Bharathiar University conducts two-week refresher course for faculty and students

With the profusion of Information Technology, even in the education scenario, it has become a cause of concern that basic sciences and humanities are dying.

Bharathiar University is on a path to revive the sciences. It has started with the physics department, Vice-Chancellor G. Thiruvasagam has said.

It conducted a two-week refresher course for faculty and students on Experimental Physics.

R. Srinivasan, Emeritus Professor, Mysore University, taught the participants 14 experiments.

The course was jointly organised by the Indian Academy of Science, Bangalore, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, and National Academy of Science, Allahabad.

It has so far been held in ten universities and colleges.

According to Mr. Srinivasan, this was to revolutionise education at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

D. Mangala Raj, Head, Department of Nano-science and Technology, Bharathiar University, said: “It is true that physics and chemistry do not have any takers.

“Some experiments are even centuries old. To make the subjects more attractive some new experiments have to be introduced.

“This is what this course is trying to do. Some 22 teachers and 13 students of the physics department have been trained to perform these interesting experiments.

“They, in turn, will go to their respective institutions and teach others.”

Mr. Srinivasan said most of the old experiments did not even work now. Some were too time-consuming, expensive and involved the use of heavy instruments and apparatus.

The three organisations have come up with such a novel concept that was being implemented by Mr. Srinivasan.

Actually, most of the experiments that were taught to the participants were those prescribed by the University Grants Commission, but not being performed in colleges.

Mr. Srinivasan has developed the experiments to be done with the help of a single kit.

The kit consisted of two constant current sources, two signal generators, two differential amplifiers, one capacitor circuit, one regulated power supply for furnace, one temperature controller, one lock-in amplifier, one power amplifier and a furnace.

“We have conducted the earlier courses with the help of this kit. Once it is manufactured commercially in July, colleges and universities can procure it and do the whole set of experiments.

“The courses conducted so far have been very successful.

“Each costs Rs. 4 lakh. Similar courses will be planned for botany and zoology too,” Mr. Srinivasan said.

The response from the participants was good. P. Ilango, lecturer in physics, Government Arts College, who has 10 years of teaching experience said, “These experiments are user-friendly and can be performed in a cost-effective manner using smaller instruments. These can be implemented very easily in our college.”

Ali Fatima, another lecturer from Udumalpet, too shared the same thought. B. Mohan Babu, a second year M.Sc. physics student, said these experiments were never done in their college.

These were very easy because they have made the circuits in a simple manner.

“The Board of Studies has decided to replace the old experiments with the new ones in the physics curriculum of the university. Eventually this will be done in the colleges in a phased manner,” Mr. Mangala Raj said.

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