Hey folks! I hope you all are staying safe and coping positively with the COVID-19 crisis. India is under lockdown to fight this pandemic. One of the best ways to combat boredom and other negative psychological effects associated with this social distancing and self-isolation is taking part in some interesting (virtual) activities and exercises.
As an active effort in this direction, IIT Gandhinagar recently launched project ISAAC for its students. Taking inspiration from the renowned scientist Sir Isaac Newton, who discovered some great laws and theories during his quarantine period in 1665 (the Great Plague of London), this initiative encourages students to unleash their creativity, dream ambitiously and do wondrous things. By introducing a series of exciting and fun challenges, it explores ways to positively engage them amid a serious crisis. These activities are focused on honing an individual’s critical skills that are a necessity for professional success. In my last article, I mentioned some of these contests – The Daily Leadership Challenge, Showcase, Don’t Quarantine Your Corne!, and 12 Days of Code.
Today, I will talk about the list of new additions to these interestingly-educative fun activities. So, here goes…
KPCSD COVID-19 Research Awards: The Kiran C Patel Centre for Sustainable Development is establishing these awards to encourage the novel coronavirus related research at IIT Gandhinagar. The aim is to motivate advances in the understanding of this pandemic and its psychological, educational, economic and societal impacts. The IITGN students and faculty of any field or discipline undertaking impactful work (resulting in a research publication) over the next three months are eligible for prizes of Rs 2 lakhs each.
Programming Challenge: In this activity, both newcomers to the Python language as well as students familiar with coding will develop a Python code for the classic board game of Battleship to win multiple prizes ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,500.
Surgiranshu-Sanskrit Subhashita Contest: Every day, one Subhashita will be posted on IITGN’s Facebook page. Students are invited to comment on the shloka and the best comment will win a cash prize of Rs. 200. Comments can have the gist or a real-life example or scene from a book/movie or your own fictional piece or reflective thoughts on the shloka.
COVID 19 Innovation Awards: The IIT Gandhinagar Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (IIEC) announced COVID-19 Innovation Awards to encourage the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the Institute towards developing rapidly deployable, creative and innovative solutions to address the urgent technical, social, health or financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The awards are designed to motivate innovative solutions that address the pressing challenges of the present times. The solutions may be in the form of products, apps, or services that can be deployed speedily to solve current disruptions and problems caused by this pandemic.
Visual Story Challenge: This contest is about creating a visual narrative or a story with pictures or visuals having only a few words, on the impact of the coronavirus disease on individuals and communities. The top submissions will receive cumulative cash awards of Rs 10,000.
As of now, more than 1,000 students from the Institute have registered for various contests under this project out of which 137 have won one of the daily awards. In addition, 20 students are the overall winners of these contests. Many more prizes will be distributed in the coming days.
Given the present stressful, anxious and panicky conditions, initiatives like Project ISAAC help people to stay optimistic and positive, and it is exactly what the world needs. Hope, coupled with various precautionary steps, will keep us united and help us defeat COVID-19.
“The greatest glory in living is not in falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela, renowned revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist