Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Oct 29, 2002
Industry & Economy - Education
Kalam sets young dreams soaring
The President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, interacting with students at the `Student Internet World' as part of Bangalore IT.COM 2002 in Bangalore on Monday.
BANGALORE, Oct. 28
SARASWATI of standard IX and her junior, Manjula from the Government Junior College, Harohalli, will probably never forget the moment when the President came down from the dais and stopped first by them, treating them to the joys of e-learning.
Not every one gets a chance to sit in a class taken by the man who is also the country's most celebrated scientist. The two girls were among 600 lucky ones from high schools in and around Bangalore who attended an e-class held in thrall by Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. There were hundred more who watched it all from a distance.
At a packed Kanteerava Stadium, the President set sizzle to this year's Students Internet World as he took them through the basics of the Internet and its uses, search engines, Google, giving tips on the Web sites that they could peek into such as learnthenet.com and howstuffworks.com.
He went from row to row, shrugging off protocol and the security ring, as he enjoined them: "Ask questions!" "Never stop learning." "You must have a dream."
He made them browse sites that were typically on the solar system and the moon mission, amidst mini-lessons on nanotechnology, the future of the Internet and his own dream of a developed India. IISc Super Computer Education Centre Chairman, Dr N. Balakrishnan, too had a hand in digging out the sites.
The stadium, one of the biggest indoor ones in Asia, has been wired up for the next five days with a dedicated 8-mb Internet link, courtesy the STPI-Bangalore and UPS.
According to Mr Bhaskar Rao, MD, Keonics, which is sponsoring the event, the Student Internet World this year was special on another count: "All these years, we had to go about borrowing the PCs for the event. Not this time round."
Samsung Electronics India Information & Telecommunication Ltd quickly got 300 of its brand-new PCs - the buildurPC - assembled in days and lent them out for the event as part of its launch.
About 27,000 rural and urban high school students will be e-trained for one hour in batches of 600 each by young engineering, computer sciences graduates and Keonics volunteers. They will be initiated into sites on history, maths, news, entertainment, maps and others. The students have been chosen from schools in places such as Ramanagara, Kanakapura, Bidadi, Bangalore Rural and Bangalore Urban.
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