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Q & A

MARCHING AHEAD: Kongu Engineering College, Perundurai, offers B. Tech Food Technology.

I am in class XII and want to know about a career in robotics. Which college in India is best for this course?

A robot is defined as an automatically-controlled re-programmable, multi-purpose manipulative machine, with or without locomotion, for use in industrial automation applications. Robotics engineering is all about designing robots, maintaining them, developing new applications and conducting research.

Robotics engineers design robots, maintain them, develop new applications for them, and conduct research to expand the potential of robotics. This is a rapidly developing field, with advances in computing constantly opening up new possibilities for robotics applications.

The profession offers a wide range of jobs.Visionary robotics engineers can work designing experimental mobile robots, with applications ranging from medical and military uses to designs aimed at creating vehicles capable of piloting themselves on other planets. More down-to-earth jobs involve designing new production-line robots, often with programmable arms, and maintaining and upgrading older production-line installations.

In India, studies related to robot technology and its implications are conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. The research and development thrust is carried out by DST, Department of Electronics and Department of Ocean Development and other similar organisations. IITs too have taken the lead in designing programmes in robotics. Institutes running programme in robotics' engineering

All seven IITs in Delhi, Kanpur, Bombay, Chennai, Kharagpur, Guwahati and Roorkee, and IISc.

The Centre for Robotics and Mechatronics at IIT Kanpur offers a master's programme in robotics. A programme in robotics can be pursued from several departments of the institute, such as the departments of computer science and engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering in the institute.

National Institutes of Technology.

University of Hyderabad - M.Tech Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

Jadavpur University, Kolkata - ME Robotics.

Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani - ME Computer Science (robotics as a special subject).

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher learning, Prasanthi Nilayam - M. Tech. Computer Science with specialisation in Artificial Intelligence.

PSA College of Technology, Coimbatore - Mechanical (robotics as an elective subject).

Central Manufacturing Technology Institute

Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

I would like to do a postgraduation course in Nanoscience. Which institutes offer this course and what are the career prospects?

Nanoscience is an emerging area of science which concerns itself with the study of materials that have very, very small dimensions. It cannot really be called chemistry, physics or biology: All sorts of scientists are studying very small things in order to better understand our world.

The word ``nano'' means 10-9; a nanometre is one billionth of a metre. One definition of nanoscience is that it concerns itself with the study of objects which are anywhere from hundreds to tens of nanometres in size.Institutes that offer this course in the U.S. are: Columbia University, Jackson State University, Lawrence University, Rice University.

I am studying in class XII (science group). I would like to know about programmes in food sciences and the career prospects.

Food science is a very applied field, one that requires in-depth knowledge in several disciplines. In fact, the earliest food scientists were typically people trained in other disciplines (chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, etc.) who turned their attention to foods. Arguably, microbiology is one of the most important disciplines in the training of a food scientist since food safety is such a concern. The food scientist works to ensure that foods are safe and uncontaminated when they arrive at the consumer's table.

The food industry is one of the largest in the world and is continually expanding as the population grows. Job opportunities for recent food science graduates follow the cyclic nature of the economy to some extent, but there are always new openings and there will be a continuing demand for food scientists.

Anna University and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University offer a 4-year B. Tech. programme in food technology.

Kongu Engineering College, Perundurai, also offers B.Tech Food Technology.

I am in Class XII (Maths and Biology). I want to know about ethology or study of animal behaviour. What are the courses offered in India? What are its prospects? Is there any job opening?

Ethology is the zoological study of animal behaviour. Ethologists have a special interest in genetically programmed behaviours known as instincts. Ethology differs from the study of animal behaviour, in that animals' behaviourists generally are interested in learned behaviours, while ethologists concentrate on innate behaviours. Also, animal behaviourists tend to be trained in psychology, while ethologists are zoologists. Animal behaviourists tend to work with ``bright'' animals, such as rats; putting them through trials with mazes and Skinner boxes. While the study of learned behaviour is both important and immediately applicable to human psychology, these behaviours cannot have an evolutionary basis (other than the neural capacity to learn).

There are no specific institutes in India that offers courses in Ethology. But there are some programmes available in related areas. Academically inclined aspirants interested in research in forestry can work with the Indian Council of Forestry research and Education (ICFRE) and the various research institutes affiliated to it. The Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun; Institute of Social Forestry and Eco-rehabilitation, Allahabad, and Institute of Forestry Research and Human Resources Development, Chindwara, are some of the institutes working under the aegis of ICFRE.

Similarly, wildlife research enthusiasts can work with the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, and the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore.



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