Khoj Winter School is a part of Navrachana University’s interdisciplinary social immersion program Khoj, where the learners are engaged in field activities to learn new things and hone their skills.
The Khoj Winter School exhibition was inaugurated by Padma Shri Dr. M. H. Mehta in the presence of the University’s management, teachers, and students.
“At Navrachana University, it has been our firm belief that learning spans much more than what is taught within the four walls of the classrooms. We want our students to go out there and work on real-world challenges. This allows them to develop a new way of looking at things and exploring new things. I am very happy that our students and professors participated enthusiastically in Khoj Winter School 2022 and have come up with some very innovative projects. I am confident the initiative will help in finding solutions to serious problems,” Prof. Pratyush Shankar, Provost of Navrachana University, said at the inauguration.
Smt. Tejal Amin, Chairperson of Navrachana University remarked that “Khoj program has been part of the NUV curriculum right from the beginning. We at Navrachana Education Society, very strongly believe that all our student must be sensitized to societal issues, must develop empathy towards others and should use their skills and understanding in helping others in the society. Hence the Khoj Winter School that has now been re-imagined and made more rigorous is an important vehicle to realize this aspiration of our institutions”
“As a part of Khoj Winter School 2022, more than 600 students, guided by their professors, undertook 30 projects, involving the study of pressing societal problems through extensive field studies to find solutions or further their understanding of the issues. The students covered urban and rural areas of Vadodara and dealt with topics such as waste management, labour migration, public health, transport planning, urban ecology, landscape, and street lighting, just to name a few. More than 160 panels and models have been put up for display at the exhibition” said Ms. Arzoo Malik, Head, Khoj Winter School.
Some of the notable projects undertaken by the students as a part of Khoj Winter School 2022 include a unique study where students developed a prototype of a prediction model for anticipating the incidence of lightning, under Dr. Pallavi Ghalsasi. The model has been successful in predicting incidences with 90% accuracy, can prove to be a boon for disaster management. Another project on understanding the causes of screen addictions among children was conducted by Dr. Rushit Dubal, which studied how screen time among children is increasing due to the busy lifestyle of parents, and its long-term impact.
Likewise, in another project Dr. Parth Pandya and his team assessed the health status of two ponds located in Gotri (urban settings) and Bhayli (rural settings) and found that the village pond is more polluted and its biodiversity at a greater risk than the urban pond.
In a yet another project conducted by Dr. Rabichandra Elangbam studied issues of informal and unorganised labour coming in search of work, and found that a majority of the workers are ready to work for flexible wages to be close to their families.
Another project by Firdos Solanki and his team surveyed hotels and canteens to understand food waste management and tried to quantify the problem of excess food going to waste; and developed a tech-enabled solution for traceability, real-time tracking and an autonomous supply chain.