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4 students to slug it out at US eco meet

This week, four Indian students will compete with their counterparts from 60 countries in the US for the best eco-friendly ideas for a sustainable world, reports Snehal Rebello.

mumbai Updated: Apr 15, 2010 01:03 IST
Snehal Rebello

This week, four Indian students will compete with their counterparts from 60 countries in the US for the best eco-friendly ideas for a sustainable world.

For the first time, India is participating in the three-year-old International Sustainable World Project Olympiad for Energy, Environment and Engineering being held at Houston, USA.

“We hope to make a mark at the competition in our first attempt,” said Shireen Jaiswal (17), a student from Nagpur who is part of the Indian team, hours before she boarded the flight from Mumbai.

The two individual teams and the third, a brother-sister team, were selected to represent India after they won the Initiative for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS), a national competition

for research-based science, mathematics and engineering projects.

IRIS is jointly organised by the Department of Science and Technology, Intel and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

“These are not thermacol models but research-based projects where students have to conduct experiments and get data,” said Arnab Bhattacharya, co-chair of the IRIS Scientific Review Committee.

Bhattacharya, a professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research at Colaba, is escorting the Indian team. Starting Wednesday, the

six-day event in the US is expected to see about 1,500 participants from across

the globe that will fetch $400,000 (appx Rs 1.7 crore) in scholarships, monetary prizes, tuition grants, and

scientific internships to the winners.

One of the participants, Jayaprakash Vishnu, a Class 11 student of the Chettinad Vidyashram in Chennai, has developed a cow dung-based microbial fuel cell that generates electricity.