the problem is train your family in using calling platforms like Skype and WhatsApp, if they are not technology friendly. 

  1. Be Prepared to change your learning curve

Be mentally prepared to experience a different classroom culture in your host country, which could be as different from your own as chalk from cheese. In Western universities, students and teachers share an informal and relaxed relationship. Learning is student-centric and the professor’s role is more of a guide who nudges you in a direction, rather than an orator who dictates your choices and responses. At universities abroad, learning is a combination of discussions, presentations, and assignments, rather than lectures. Adapting to new ways of learning could initially be a challenge but being prepared for it will make the transition easier for you.

  1. Be sensitive to cultural differences

Don’t forget that as an exchange student, you are a guest in your host

country so be sensitive to the cultural nuances and respect them. Make an effort to understand the new culture, keep patience and don’t be quick to judge. Keep your eyes open, and observe closely, and most importantly don’t hesitate to say a quick sorry. Good breeding will always keep you in good stead.

  1. Embrace your uniqueness

While it’s important you respect your host country’s culture and try to blend in, but don’t try too hard to fit in. Don't be shy to be who you are, and wear your uniqueness with pride. Don’t wear it on your sleeve, but don’t bury it altogether under layers of embarrassment. Carry your own culture with you, as it is an expression of your roots. Be confident in the way you look, the way you talk, and what you wear. It’s beautiful to be different. 

airlift

Imagine you have a flight to catch and it takes 15 minutes to get to the airport. You book an ‘air taxi’ instead of an ‘Ola cab’. The air taxi stops outside your apartment. The doors close silently and your ride rises into the air with a humming sound. The electric motor transports the flying taxi through the air — quietly and with no emissions. A brief stop at the terminal and you are transferred to the hybrid aircraft, which takes off on time and flies off with significantly reduced emissions. 

The future technologies are being evolved such that they ease the problems of the present. The future holds dozens of aircraft projects which are ready for takeoff by 2030 at the latest. The question is not if, but when electric aircraft will be common.

Kitty Hawk’s ultra-quiet electric flying machine

Do you know that the Aviation startup Kitty Hawk, which is backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, has unveiled its

third electric aircraft, the Heaviside (or HVSD)?

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Named after renowned physicist and electrical engineer Oliver Heaviside, the HVSD is an electric aircraft designed to go anywhere. The aircraft is pretty tiny and flies like a plane but is capable of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) like a helicopter. Because of its size, it doesn’t require a large runway or giant helipad and its lightweight nature makes it energy efficient. It is roughly 100 times quieter than a helicopter, and it can travel 55 miles in around 15 minutes.

But this compact flying car seats only one at present and there are a few below-listed pros and cons before it becomes commercial.  

Benefits of electric flying

An aircraft produces nitric oxide, water vapour, and fine particulates and emits CO2.  The emissions not only have an impact on the environment, but they also have an adverse effect on our health.  Electrically driven aircraft are beneficial for the environment. An on-board battery that is charged with electricity is the source of energy for an electric aircraft.  So, as opposed to conventional airplanes, e-aircraft produce no emissions. If the electricity comes from renewable sources, they are completely CO2-neutral.

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The takeoff and landing of conventional airplanes are responsible for enormous noise pollution.  In comparison, the electric aircraft are much quieter because on their takeoff, propulsion is not delivered by loud jet engines but by low-noise electric motors.

Electric motors are less prone to breakdowns. They consist of much fewer

components and do not need oil, cooling water, an exhaust system, or gears. Consequently, they require less maintenance. Electric drive systems also provide the required torque at any air density, temperature, and speed which enables safer flights. 

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Hence, electric aircraft offer numerous benefits. Fuel prices and regulations encourage the electrification of aircraft. By 2035, more than 45 percent of all aircraft drive systems could be at least partially electric.

Technical challenges for electric aircraft

The electric airplane gets its electricity from batteries. The fact that the batteries are quite heavy is an important criterion for aircraft manufacturing. Fuel efficiency can be obtained if we have a  battery that is not so weighty. Another challenge for the electric aircraft is the low power density of the batteries: they can store only three percent of the energy that is in one kilogram of jet fuel.

How are electric aircraft charged?

An electric aircraft cannot charge the batteries as easily as an electric car. Cars simply go to a charging station and, depending on the model, remain there for at least an hour. However, with airplanes downtime is unprofitable. Different technologies for this are being tested so that at least some of the energy can be recovered during the flight.  Other developers are researching aircraft that obtain their energy from solar cells on the wings. This is then stored in batteries.

At present, many aircraft manufacturers are working on hybrid models. They generate electricity during the flight, such as through jet fuel in gas turbines. The electricity is then stored in on-board batteries. A generator feeds the electric motors which then drive turbines or ducted fans. These hybrid models could reduce fuel consumption by about a quarter. In the future, fuel cells could replace jet fuels as a provider of electricity in the air.

Challenges for electric air traffic

It is not only the technology that is a challenge, but the flying objects themselves are also an issue: large-scale individual air traffic will be possible only with electric drones and air taxis. But if there were too many drones in cities, we would need additional regulations to guarantee safety – such as on traffic routes and landing sites. Another issue is that many electric air taxis will fly autonomously. The authorities will then have to impose regulations about minimum distances to prevent collisions.

Outlook

Mobility is supposed to become electric and aerial.  Due to negligible CO2 or other emissions generated during transportation, the cities of the future may become cleaner and pollution free. Around the middle of the century, it may be natural for us to board an electric airplane and fly to the other side of the world, of course with no emissions or noise!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 06:55

Chandrayaan 2: India’s first lunar landing

(22 July 2019: Time: 9:13 UT (2:43 p.m. IST)

Place: Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India

 

Chandrayaan 2 Indias first lunar landing

A young boy, with his eyes filled with pride, waved the Indian tricolour while witnessing the successful launch of Chandrayaan 2.  With over a decade of scientific research and engineering development, this spacecraft lifted off to take over the moon and to create history by expanding India's footprints in space...)

Chandrayaan-2 is India's planned second mission to the moon developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).  The design of the spacecraft was a combination of a lunar orbiter, the Vikram lander, and the Pragyan lunar rover, all of which were developed in India. 

Whilst the Chandrayaan-1 mission assisted in confirming the presence of water/hydroxyl on the moon in 2009, the Chandrayaan-2 featured improved instruments and new technologies intended for future planetary missions. The orbiter was planned to operate for one year while the lander and rover were expected to survive one lunar daytime period, had they successfully landed.

The aim of this expedition was to shed light on a completely unexplored section of the Moon - its South Pole region, mapping the Moon’s topography, investigating surface mineralogy and elemental abundances, studying the lunar exosphere, and looking for signatures of hydroxyl and water 

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Chandrayaan-2 design and the trajectory

The Chandrayaan-2 was designed with 3 vehicles; the orbiter and the lander, carrying the rover. In a nutshell the respective uses 

Orbiter: Conduct remote sensing observations from a 100 km orbiter 

Lander and rover: Perform in-situ measurements near the landing site

After reaching the Moon’s orbital, the orbiter would separate. The lander and rover would lower their orbit around the Moon a day after breaking from the orbiter and start their journey to the lunar surface.

The Vikram lander housed the six-wheeled rover Pragyaan, which would land near the lunar south pole. Vikram would perform another similar manoeuvre to bring itself into an even lower orbit around the Moon. And then finally, Vikram would begin a 15-minute powered descent, at the end of which it would place Pragyaan(rover) on the surface of the Moon.

Once on the Moon, Pragyaan would spend 14 days roaming the area near the lunar south pole. The Indian Space Research Organisation chose the lunar south pole as Pragayaan's mission location because it is one of the coldest spots in the Solar System and has not received sunlight for billions of years.


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THE ORBITER

The orbiter revolves around the Moon on a polar orbit at an altitude of 100 km. It carried eight scientific instruments; two of them are improved versions of those flown on Chandrayaan-1. 

The approximate launch mass was 2,379 kg.  The OHRC (Orbiter High-Resolution Camera) would conduct high-resolution observations of the landing site before the separation of the lander from the orbiter. The orbiter's structure was manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. 


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VIKRAM LANDER 

The mission's lander is called Vikram (Sanskrit: विक्रम, meaning ‘Valour’). It is named after Vikram Sarabhai (1919–1971), who is widely regarded as the founder of the Indian space program. 

The approximate combined mass of the lander and rover is 1,471 kg. The Vikram lander detached from the orbiter and descended to a low lunar orbit using its liquid main engines. It then performed a comprehensive check of all its on-board systems before attempting a soft landing that would have deployed the rover and performed scientific activities for approximately 14 Earth days. 






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PRAGYAN

The mission's rover is called Pragyan (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञान, meaning 'Wisdom'). The rover's mass is about 27 kg and will operate on solar power. The rover will move on 6 wheels traversing 500 meters on the lunar surface at the rate of 1 cm per second, performing on-site chemical analysis and sending the data to the lander, which will relay it to the Mission Control on the Earth.

For navigation, the rover 

  • •    Stereoscopic camera-based 3D vision: will provide the ground control team a 3D view of the surrounding terrain and help in path-
  • •    Control and motor dynamics: the rover has a rocker-bogie suspension system and six wheels. Steering is accomplished by the differential speed of the wheels or skid 

The expected operating time of the Pragyan rover is one lunar day or around 14 Earth days as its electronics are not expected to endure the frigid lunar night. 

(Present day: Current status of Chandrayaan )

Vikram landers descent went as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, the communication from Lander to the ground stations was lost on September 7,2019. However, the lander's location has been spotted on the surface via thermal imaging, but its condition is unknown. The Mission Control Centre at ISRO has not lost hope and they continue to make all efforts to establish contact with Vikram. 

References:

https://www.firstpost.com/tech/science/chandrayaan-2-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-orbiters-mission-and-design-6892891.html

https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/chandrayaan-2-vikram-lander-pragyaan-rover-new-moon-orbit-1594612-2019-09-03

https://www.isro.gov.in/chandrayaan2-mission

https://www.space.com/40136-chandrayaan-2.html

http://www.planetary.org/explore/space-topics/space-missions/chandrayaan-2.html

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India is a culturally diverse country and its myriad forms of indigenous folk arts and handicrafts are an embodiment of its cultural diversity. These traditional Indian art forms include embroideries, painting, handicraft and more. These beautiful art forms, have been passed over through generations and are alive and thriving despite the wave of modernism and still engage the interest of people in the local arts. Each Indian state has it’s own unique legacy of folk arts and each one is distinct from the rest. We are indeed lucky to have inherited such rich heritage of exotic art and culture. Let’s take a look at 5 of the lesser known Indian art forms which are still practiced in different parts of the country. 

Kauna Art

Beside being uber chick and comfortable, Kauna reed bags and mats are also eco-friendly. Made out of water reed grass cultivated in the marshy and wet lands of Imphal valley in Manipur, Kauna bags can any day give a Louis Vuitton or a Gucci a run for their money! 

Applying a unique double - weaving technique involving multiple joints and knots, artisans create intricate baskets, wine racks, furniture etc.

Thangka paintings

Depicting Buddhist teachings on a cotton canvas enclosed in a silk frame, Thangka paintings are unique to the picturesque Sikkim. Earlier only priests use to paint Thangka paintings to spread the message of Buddhism through these paintings but over the years other people have learned the skill too. They often depict elaborate compositions where the central deity is surrounded by figures in a symmetrical composition. Like the Chinese scroll paintings, they are traditionally rolled up and mounted on a fabric for support. 

Phulkari

A visit to Punjab is incomplete without a mandatory shopping of intricate Phulkari dupattas and sarees! ’Phulkari’, has become synonyms with the state of Punjab. A combination of Phul = flower + Kari = Craft, literally means the flower craft. It is an exquisite embroidery  done with silk threads over dupattas, shawls and headscarves, in a simple and sparse design. In some cases, the entire fabric is covered with dense designs, so that the base fabric becomes 

Phulkari was always done by women folk at home to give it away in a girl child’s wedding trousseau. That is why this ornate embroidery form  remained confined to the four walls of the house and was more or less considered to be a part of household chore. It got commercialized only after the British arrived and opened up the market for it in Europe and America. 

Saura Paintings

Saura paintings from Orissa are almost always mistaken to be their close cousin - Warli paintings from Maharashtra. The reason being they both make use of geometrical figures to convey their themes. Saura paintings called as Ikons use fish net approach where the borders are drawn first followed by filling up the motives inside later. Unlike in Warli the differentiation between male and female figures is not very distinct in Saura and it has a more colorful palette where figures in red, blue, white and green are made against a red or yellow

While Warli depicts themes such as fishing, dancing, trees etc Saura is made for religious reasons to mark new beginnings like child birth, marriage, harvest etc. 

Patola Sarees

Patola sarees are the real labour of love! Most expensive saris in the world, a single Patola saree can take as much as four to six months to make and can cost a whopping 7 lakh Indian rupees. No wonder it was once only worn by the royalty. Each Patola saree involving ‘ikat' dying technique can retain it’s fabric and color for about 300 years. This extremely complex art is a closely guarded family tradition passed on only to the sons of the family. This high prized saree art is currently practiced by only three families in  the city of Patan in Gujarat. 

The author of this article, Richa Singh is a content writer with Investronaut. She is a voracious reader and a keen traveller.

 

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Virtual reality isn't the term from the distant future anymore.  In recent years VR technology has become so cheap that it is now an integral part of skills training, clinical rehabilitation, and the gaming industry. You might have tried it out yourself and loved the new dimension it gives to the video games and movie experiences. Or maybe you hated it because it made you feel sick! This sudden feeling of nausea and discomfort that you have experienced is called 

“Cybersickness”. 

Cybersickness, also known as Virtual Reality Sickness can be compared to Motion Sickness. Have you felt like vomiting when on a bus or felt dizzy when traveling in a car? These are symptoms of Motion Sickness. When our body goes out of balance due to motion, it sends out reflex signals in terms of involuntary sickness. 

What is cybersickness?

Cybersickness is nausea and discomfort caused by using virtual reality technology. VR games which involve a lot of movements and random falls makes you feel that you need to balance your body. When wearing VR headsets, your mind knows you are in VR but, your eyes perceive this as reality, and the same kind of motion sickness kicks in. 

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People immediately start feeling dizzy or sick once they put on VR helmets or goggles. They begin to sway from side to side or the sensation can become so bad that they have to quit the VR session to sit down and regroup. 

Reasons for Cybersickness or VR Sickness

People who have never felt motion sickness can get Cybersickness or VR Sickness quite easily. The logical reasoning being - VR headset uses three sensory systems - visual, vestibular and proprioceptive. Things would not have caused a problem if the system was perfect and the actions happening in the virtual world would be the same as the real world. But that doesn’t happen.

If our eyes perceive a moment of say even a few milliseconds which is out of sync, the response taken by the body is delayed, or rushed i.e. body doesn’t respond timely. Any VR headset which has a poor refresh rate for its lenses will cause problems.

Symptoms of Cybersickness

If you are not able to play VR games for long and need to take constant breaks, you are suffering from the sickness. These are the early symptoms of Cybersickness. Many a time you won’t be able to play the games which are simple and experience sickness while looking around in the game, especially in a non-flat terrain.

How to Prevent Cybersickness?

Apart from choosing the right hardware, both a VR headset, a super-fast PC, you need to take certain precautions that will help you fix this problem. However, do remember that if you are constantly  the wrong with the wrong hardware, the sickness will show up again.

  • Sit & Play: Many VR games don’t need you to stand. They just need a hand movement or minimal body movement.  Play those games while sitting in a comfortable chair or 
  • Change View distance: VR games shouldn't be played sitting very close to the view devices. You should keep the view at a distance. VR headsets do allow you to change this view distance of FOV and find a distance which is comfortable for you. Move around a bit, and see if your body response is positive, if not further adjust till you find 
  • Take regular breaks: VR is addictive, just like any gaming, and you need to take regular breaks just like in gaming. Prolonged use of any device draws too much energy from body and mind. You need to come back to the real world to find your balance. A small break, the game pauses, a longer break after an intense session of the game 
  • Ask the experts: This applies to almost everything in life, be it virtual or real.  VR sickness can be fixed by adding an overlay in the view. Those who use opaque/semi-transparent borders experience reduced chances of nausea and 

Illness associated with VR presents a serious obstacle towards widespread acceptance of the technology. This could become significant as VR moves beyond gaming and entertainment into areas such as job training, distraction therapy for pain, and other applications. Preventing cybersickness is not just something we want; it is something we need! 

The voice behind this article is Ashwini Gaikwad,Content Writer, Investronaut.




Kashmiri Culture

Architecture as an expression of culture 

One thinks of ‘Culture’ usually in terms of lived practices like food, language, dress, and rituals.  Architecture is rarely thought to be a part of culture even though it is an integral part of culture; some might even say it is an expression of it, and rightly so. We do understand the relation clearly between the two in respect to religious buildings – the minaret of the masjid, the spire of a church, the dome of a Gurdwara or the sanctorum of a temple, are clear enough examples. Culture draws from architecture, inasmuch as architecture draws from culture. The question is how? What relations can be drawn? 

Culture and Lifestyle 

What comes first? Culture or architecture? This is a chicken and hen question – circles have no beginnings! The way we experience life, we shape the worlds around us accordingly. The way we shape the worlds around us, we live our lives accordingly. 

chawl

Consider it this way: In Mumbai, low cost housing is almost an impossibility in a city where population exceeds land by a far mile. One solution was creation of low cost Chawl rooms in Mumbai – large buildings with one room apartments called Kholi. A typical Mumbai Chawl is designed as a building of multiple floors, each accessed by a central staircase which opens into a long passage that runs the length of each floor. The passage is open on one side, and on the other side a row of doors opens into tenements. The passage then serves as a balcony, where people can socialize, stand and get fresh air and sun. This unique design creates its own culture. Since doors can’t be closed during the day, as it will encourage gossip, privacy is impossible. In its place rises a very closely knit community where ‘Know thy neighbour’ is practiced in the truest and most literal sense. In a residential society with separate apartments, this bonhomie is impossible, and accordingly privacy is maintained at the expense of an individualistic culture. 

Kashmiri Da’eb

Similarly, in urban Kashmir, an appendage was constructed with houses keeping in mind gender roles and cultural norms. Houses typically were built with a Da'eb or a specially designed verandah. 

kashmiri daeb

Traditionally, the houses had a stone staircase usually of three steps that led to the house via a landing called 'brandh'. Usually, it was placed at the exact center of the face of the house, which served the dual purpose of aesthetics as well as easy access to the house. The Da'eb was constructed on the first floor, right above the brandh on the ground floor.  The Da'eb was of particular use to women, who would use it to see off the men going to work, while also remaining hidden from public gaze. Besides, it allowed women to form an informal network of communication, and share gossip, recipes, news and other concerns. Architecture thus became a tool of subversion of patriarchal norms. Yet, another consequence of Da’eb being a female space is that it became a recurring motif of Kashmiri songs and Kashmiri amorous poetry, and so became an integral element of literary culture, as well as erotic transactions. 

Has architecture anything to do with politics?

All fine and good, but one important question is: Has architecture anything to do with politics? You might be forgiven for thinking the answer is no! Not so! Architecture is deeply determined by politics. Historically, architecture has been defined by the tilt of those who are in power. For example, Mughals brought in a new style of architecture, which was a symmetrical and decorative blend of Persian, Turkish, and Indian architecture. This style differs from earlier styles by including large spherical domes, slender minarets at the corners, large halls, vaulted gateways, and exquisite delicate ornamentation. Buildings of importance like Red Fort, from the rampart of which governance was extended was built in this style reminding people of the association between power and place. 

Similarly, when the British conquered India, they abandoned the Mughal architecture and favoured the Italian gothic style leading to what is called Indo-Saracenic architecture. Victoria Memorial, for example, was built as a symbol of British power, a means to inspire awe. Lord Curzon summed it best: "Let us, therefore, have a building, stately, spacious, monumental and grand, to which every newcomer in Calcutta will turn, to which all the resident population, European and Native, will flock, where all classes will learn the lessons of history, and see revived before their eyes the marvels of the past." To prove, the overarching effects of colonialism, the country’s highest court: The Supreme court was designed in the Indo-British style. The impact of British policies was too deep to be shaken off lightly.        

The author of this article Richa Singh is a Content Writer with Investronaut. She is a keen traveller and an avid reader.     

 

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