Students Grab Awards, Laurels at Water Conference 2015

Models that won both first and second prizes at Water Conference 2015.

Assam Don Bosco University Models that won both 1st & 2nd prizes at Water Conference.

GUWAHATI — The three student teams that participated at the Water Conference held at Guwahati 5-8 February 2015 under the guidance of Asst Professor, Deptt of Civil Engg Mrs Pori Das won both first and second prizes. They also received praise from Central Minister for Water Resources and Assam Chief Minister.

In the inaugural session of the conference held at Assam Water Research and Management Institute at Basistha Guwahati, the Central Minister of Water Resources, Uma Bharti and Chief Minister of Assam Shri Tarun Gogoi praised both ADBU models.

Ms Uma Bharti asked the Doner Minister, Jitender Singh to call ADBU Team for a presentation in Feb, 2015 itself, to assess practical implementation of the models.

Mrs Das says, “Uma Bharti particularly mentioned about ADBU model in the conference and so there was a big rush at our stall to witness our models.”

ADBU Team at the Water Conference 2015

ADBU Team at the Water Conference 2015

Four six semester students took part in two competitions held under students category, participated by all the technical institutes of Guwahati including IIT Guwahati, AEC, AEI, Royal, Scholar’s, Guwahati School of Architecture, and GIMT.

Three member panel of judges included Dr. W.A. Flugel, from Jena University, Germany, Dr. Bibhash Sharma, AEC, and Mr N.N.Barua, Chief Engineer, Water Resources Deptt

The second competition category was student model-making on the theme: Management of Water Related Disasters – Urban & Rural.

Thirteen students of 6th Semester won the first prize for their project on: Self Building Mudflow Fence Dams. The working model with theme “Going with nature to offset its destructive forces”
showed real landslide. It was placed under novel, innovative, eco-friendly, pro-community-participation, low-cost, less-labour intensive methodology.

The judges for this category were: Asian Development Bank Head Ms N. Totsuka, Director of GDS, Jena, GmBH, Germany Mr. Christoph Boehm, and Mr. Iqbal Hassan of University of Sheffield, U.K.

Six students of 4th Semester and 1 student of 8th Semester won the 2nd prize for: Urban Stormflow Stilling Drains. The working model exhibit showed how to increase the capacity of the existing drains by placing commonly available prefabricated concrete blocks, sal wood blocks or boulders. Screens could be placed over drains for trapping the sediments in the drains and the trapped sediments could be easily cleaned from top of the drains without disturbing traffic. The sediments were shown to be trapped under flowing water in the drains.

The judges placed the model under novel, innovative, eco-friendly, pro-community-participation, low-cost, flexible, less-labour intensive methodology.

ADBU Team with Ms Uma Bharati

ADBU Team with Ms Uma Bharati

Assistant Professor Mrs. Pori Das and the award-winning students were called for discussion by Sushri Uma Bharti at Brahmaputra Guest House on 10th Feb, 2015 to discuss on the implementation of the Self Building Mudflow Fence Dams at Chattisgarh and the hilly regions of North East Himalayan regions and asked for submission of a project proposal for the same to the Union Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India.

Further developments form the meeting are: ADBU students would be called for the India Water Week, New Delhi. The students would be invited for 2-3 months intership with stipend under Ministry of Water Resources, Govt of India. Ms. Pori Das would be called for technical suggestions on matters related to such low-cost water resources management technology for North-eastern region of India.

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ADBU Plans 3 PG Programs in Applied Sciences

Dr Pawan Sharma and Prof. JN Vishwakarma withADBU  VC Dr Stephen Mavely.

Dr Pawan Sharma and Prof. JN Vishwakarma with ADBU VC Dr Stephen Mavely.

Senior Consultant-Healthcare, NER-BPMC (DBT), New Delhi; Formerly Senior Res. Scientist, ICGEB-India Dr. Pawan Sharma meets with VC Assam Don Bosco University (ADBU) Dr Stephen Mavely and Director of Research Prof. JN Vishwakarma, 7 February 2015.
They discussed upcoming courses to be launched this year in the School of Applied Sciences (Microbiology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology).
Dr Sharma also spoke of starting an ADBU Hub and Unit of Excellence with high end research equipments and facilities.
Dr Sharma, a consultant to Department of Bio Technology, Ministry of Science of Science and Technology (Govt of India), is specialized in Healthcare, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Leishmaniasis, and Amebiasis.

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Miraculous ecape for Salesian Fr CT Xavier of Kathihar mission

CT Xavier sumoKATHIHAR – Salesian Fr. CT Xavier, the Parish Priest of Katihar (Bihar) writes about the accident he met with the Jeep on 30th January morning and the miraculous escape he had: On Friday, even though not my day, I volunteered to go to MC Sisters, as I had to do the bandaging of my leg. As I came out, I found the gates were not opened fully. The vehicle was almost touching the gates. Then I got a warning, I must go slowly. I was slower than other days, and the road was with less traffic.

Before I reached the ‘accident prone’ area, where we go very slowly, Sumo took a right turn and went other side of the road. I tried to turn the steering and it was not working. I just prayed that the Jubilee should not be affected with what is going to happen. I did not think of breaking as I was trying to turn the steering. Within a second, the vehicle banked on a tree and stopped. Actually it hit on a Phone line stone and due to loose mud near by, slushy with rain water of previous day, the vehicle turned towards the tree and a drain tank. I must have been thrown to the door side with the first hit, thus saving my thighs and hip. By the time, Sumo hit the tree, the steering had stuck the seat.

???????????????????????????????I got up and put my hand out calling the vehicles passing by. No one stopped. I had lost my voice because of the cold and cough.. After some time some people were on their routine walk, and I waved my hands, putting out my head. The ladies called two men and they came and pulled me out of the vehicle. As my head was full of glass pieces, they removed some of
them. The ladies continuously praised God, saying ‘your God has saved you’.

Since I had taken the mobile, I rang up to the MC sisters’ driver. Then I rang up to my driver and then to MC sisters. MC sisters’ driver came immediately and told me to escape from the site before the police comes.

???????????????????????????????Then all the sisters and other working girls rushed and took me to the convent by Auto.

I had a little scratch on the left leg and terrible pain on the left hip. They called our family doctor and he found everything normal. He wrote for an x-ray of the hip to find out if the bones were broken or not. The x-ray report showed that no bones have been broken.

I get a little pain when I get up after sitting for some time or when I bent down. Today I am getting a little pain on the upper right hand, due to the hit on the door.

All those who saw the Sumo, thanked God for saving my life. I found a lot of support and concern from everyone that have helped me to continue work without much rest. Anyway the jubilee celebrations went on well. More about the Jubilee in my next letter.
St. Michael and Don Bosco saved me.

???????????????????????????????The Provincial Secretary Fr Mathew George adds: Fr P.J. Abraham and myself had gone to see the accident site, 31st January 2015. The Sumo which was heading towards the drain tank in the pit down, hit the telephone stone, turned round and hit the tree in the front right side and the back right side hit the drain tank. You can see that the accident prone turn is far ahead where there is a Hanuman temple, where the Hindu devotees pray and cross the bridge.
The celebrations on 31st January in the parish (bicentenary, 75 years of the Church in Katihar and 25 years of Salesian Presence) with some 4000 people.


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Vivekananda never said, “Sisters and brothers of America”


Vivekananda never said, “Sisters and brothers of America”
After 121 years have passed it would be difficult to figure out who first started this myth.


The 20th speaker was Swami Vivekananda and this documentation quotes this as the beginning of his speech: “It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world: I thank you in the name of the mother of religions; and I thank you in the name of the millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects”.
There is no doubt that Vivekananda made some powerful speeches in Chicago, so did the other Indians, and nowhere in the 344 page book, is there any mention of “Sisters and brothers of America” by Vivekananda. After 121 years have passed it would be difficult to figure out who first started this myth that Vivekananda said those lines. But we must remember that the Swami was a missionary and he had a mission to accomplish. It is certainly sad that a century of haziness has obliterated the names and words of the other six Indians who too spoke at the Parliament of Religion, who too held high their beliefs and the ethos of their country, who too made an impact, some of them arguably a lot bigger one than Vivekananda. But it is marketing that often dictates success between one product that is popular from an equally good or possibly better product that failed the advertising test.
To set the record fair here are the names of the Indians who were delegates at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 as listed in the index of this book – A Chorus of Faith. You will notice that there is even a woman in the list from 1893 – but does anyone care to remember?
Chakravarti, Prof CN Theosophist, India
Dvivedi Manilal Ni, Bombay
Ghandi, Virchand R, BA, Jain, Bombay, India
Nagarkar, Rev, BB, Brahmo Somaj, Bombay, India
Mozoomdar, Protab Chunder, Brahmo Somaj, Calcutta, India
Sorabji, Miss Jeanne, Episcopalian, Poona, India
Vivekananda, Swami, Hindu Monk, Calcutta, India

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Meghalaya CM Confers Mission Green Award to Fr PD John SDB

johnTURA, Garo Hills — The Chief Minister of Meghalaya Dr. Mukul M. Sangma, conferred “Mission Green Award to Dr (Fr) P.D. John, SDB, Principal of Don Bosco College, Tura on Republic Day at Tura Stadium, 26 January..

The Certificate of Appreciation reads: this is to place on record our sincere appreciation for Fr. Dr. Pd.John, Sdb, Principal, Don Bosco College, Tura in taking up a leadership role in awareness dissemination for ‘Clean & Green Meghalaya’ and motivating stakeholders, youth and partners to preserve our environment and keep our surroundings clean and pristine.

The citation further says: Your exemplary leadership in all environmental campaigns that you have spearheaded has earned you the title of ‘Mission Green Champion’.

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Bobby Jindal: America needs a spiritual revival, not just a good political leader

Bobby Jindal at Mass

Bobby Jindal with family at Holy Mass

Louisiana (Anugrah Kumar) — US, January 25, 2015: Louisiana governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Bobby Jindal shared with thousands of people at his national prayer rally Sunday how he converted from Hinduism to Catholicism, and urged prayers for America’s spiritual revival as well as President Obama and his family.

Jindal, who has described himself as an “evangelical Catholic,” prayed for a spiritual revival to “begin right here, right here in our hearts” as he opened the six-hour prayer rally, “The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis,” at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, the home of the Louisiana State University basketball team, in Batone.

The two-term Republican governor, who was holding his Bible, shared his testimony for about 15 minutes, according to The Associated Press.

He told the crowd of more than 3,000 people how he, though raised a Hindu, became a Christian while a teenager living in Baton Rouge.

He said evangelist Billy Graham helped inspire him to become a Christian, according to The Times-Picayune. He recalled turning up for Graham’s mass prayer rally in LSU’s Tiger Stadium in 1970.

Several people had earlier tried to convert him but it didn’t hit him until he heard Graham and watched a black and white film on Jesus’s death on the cross, he said. “God chose that moment to hit me harder than I’ve ever been hit before,” he was quoted as saying.

“Today is about humbling ourselves before the Lord. Today we repent for our sins,” Tampa Bay Times quoted him as saying.
Jindal emphasized that America not just needs a good leader, but a spiritual revival. “We can’t just elect a candidate to fix our country. … We need a spiritual revival to fix our country.”

He also asked the crowd to pray for Obama and his family.

Asked later about his 2016 presidential run, Jindal said, “We’re praying and thinking about what to do next,” and added it might take “a couple of months” to make an announcement about his possible run.

“Who is president next is less important than what that person has to offer,” Jindal said. “My decision will be based on whether I can bring something unique. … It would be based on political consultants or polls.”

He also said the prayer rally was “not a political event. It’s a religious event.”

Meanwhile, about 400 people protested outside the prayer rally, as the event’s host, American Family Association, has been classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate” group because of its alleged promotion of “discrimination” against gays.

As Jindal weighs his potential candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, there are quite a few viable, Christian, social conservative candidates that are trying to earn and possibly unite the Evangelical support behind them, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; former Arkansas Governor and Southern Baptist pastor Mike Huckabee; retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson; former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum; and former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

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“Ghar Wapsi” in the US embassy ?

Richard Verma[Thanks to Deccan Chronicle today Sunday, Jan 25, 2015, Dr Kancha Ilaiah, the Writer here, is the Director, centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad.]

Barack Obama is coming to India in order to take a special guard of honour on Republic Day. Before his arrival, Mr Obama sent a gift in the form of Richard Rahul Verma, an Indian upper caste Hindu who converted to Christianity, as America’s ambassador to India. His father Kamal Verma and mother Savitri were pucca Hindu migrants from Punjab. Though Mr Verma does not disclose his church connections, his name and that of his wife and children tell us the real story.

America is the dreamland for upper-caste educated Indians (mostly Hindus). Having settled there, young Indian-Americans would also like to climb the ladder of the American political system. But unless one is a Protestant, the American Civil society does not allow entry into its political space.

Not just Mr. Verma, but Bobby Jindal, the first ever Indian-American state (Lousiana) and Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina, are also Christians.

According to Peter Whoriskey’s article (Oct 21, 2007) in the Washington Post, “Jindal was raised in a Hindu household, but he converted to Christianity while in Baton Rouge Magnet High School. During his first year at Brown University, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church. His family attends weekly Mass at St. Aloysius Parish in Baton Rouge”.

It is a known fact that except John F. Kennedy of the Democratic Party, no Catholic could become the President of America. Ms Haley is a Sikh, but converted to Christianity after marriage. One can list dozens of such prominent persons of Indian origin who converted to Christianity.

The Americans are religious. If people of Indian origin of non-Christian religions do not accept Christianity, they will not be able to rise to high positions. But, by and large, Americans are not fundamentalist. It does not have the primitive mindset of Hindutva or Islamist forces.

Prime Minister, Modi, is hoping that his “Make in India” project will get lots of American investment. But what the forces around Mr. Modi — the ones who are targeting Christians and Muslims through “ghar wapsi” – don’t realize is that though the American Christian capitalists believe in worldwide investment, they would not come to a country that attacks the right to religious freedom.

The “ghar wapsi” programme supported in public by many Cabinet ministers including Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley, is aimed attacking the dalits and tribals, as they are mostly the ones who have converted to Christianity.

This is likely to be a major reason why the American and European capitalists are not showing enthusiasm about India. Already, World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, has made a striking statement against caste practices in India. UN Secretary-General, Bank-ki-Moon also chided India for not respecting gay and lesbian rights.

The West reacts to any fundamentalism. If an anti-conversion law is passed by the Indian Parliament, the whole world would be up against India. When China was imposing restrictions on freedom of religion and conscience, the Western world carried a massive campaign against it. Now China has loosened those controls. The Americans know how to deal with forces that go against democratic freedoms.

Mr Obama’s answer to the “ghar wapsi” programme of Hindu fundamentalists is Mr Verma. Will the saffronites dare to insist on a “ghar wapsi” programme at US embassy now? Will they re-convert Mr. Verma and his wife Pinky and children Lucy, Dylan and Zoe Verma? Will they perform Shuddhi on Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley and other upper-caste NRIs who converted to Christianity? Mr. Modi and his team are excited about a leader of Mr Obama’s stature being present for the first time in India on Republic Day. Mr Modi, perhaps hopes to keep his own photograph of walking besides the mightiest man in the world during the Republic Day parade in the record books.

In my student days, there used to be a photograph of Nehru walking with John F. Kennedy indicating their personal friendship. But Mr. Modi is not a secular leader like Nehru who will ignore the religious background of Mr. Obama.

Mr Obama is half Christian and half-Muslim. He won Protestant hearts and became the President for two terms by following his religion faithfully. The “Ghar wapsi” kind of Hindu fundamentalism runs against Mr Obama’s spiritual ethic. Better to be watchful of him and his ambassador Mr. Verma. Otherwise, Mr Modi’s “Make in India” will turn into “Dukh (=grief) in India”.

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