|Volunteer For RMTS Project|
|1||Sumanta K. Nayak||Jagatsingpur||Balikuda|
|2||Saikumar Behera||Balasore||Chandbali, Annandapur|
|4||Dr. Jajati K. Nayak||Keonjhar||Hatibadi|
|7||Pradeep Pradhan||Puri||Delang and Satyabadi|
|11||Dhirendra K. Behera||Cuttack||Salepur|
|12||Dhirendra K. Kar||Jajpur||Rasulpur, Dharmasala|
|15||Sri Gopal Mohanty||Balasore||Soro|
|16||Prasanta Tripathy, IITM||Rayagada||Gunpur|
|17||Dr.Saroj K. Patel||Sundergarh||Bisra|
|18||Baidyanath Singh||Mayurbhanj||Udala and Kaptipada|
|19||Biswaranjan Padhi of Shrusti||Nuapada||Boden, Kumna, Nuapada & Khariar|
|20||Gouri Shankar Dash||Mayurbhanj||Samakhunta|
|22||Dr. Dhanada Mishra||Gajapati||Paralakhemendi|
|23||Hosenshu Sahoo||Sambalpur||Kuchinda, Jamankira|
|26||Ch. Santakar ||Koraput || blocks of Koraput |
|27||Sudhansu Tripathy ||Koraput || Kotpad, Jeypore |
Friday, May 12, 2006
Total scholarships: 20
Sri Dinabandhu Nanda, Bhubaneswar
Sri C.P.Rao. Chennai
This year paid to 3 students.
Sri Sitakanta Mohanty, Puri
Sankar Foundation, Visakhapatnam
Sri Trilochan Das, Bhubaneswar
Seema Mishra, C/O.Saroj KumarMishra, Visakhapatnam
Sri P.C.Mohanty, Visakhapatnam
Sri B.S.Nanda Visakhapatnam
Discontinued this Year
Ira Rajguru, Chennai
Discontinued this Year
Discontinued this Year
Sri J.C.Mohanty, IAS, Hyderabad
Paid to Prakash Batra for all his study and hostel expenses.
Anasuya Kar, New Delhi
Sri Swadheenananda Pattanayak
Srijat Mishra, Bhubaneswar
Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra, IIIT, Kharagpur
N.B. The main reason behind the donors discontinuing their assistance is the poor result of the students.
Institute of Mathematics and Applications, Bhubaneswar, Orissa needs professionals with a solid math background to help elevate the state’s economy by becoming involved in projects such as:
Weather model for prediction and tracking of cyclones.
Model for prediction of floods in the monsoon season.
Modeling of Chilika Lake water flow, salinity and silting.
But while at it, it’s 1st Director, Dr. Swadhinananda Pattanayak authored a revolutionary idea. He routinely conducted the annual Orissa Mathematics Olympiad and screened candidates to represent Orissa, & to spot future talent in Math. They made to a pool from among whom those representing India in International Math Olympiad are selected. Dr. Pattanayak observed - though 90 % of Orissans live in villages, not a single kid among the 30 being selected each year for the Olympiad, are from rural area. This made him restless.
Concomitantly, Indian Atomic Energy commission (AEC), and the movers and shakers of Science and Technology education establishment of India, were observing- another phenomena. That Basic research in Science and Mathematics has become a barren area today where stalwarts like Prof. Meghnad Saha, P . C. Mohalanobis, Satyen Bose, Birbal Sahani et el once bloomed. There is not only no basic research but all talent that is being thrown up by the schools, are being sponged out by the IITs and the technology sector. This leaves very little talent behind for basic science and Math research. AEC needed to urgently expand the talent pool to remedy this problem and did not know HOW. In walked Dr . Pattanayak, of IMA, with a solution. He theorized that up to class six rural talents keep up with their urban competition . Thereafter due various environmental and resource deficiencies the rural kids slowly loose out and wither away. Thus they are not in the Math Olympiad teams. And the pool size (AEC’s concern) can be expanded, if we eye rural sector at class six level and catch talents before they wither away.
He proposed that he conduct a competition for only rural kids, defined as not living in Notified Area Council (NAC), in the same line as Math Olympiad but at class six level. Then select the best and brightest minds in Mathematics and then train and nurture them. He asked to be funded to hold two annual camps/ year for 3 years (six camps) of the selected kids to accentuate their inborn mathematical ability. In these camps, conducted by IMA, the best mathematical brains of Orissa, will nurture the talents unearthed . The AEC agreed and RMTS program, a pioneering effort and first in India, was born. This is the 3rd year the tests have been conducted and mobilization for the 4th has started (due on September 10th, 2006).
The result of holding the tests and the camps, has been significant. For the 1st time this year (i.e. after just 2 years), three (3) of the rural students competed and got into the 30 students pool of State Math Olympiad finalists .
To encourage these students Dr. Pattanayak a long time friend requested me to fund 30 scholarships @1500/year for the best among them . The scholarships are to continue for 5 years till these students graduate from high schools. Thus started Late Kamala Pada Das memorial Rural Math scholarships, in 2003.
Subsequently, the interest in RMTS has increased enormously. From the 2nd year onwards Sustainable Educational and Economic Development Society (SEEDS), which the author is now a member/volunteer, has come in to support it. With SEEDS’s help the numbers of scholarships have increased to 100 last year and 165 this year. So far confined to only Orissa, we have found no dearth of funds for the scholarships . Info on SEEDS and its story can be found in its web site at www.seeds.org. In India Vikas Charitable Trust, run by a few dedicated volunteers, is helping to deliver/administer the scholarships to the students. It has also been successful in raising some funds for RMTS scholarship purpose; under what they call Give a Hand Scheme. This covers another 25 or so scholarships.
How RMTS test is conducted:
- A central agency(in our case IMA, BBSR) plans out the program schedule(date of test, last date of applications, accredited centers etc), prepares the question papers, application forms and then writes to the Orissa State Govt . Mass Education department.
- The mass education dept sends out a circular to the 314 Blocks development officers, who send it to the Sub Inspectors of Schools (SI) attached to the blocks.
- The SIs send it to the Middle school Head Masters and the middle school teachers take the initiative to organize it.
- The students pay a nominal Rs. 5, entry fee.
- After the 1st two years we noted the word is not going around and participation decreased. So we started to have a civil society promoter, normally some one’s father or brother (and a retired person) to help us out and to give a push to the schools. This approach tried last year is bearing fruit.
- The participation went up 3 fold from 1500 to 4800 this year, with about 1000 plus students attributed to efforts of Non Resident Oriya (NRO).
- From 14 out of 30, participation has gone up to 30 out of 30 districts . This year’s (2006) GOAL is to reach all the 314 blocks.
- There is a regional distribution of scholarships as also other affirmative actions, like equal distribution of scholarships between West, South and Coastal Orissa (55 each in 2005). 40% reservation for Adivasi / Harijan students, which is the proportion of their proportion in the state population. Gender equity is also being attempted.
- We are observing changes happening and hope will soon show up on the surface.
- Civil society’s participation has been successful. This it is important. The creation of a network of education lovers is proving both beneficial and necessary.
- The scholarships though nominal, have made a difference in their lives . We have found kids who did not have shirts to come to the camp and so they came with borrowed ones. Two of them worked as wash boys in tea shops to pursue their studies before they were picked up by us.
- A fear existed that average students (class performance) are not good for RMTS. This has been proved wrong.. The RMTS tests for a logical mathematical mind of the student and not ability to remember tricks to solve problems. They are tested for their ability to approach to unknown problems. Results are sometimes startling. Kid’s who were not at all expected to be good in math are being successfully unearthed. Subsequent performance has proved the correctness of test results.
- Girls have done equally well as the boys. In both 2003 and 2004 RMTS tests Girls topped.
- Affirmative action is used to select 40% of tribal and Harijan students – once in the camps they have proved to be not wanting in any way.
Prologue: The idea is not patented and any one anywhere can replicate it - for public education purposes. However, please acknowledge and give due credit to the originators. Contacted in the address given below, IMA will help you organize in other states. In no case the ideas should be used for “For profit” purposes.
Orissa native Sandip K. Dasverma had stepped forward to award monetary scholarships to the 1st batch of these students (2003) for the next five years. Subsequently, many more have volunteered to donate money to SEEDS for this purpose. The enthusiasm is contagious and heartening... If you’re interested in contributing to this effort, or starting such a project in your own state - please contact Dr. Pattanayak or Sandip Dasverma.(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Prof Swadheen Pattanayak ( or email@example.com)
Institute of Mathematics and Applications
2nd Floor, Suryakiran Buildings
Sahid Nagar, Bhubaneswar 751007
Ph: (0674) 2540604, 2542164
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Sandip K. Dasverma E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
It was January 1977, in the city of
That evening I went to attend the seminar on Rural Development, presided over by one of
So, with permission from Dr. Swaminathan, I gathered all my courage and went to the dais. This was the same place where 10,000 people were seated in the morning and Mrs. Gandhi had addressed them. My points were very simple. I minced no words, and they came from direct experience. I told the august audience that the previous expert was no expert at all. What rural women need in
There was an eerie silence as I left the dais, and a man passed me on his way to the dais. He introduced himself as a professor of Physics in the
He had topped the
About two hours later a crowd started moving in the direction of the Dalit colony. Soon it reached his house and someone called his father by name. When his father came out the crowd of about 100 people told him that they knew that his son came first in the
I remember the whole audience was moved by this story but I believe nobody felt outraged enough to do anything to undo these wrongs. In fact the lady speaker, some years later, became the Chairman of India’s University Grants Commission, the agency that oversees the Universities of India, and doles out research and development grants. Reward for her good work as a scholar and policy-maker.
Today, they, the tormentors of the professor and his family, have a name: Ranvir Sena, in
by Sandip K. Dasverma
In an article in The Washington Post, September 8, 2004, Anne Applebaum wrote:
Some of the Beslan survivors have said that they were told by their captors that "Russian soldiers are killing our children in Chechnya, so we are here to kill yours." But there is no moral justification, no intellectual line of reasoning, no political logic. The hardest thing in the world is to resist injustice without hatred, or to resist brutality without brutality, or to fight any kind of war without losing your own humanity. By failing to do so, the Chechen terrorists may have just defeated their own stated cause.
And yet more than 100 years back, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, universally known as Mahatma Gandhi, not only preached but also practiced to counter “brutality without brutality”. He showed that: “we could fight a war without losing our own humanity”. He practiced it for retrieving national dignity in racist South Africa and later in colonial India.
One has to be reminded that in those days there was much less communication and hardly any knowledge of what was going on in far corners of the world. The sympathy of impartial outsiders uninvolved in the local issues was not easy to come by – since they did not know about the local issues till months, if not years afterwards. Knowledge of government repression or police brutality – if they were known at all – by virtue of some daring reporters' exposé of government's actions, was way in the future. That is why in the Third World countries, the governments still try to control the media; and, for example, in the case of numbers of persons killed in a police shooting, they report much less than the actual numbers.
This made the task of communication far more difficult in those days. Gandhi had to garner sympathy from local inhabitants on the opposite side by his dignified moral actions, wherever he protested the brutal actions of inhuman regimes. He even volunteered for the British as a Red Cross worker on the side of the bitter foes, the British, in the brutal Boer War (1905) in South Africa. Time and again he commanded and got the pledge of total non-violence from his followers in the face of extreme provocation and brutality. In the process, when non-violent protesters marched to protest some government action and the police acted against them by resorting to a baton charge or shooting, the local solidarity and sympathy of opponents tended to lie on the side of the non-violent protestors. And, thus, minimal physical harm and minimal incarceration resulted.
This lowering of hurdles led to larger mass participation in subsequent non-violent reactions to each police action or repressive regulation. It was both brilliant and effective tactics in those days of isolation, when sympathy had to be earned from among the local partisans of the opposition.
Gandhi, though a devout Hindu, got these ideas from Christian ethics. His inspiration came from Ruskin and Tolstoy, the great humanists and philosophers of yesteryears. He never hated his enemy and never targeted innocents. His tactics could be used today – the days of sound bites and media glare, to resolve many questions of international and national dispute much faster and with much less loss of life and property.
Both the civil rights movements of the United States, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., and of South Africa, led by Nelson Mandela against apartheid, succeeded due to their commitment to non-violence, lack of hate, and the resulting reduction of fear of reprisal among the opponents.
In contrast, the gruesome Beslan tragedy was a great loss to the victims' families of nearly 400 lives. Sadly, it achieved for the combatants and their cause exactly the opposite of what they wanted.
Nonviolent methods can be used for better resolution of other hot issues of today, like Kashmir & Palestine. This brings back to mind the RELEVANCE of Gandhi, in today's violent and unjust world.
Sandip K. Dasverma of Richland, Washington, is a proponent for the underprivileged and the low castes of India, who were Gandhi’s prime concern. He is an admirer of Gandhi’s "Satyagraha"(truth force) because it encapsulates ideas of empowerment and rights of and compassion for the poor and underprivileged. Sandip is a Mechanical Engineer by profession.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Any body who has anything to do with mathematics and Orissa, has definitely heard of Dr. Swadhinananda Pattnayak. He is presently the head of the Institute of Mathematics and Applications(IMA) at Bhubaneswar (BBSR). His work among the students, to inspire them to be brilliant students of Math and good human beings, is well known. He has his admirers sprinkled over the length and breadth of Orissa. Many of his students have earned National acclaim for their work and are now in various Universities of Orissa and outside. He is now up to spotting Math talent early - before rural talents lose out to urban ones, and wither, due to lack of timely encouragement and tuition mania which is distorting the picture. The Govt. of India’s policy of having competition to have math Olympiad selection process came handy. Through a general selections he picks up about 200 kids for last few years, through a state wide competition (participants nearly 5000) and holds a camp in Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa state. In the camp all these kids lived and interacted with hand picked math lecturers and learned that mathematics can be fun. Two mathematicians of repute, retired Vice Chancellor of Utkal, Dr. Gokulananda Das and retired Professor of IIT,
I also remember what Gokulananda babu said the day I went to handover the personal letters, , addressed to the winners. He said, in presence of every one in that informal meeting at Math institute, and I quote: “ With what you have done, we will be able to take the participation from 5 thousand this year to 15 thousand next year, without doubt.” They were such soothing words to my soul... I thought may be I can pay off some of my debt to the people of Orissa, who nourished me in my formative years.
The list of selected students follows, in the original e-mail as it came from Dr. Pattnayak.
So another journey has started. They say bad people when they create network they become very powerful - a Mafia. My question has always been why can’t the good people get together with their good wishes and good sentiments, connect to each other through electronic network and produce things that are worthy? We can thus make this world a better place. Yes, it is possible and here is an example. I consider my self to be lucky to be part of it.
PS: During the recent camp, Swadhin spotted two kids, who were so poor that they could not even afford a shirt. To come to the camp they had borrowed a neighbor’s shirt. He informed me and I could find a volunteer in Sri Surajit Amrit,
As required by you we are sending you a list of 30 children selected on basis of a mathematics test on 21 Sept. 2003. Of this 30, fifteen are selected purely in the basis of merit. Of the rest, six are girls & nine are dalits.
They are to be given the scholarships for 5 years subject to the condition that they perform well in each subsequent class examinations & do not change to private schools. If you can write to each of them a personal letter, it will nice.
WISH YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR-2004.
Looking forward to meeting in
1. Subhashree Laxmipriya, C/o-Ramachandra Sandha.,
3. Manoj Ranjan Parija. C/o-Jayanta Ku. Parija,
4. Srabana Kumar Dash, C/o-Sukant Ku. Dash,
5. Sribachha Kumar De., C/o-Biswajit De,
6. Gunasagar Kisan, C/o-Karunakar Kisan,
At-Kukma, Po-Ku. Jamankira
7. Gyanesh Ranjan Satpathi, C/o-Santosh Ku. Satpathi,
8. Ranjeet Ku. Routray, C/o-Trinath Routray,
At-Gadamunda, Po-C.A. Chipilima
9. Ajad Kumar Patel, C/o-Hari Prasad Patel,
10. Sikta Manjori Patel, C/o-Kailash Ch. Patel,
11. Sakti Prasad Das, Umaprasad. Das,
At-Kudisiala Colony, Gunupur
12. Satish Kumar Mahakuda, C/o-Pratap Ch. Mahakuda,
13. Jagarnnath Panigrahi, C/o-Gadadhar Panigrahi,
At-Railway Station Road, Gunupur,
14. Mamini Kumari Sahoo, C/o-Trinath Sahoo,
At/Po- Jagarnnath Prasad
15 Anita Behera, C/o-Narasingh Behera,
16. Subhasmita Mishra. C/o-Pradeepta Kumar Mishra,
17. Nibejita Rath. C/o-Patitapabana Rath.
At-Hastai Colony, Gunupur,
18. Debadarsini Samantray C/o-Amiya Ku. Samantray
19. Swati Swagatika, C/o-Dhaneswar Swain.
20. Eswari Patel. C/o-Surendra Ku. Patel.
21. Kurtika Karna. C/o-Umesh Ch. Karna.
22. Deepak Ku.
At-Bari Bagada, Po-Bari
23. Binaya Kumar Nayak, C/o Sanu Nayak,
At Talabarada, Po-Singhpur,
24. . Mandakin Kisan. C/o-Parsuram Kisan,
25. Bhagabati Kisan, C/o-Hari Kisan,
26. Kumudin Nayak. C/o-Mukunda Nayak.
27. G. Rakesh Kharamurti. C/o-G. Srinuwash Rao.
28, Kanaka Muduli. C/o-Ghenu Muduli.
29. J. Mirabai Reddi. C/o-J. Chandrasekhar Reddi.
At-K. Mathamakundapur, Po-H. Buridi,
30. Bijaya Kumar Kanhar. , C/o-Bali Kanhar.,