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Monthly Archives: January 2016


US artists inspired by Indian works

BENGALURU: American artists are increasingly looking to Indian artists for inspiration and this has been a trajectory which has been followed from as far back as 1893.

“The western-style paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, who is connected to the royal family of Travancore, with Indian subjects, inspired many in the USA. Swami Vivekananda, who was unexpectedly called up to speak in the USA, moved and inspired the Americans with his words,” said Gail Levin, Professor for Fine and Performing Arts, New York.

MsLevin was giving a lecture on “An overview of the Influence of Indian Art and Culture on American Artists from the World’s Colombian Exposition to Contemporary Art,” here on Wednesday.

Artworks by Indian and American artists were screened to demonstrate the influence of Indian culture on American art. The lecture was followed by an interactive session in which an Indo-American audience participated at the National Gallery of Modern Arts.

Ms Levin noted that artists from the West were inspired by paintings of Indian artists right from the late 18th century. “Watching Indian artworks and coming to India makes people open up and think in new ways,” she added.

“Knowing more about the paintings by Indian artists from an American professor itself portrays the power of the international cultural exchange platform,” said Mridula Panchami, an upcoming artist based in Chennai.

Ms Levin said that even though getting used to the cultural difference was one of the major challenges American artists face, the welcoming nature of the Indians attracted more from the States.

As an art historian, she has been collaborating with students of the Fine Arts College, Thiruvananthapuram, for a while now.


Ralph Alex Arakal
I MA Comm


15 years of Wikipedia: Boon or Curse?

BENGALURU: The school bell rang. Sreya along with her classmates got into the class wondering how her teacher will judge her history assignment. Ms.Nisha came to the class with an angry face and castigated the students for copying word for word material from that most popular sourceof information for students – Wikipedia.

“Assignments meant Wikipedia back then,” SreyaSugunan, 4th year BArch student of Manipal University, recalled.

‘Wikipedia,’ popularly known as the ‘online encyclopaedia’, has just stepped into its 15thyear.Wikipedia is ‘available’ in 291 language editions as of January 2016, of which 280 are active. The ‘Wikipedia 15 meta page’has been introduced so as to connect people with events organised across the world to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

“One has to take Wikipedia with a pinch of salt,” says SubhashishPanigrahi of The Centre for Internet and Society. There are many experienced people in many fields but they are reluctant to contribute to improving the content. While some articles may not be factually accurate, there are many articles in certain fields which are professionally written.”

The City-based CIS is training students from various institutions to write Wikipedia articles which will be edited by the Wikipedia community, he added.

“Reading books is something entirely different from gathering knowledge from the internet. Because of websites like Wikipedia, students get easy and fast information but very little of it is retained in their memory which makes it useless,” said B. N. Anasuya, the Librarian of St Josephs’s College.

Research under Project Information Literacy from the University of Washington Information School in 2010 said themajority of students across disciplines, more than eight in 10, used Wikipedia. They used it to obtain background information or summaries about topics. Of the 2,300 students surveyed, 52% of them said that they refer Wikipedia even though their instructors forbid them.

Apart from ruining healthy reading habits, Wikipedia does not provide hundred percent reliable information since anyone can edit the content and there is no proper body to regulate the credibility of the source of information.

“Not everyone copies Wikipedia blindly, I use Wikipedia as an immediate reference, but I don’t rely on it entirely to get my work done,” said Divija Reddy, I EMS.

Chaithra Krishnan
I MA Comm

Meet on quantum energy medicine

BENGALURU: The city is gearing up to host a conference on the World of Quantum Energy Medicine (WOQEM) from January 22 to 24. This is will be the first of its kind in the country.

The chief guest will be Digvijay Singh, General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee and the guest of honour will be Padmashri D R Kaarthikeyan, former director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

This three-day conference is being organised jointly by the Pyramid Valley International and Consciousness Engineering Research Foundation.

“Researchers from different parts of the world are expected to exhibit their findings,” said Rita Mahajan, Organizing Secretary of the event.

Speakers in the conference represent some of the successful pioneers in the field of quantum energy medicine from around the world.


Ashwin S
I MA Comm


Plastic seized by BBMP

BENGALURU:  The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP) has swooped down on shops using plastic bags and is intensifying its drive to make the City plastic-free by conducting awareness programmes across its 14 wards in and around Rajarajeshwari Nagar.

Speaking to The Beacon , Dr.B. Veerabadrappa , Joint Commissioner, BBMP,  said , “This morning alone, between 8 am and 12 noon we have seized five to six kg of plastic from three shops. The drive to seize plastic will continue. We have got good support  from other organizations and the public and we are determined to make our areas plastic-free.”

The Karnataka government has ordered a ban on plastic bags that are less than 40 microns and also plastic cups, saucers and like materials. The public is still not entirely aware of the ramifications of the ban and, hence, the awareness drive combined with the seizures.

The BBMP is planning to delineate soon plastic-free areas where the ban on plastics is strictly implemented. The BBMP has already spoken to other stakeholders like corporates, NGOs, residential welfare associations, etc, and won their support for the same.

The BBMP has a set of officials who visit shops, marriage halls and hotels to make seizure and penalize those who are selling or generating plastic materials. To create awareness, the BBMP has hired autorickshaws and microphone sets to traverse the wards to create awareness about the ban on plastics and the dangers they pose.

Veda Gowda
I MA Comm

Robofest comes to city in February

BENGALURU: Here’s something for those who want to create a start up in robotics. Participate in the Robofest India which will take place in the City on February 13 and 14.

Taking part in the robotic festival will enable participants to pit their ideas for unmanned aerial or grund vehicles, domestic robotic helpers and the like. The festival provides a platform for students and others to develop and display their talent in robotics.

The Robofest is an international robotic competition held by Lawrence Technological University, Michigan, every year in May. The regional competition in India is organized by the city-based Novatech Robo.

The competition has two categories, one for high school students and the other which is open to everyone above the age of 18.

According to Imtiaz Ahmed, founder of Novatech Robo, “ In the last three competitions, over 60 students travelled to the USA and participated in the World Robofest Championship and won prizes competing with teams from IT-advanced countries including USA, Canada, China, Russia, Korea and Taiwan.”

The Robofest includes an exhibition of robots, robotic models, a parade of robots, aeromodelling display and robotic competitions.

“The young are getting interested in the field of robotics. Encouraging more and more students to pursue their interest in robotics and to impart training and competing skills is what the robofest is all about,” said Priya, HR of Novatech Robo.


Akshitha S
I MA Comm