Two students representing India on the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy programme 2013 talk to Prachi Rege about their projects and future plans.
"Students are an asset of our society and our education system is on the right track in building environmental awareness in them. Unfortunately, we don’t apply the knowledge in our daily lives,”says Soumyajit Paul, 20, a student of the SRM University, Chennai, on the eve of his trip to Germany on the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy (BYEE) programme.
Every year Bayer selects three ‘best-practice’ environmental projects on the basis of sustainability, inventiveness and project management. Domain knowledge on environment and communication skills, are also among the key selection criteria.
Bayer then offers the projects material or technological support.
The six-day study tour has apart from Paul, another Indian student Vaibhav Pratap Singh and 48other studentsfrom 18 countries. Singh, 23, who is pursuing MS in Optical Networks at IIT Madras, says, "It`s our responsibility to replenish what we draw from nature. Small gestures like turning off lights and water taps when not in use, not wasting food and avoiding using powered vehicles for small distances etc., help in conserving energy.”
Singh`s project—a soil Carbondioxide (CO2) monitoring wireless sensor network, focuses on reducing CO2 emissions. His project aims at building a low power, low cost device to study soil CO2 variation with seasons, temperature conditions, and geographical locations etc. "The battery charged device supports wireless sensor network to store CO2 data at remote servers, helping in measurement cycles in grasslands and forests which is of utmost importance," he explains.
Paul`s project is called Trans-Cons and aims at transmitting energy from sun light directly into the room. “On a bright sunny day we may be able to save electricity for about 8-10 hours," he explains. While the initial capital expenditure in his case is higher than that of a conventional source, in the long run it may prove to be economical.
The green ambassadors wish to make a career in protecting and monitoring the environment. While Paul wants to develop a sustainable environment structure, Singh aspires to get into environment education. "Students should contribute by spreading awareness and developing technologies aimed at environment protection and monitoring," signs off Singh.