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IISc faculty felicitated by the Institute for excellence

Every year, the Indian Institute of Science felicitates a few faculty members for their excellence in research in their respective fields. Since the award is by the institute community for its own faculty members, it holds a special place in the hearts of its faculty members.
This year, EIGHT faculty members have been felicitated with different awards.

The right energy mix: a lot from coal, a bit from the renewables

To keep energy affordable, governments can take only a bit from the renewable, a study has found. The research carried out by the IISc researchers, has further found that policy interventions like Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are essential to keep the operational cost of energy minimum.

Scientists build system to avoid leakages in water distribution system

Researchers from IISc have made a prototype of a monitoring system that can help identify water losses and raise alarms.
A lot of resources and money is spent in purifying and cleaning naturally available water to make it potable. Loss of purified water is a waste of these resources and a financial loss to the water distribution authorities. In addition, leakage points tend to deteriorate the pipelines and also pose a risk of exposing water to bacteria and other impurities. Thus it is extremely important to identify water losses so that corrective action can be taken. “It has been observed that a large amount of water loss happens close to the source of purified water, even before the distribution network” says study author Vignesh Kudva.

An interview with Dr. Aninda Sinha: Swarnajayanti Fellowship Awardee – 2013-14

Dr. Aninda Sinha was recently awarded the Swarnajayanti Fellowship, instituted by the Department of Science and Technology to celebrate the 50th year of Indian Independence. The awards were distributed to 11 scientists all over India for their contributions and potential for ground-breaking advancements in science in the year 2013-14. The award recognizes Dr. Sinha’s contributions towards pushing the frontiers of quantum field theory and general relativity.

New insights into effect of above-cloud aerosols on warming over Bay of Bengal

Aerosols such as smoke or dust suspended in the lower layers of the atmosphere can either heat up the planet by trapping solar radiation, or cool it by reflecting sunlight back into space. Previous research has shown, for example, that absorption of radiation by aerosols can significantly heat up the atmosphere over the Bay of Bengal region. This region greatly influences the Indian summer monsoon; any change in the effect of aerosols can have a critical impact on local climate.

Scan books into braille: the people behind the idea

When you combine unbridled passion for Indic languages and the drive to give back to the nation that nurtures, we get researchers like Shiva Kumar H R. His work titled ‘Gift of New Abilities’ won him the ‘Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award-2015’. Shiva Kumar and Prof. A G Ramakrishnan have developed high accuracy Optical Character Recognizers (OCR) for Kannada and Tamil languages that convert scanned pages of a printed document/book into e-text.

Effects of a blast on underground metro

A team of four researchers from IISc Bangalore, and Sastra University, Thanjavur have studied the effects of a blast on the twin-tunnel system of the Underground Metro in Bangalore. The paper examines blast effects on metro tunnels, and evacuation in the event of a blast.

IISc Student wins Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award

Shiva Kumar and Prof. A G Ramakrishnan have developed high accuracy Optical Character Recognizers (OCR) for Kannada and Tamil languages that convert scanned pages of a printed document/book into e-text. In addition, they have developed an intuitive GUI called Print-to-Braille tool that enables even non-technical people to quickly use their OCR and make corrections to the mistakes, if any, in the text output by the OCR. By using their OCR along with the Print to Braille tool, the family members or friends of visually challenged people are able to scan any printed book/document and convert it into Unicode text within a short span of time. The visually challenged person can listen to that e-text through any Text to speech (TTS) synthesis software. The e-text can also be converted into Braille codes and printed using a Braille embosser.