Netarhat Journey in May 2015

At our time in 1970s, Netarhat School, we used to have a variety of hobby clubs and one had to choose one of them each year. I had chosen French, Industrial Chemistry, Metal work. There were others like Bird watching, Aero-modelling, Ship Building etc. However since 1980s these started to go out of option and for all practical purpose stopped all together.I had been worried about this as it is an important part of learning process and more so for divergent thinking. During my visit to Ranchi, few months back, I had a discussion with Netarhat Vidyalaya Samiti and Shriman Swaroop Jee was very enthusiastic about reviving the hobby clubs. He offered to come along with me to School, when I came next for this purpose. I had proposed Feb 2015 for this purpose but I could only manage time later. Based on mutual convenience, we finally planned to visit Netarhat on May 17th and return on May 19th morning. In the mean time, through a Delhi NOBA member, we obtained DIY Electronics Kit and Lego Mindstorm Robotics Kit. We also planned to procure a 3D printer but its delivery got delayed. Hopefully this would be available in Netarhat soon!

From an event in Patna, where TIFAC and NIFT, Patna is involved in upgrading technology of ready made garment manufacturers of Patna City, I came to Ranchi on May 17th and went to Swaroop Jee’s house. I also took the opportunity to spend a short time with Deogharia Jee, my Ashramadhyaksha of Nalanda Ashram. We started for Netarhat around 11:50 AM. We stopped on the way at Ghaghra to have packed lunch given by Shilpi. This may have led to a break of 10-15 minutes. Then only other stop was at the Koel River bridge at Banari to take few customary pics and “selfie”! We reached Netarhat Guest House around 3:20 PM. So total journey time must be around 3 hours!

Pracharya Mallik Jee dropped on way to home for few minutes of courtesy call and informed that Girindra Jee would take care of various arrangements associated with my visit. After some time, Anil and Girindra Jee, two senior teachers dropped in and we decided that in Physics Lab we would show Electronics and Robotics kit to few students and teachers around 7 PM. Message was sent and we had a gathering of about 30 students and few teachers. I could briefly show the electronics kit, which can be used by any group of student and does not need any wiring. This is a kit from “littlebit”. Other kit is Lego Mindstorm Robotics Kit, which I requested Physics Teacher Maruti Jee to learn and train students. There was lot of interest in students and they seemed eager to put their hands on the kit. When I tried to ask some of the students in front to move back to let the other students see the kit functioning, they seemed very reluctant to move back!

Author: Prabhat Ranjan

Prof. Prabhat Ranjan is Vice Chancellor, D Y Patil International University, Akurdi, Pune. He was heading India's Technology Think Tank, TIFAC( as its Executive Director since April 2013 to April 2018. Earlier he was Professor at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute for Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar (DA-IICT) since 2002. He was educated in Netarhat School(near Ranchi), IIT Kharagpur and Delhi University. He received his Ph D from University of California, Berkeley where he carried our research on “Nuclear Fusion” at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory during 1983-86. He immediately returned to India after this and carried out research in Nuclear Fusion area at Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Calcutta and Institute for Plasma Research(IPR), Gandhinagar. He played a major role in India’s Nuclear Fusion program and was Project Leader of the largest operational Indian Fusion Reactor, ADITYA, at Institute for Plasma Research from 1996-2002. His current interests include applications of Wireless Sensor Network to Wildlife, Planetary Exploration (Chandrayaan mission), Nuclear Fusion, Healthcare, Agriculture etc. He has received National Science Talent Search Award, IBM Faculty Innovation Grant and HP Innovate 2009 award, NPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Award 2012, Bihar Gaurav Samman 2012 etc. In March 2022, he was also honored with EduStar India’s Most Impactful Vice Chancellor Award for 2021-22. He has been recognized by outlook among few visionaries, who can lead India towards 5 Trillion Dollar Economy. He has been also honoured with Maharashtra Ratna Gaurav Puraskar by Shalini Foundation in 2024. He is also recognized among the top “100 Great IITians : Dedicated to the Service of the Nation”.

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