IISc Challakere campus focuses on renewable energy

IISc Challakere campus focuses on renewable energy
The second campus of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) at Challkere in Chitradurga district will be very unlike the original campus with focus on renewable energy, and rain water harvesting, integrating with the locals.

A solar power research centre and a solar thermal plant are ready to kick off and go on stream anytime now with work on them almost complete. This, IISc professors say, signals the application-oriented focus of the second campus compared to the first which has a theory-orientation.

IISc Prof B N Raghunandan, in charge of the Chalkere campus told Deccan Herald: “We are ready with the solar power research centre and the thermal plant is also ready to go on-stream. A good part of the work on solar centre has been completed. A climate research lab is also under construction and should be up and ready soon.”

The IISc professor said the campus has plans to construct two check dams for rainwater harvesting. The campus, located in a dry and deciduous district, is generating its own source of water. “We want to have two lakes on the campus which will help us store water not easily available in the district. This is the first time any campus will be constructing check dams to realise the goal of self-sufficiency in water,” Raghunandan said.

Apart from these projects, a sustainable study dissemination centre and a laboratory is under construction. The lab will lend a helping hand to farmers, trying to understand their concerns and work alongside them.

The second campus has also taken up teacher training programme. This has been one of a kind, unique programme. The institute conceived the idea of starting a Talent Development Centre (TDC) mainly to impart training to science teachers at all levels, to conduct meetings, seminars, winter and summer schools, provide academic and research facilities for the young high school, college, and university students.

The TDC is conducting a 10-day residential training program for high school teachers, pre-university and degree college teachers. Over 2,000 teachers have underwent the High School Science Teachers Training Programme at the IISc Challakere campus so far.

“The High School Science Teachers Training Program (HTTP) is considered a priority because it is in the high schools that the students are introduced to science. Science education is crucial for the development of our nation. It is the experience of the Institute that if the teachers are trained, vast number of students benefit over a longer period. The primary vision of HTTP is teaching and training teachers to teach students with passion. Motivation to higher level of intellectual activity is more important than just giving lectures to the participating teachers and covering the course syllabus,” senior IISc researchers said.

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