Golden year of lasers in India
Jun. 10, 2010 — It has been quite a while since I attended the Annual Photonics Workshop at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT). However, I simply can't seem to overcome the modest, yet grand scale of the event! More than that, I have very fond memories of the people there, especially, Prof. V. P. N. Nampoori, director, International School of Photonics, CUSAT.
Possessing a very brilliant technical mind, Prof. Nampoori actually is a man of very few words. Or, I should say, he knows to make each word count! Not surprisingly, he does not believe in carrying a cell phone either! Wish I could enjoy the similar luxury of going about my business without needing a cell phone!
Prof. Nampoori takes great pride in mentioning the Laser Year celebrations. Especially, how, during the Laser Golden Jubilee year, the CUSAT has organized various programs – the Erudite Program for instance – at the ISP. The Erudite Program is one of the innovative concepts undertaken by the State Government of Kerala to rejuvenate the field of higher education in the state. Envisaged by the Kerala Higher Education Council, it receives special attention from the State Minister of Education and Culture.
In fact, early this year, two Nobel Laureates – Prof. Afarov, the Nobel Prize winner for Physics in 2000, and Prof. Roger Tsien, the Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry in 2008, had visited the CUSAT.
While celebrating the golden year of laser, the ISP had also invited Prof. Kishan Dholakia of St. Andrews University and Prof. Ajoy Kumar Kar of the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, under the Erudite Program. These experts in photonics spent a week with the faculty and students, and also delivered lectures on diverse photonics related areas such as biophotonics, optical tweezers, nonlinear optics, photonics with ultrafast optical pulses and recent trends in photonics research.
The ISP, CUSAT has drawn up a long list of programs around the year. These include the Optics Fair, a quiz competition for college students, an Optics to School program, an Optics Talent Search Examination, and a workshop on recent trends in Raman spectroscopy.
If these aren't enough, as many as 50 lectures on lasers have been proposed to be delivered in schools and poster design competitions.
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