Rightly said, ‘Dancing is like dreaming with your feet’. The students at Avantika University got an opportunity to realize their dream and meet Smt. Shama Bhate – an illustrious dancing Guru and diva. Shama Bhate’s work spans over 35 years as a performer, teacher, choreographer, artistic director, and thinker. She is the Director of a unique institute ‘Nadroop’– based in Pune and is a principle disciple of Guru Smt. Rohini Bhate, the doyen of Kathak. Smt. Bhate teaches as a Guru in many celebrated universities such as Lalit Kala Kendra, Nalanda College, Bharat College, Bharati Vidyapeeth and more. A recipient of the prestigious ‘Maharashtra Rajya Puraskar’ 2011, Smt. Bhate detailed out to the students how various elements of dance follow the aesthetic language of design that goes beyond visuals and embraces auditory and kinesthetic aspects. She started the session with a small introduction about Kathak and its history, which was followed by a spectacular solo performance of ‘Shiva Vandana’. She then talked about line, movement, space, levels, stance, geometric and the physical aspects of dance. To add to it, our in-house faculty, Prof. Sanjay Jain also shared with the students how knowledge and practice of dance and performing arts will help them in managing stress and bringing calmness, focus and elegance in their lives. All in all, the students thoroughly enjoyed the interaction and participated with commendable energy and enthusiasm.
To encourage great ideas and to instigate the young minds to think beyond the obvious, a session on ‘How to find and evaluate a business idea’ was organized at Avantika on 6 April. Continuing the exciting journey of industry interactions and exposure, in-house faculty and industry relations head, Mr. Rohit Lalwani conducted the thought-provoking workshop. Rohit regularly conducts such interesting sessions at various institutes including the titans such as IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Bombay and many more. The workshop aimed at imparting knowledge to the students on ways to identify business ideas and evaluating their potential for sustainability and profitability. The practical workshop was successful in eliciting pioneering ideas and encouraging innovation.
For the undergraduate and postgraduate students, it was a delightful interactive session with Honorable Chancellor Dr. Sanjay Dhande Sir. The A -002 Vivekananda room was buzzing with enthusiasm and motivation as Dhande Sir delivered an inspiring talk on career growth, skill development and enhancement, time management etc. The hour-long interaction enthused the students to seek out real world problems and to work towards envisioning innovative solutions. He emphasized the importance of good reading and books, and the need to venture out of the comfort zone. The session ended with interesting questions and answers that the students were waiting to ask. It is so rightly said, ‘Experience is the best teacher!’. Dr. Dhande’s experience added immense value to each and every one present.
It was an enlightening experience for the M. Des students as Prof. Kirti Trivedi and Dr. Mojgan Jahanara visited Avantika campus on 28 March 2018. The distinguished professors shared their rich experience and pearls of wisdom with the students, making it a truly enjoyable yet edifying interaction. An alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, and Royal College of Arts, London, Prof. Trivedi was previously heading the Visual Communication discipline at IDC as Professor. Dr. Mojgan Jahanara, a veteran textile designer from Iran, is the former Chair of Textile Design Department (2003 – 2011) at University of Art, Tehran, Iran. A PhD in Design Theory from Kobe Design University, Japan, Dr. Jahanara has an inspiring persona.
After his retirement, Prof. Kirti addressed the young designers for the first time and confessed that they were lucky to pursue design education in this era, as technology and resources are readily available. He shared various real-life examples to explain concepts of commercial design, applied design, visual communication, communication design and appearance designing. The visit was enriching for the students as they got the chance to interact with the highly skilled and knowledgeable masterminds.
Avantika is revered for adopting a student-centered pedagogy that involves a dynamic classroom approach in which students are encouraged to acquire deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges. In line with its innovative and progressive teaching philosophy, Avantika lays emphasis on project-based learning and ‘learning-by-doing’. As part of the Engineering Sciences course, the first year students worked with mentors to undertake fascinating projects. By studying, analyzing and developing projects such as the Hydraulic Arm with Inverse Kinematics, Remote Control Solar Powered Car, A phenomenology of Galileo’s experiments with Pendulums, Ballista, Drone (Quadcopter) etc., the students furthered their theoretical learning to better their practical knowledge and understanding. At Avantika, such project-based learning not only provides opportunities for students to collaborate or drive their own learning, but it also instils in them skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and time management.
Innovation continues at Avantika in different realms. One such exciting initiative by the students and the advisors, Mr. Kuntal De and Mr. Rupesh Gajbhiye, is TAKE 2. TAKE 2 is slated to be film club with a difference. Through the club, the organizers aim to convey substantial value using the innovative mediums of art and entertainment. Every Friday, through inspiring films and short movies, TAKE 2 seeks to expose the students to the world that truly is, beyond than the petite beliefs and pretentious attitudes. Once a year, in collaboration with societies such as British Council, Foreign Embassies and Alliance France, the club also envisions organizing a film festival on campus.
With enthusiasm, the TAKE 2 members are prepared to ROLL… CAMERA… ACTION.
Friendly games of cricket and football were played between the staff and students of Shree Vaishnav Vidyapeeth, Indore and Avantika University on 17th March, 2018 on campus.
The cricket match was enthusiastically played among the staff members of the two Universities. The toss between captains Mr. Kunal Singh Solanki (Avantika) and Dr. V. S. Yadav (Shree Vaishnav Vidyapeeth) was won by the latter, who chose to bat first. The 12-over game saw Shree Vaishnav Vidyapeeth score 105 runs at the loss of six wickets. Team Avantika completed the chase easily with an 8-wicket win, top lined by the highest scorer Mr. Nakul Pandey. He was awarded the Man of the Match for his 79 runs.
In addition, a 30-minute football game was played between the students of the two Universities. Shree Vaishnav Vidyapeeth’s Karan Singh scored the winning goal in the second half. With no goal in its kitty, Avantika University lost the game.
In all, it was an exciting day. The friendly matches gave way to healthy sportsmanship and amity between the two Universities that is sure to go a long way!
The landscape gardens at Avantika were bustling with creativity and zeal on the 10th and 11th of March. The students keenly participated in a creative exercise that was coordinated by Prof. Kuntal De, Prof. Rupesh Gajbhiye, Prof. Amranta Nehru and Prof. Hemant Kaushik. The exercise was designed to help develop the students’ observations and enable them to understand how the perception of an inanimate object (a stone) can be transformed using colors and forms.
Students from the B.Des program completed the assignment in groups, using geometrical figures like straight lines, triangles etc. They created illusions using different shades of colors and 3D and mosaic patterns.
The exercise fostered creativity, and encouraged the students to experiment and innovate.
Holi celebrations at Avantika continued throughout the week, merging with academia as well. Prof. Amranta Nehru, along with Professors Kuntal De and Hemant Kaushik covered the topic of Color Theory on 5th March, 2018 for students of the B.Des program. Students were directed to make use of different colors as a base line to depict their favorite fiction stories. They were asked to use a single color as the hero of the story, with the rest of the colors representing supporting characters. The students had to narrate the story to the class using the series of images created by them.
Microsoft conducted a workshop on Technology Initiatives for Education on 22nd February, 2018 for the staff of Avantika. The staff and faculty learned about the latest Microsoft tools and technologies enabling them a global platform to be recognized for the innovative work they do. Benefits of the workshop included gaining exposure to Microsoft’s basket of educational tools, apps and technologies i.e., Microsoft Office 365, OneNote, Office Mix, Sway and many more; the invitation to join and connect to educators, school leaders and policy makers from across 119 countries and get unlimited access to learning resources, lesson plans and tutorials; and build a future-friendly learning center. The event was coordinated by Mr. N. Sivaramakrishnan, Head – ICT, along with Mr. Nischay Kandpal, Microsoft Learning Consultant.
'Halma' refers to a Bhili tradition of coming together and helping a community member fighting his troubles. Whenever an individual from the community faces difficulty and calls for Halma, they all gather and solve it. Shivganga – a movement for the holistic development of Jhabua in association with Avantika University collaborated on a unique water conservation project based on the concept of Halma in the tribal region of Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh. A volunteer team of 50 students participated in this movement on 17th and 18th February, 2018 to work towards solving the social problem of water scarcity. They got together and dug up ponds and wells in the villages to enhance the conservation of water in area which is reeling under the effects of acute deforestation. The event was coordinated by our Head of Industry Relations, Mr. Rohit Lalwani. Lecturers Ravikumar Jadhav and Rushikesh Pawar along with Warden, Mrs. Meera Pandey accompanied the students. The first day was spent interacting with the leaders and villagers behind the movement and gaining insights, while the next day saw students volunteering to execute the project with the locals.
Learning at Avantika has been designed to be proactive and experiential. Students are encouraged acquaint themselves with the practical aspects of learning with an intent to drive the point home. As part of the Critical and Creative Thinking module, students were asked to choose any product and create a prototype which would help them garner a deeper understanding of its shape, functions, utility, and more. The outcome resulted in a plethora of remarkable ideas – from recycling waste to create objects of art, to comforting pillows to soothe us after a long day – these creations were the perfect outcome the boundless imagination of students. The projects made optimum use of mathematical principles, design thinking, study of shapes and forms, and sustainability to create innovative everyday objects. This exercise conducted by Professors Sanjay Jain and Dr. Sanyukta Kashalkar- Karve went a long way in helping students to learn the practical application of science and design to shed a positive influence on daily life.
A workshop on Drawing and Sketching was conducted by Professors Hemant Kaushik and Rupesh Gajbhiye on 5th February, 2018 for B.Des and M.Des students. The workshop was conducted in the lush green environs of the campus and the Kalideh Palace in Ujjain. Students were taught to observe the natural form minutely, assess the shapes in a simplified manner, and seek creative inspiration from the surroundings. They also learned the finer nuances of sketching, including the proper use of pencils in contouring, detailing, pressure control, and rendering.
Two of our B.Des students, Himanka Kalita and Soham Mohanty, gave a drive to their creative passions by designing and modelling a Formula 1 Racing Car, as part of their Creative Art project. The model draws inspiration from Fernando Alonso’s winning car of Formula 1 2012, Scuderia Ferrari 2012. Making elementary shapes like cylinders, cubes etc. from ivory sheets, the two inventive students recreated the impressive machine. Serving as a motivation to fellow students, the model brilliantly displayed creativity, imagination and novelty.
Celebrating the rich heritage of our country and reveling in the Republic Day spirit, the 69th Republic Day was celebrated at the University. Honourable Mr. Aditi Nath Sarkar hoisted the flag and delivered a stirring message as the Guest of Honour at the occasion. The illustrious Mr. Aditi Nath Sarkar is at present the Advisor, National Digital Library of India and has a commendable experience in Literature, Cultural History, Film Heritage Conservation and Documentary Film Making. His rich experience inspired the students and filled them with newer dreams and aspirations. Avantika University celebrated the Republic Day of India with splendour and pride.
Vasant Panchami is an auspicious day when Saraswati – the Goddess of knowledge, language, music, and arts is worshipped. The Goddess symbolizes creative energy and power in all its forms. The students and staff celebrated this occasion by conducting a puja at the Dnyaneshwar resource center on campus. The lamp lighting was done by Professors Hemant Kaushik, Ajit Kumar Sharma, Mohini Billore, Rakesh Dubey, Mr. N. Sivaramakrishnan, and other staff members. Prof. Hemant Kaushik presented a wonderful rendition of Raag Vasant on this occasion. The event was coordinated by Assistant Librarian, Dr. Mukesh Bhargava.
A workshop on Building Effective Global Communication Skills was conducted by acclaimed communication specialist and motivational speaker, Mr. Mo Riddiford on 17th January, 2018 on campus. The workshop covered insightful discussions on identifying the students’ limiting beliefs regarding communication, implementing effective communication, finding the words, phrases and most importantly attitudes to regain voice and confidence in a conversation, and thinking systematically during communication. Mr. Riddiford, assisted by Ms. Ruth Tribhuvan also explored the cultural barriers and difficulties faced by non-native English speakers, and came up with appropriate solutions to get past the same. Mo Riddiford hails from New Zealand, and is a communication consultant, coach, university teacher, author, activist, motivational speaker and meditator. He is the creator of the BE-in-English System, including the ground-breaking Communication Trust-Power, and the inventor of the TISL Game, for reading the language of a person's mind. He has co-authored the Amazon bestseller, ‘Upping the Down Side’. He was assisted on the workshop by Ruth Tribhuvan, a specialist in Communication Trust-Power, expert in intercultural communication and an experienced Enterprise Software (SAP) professional.
The Governing Body of Avantika University had a meeting on 15th January 2018 on campus. The meeting was presided by Chancellor, Dr. Sanjay Dhande in the presence of Dr. S S Mantha - Adjunt Professor NIAS, Bangalore, Dr. Rajiv Mishra - Director, J J School of Architecture Consultancy Cell, Dr. Vladimir Kulish - Vice Chancellor - Avantika University, Prof. Anant Chakradev - Dean Design - MIT ADT University, Dr. Prasheel Suryawanshi - Professor & Director - Avantika University, Dr. Manesh Patil - Registrar - Avantika University.
A book exhibition was held on 5th January, 2018 at the Dnyaneshwar Knowledge Resource Center for the students and staff of Avantika University. On display were a wide range of books on Design and Technology, besides other volumes centered on enhancing the students’ thinking and creative faculties. The event was inaugurated by Professors Sanjay Jain, Dr. Hemant Kaushik, and Kuntal De, along with students Siddharth Gondhale and Apeksha Sardana of the M.Des program. Organized and coordinated by Dr. Mukesh Bhargava, the event saw both, students and staff members purchasing books to build their personal collections.
Mr. Parveen Singhal, COO & CCO of Wittyfeed.com and Ms. Neha Fatechandani, CLO, Snowball conducted a Knowledge Transfer session with our students on 22nd December, 2017. The session was centered on exploring new avenues in entrepreneurship and converting students’ passions into lucrative careers. The interaction was curated by our Head of Industrial Relations, Mr. Rohit Lalwani.
An exciting game of cricket was held on 16th Dec, 2017 at the on-campus cricket ground between the staff and students of Avantika University. Titled ‘Spartacus’, this game was nothing short of a highly competitive gladiatorial conquest, flagged off in the presence of chief guest Mr. Anil Kumar Pandey, Chief Technical Officer Basketball Federation of India and Vice Chancellor Dr. Vladimir Kulish.
The toss was won by Admin 11 who elected to bat. The 8-over inning saw the Admin 11 smash 122 runs with the loss of just 2 wickets, with top scorers Sujit Sonalkar hitting an unbeaten 60, followed by Kunal Solanki who scored 45. The pick of the bowlers from Student Black Panthers was Devansh Sapre with 2 wickets.
Coming in to bat in the second innings were the Student Black Panthers who put up a lively fight, but managed to score only 105 at the end of their 8 overs with the fall of 7 wickets. Shivam Singh top scored with 55 runs, while Admin 11’s Kunal Solanki scalped 3 wickets. Admin 11 scored a victory with 17 runs in this closely-fought contest. The Man of the Match was our Project Executive, Sujit Sonalkar for his unbeaten 60.
This game of cricket was witness to the healthy camaraderie shared between the staff and students. It was a fabulous opportunity for everyone to showcase their athletic as well as cricketing skills. Here’s a glimpse into the action which took place.
Students at Avantika organized a freshers party – ‘Aarohan’, heralding new beginnings. The evening of 3rd December, 2017 saw the students take over the University, designing the menu and curating the entertainment as well. The girls dressed in all their finery in black and the boys in black and white as was the dress code. They’d even set up a food truck serving a delectable spread for the party. This evening of revelry involved a lot of fine music, with some scintillating dance and song performances by the students. The Aarohan evening did herald new beginnings, while weaving wonderful memories for everyone.
Part of the Physical World syllabus, the workshop on Heat Transfer and Thermodynamics was conducted on 13th and 14th November, 2017 by Professors Ambar Bajpai, Ajit Sharma, Gautam Karve and Mr. Ravi Jadhav. The workshop gave students a hands-on conceptual understanding of the laws of thermodynamics and different ways in which heat can be used as a form of energy.
Part of Physical World syllabus in the Foundation Program, these projects were created by students under the guidance of Professors Ambar Bajpai, Ajit Sharma, Gautam Karve, and Mr. Ravi Jadhav between 18th and 22nd September, 2017.
Students learned the fusion of biomechanics with robotics, which were used to create prototypes of birds and animals – principles of which could be used to develop new products.
Our faculty, Prof. Sanyukta Karve conducted the Music Module on 26th October, 2017 for B.Des and B.Tech students. The module involved asking students to create music for a short span of 3 minutes, using the instruments created them from scrap materials. Some students even wrote the lyrics themselves. They were exposed to different forms of music which helped them in broadening their thinking and creativity.
The objective of the Dance Module conducted at Avantika was to assist students develop a critical way of thinking and analyze the application of the basics of the performing arts to everyday living.
The entire course was divided into four parts, evenly spread over four days which would enable the instructors to introduce to the students certain different aspects of dance, and at the same time experiment with it as well. The first day covered the topic ‘Dance in Bollywood’, with students learning about the basic contemporary dance forms and how it derives its basics from daily human activities, and applying these forms in expressing various interpretations of inanimate objects.
On the second day, students learned about ‘Dance as a Folk Art’, which introduced the vivid folk dances of India and the main objective behind such dance forms. It assisted students in developing team spirit and a mechanism of working in group, encouraging them to be a part of a community and work towards achieving common goals. On day 3, students were introduced to dance as a fitness regime to attain physical, mental and emotional fitness. They also learned about the ancillary fields of dance and experimented with various colors and props to create a small performance.
On the fourth day, the module covered ‘Dance as a Classical Art Form’, covering the various classical dance forms of India and the discipline behind it. It helped students to work with the skill of expression and prepare them to experiment in front of an audience.
Our faculty Dr. Hemant Kaushik conducted an Art Module on 12th October, 2017 for the B.Des and B.Tech students. Students learned to create panoramic art featuring rural and tribal designs. These designs were inspired from the students’ observations from their visit to surrounding villages.
Renowned artist Mr. Achyut Palav was invited by Avantika University to conduct a workshop on the Art of Calligraphy during the Orientation Week on 14th September, 2017. This workshop was conducted under the Rangnaad Club, with the event being hosted by the Dean – School of Design, Prof. Sanjay Jain and Prof. Hemant Kaushik. Mr. Palav gave an interesting presentation of his life's works and inspirations and showed that calligraphy can also be expressive and creative. He later demonstrated numerous ways of using calligraphic tools, quills, different mediums like papers and inks and colors. In the final segment, he created an impromptu design on a big paper roll which was appreciated by all.
A workshop on Print Making was conducted by Prof. Abhishek Shrivastava as part of the Creative Expression course of the M.Des Foundation Program. A faculty at Avantika, Mr. Shrivastava is an artist who picked his skills at M.S. University, Vadodara and Shanti Niketan.
The workshop intended students to learn Print Making techniques using Transfer Relief from Rubber mats and Glass Painting. The purpose was to create expressions through intervention and exploration. Students created expressions on rubber pads using carving tools and learnt techniques of transferring them on paper using printing inks and rollers.
They also painted and mixed colors on glass and transferred the creations on to paper, with interesting and evocative prints being the tangible outcomes of the workshop. Learning hands-on skills, experiencing “Joy of Creation’’ and developing creative confidence were the major intangible outcomes of this workshop.
Students of the M.Des Foundation Program were part of the Think with Metals workshop on 3rd and 4th October, 2017. The workshop was conducted by Mr. Deval Verma, a young Product Designer and MIT-ID alumni of 2016, who is now a metal artist and an entrepreneur based in Indore.
The workshop intended students to add value to metal scrap parts through creative intervention. On the agenda was to abolish fear from the students’ mind to use workshop tools and materials and inculcate the “Joy of Creation’’ early on in their learning cycle to boost their creative confidence and develop collaborative work ethics. The student groups built interesting metal installations and metal sculptures and artifacts based on various themes using scrap automotive parts which normally are thrown as waste and left to rust, or are melted for downcycling. They used arc welding process and industrial adhesives to glue the parts together and learnt finishing techniques like wire brushing, grinding and polishing.
The Clay Modeling workshop was conducted by our Professors Dr. Hemant Kaushik and Abhishek Srivastava on 22nd September, 2017. Dr. Kaushik demonstrated techniques of working with clay. He guided relief carving and engraving techniques, along with working in 3D form for making heads and faces, tiles, and other design forms. He gave a fine demonstration of deftly making use of fingers and clay modeling tools. He also threw light on molding and casting technique for the artifacts. Prof. Abhishek Srivastava also demonstrated how to work in clay, the importance of carving and relief techniques and the significance of expressing ideas through the medium of clay.
The night of Halloween was celebrated on campus, with students and staff going all in with their ghastliest best. Ghouls, zombies, vampires, phantoms, demons, and banshee costumes were painstakingly handcrafted by students, who later gathered for photo opportunities around the bonfire. All in all, it made for a hauntingly memorable night, curated entirely by students!